Are you interested in trying your hand at sportfishing on Vancouver Island but not sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Vancouver Island is renowned for its rich fishing grounds, and it’s a prime destination for sportfishing enthusiasts. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to plan a successful Pacific salmon and halibut fishing trip on Vancouver Island.

When to go:

The best time to fish for Pacific Salmon and Halibut on Vancouver Island depends on the species you’re targeting and the fishing methods you plan to use. April through September definitely provide the best opportunities and each specific area has specific prime times. It’s important to check the fishing regulations and restrictions before planning your trip, as some areas may have catch limits or closed seasons. The local tackle shops can usually give you some insight and help you with catch limits and local closures.

Where to go:

There are several popular fishing spots on Vancouver Island, including Campbell River, Port Alberni, Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Renfrew, Nootka Sound, Winter Harbour and Ucluelet. Each of these locations has its own unique fishing opportunities, and it’s best to do some research to find the spot that’s right for you. Some popular fishing methods include trolling with downriggers, mooching, and jigging, and local fishing guides can help you determine which technique is best for your trip.


The gear you’ll need for sport fishing on Vancouver Island will vary depending on the type of fishing you plan to do and the species you’re targeting. Essential items include a quality fishing rod, reel, and line, as well as a variety of lures and baits. Some examples are Islander Reels and Loomis Rods. These are prime examples and the local tackle stores can provide info on other less expensive options.


There are several popular techniques for catching Pacific Salmon on Vancouver Island, including trolling, mooching, and jigging. Trolling involves slowly pulling a bait or lure behind your boat using a downrigger while mooching involves slowly reeling in a bait-tipped line. Jigging involves using a weighted lure to vertically bounce it off the bottom, mimicking a swimming prey. Halibut can be jigged while drifting the bottom and if you have the skill you can anchor on a spot however this is tricky and potentially dangerous. Make sure you have the boating skill, technique and equipment to do this. Sometimes is better to go fully guided to experience this firsthand.


It’s important to be aware of and follow the fishing regulations and restrictions in place on Vancouver Island to help maintain the health of Pacific Salmon and Halibut populations. This may include catch limits, size limits, and gear restrictions, so be sure to check the rules before your trip.

Guided trips:

If you’re new to sport fishing or not familiar with the waters surrounding Vancouver Island, it’s a good idea to consider booking a guided fishing trip. Local fishing guides have extensive knowledge of the area and can help you find the best fishing spots, provide you with the right gear, and teach you the best techniques for catching Pacific salmon and halibut.

In conclusion, sportfishing on Vancouver Island is an exciting and rewarding experience that’s suitable for anglers of all skill levels, including beginners. With its abundant populations of Pacific salmon and halibut, diverse fishing opportunities, and stunning natural scenery, Vancouver Island is the perfect destination for your next fishing trip. So grab your gear, plan your trip, and get ready to reel in a trophy-sized catch!