June is a wonderful month for salmon sport fishing in Barkley Sound and “most” years the Alberni Inlet. Many anglers enjoy fishing the areas of Barkley Sound not only because of the wonderful salmon fishing opportunity but also because of the breath-taking scenic views of rugged coastline. June is still a month unlike July and August when there are fewer fisher people on the water making fishing conditions much more relaxing. The Alberni Inlet can be quite the opposite in June when most years there are large gatherings of sport boats fishing for Sockeye Salmon. The 2020 sport fishing season at this time will likely not see any boat traffic in the Alberni Inlet as Sockeye migrating back to the Somass River system are expected to be very low in numbers. Pre-Season forecasts are predicting only 170,000 returning Sockeye which does not allow any user group to retain Sockeye during the 2020 sport season. There will be many test fisheries with a detailed report on June 26th regarding and change in returning numbers. On June 6th it was reported that approximately 2,500 Sockeye have gone through the counters with most of those fish going into Sproat Lake.
Salmon fishing during the spring months in the sound has been consistent. Anglers have targeted transient Chinook salmon headed to the big watersheds to the south and also local feeder Chinook. Barkley Sound has ample rich nutrient bait fish which bring the fish migrating down the coastline into rest and feed heavily before continuing their lengthy journey. June is also a time when the first migrating Coho are in the Sound and surf line locations. Coho at this time of year feed aggressively and often gain a pound per week before reaching their natal streams in the early fall. Often the best salmon fishing during June is along the many surf line areas. Cree, Austin Island, Sail Rock, Great Bear, Meares, Edward King, the Bamfield Wall and Beale can produce some excellent Chinook weighing from the mid teens to the mid twenty-pound range. The Bamfield Wall, Swale Rock and even as far in as the Pill Point area can have fantastic fishing opportunities for Chinook and Coho that average six to eight pounds. The salmon in June are feeding heavily as they do have a long journey in their migration to their natal streams, rivers and creeks. Many Anglers will use anchovy in a variety of different colored teaser heads. The best teaser head colors are usually chartreuse, green haze, army truck glow, cop car, and purple haze. Needle fish hootchies, octopus and cuttlefish hootchies in green, white and even blue and white colors are excellent choices. The salmon close to Bamfield have been feeding heavily on squid and bigger herring. White hootchies in Octopus or cuttlefish have worked well. Spoons in a variety of colors (cookies and cream and herring aid) in the three to four-inch size are also a wonderful choice. Many anglers who have been fishing Meares, Austin and Cree have found a variety of spoons as the best lure. For some the Coho Killers in Cookies and Cream have worked well for salmon in the eight to twelve-pound range and fishing from sixty-five to ninety feet. Others have done well on skinny G spoons and also spoons as small as the two-inch Silver Night Herring Aid.
Halibut fishing in June can be very productive. Fisher persons anchoring out will use Octopus, salmon bellies, and sardines. Others will back-drift and use Berkley Grubs.
2020 will be a great sport fishing year in Pacific Rim Areas.