Photo courtesy of Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye Charters
Ucluelet is fast becoming a world renowned fishing destination and offers some of the best saltwater fishing in the Pacific Northwest. The west coast of Vancouver Island is rich in fishing history and culture. The love for the sport is evident throughout the community and once you start reeling in one fish after another, you will see why!
Spawning baitfish in the area draw feeder Chinook into the fishing grounds as early as March. By summer's end, it is not uncommon to pull in a Chinook salmon weighing over 30 pounds or more. A salmon caught weighing over 30 pounds is referred to as a Tyee. This coastal First Nations word means 'the chief'.
Offshore, there is an undersea plateau that specifically attracts baitfish. Locals have named this 'Big Bank'. The waters here are rich in nutrients and create a 'salmon highway'. Larger halibut can be reeled in at these offshore banks as well. If the weather isn't cooperating, anglers can find shelter in the Broken Group Islands of Barkley Sound. These shallower waters are excellent for fishing halibut, ling cod, red snapper and several species of rockfish.
Drop a crab trap in the Ucluelet Harbour on your way out to fish in the morning. It will have your dinner caught by the time you return to bring it back up. Shellfish such as oysters and mussels can also be harvested nearby. Be sure to check with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) regarding restrictions, limits and closings due to harmful algae blooms in the area.
Ucluelet has full service marinas with moorage available, as well as tackle and supply shops. Our local fishing charter operators and guides are extremely knowledgeable about Ucluelet fishing and will help make your fishing vacation a REEL success!