Vancouver Island Chinook Salmon Fishing Charters

Vancouver Island Chinook Salmon Fishing Charters

Top Vancouver Island Chinook Salmon Fishing Destinations

Best Chinook Salmon Fishing Charters in Vancouver Island

Chinook Salmon Fishing in Vancouver Island

Chinook Salmon
  • Size 10-50 lbs
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Inshore, Lake, River, Nearshore

(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

The Salmon fishing Vancouver Island has to offer is nothing short of sensational. It’s easy to see why, given the fact that anglers have access to freshwater, saltwater, and 5 different kinds of Salmon swimming in both. Millions of Salmon pass by the island each year on their annual migrations, giving anglers a chance to hook into some of the biggest and tastiest of them.

The Island’s prime Salmon season runs from mid summer to fall in most areas, when every species makes an appearance. The most anticipated summer Salmon are Tyees, trophy Chinook weighing 30 lbs or more. In some places, droves of mouth-watering Sockeye take the cake instead. When the summer hype fades away, many charter boats shut down for the winter—except for those with access to winter Chinook fishing that will keep them busy until next summer.

Top Salmon Fishing Spots

You’ll find excellent Salmon fishing all over Vancouver Island, but there are a few special places that put all others to shame. Each one of them has something different to offer, whether it’s a killer winter fishing season or a summer run that’s 1 million fish strong. If you’re a diehard Salmon fan, be sure to put these destinations at the top of your list:

Campbell River

Long regarded as the “Salmon Fishing Capital of the World,” Campbell River on the east coast of the island offers a unique blend of freshwater and saltwater Salmon fishing that you don’t see every day. You’ll find all 5 Pacific species swimming past Campbell River in summer as they make their way through Discovery Passage to their spawning grounds. Almost every Salmon that passes through BC swims this way, turning the local waters into a real who’s-who of Vancouver Island Salmon fishing. Even when the hustle and bustle dies down, anglers here hook into feeder Chinook all year.

On the other hand, the Campbell River itself offers superb freshwater Salmon fishing from July through mid November. Fly anglers have a blast catching all 5 species in the the river and numerous streams connecting to it. Locals have embraced this world renowned fishery to the fullest, offering specialty trips like “Snorkel with Salmon” so visitors can get up close and personal with the town’s claim to fame.

Port Alberni

If any town can rival the Salmon fishing in Campbell River, it’s Port Alberni. In fact, the friendly competition between these two destinations grows more and more intense each year—if you don’t believe it, just take a look at the sign outside Port Alberni asserting that this is in fact the true Salmon fishing capital.

Just over 90 miles south of Campbell River, Port Alberni also offers a mix of freshwater and saltwater Salmon fishing. The local speciality is little different, however, with extra emphasis on Sockeye Salmon. Hundreds of thousands of this species enter Alberni Inlet in May and provide non-stop action through September as they make their way into the Stamp and Somass rivers to return to their spawning grounds. Chinook and Coho Salmon are right behind them, followed by Chum and Pink Salmon at the end of summer. In total, more than one million Salmon migrate past Port Alberni each year, making it a go-to destination for the diehard fan.

Anglers follow the Salmon up into the Stamp and Somass rivers, where it’s easy to spend all day indulging in stellar fly fishing. A brief cold front at the end of summer can push Sockeye Salmon into the local streams for additional freshwater fishing perks. 

Victoria

Victoria has made a nice little niche for itself in Vancouver Island’s reputation for Salmon fishing, mostly because it offers exceptionally good Chinook fishing all through winter. Salmon fishing is a non-stop pastime here in the capital city, whether you’re after hard-fighting feeder Chinook or the Tyees that arrive in summer.

Anglers target juvenile Chinook from October through May. When it comes to sheer numbers, this fish hits its peak from November to late April. By the time these 5-20 lb specimens fade out, Tyees move in to keep up the pace. They’re joined by the rest of the species between August and December, giving local anglers a chance to catch all 5 kinds of Pacific Salmon long after they’ve disappeared from other places on the island.

Vancouver Island Salmon Fishing Techniques

When it comes to saltwater fishing, anglers on Vancouver Island rely on two methods: trolling and mooching. Trolling with Anchovies, spoons, and squid-like lures called “hoochies” will help you catch multiple Salmon species, depending on the season.

A special technique that proves effective in areas like Tofino is “bucktailing,” which involves trolling a bucktail jig behind the boat. This method works especially well for Coho Salmon that feed near the surface in deep water, or in the sounds.

Yet another tactic that locals rely on is “mooching,” a form of deep trolling which keeps the bait several feet of the seafloor while dragging the line at a 45-degree angle.

Fly fishermen have great success while fishing for Salmon in the freshwater rivers and streams on Vancouver Island. An 8-weight fly rod will stand you in good stead. Locals have very specific bait recommendations depending on where you fish, so be sure to ask around for advice.

Vancouver Island Chinook Salmon Fishing Seasons

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Seasonality

Chinook Salmon fishing in Vancouver Island varies slightly throughout the year. High season is January, July to August and November to December. Low season is February to June and September to October. There is no closed season.
Vancouver Island
Excellent
4.6 / 5
Based on 28,959 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Chinook Salmon Fishing in Vancouver Island

I would suggest doing a full day of halibut fishing since the chinook season doesn’t start until August.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I would suggest doing a full day of halibut fishing since the chinook season doesn’t start until August.
Sooke Saltwater Fishing
Sooke Saltwater Fishing
Great place to go fishing without having to go long distances in the open ocean.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Great place to go fishing without having to go long distances in the open ocean.
BobKatz Charters
BobKatz Charters
Weather can't be controlled. We had some strong winds that made it impossible go out deep for halibut. The salmon fishing was as good as could be expected for the weather.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Weather can't be controlled. We had some strong winds that made it impossible go out deep for halibut. The salmon fishing was as good as could be expected for the weather.
Rodfather Fishing And Outdoor Adventures
Rodfather Fishing And Outdoor Adventures
Absolutely! There are plenty of fishes and weather is good but be prepared of sea sickness and ways to prevent it. Check the waves too just in case you get sick with movement of boats due to waves.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Absolutely! There are plenty of fishes and weather is good but be prepared of sea sickness and ways to prevent it. Check the waves too just in case you get sick with movement of boats due to waves.
Oceans West Adventures
Oceans West Adventures
Although we were in the spring and there were fewer salmon we still had a great time.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Although we were in the spring and there were fewer salmon we still had a great time.
50North Adventures
50North Adventures
Not a lot of fishing boats out, so hardly any competition. We were able to catch our limit for the day. I am sure if we stayed out longer we could have got Halibut as well, since the other boat did in the same area.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Not a lot of fishing boats out, so hardly any competition. We were able to catch our limit for the day. I am sure if we stayed out longer we could have got Halibut as well, since the other boat did in the same area.
Tofino Ocean Adventures
Tofino Ocean Adventures
Be prepared for unpredictable weather changes and be ready to roll with what may be presented to you.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be prepared for unpredictable weather changes and be ready to roll with what may be presented to you.
Full Melt Charters
Full Melt Charters
In Feb it’s alot colder than summer . Bring thermos with soup and coffee , and dress warmly. It was brisk but it makes you feel alive!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
In Feb it’s alot colder than summer . Bring thermos with soup and coffee , and dress warmly. It was brisk but it makes you feel alive!
King Tide Charters
King Tide Charters Sooke, British Columbia
We couldn’t have gotten a more perfect day! Sun was shining, wasn’t too windy, fish were biting! We definitely over prepared but never know what to expect with being on the water
Excellent
5.0 / 5
We couldn’t have gotten a more perfect day! Sun was shining, wasn’t too windy, fish were biting! We definitely over prepared but never know what to expect with being on the water
Rising Tide Coastal Adventures
Rising Tide Coastal Adventures
Opt for a seasoned local guide like Captain Scott in Ucluelet who knows the area well. His expertise can make a significant difference, ensuring you have a successful and enjoyable first fishing trip. Ucluelet’s weather can be unpredictable. Dressing in layers ensures you stay comfortable throughout the day. Pack the essentials, be patient and enjoy the experience!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Opt for a seasoned local guide like Captain Scott in Ucluelet who knows the area well. His expertise can make a significant difference, ensuring you have a successful and enjoyable first fishing trip. Ucluelet’s weather can be unpredictable. Dressing in layers ensures you stay comfortable throughout the day. Pack the essentials, be patient and enjoy the experience!
Oceans West Adventures
Oceans West Adventures
Its worth the effort to travel here...beautiful setting, plentiful fish and not overly commercialized
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Its worth the effort to travel here...beautiful setting, plentiful fish and not overly commercialized
Sooke Salmon Charters
Sooke Salmon Charters
The captain admitted that the fishing is better prior to October but we had plenty of action.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
The captain admitted that the fishing is better prior to October but we had plenty of action.
Northwest Saltwater Adventures
Northwest Saltwater Adventures
If you want a bigger catch you should check the dates of when you can keep the wild salmon.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
If you want a bigger catch you should check the dates of when you can keep the wild salmon.
Full Melt Charters
Full Melt Charters
Book a charter that is able to assist you in fishing for the fish species you are targeting and have fun.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Book a charter that is able to assist you in fishing for the fish species you are targeting and have fun.
Peninsula Charters
Peninsula Charters Vancouver, British Columbia
Price was good for 5 hours. Lots of experience and Willing to answer questions. Book halibut full day so boat can travel to better Halibut options.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Price was good for 5 hours. Lots of experience and Willing to answer questions. Book halibut full day so boat can travel to better Halibut options.
Rising Tide Coastal Adventures
Rising Tide Coastal Adventures Didsbury, AB
I did not see a lot of other boats catching a lot of fish. Few fish per boat. However, we limited with Full Melt Charters in less than 2 hours. Definitely go with this guy!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I did not see a lot of other boats catching a lot of fish. Few fish per boat. However, we limited with Full Melt Charters in less than 2 hours. Definitely go with this guy!
Full Melt Charters
Full Melt Charters Brush Prairie, WA
Bring a big cooler for all the fish you will be catching - they helped us pack up the fish and we got it all home without making a mess in my car but it would have been easier if I thought to bring my big cooler.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring a big cooler for all the fish you will be catching - they helped us pack up the fish and we got it all home without making a mess in my car but it would have been easier if I thought to bring my big cooler.
Tips Up Sport Fishing Charters
Tips Up Sport Fishing Charters Victoria, BC
Outstanding unbelievable fishing trip of a lifetime. Massive chinook salmon.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Outstanding unbelievable fishing trip of a lifetime. Massive chinook salmon.
Last Chance Fishing Adventures
Last Chance Fishing Adventures Overland Park, KS
Not sure what the best time to fish in the Parksville area is but mid-August seemed to be pretty good.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Not sure what the best time to fish in the Parksville area is but mid-August seemed to be pretty good.
Rugged West Coast Sport Fishing
Rugged West Coast Sport Fishing Seattle, WA
The coastline is protected a bit by small rock islands which reduced the swells. We also go to see some sealions nearby.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
The coastline is protected a bit by small rock islands which reduced the swells. We also go to see some sealions nearby.
Peninsula Charters
Peninsula Charters Burlington, Ontario

Fish Species Similar to Chinook Salmon in Vancouver Island