August is always an exciting month in this Pacific Rim area as Chinook and Coho salmon begin to migrate into the various rivers, streams and creeks of West Coast Vancouver Island. Anglers have so many fishing wonderful opportunities to sport fish for salmon in this majestic area. West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook and Coho migrate to surf line areas and then into Barkley Sound in late July and peak in numbers from mid August to early September of which many continue their final journey migrating to the Alberni Inlet before swimming into the Somass and Stamp River systems. The 2022 sport fishing season from mid July to September should be simply wonderful with fabulous forecast returns of Chinook and Coho salmon.
West Coast Vancouver Island returns of Chinook Salmon are forecast to be of “terminal abundance” for all hatchery and wild Chinook. This forecast released in late May 2022 has forecast returns to Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet of 135,000 Chinook. With this forecast model the range of return is from 100,000 to 170,000 Chinook. The age category predictions are three-year-old Chinook at 36%, four- year-old Chinook at 54%, and five-year-old Chinook at 11%. Coho returns are above average due to spectacular ocean conditions over the past few years.
The large schools of Chinook normally migrate into Barkley Sound and feed on the rich resources of bait fish before making their final journey to the Alberni Inlet and then into the Somass River. The best Chinook and Coho fishing in the Alberni Inlet historically begins early in August. The Alberni Inlet provides a variety of hot spots for the many anglers that visit the Port Alberni area to sport fish. The top angling areas are Lone Tree and the Coulson Mill which are two spots in the Harbor. China Creek Wall, Underwood, Leaning Tree, and the Narrows are excellent fishing spots south of Lone Tree Point.
Sport Fishers, fishing the Inlet waters have best success using anchovy in a variety of teaser heads. Glow Army Truck, purple haze, cop car and green haze with a six-foot leader behind a variety of flashers will create some of the best results. Anglers will also have success using Pink and Red Octopus Hootchies. The AORL 12, Purple Haze and Spatter back are also excellent hootchie choices.
Many Anglers during August will fish Barkley Sound from the surf line to the far end of the Bamfield Wall over to Pill Point and Ecoole. Austin-Cree, Beale, Wittlestone, the Bamfield Wall, Gilbraltor, Swale Rock and Pill Point should have terrific angling opportunities through the month. The returning salmon are most often in shallower water from twenty-five to sixty feet. Coho are often right on the surface. Best results for those anglers fishing Barkley Sound are using anchovy in the same teaser head colors as the Alberni Inlet. A variety of Coyote spoons, Skinny G Herring Aid in green and blue, and Big Eye spoons are terrific choices. A variety of hootchies in octopus and cuttlefish are often a sure bet at different times of the day and month. The best go to hootchies are the dark green spatter back, AORL 12, glow white, purple haze, clown, and army truck.
The fishing in Barkley Sound and the waters close to the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth over the past few weeks has been relatively good. Some would call the Chinook fishing as “spotty”. The Coho Salmon fishing has been fantastic. There have been big numbers of Coho all over Barkley Sound which has been a treat for many anglers. The Coho have ranged from five to ten pounds and have created some excellent sport fishing. The fish are hitting a variety of small TKO spoons, Skinny G spoons and hootchies. The best results occur when one is able to match up the bait fish in the area fishing.
August will be a banner month for Chinook and Coho fishing and will produce many opportunities for sport anglers. The fishing in 2022 should be world class.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing