April to October offers seemingly infinite chances of finding an abundant population of trophy-sized Coho and Chinook salmon. There are plentiful bottom fish just waiting to be caught during the entire year. During the peak season months of July through August and extending into September, off the Bajo Reef, the worldwide famous salmon highway and the bountiful, safeguarded Nootka Sound, stable, sizeable numbers of yellow eye rockfish, lingcod and halibut thrive and linger. Prawn fishing is another option for you.
Monthly Guide: Saltwater Fishing! Oyster Gathering! Crabbing! Prawning!
Anglers Alert: If fishing outside waters, expect pleasing prawn and crab populations along with numerous opportunities to harvest oysters. There is also a chance of finding feeder spring salmon and early Columbia River chinook. If fishing for salmon, trolling from 60 to 90 foot is the best bet and off the bottom is the place to hook halibut and lings. You can always just stop and jig for a variety of bottom fish around the kelp beds and off numerous rocky bottom formations.
As usual, prawns, crabs and oysters are in bountiful, stable supply. Use the same fishing methods for better chances at Columbia River feeder and migratory spring salmon, ling cod and halibut. Around the lighthouse area to Maquinna Point and around Strange Island you’ll find trolling is rewarding.
On both the outside and inside, feeder and mature salmon populations are now reliable. By mid-month from the lighthouse and out, reliable populations of Coho salmon are appearing. Bottom fishing for every species is excellent! Outside from the lighthouse to Baja Reef is again your best bet and remember pawns are still in superior supply. Around this time, crabbing begins to be more challenging and if you’re harvesting oysters, be safe and check for Red Tide first.
Prime Time! Fishing all species of salmon and bottom fish is at its prime now, both in the outside and inside fisheries. Crabbing and pawning are still available but are starting to wind down due to water temperatures rising, but, you can still get your stomach’s fill prawning in Nootka Sound. Again, as a precautionary and sensible step, check for Red Tide listings or warnings before harvesting oysters and any kind of bivalves.
Peak Season! For all types of salmon and bottom fish with both outside and nurseries booming. Remember that plentiful crabs and prawns remain and can be found by moving traps from one location to another. Luckily, there are plenty of spots to pull in sufficient numbers to satisfy even the most ardent crabbers and prawners. Do not forget to check for Red Tide warnings and possible closures before picking any bivalves. Safety first!
Depending upon the amount of rainfall, Chinook and Coho populations are usually abundant until about the middle of the month. These fish wait for their opportunity to run up the rivers to reach their home spawning grounds. Those anglers who head to outside grounds will find sizable numbers of bottom fish until the month’s end. Prawn populations remain reliable and a multitude of crabs arrive to feast upon the more mature spawning salmon. Checking regulations may provide spot locations for oyster harvesting although warmer waters typically indicate that oysters are closed.
*** SAFE ACCESS TO THE NOOTKA SOUND AREA IS DETERMINED BY LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS. CHECK MARINE AND LOCAL FORECASTS. ONLINE FISHERIES POSTINGS USUALLY PROVIDE MOST ACCURATE INFORMATION FOR BOTH SPOT OPENINGS AND CLOSURES FOR SHELLFISH, SALMON AND BOTTOM FISH. REMEMBER THESE MAY CHANGE WITH SHORT NOTICE AT ANY TIME! ***