Sockeye Salmon Sport Fishing Opens in The Alberni Inlet-----"BREAKING NEWS”
As we embrace July of 2021 most anglers in this area are excited about the return of Sockeye salmon to the Somass River system and the migration of Chinook salmon and Coho along the surf line of Barkley Sound and areas close to the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth. Sport Fishing opportunities should be incredible during this wonderful summer month. Sockeye returns are predicted to be approximately 500,000 fish. This number should provide for sport fishing opportunity of up to four salmon per day. The runs of migrating mature Chinook combined with decent schools of Coho travelling the Vancouver Island West Coast surf line to the large southerly watersheds should give endless opportunities to sport fishing enthusiasts fishing Barkley Sound and areas close to Ucluelet. Sockeye fishing is a great opportunity for everyone and is a very comfortable angling opportunity for people of all ages. The best fishing areas for Sockeye in the Alberni Inlet are from Hocking Point to Lone Tree. Underwood, the Narrows and Cous Creek will provide for some excellent angling.
Current sport fishing regulations, at the time of this writing, provided by the DFO will allow sport fishing for Chinook salmon within one nautical mile of the coastline until the fifteenth of July. After this date anglers will be permitted to fish offshore waters for Chinook. Pacific Rim areas are often a feeding station to these transient salmon. The islands close to the Ucluelet Harbor mouth and up the coastline to Wya Point and Florencia and the many areas of Barkley Sound often hold vast quantities of bait fish in herring, anchovy, squid and needlefish. To date Sail Rock, Great Bear, The Alley, which are all close to Ucluelet and Barkley Sound locations such as Cree Island, Meares, Kirby, Bamfield Wall, and Swale Rock have experienced some very good sport fishing. This trend will continue and become stronger in July and will likely improve two-fold in late July and into early September when the West Coast Vancouver Island salmon begin returning to their natal streams and rivers.
Historically the most common gear and consistent salmon producer when fishing Barkley Sound has been trolling with anchovy behind a variety of colored flashers. How ever that trend has changed over the past couple of years with fish hitting various Herring Aid spoons as well as Skinny G’s, Coho Killer spoons, and a variety of octopus, cuttlefish, and needle fish hootchies. Anchovy teaser head colors that work well are Green Haze, Glow Army Truck, Herring Aid, and Cop Car. Flashers in blue, green glow, chartreuse, and even red with at least a six-foot leader are best. Spoons behind a flasher can vary from forty-two inches to five feet. Hootchie leader lengths behind a flasher are thirty-eight to forty-two inches. Favorite hootchies are the AORL 12, J-79, Jack Smith, and Purple Haze. The salmon have been feeding on large mature herring, needlefish, and small immature herring around Meares, Austin-Cree, Swale Rock and Edward King. Smaller Spoons if the bait is small have been working very well. In areas around Beale, Whittlestone and The Bamfield Wall there have been mature squid meaning Octopus hootchies and cuttle fish are working best. The best cuttle fish have been tiger prawn UV, army truck and a variety of white cuttle fish colors.
Halibut fishing in July is in full swing. Many sport-fisher people will either drift, jig or anchor. Halibut will often prefer salmon bellies as well as large herring or octopus. If jigging try a Gibbs Hali Hawg tipped with salmon belly. Lingcod fishing is also relatively good. How ever it is important that a good descending device is on board as any yellow-eye rockfish are to be released.
July of 2021 should have some world class salmon sport fishing.
Tight lines and Good fishing