Vancouver Fishing Charters
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Fishing in Vancouver
There’s a lot more to fishing in Vancouver than just getting your feet wet. Not only is this consistently voted one of the most liveable cities in the whole world, it has some pretty enviable marine attractions, too. Famously diverse, it seems like we only ever hear good things about this densely-populated city. And luckily for us anglers, the local waters can easily rival the streets of downtown Vancouver in terms of activity. Not only that: there’s also a fleet of Vancouver fishing charters ready and waiting to get you involved in the action.
Vancouver is in the south of British Columbia, directly across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver Island. This is an area where unspoiled nature, open spaces, and city living combine. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s right on the migratory route of all five species of Pacific Salmon. Add Halibut, Sturgeon, and Steelhead to the mix, and you have the best of the North Pacific in a nutshell. Vancouver, I hope you’re ready. We’re spooling our reels as we speak.
If there's one thing that Vancouver fishing is known for, it's Salmon. One of the world’s favorite eating fish, this star of British Columbia fishing is a hard-fighting sport species in its own right. But that's not all - its migration is also one of the most mind-boggling displays of determination and self-destruction in the whole of the animal kingdom. And it's right here, on the doorstep.
Almost regardless of the season, the level of Salmon fishing Vancouver serves up is hard to beat. Chinook steals the show most of the year round, being the biggest and most consistent species out there. Come Summer and Fall, and it is joined by Chum, Coho, Sockeye and - in odd-numbered years only, thanks to its strict bi-annual breeding pattern - Pink Salmon. The Vancouver Salmon fishing season really heats up in August and September, as the fish gather to start their migration up the rivers. And then, all you need to do is grab a fly rod and follow them upstream. You won't forget the spectacle.
But it’s not all about the Salmon. Vancouver deep sea fishing can see you reeling in Ling Cod and Rockfish, as well as Halibut. While these fishing trips will usually take 10 hours or more, they are well-worth it when it comes to cooking up your catch. Best of all, take one of these trips in the spring, and you may even be able to set traps for Dungeness Crab and Prawn on the way out. Talk about a culinary touchdown.
Feeling fresh? The extensive network of rivers, streams, and lakes around Vancouver has something for you. The largest freshwater fish in North America inhabits these waters - and Sturgeon fishing in Vancouver will let you get face to face with them. Our favorite hotspot is Chilliwack, just over 60 miles east of the city up the Fraser River.
While you're there, why not make a day of it. Target Trout, Steelhead and Salmon in what is arguably pure paradise. Get your tippet ready: fly fishing in Vancouver will introduce you to a fishery you will never forget.
Rules & Regulations
Everyone who fishes in British Columbia must hold a valid fishing license. Get yours online from the Canadian National Recreational Licensing System. Saltwater anglers will need to head here to get a Tidal License - and those who want to keep Salmon will have to include a Salmon Conservation Stamp, too.
Freshwater fishing is governed by the state of British Columbia and licenses for freshwater fishing must be purchased from the BC state authorities.
Be sure to purchase and print off your fishing license before boarding: your carefully-chosen fishing charter Vancouver has waiting for you will not usually provide this for you.
Please note that although licenses are free of charge for children under 16, they still must have one.
Types of Fishing
All the local pros know that mooching is the name of the game round here, and Vancouver Salmon fishing charters are no exception. This uniquely west coast fishing style essentially involves drift fishing with a weighted line just at the depth that big Chinook find irresistible. If you find your charter boat stocked with longer-than-usual rods and unusual-looking reels, this is what you are kitted out for. Good old trolling with planer boards and downriggers is another popular Salmon fishing technique in these parts.
Wondering where to go fishing in Vancouver? It all depends on the season and the precise conditions, and this is where a knowledgeable guide is worth his or her weight in gold. Some of the most effective Vancouver fishing spots, however, include the “Hump” south of Bowen Island, the Gulf Islands (even as far as Nanaimo to the north and Galliano Island to the south), and the Howe Sound. Closer to home, you will find a great fishery at the hatchery below the dam on Capilano River, as well as some great fishing piers in West Vancouver.
Vancouver Fishing Seasons
January is reliably the coldest month of the year, meaning fishing in Vancouver BC at this time of year is reserved for the hardiest of anglers. Small Winter Chinook Salmon starts to appear in local waters.
Winter fishing continues, with some small Salmon available in saltwater. Vancouver fishing charters will often combine fishing with dropping crab and prawn traps. In freshwater, Steelhead picks up towards the end of the month.
Chinook Salmon starts to arrive, particularly in the Howe Sound area. If freshwater is your thing, March and April provide some of the best fly fishing Vancouver offers. Steelhead will be your main target.
April marks the beginning of the Vancouver Salmon fishing season. Chinook gets more numerous, with the average fish weighing in between 10-25 lbs, with some fish up to 30 lbs finding their way into boats.
Saltwater fishing in Vancouver gets better and better. Take a longer trip to get to the most productive fishing spots, with the southern Gulf Islands and the waters around Threshers Rock being popular destinations.
June starts to see consistently bigger catches of Chinook, with Coho and Pink Salmon also showing up. Coho can be caught close to shore. Fly fishing in rivers is not advised in May and June due to high water levels.
Vancouver fishing charters are focusing on the excellent summertime Salmon fishery. Come at this time for a consistent bite from all the Pacific Salmon species. Sturgeon also peaks in Fraser River. Just be sure to book ahead!
If you have to choose just one time to fish in Vancouver, let it be late summer. Look for big Chinook heading to Fraser River, with Pink and Sockeye Salmon also within easy reach of the port. Fly fishing the rivers is excellent.
September is the high point of the Salmon season. All the Salmon species are gathering at tributaries, ready for the water levels to rise so they can swim upstream. Catch them close to shore or fly fish the rivers.
By October, most of the Salmon has left the ocean for their long journey upstream to spawn. This makes for unforgettable fly fishing in the rivers, especially for Chum and Coho Salmon. Sturgeon is also good at Hope and Chilliwack.
A lot of the fishing charters Vancouver is home to take a break to refurbish in November. Fishing pressure eases, Fraser River Sturgeon fishing picks up, and freshwater fly fishing is some of the best of the year.
December can be touch and go: some years are wet and mild and others are bitterly cold. Saltwater fishing means small Chinooks and Crabs. River fishing focuses on big Trout, who have been gorging themselves on Salmon eggs.
Vancouver Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Vancouver
"Half Day Tour with Captain Nick."
Bring layers of clothes and rain coat, ski hat & gloves.
"MORNING TRIP WITH EVAN"
We were lucky with calm water and a perfect late summer morning.
Top Fishing Charters
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