Please be aware of British Columbia’s strict daily fishing limits
No short of five species of salmon can be caught off the Port McNeill coastline. Beginning in May, the first migratory wave of Chinooks appear through to late August, predominantly in locations such as the Blackfish Sound. Sockeye Salmon follow in June while Pink Salmon and Coho populate the waters in July. As the season begins to close in September, anglers can count on chum salmon through to October, with winter chinook migrating in the cold late December waters.
Anglers looking to chase glory will be after “king” Chinook predominantly found from July to August, growing up to 50-60 pounds. Reining in one of these fighters over 30 pounds will grant you eligibility to the legendary “Tyee Club.”
Foodies should expect to be on the boat in the late summer months of August and September to catch delicious Sockeye Salmon as well as pink salmon, ideal for smoking, running on odd-numbered years.
The real showcase of saltwater fishing in the summer is the Halibut. With Halibut season opening in April, these fighters can be found a short distance off the shoreline, moving to waters as deep as 200 to 400 feet until the season concludes in November.
While it’s common to reel in a Halibut ranging from 10 to 50 pounds, anglers have fought to bring creatures up as large as 100 to 300 pounds.
These west coast kings are a delicacy on tables across the northern coastlines and beyond, proving to be a worthy reward if you happen to find a beast on the other end of your line this summer.
Lingcod, or greenlings, are a popular sport fishing species in the waters surrounding Vancouver Island. While their appearance may leave little to be desired, their meat is a delicious addition to any west coast menu.
Lingcod occupy rocky water depths, aggressively ambushing their prey, making for a challenge when fishing these warriors from the water. Female Lingcod have a much longer lifespan than males, living up to 20 years, measuring up to a metre in length and up to 80 pounds.
Port McNeill is known as one of the top locations for trapping Dungeness Crab on Vancouver Island. While Red Rock Crab and Dungeness can be caught year-round, the best season to find crab is during their mating season, from August to September. Male crabs make for a delicious meal, while female crabs must be returned to the waters.
Spot Prawns are also in abundance and are a great way to diversify your catch!