Victoria Harbour: Capital Fishing

Check into your hotel. Then check out some amazing fishing. Victoria Harbour is located right in the middle of British Columbia’s capital city, just a short walk from many downtown hotels. Hop onto a charter boat and fish for salmon at great spots at the entrance of the Harbour, like Ogden Point or the area near Oak Bay.

Nanaimo has it all. The second biggest city on Vancouver Island, and just minutes away from the virtually untouched wilderness, Nanaimo provides an easy starting point for a fun day of fishing. Fish right from the city shore while watching the ferries go by, or take a short boat ride to the waters around Five Finger or Gabriola Island and drop your line.

Float – and fish – alongside long log booms as they snake their way slowly down the Harrison River, near where it meets the mighty Fraser. Enjoy a great day on the water or casting from shore, surrounded by low mountains and plentiful Cutthroat Trout eager to take a fly or lure as they push up the river during fall and winter.

Home of the big ones. Cowichan River earned a reputation years ago for producing the biggest Coho Salmon in the world, and there’s no better place to look for them today. Both the river itself and the approach areas and very productive and Chum, Coho and Chinook are all plentiful especially during their return to spawning.

Get your hands dirty. Enjoy sightseeing, beachcombing and easy clamming on pretty, sheltered beaches less than an hour from Nanaimo. Easy access to the area and plentiful clams make this a trip suitable for the whole family, including younger children. Plastic shovels and pails optional!

Roll up your sleeves. And your pant legs. The waters between Victoria and Port Renfrew, along the southern coast of Vancouver Island, are perfect for sightseeing, pleasure boating and crabbing. So put down the fishing rod, and drop a Crab trap or two instead. After a few hours of sightseeing and wildlife viewing, your traps should be filled to the brim with the area’s tasty Dungeness Crabs.

Visit the “Salmon Capital of the World. Every year, millions of salmon migrate past Campbell River on their way to their spawning grounds. The largest species, Chinook, return to the area in large numbers and are pursued by those keen to land one over 30lbs – which are known as Tyee – to become a member of the legendary, world-famous “Tyee Club”.

A fishing trip fit for a King. Or an Empress. Combine fishing with sightseeing, and spend some time on the water within sight of British Columbia’s Parliament Buildings and historic Empress Hotel. Numerous guided charters leave from Victoria’s harbour, and you can fish for Salmon and Halibut while watching seaplanes and other water traffic then return to shore to explore the rest of B.C.’s Capital.

Calm waters. Dramatic views. Half an hour north of Vancouver is Horseshoe Bay, the point of arrival and departure for ferry traffic between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands. Here at the mouth of Howe Sound (which is actually a collection of small fjords) is a popular spot to fish for Salmon and B.C.’s famous Spot Prawns while enjoying stunning views of small, sheltered islands and dramatic cliff faces surrounding the Sound.

Catch a big one. A really, really big one. The largest sport caught White Sturgeon on record was caught in the Fraser River in 2012, weighing approximately 500 lbs and measuring over 12 feet! And while you may not make history yourself, a fishing trip on the Mighty Fraser will at least give you the opportunity. Anglers come from all around the world for the famous, White Sturgeon here and many guided charter companies specialize in seeking out – and finding – these giant creatures.

All Sturgeon fishing in the Fraser is catch-and-release only. And while you can fish for Sturgeon in the tidal waters south of the Mission Bridge, most anglers fish north of the bridge, which requires a Freshwater licence.

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