Early Season Chinook
March to May fishing was up and down with a range of 2-8 Chinook on most days. The weather often kept us in close but we still had decent success around Beg Island and Great Bear.
Summer Season Chinook
June started with reels screaming accompanied by good weather. There had been a great forecast for the Columbia River's returning Chinook and they had a great return which we benefited from in June and July.
There was excellent fishing off South bank for most of June with catches mostly in 12- 25lb range.
We want to congratulate guest John Salcido for catching the largest Chinook in July for the local salmon derby weighing in a 29lbs 7 oz. We were all surprised that we didn't see the usual 40lb+ Chinook taking the July derby and 50lb+ for the August. However, we do expect to see them next year for good reasons (see 2014 forecast below). July had very consistent Chinook fishing with many 30+ Chinook days in the 10-25lb range.
We weren't sure what was going to happen in August, but we still had some good days for getting Chinook in the 18-22lb range. We knew the local returns weren't forecasted to be great, however the offshore fishing was consistent. During September feeders were the norm with a few mature Chinook taking the line.
Halibut fishing was good all summer and we only had a couple days where we had to spend more time than usual on halibut. We spent a good part of the summer on Big Bank, so that meant we often trolled up halibut while salmon fishing.
We had fairly steady Coho fishing inside Barkley Sound. We had very good Coho fishing in July, August and early-mid September around Alley Rock. For all of you that are prone to sea sickness, this is a good option if you want to stay in protected waters.
Chinook Forecast 2014
The forecast for the 2014 Columbia River return is higher than 2013 was. In 2013 the Bonneville dam estimated more than 1.1 million Chinook went through and this is the highest number of Chinook since 1938 when the Bonneville dam started recording! Normal years have seen returns in the 500,000 to 800,00 mark the past decade, so this is a huge jump. Forecasting is a hard game and there are many variables, but right now we are expecting a very strong run again. This means we will have great Chinook fishing through June and July with lots of Columbia Chinook around Ucluelet.
The Chinook return forecasted for Southern BC rivers and the Fraser river are very good which means we should have great August and early September fishing for Chinook in the 15-40lb range with the odd 50lb plus Chinook. The Canadian forecast is often quite conservative, so we are looking forward to a good August which means the reels will be screaming and there will be lots of high fives!
Thanks to everyone who has booked with us this past summer and for all those who couldn't make it this year be sure to check out our past fishing reports! Below are some of the pics from the 2013 season and the Bonneville Dam Counts the past few years. The Bonneville Dam is the lowest dam on the Columbia River and the dam where the greatest number of Chinook salmon will pass through.
The weather has been great and we have been getting some beautiful sunsets while out fishing! September busyness is winding down giving us some time to get out and have some fun fishing while taking some nice scenic pictures. Coho fishing is still good around Alley Rock and we are getting some nice size Coho from 8-14lbs. We are fishing 25-50 ft on the downrigger using small 3 inch Silverhorde and 3.5 inch Coyote spoons. Hutchies will also work.
Enjoy the pics!
Fishing has been good both at Big Bank for Coho and Chinook and also for Coho and the odd Chinook in close to the Lighthouse. We had a weather system for a few days near the end of August which made it hard to get to Big Bank, but there were still some fish in close. After August 31 there was a significant size reduction in Chinook, however there are still lots of them out on the bank. We can keep 4 Coho inside the marker line, so fishing Coho now in close is always a gas saver for anyone not wanting to make the run. Small 3.5 inch Coyote spoons and 3 inch Silver Horde spoons are working well for Coho. Tight lines!
Enjoy the pics below!
Chinook fishing has been a little up and down the past few days, one day being very good and the next one where the bite takes a while to come on. We have been fishing the Bamfield 12 mile for some of the bigger salmon as well as Big Bank for both salmon and halibut. There were some better size fish being taken at the Bamfield 12 mile, though some days are better than others. It is about 8 miles from Big Bank, so if going there and the bite is going well, it is a bit of a run to Big Bank. The north nipple and the Shallow spot seem to be the most consistent at Big Bank, with the Whales Tail catching as well. Coho are being caught in close to shore as well as South Bank. Chrow and Beg are still catching, though not as fast as July.
Below are the pics from the past few days and we will see you on the water in Ucluelet!
Chinook fishing has been good in mostly two spots, Big Bank and the Bamfield 12 mile. We are getting a mixed bag of feeders and some mature fish mixed in. As usual the Chinook are biting better on different lures every day. Sometimes they are biting on spoons well and some days hutchies. Most of the spoons are working are 3.5 to 5 inch coyotes in glow, green and black. Halibut are biting well on Big Bank in a few different spots, but staying consistent near on the shallows and Rats nose.
For all that are still planning to come fishing, there should be fish for a while still. Enjoy the pictures below and tight lines!
Filed under Tips for Chartered Salmon Fishing by