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Top Fishing Charters in Campbell River
Fishing in Campbell River
If we had to describe Campbell River fishing in five words, they would be these: Salmon, Salmon, and more Salmon. Not only is it known as the ‘Salmon Capital of the World,’ it has held this title for over a century.
This small town on Vancouver Island is visited by all five species of Pacific Salmon on a yearly basis - and it is a favorite haunt of hundreds of sportfishermen who migrate to these waters, every year, too. Some say that the only things that can be in short supply round here in high season are free spaces on Campbell River fishing charters!
Campbell River may be a small town, but don’t let that put you off. Not only does this coastal community play host to plenty of hotels, B&Bs, and stores, it also has its own airport and - most importantly - a substantial charter fishing fleet. But what’s the big deal? What is it about this little place that Salmon, and anglers, just can’t resist?
First, take a look at its geography. Campbell River is located at the end of the Strait of Georgia, on a stretch of water enigmatically known as ‘Discovery Passage’. This is prime, world class Salmon territory. Imagine a kind of ‘Salmon funnel,’ that thousands of Pacific Salmon need to travel through to return to their birth rivers to spawn.
To the north, the hard granite of the steep mountains is sliced into by deep channels and inlets. This is a land of glacial wilderness: those who have the time to spare may even make it out to Bute Inlet and Johnstone Strait. Head southwards, and the water and the land formations flatten, creating wide expanses. You can fish here for days and experience multiple different styles, areas, and views. And oh my, the views.
Now, let’s look at the fish. The waterways of Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait can be understood as a kind of ‘Salmon highway.’ This is the connection between the open ocean and the rivers and streams where the Salmon lifecycle both starts - and ends. Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Chum, and Pink Salmon all pass by Campbell River on their journey to the stream where they were spawned - and where they in turn will spawn and end their days.
What does this mean for anglers? Plentiful Salmon, of all varieties. And it’s the big ones that Campbell River Salmon fishing charters are competing to get their hands on.
Any Campbell River Salmon fishing guide worth their salt will tell you that there’s one thing every angler wants round here: and that’s a Tyee. This native word means chief, and it is used to describe any Chinook Salmon weighing over 30lbs. Take a fishing trip from July to September and who knows, maybe you will hook a Tyee for yourself.
But it’s not all about big Chinooks. Locals say that it’s the Chum Salmon migration that you really need to look out for: come in the fall for a fight to remember. Freshwater anglers will find themselves up against both Winter and Summer Steelhead. And as if the Salmonids weren’t enough, with Halibut, Cod, and Snapper all available in deeper waters, you are not going to go hungry any time soon.
Rules & Regulations
Just like everywhere else in British Columbia, a valid sportfishing license is essential for fishing in Campbell River. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licenses are needed for saltwater fishing. They are issued by the Government of Canada and may be purchased online. For freshwater fishing, you will need a Non-Tidal Angling License, which is issued by the Province of Canada.
Anyone who wishes to keep any Salmon caught will need to be in possession of a valid Salmon stamp.
Types of Fishing
Salmon fishing means trolling deep down in the water column. So if you can't get enough of the sound of downriggers popping, this is the style for you.
Otherwise, have a go at Salmon fishing Campbell River style and try for membership of the exclusive ‘Tyee Club’. How? Easy. All you need to do is catch a 30 lb + Chinook. On light tackle. In a rowboat. This is sportfishing at its most pure, and it has been done here this way ever since 1924.
Campbell River Fishing Seasons
Campbell River Fishing Calendar
Top Fishing Charters
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