Fishing F.A.Q.'s

What is the best time to come fishing for Chinook salmon, Coho and Halibut and Lingcod?

Read about the best times to come fishing in Ucluelet.

Do we get to keep the fish?

Yes. We can send your fish anywhere in the world, though most people take their catch home with them.  We clean and package the fish immediately after each trip. You also have the option of having your fish vacuum packed.*
*Included in Signature, Gold, Silver, and Trophy packages.

How much do fishing licenses cost?

Saltwater Fishing Licence information is here.

What kind of clothing should we bring?

Usually a light sweater or jacket is fine. We provide any rain gear should you need it.

What is the weather like?

Ucluelet has a moderate climate. Summer is mostly sunny, though the west coast tends to be cooler than the inland thanks to those fresh ocean breezes! Ucluelet gets less wind than any other areas north or south on the west coast. It also gets less rain than other areas north on the west coast.

Can you smoke the fish?

Yes. You can have your fish smoked, within 2-3 weeks, and sent to your home.

What is the closest we fly coming to Ucluelet?

Yes.  You can find lots of travel information here.

What are the catch limits for salmon, halibut and Lingcod in BC?

Species Daily Limit Possession Limit Minimum Size
Chinook (King) 2 4 18 inches
Coho (Silver) 2** 4* 12 inches
Pink 4 8 12 inches
Chum 4 8 12 inches
Sockeye 4 8* 12 inches
Halibut 1* 2* N/A
Ling Cod 2* 4* N/A
* On West Coast of Vancouver Island only
** To be announced at start of season
Combined daily limit of all salmon is 4 and possession limit is 8
An angler will be able to possess two (2) small halibut, under 90cm, or one (1) one large halibut, between 90cm and 133cm.  The daily limit is one (1) halibut. It is illegal to retain halibut over 133cm.

What is the best place to catch Chinook (King) salmon? BC or Alaska?

Check out our article on how Ucluelet compares with other areas of BC and  Alaska here.

Propper care of your Salmon and Halibut

As sport fisherman we value the care of fish. Normally we net the salmon and then bonk it on the head so that it dies immediately.  Sometimes we bonk the salmon before it comes in the boat.  We don't like leaving fish alive more than a few seconds after it comes in the boat.

For halibut we normally gaff it and bonk it on the head right away.

If you have been on a charter you may see the guide leave the fish alive and die on its own. We don't promote this for either the well being of the fish or the taste of the meat for eating.

How should your salmon and halibut be cared for after catcing?

As soon as you boat that beauty, the clock starts ticking in terms of preserving premium quality and flavor. We bleed the fish by making an incision to allow the blood to drain out. The blood is where bacteria can quickly start to accumulate and degrade the meat.

Next we put the fish in our cold sea water tanks to finish bleeding.  Next the fish gets put on ice. The quicker you can get the temperature down, the better. An insulated cooler with plenty of ice is perfect for the boat. We strongly recommend not letting the fish just lay out in the sun except for a quick photo at the end of your trip.

Why should you hire a  fishing guide when fishing Ucluelet?

Ucluelet boasts the largest fishing grounds of any area in BC or Alaska. This is a good thing but requires a lot of knowledge to mazimize results.

Many areas have different nuances. We get people that stay in one of our cabins and bring their own boat but generally we recommend a few days extra if they want to get limits.

Fish also move around from day to day and having someone taking you out who was fishing yesterday is a big advantage.

What is the month to catch salmon in BC?

The best salmon fishing is during the months of May to September. Salmon can be caught in other months but there are factors to consider such as weather (cold during the winter) and wind (many more windy days during the winter).

Most of the areas in northern BC start getting good in later June or early July for Chinook (Kings) and Coho (Silvers). By mid September most fishing lodges and resorts have closed down.

Because of the access to the largest feeding grounds in BC or Alaska, Ucluelet arguable has the longest season for good fishing of Chinook (Kings) and about the same duration as norther areas for Coho (Silvers). Halibut and ground fish don't vary as much for peak season from Ucluelet all the way up to northern BC. You can read here about the best time to fish Ucluelet.

What is the best month for halibut fishing in BC?

Normally peak months are June, July and August though halibut fishing can be good during May and September as well.

Where is the best halibut fishing in BC?

We cover that here.


What is the salmon capital of the world?

With all we have written about how Ucluelet compares to the best salmon and halibut locations what is the official salmon capital?

Both Campbell River and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island claim to be the salmon capital of the world. Why? Marketing of course. Unfortunately regulations have not been good for Campbell River and much of the summer you are only allowed to retain zero or 1 Chinook.

Port Alberni has a short peak time for sockeye early in the season and then for about a week in August. Boats from Port Alberni can make the run to fish grounds accessible from Uclueet though it is a long boat ride. When we started Salmon Eye, Port Alberni was an option for a couple of seasons but Ucluelet is so much more consistent that we consolidated here.