Salmon and Halibut

Fishing Ucluelet

Waiting for a bite…

Sound familiar? Most anglers have been there — those long, tedious waits between action. Good news! This doesn’t happen very often in Ucluelet. One salmon fishing experience in Ucluelet will  change the way you think of fishing forever. Every year, anglers come back to Ucluelet again and again, to experience some of the best salmon fishing in North America!

As a kid, I fished areas, (such as the east coast of  Vancouver Island), where the number of salmon were declining. Then, I came to Ucluelet to fish, and everything I thought I knew about salmon fishing changed. In the first few hours, we caught between 30-40 salmon. We thought the bite was going to stop, but it didn’t, and we had to quit because we had too many fish!

Our Fishing Season

Just as I was impressed with my first Ucluelet experience, our guests have also been amazed by the screaming action of a trip with Salmon Eye Charters. And it’s not just salmon that bite here. Halibut fishing is also excellent–you can often let down your line and hook your halibut right away.

The Ucluelet fishing area covers a large amount of ocean, so you aren’t stuck fishing for salmon in one or two spots. There are five main banks (some with smaller sub-areas)  that hold salmon and bait:

We get around!

  • Lighthouse Bank (approx. 6 square miles)
  • Inside South Bank (approx. 3 square miles)
  • Outside South Bank (approx. 4 square miles)
  • Southwest Corner (approx. 3 square miles)
  • The Wreck area (approx. 4 square miles)
  • La Perouse Bank –  divided up into areas we call the Shallows (approx. 3 square miles), the Rat’s Nose, the Gullys (approx. 3 square miles), the Stinky Hole (approx. 2 square miles), and the Canary Hole.
This is not a complete list, merely a sample to give you an idea of just how many fishing options exist here and the size of the salmon fishing area.

It’s all about the bait

The Ucluelet waters hold salmon and halibut because they also hold Herring, Pilchards, Squid, and Krill – bait fish.  The main species of salmon that feed in these areas are Chinook (King) salmon, Coho (Silver) salmon, and Sockeye salmon. Generally, we don’t target Sockeye salmon in Ucluelet, as they bite better in the Port Alberni inlet, but we do occasionally catch Sockeye while fishing for Chinook.

Fair-weather anglers? We’ve got you covered

About the only obstacle to catching our limit of salmon and halibut is the weather. Ucluelet is situated in one of the best areas for weather on the entire west coast of Vancouver Island. Watch the weather forecasts and you will usually see higher winds from the Queen Charlotte Islands, right down to Nootka Sound, (just North of Ucluelet), as well as Port Renfrew (just south of Ucluelet) and further south. Even with the favorable weather, remember that this is the west coast and we do get the odd stormy day. On days when the weather is not favorable for offshore fishing, we often fish in Barkley Sound, which is protected from the wind. There may not be as many salmon in Barkley Sound, but the scenery is spectacular!

You’ll leave with more than just fish

I hope this gives you a helpful overview of salmon fishing in Ucluelet. With good fishing from late May until late September, Ucluelet has some of the best and most consistent salmon and halibut fishing in the world.  Combine this with a moderate climate, breathtaking west coast scenery, and Ukee’s small town hospitality, and you are not only in for some spectacular fishing but memories for years to come.

Check our fishing packages for an action packed fishing trip!