Chinook (King) salmon, Coho (Silver) salmon and halibut are the species we target in Ucluelet. We also catch Sockeye salmon and lingcod as incidentals.
Salmon & Halibut
Chinook (King) salmon (right) are sought after and prized by anglers because of their size. A Chinook salmon bigger than 15-20 lbs will usually put up a thrilling fight. When you get one of these large salmon on the line, you know you’re in for a battle. The world record, sport-caught Chinook salmon was just over 97lbs. The record, sport-caught Chinook salmon for Ucluelet was about 63 lbs. Commercially, much larger Chinook have been caught, so it's just a matter of time before the record is broken again in Ucluelet. Larger Chinook salmon are delicious smoked, while the smaller ones (under 15 lbs) are great pan fried or on the BBQ. We catch Chinook salmon all year long. It is best in Ucluelet from April to September. In Victoria Chinook fishing is best from November to late April.
Coho salmon (right) are very aggressive feeders. Often in July, August, and September you can barely get your line down while fishing off LaPerouse Bank. Sometimes, when it is foggy early in the morning, the Coho will be surfacing all around for as far as you can see. Coho salmon are scrappy fighters and often come out of the air – they might even do a little tail walk for you! Coho salmon in Ucluelet average between 5-15 lbs. They are tasty on the BBQ, fried in a pan with butter, or candy smoked. Coho fishing usually starts near the end of June right up into late September.
Halibut are one of the more sought after fish on the west coast. We often get requests from guests wanting to catch halibut as this is a fish few anglers have had an opportunity to reel in. The best eating halibut are what we call the chicken halibut between 15-35 lbs but we will catch them up to 70lbs. New regulations don't allow sizes much bigger than that, however the bigger ones really are kept for bragging rights. Halibut over 40 lbs are usually females which carry thousands of eggs, so letting the bigger halibut go helps protect the future numbers.
Halibut fishing is usually good from May right into August and September in Ucluelet and most trips we expect to catch our limit of 1 per day and 2 as the carrying limit. In Victoria you can catch them all winter and normal trips see 1-3 caught. Pictured above is the white side of the Halibut, the other side is dark. Halibut are hard targets for predators to see while lying on the bottom with the dark side facing up and the white side facing down. The white side often becomes red as the halibut migrate and move along the bottom.