British Columbia Fishing Blog

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Archive for September, 2015

Second Q&A Video

Published on Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Here is our second Q&A video. If you have a question which you’d like to be featured in the next one, please feel free to add a comment in that video, or ask on our Facebook page, or on the “Ask an Expert” page.

Rivers Reopen for Fishing!

Published on Monday, September 14th, 2015

Most rivers in Region 1 (Vancouver Island) and Region 2 (Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley) which have been closed to fishing in the past several weeks due to the drought conditions are now open for fishing once again! Here are the notices:

To check the daily quota of salmon for the stream where you want to fish, you should visit the following links:

Lower Fraser River Interior Coho Salmon Management Measures

Published on Monday, September 7th, 2015

Fraser River coho salmon

If you fish the Lower Fraser River for pink salmon, then you should be aware of some important regulation changes which come in effect this week. These changes include:

  • Bait ban for salmon fishing
  • No fishing for coho salmon and sockeye salmon

The windows of these changes are as follows:

Since 2001, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has identified these dates as the migration period for Interior Fraser River coho salmon, which are endangered. To protect these fish, managers have used these measures to minimize their mortality. Bait such as roe is known to be very effective for coho salmon in the Fraser River, so well that fish often swallow the bait when hooked. This often leads to post-release death, therefore banning the use of bait during this period is required. The Sport Fishing Advisory Committee has also made sure fishing opportunities for chinook, pink and chum salmon remain available during this period, so anglers can still cast lures, fly fish, bar fish with a spin n’ glow for them without impacting the coho salmon run. When you catch a salmon, be sure to identify it first in your landing net before bringing it onto shore. If it is a coho salmon, please release it with care so it can continue its migration safely. With your support, we can keep these fishing opportunities open while protecting endangered species.

Coho salmon and pink salmon


Knowing the differences between a coho and a pink salmon may sound simple on paper, but beginners often find it difficult when seeing them for the first time by the river. If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to ask for second opinions if you are unsure about your catch. Always double, triple checks your fish before deciding to retain it. Experienced anglers should understand these challenges for beginners and assist and educate those who seem to need guidance. Coho salmon (top in the photo) have small spots across their back and the top portion of the tail. Pink salmon (bottom in the photo) have larger “thumb-print”, oval spots across their back and the entire tail.

If you are interested in reading more about Interior Fraser River coho salmon and its recovery program, please check out this document.

Lower Fraser River Opens for Pink Salmon Fishing!

Published on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Fraser River Pink Salmon

Finally! The Lower Fraser River pink salmon fishery which many have been waiting for is here! Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the opening for both the tidal and non-tidal portions of the Fraser River, which begins on September 5th 2015. This fishery generally starts around the 1st of September and peaks by the 10th, but the season can extend until the third or fourth week of September. It is a fantastic fishery for beginner anglers who wish to get into salmon fishing due to the high abundance of fish which are more than willing to bite. Millions of pink salmon are expected to converge into the Fraser River with each incoming tide. They will chase your lure without much hesitation. If you have never done it before, here are some tips to get you started.

  • Make sure you have a valid fishing licence! If you are fishing in the Fraser River anywhere downstream from the CPR Bridge in Mission, then you need a valid tidal water fishing licence. If you are fishing upstream from the CPR Bridge, you need a valid freshwater fishing licence. If you want to keep a pink salmon, you also need to purchase a salmon conservation stamp.
  • Know the daily quota, which is the number of pink salmon you are allowed to keep per day.
  • Know the regulations. There are some general fishing regulations that you need to know when fishing for pink salmon in the Tidal and Non-tidal Fraser River. Make sure your hook only has a single point and barbless. You can read the rest on this page.
  • Identify your catches before killing them. Among millions of pink salmon, there are three species that you need to know and must release with care when caught. These two species are sockeye salmon, coho salmon and steelhead. During the pink salmon season, late summer run sockeye salmon, endangered interior coho salmon and steelhead will make their way into the Thompson-Nicola region. Fishery managers are working hard to conserve these species while ensuring our fishing opportunities remain available. As anglers, we need to work with them to minimize our impact on endangered species.
  • Time your fishing outing with the tide. This fishery is heavily influenced by the tide. The magic hours are the last three hours of the incoming tide. During this time, fish will follow the tidal current into the river. There’s no such thing as the “best spot” on the Fraser River. You can catch pink salmon anywhere along the Fraser River, just make sure you are at the right spot at the right time.
  • The weather can be fantastic for fishing in September, but it is still too hot to keep your fish on the beach or in the river. To preserve the freshness of your pink salmon, make sure your fish are bled immediately and packed in an ice-filled cooler while you fish.
  • Bring a landing net. Majority of pink salmon are lost just before they reach the angler. Having a landing net can improve your catch success significantly. The rocky shorelines along the Fraser River can be steep and slippery at times, so a landing net can also make sure you do not fall in while trying to grab your fish by hand. Because some fish are required to be released, a landing net with a soft or rubber mesh finish is best.
  • Respect other users. When taking part in this fishery, you will most likely be fishing among other anglers. Treat others like you would like to be treated so everyone can have a good experience. Some considerations include to avoid casting over other people’s lines, avoid talking loudly, pick up some garbage on the river bank and help others when they need a hand.

Here are some useful links to get you started:

Bar Fishing Fight Sequence

Published on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Since the Fraser River reopened for chinook salmon retention, bar fishing for them has been excellent. Multiple hook-ups within a couple of hours, of both large adults and small jacks, have been the reports arriving in my inbox for several days now. This evening my dad and I were invited along to a quick bar fishing trip and I took a series of photographs during the fight of one fish. This fish was caught near the end of the day, when a school of fish must have been moving through as several bar rods started dancing in the holders, all within minutes apart. Ken grabbed the rod when his bell rang, and the bend in the rod told us right away that it was a chinook salmon.



It actually came into the shallow water pretty quickly, so Bob had the net ready, expecting this to be an easy fight.



But the fish had other ideas, it began gaining some line and headed upstream.



After navigating around the boat as the fish continued upstream, Ken was gaining line again.



The fish splashed on the surface, it looked almost ready to be netted.




As Bob approached with the net, this fish once again had other ideas. It headed downstream, this time from the shallow side of the boat and proceeded to go underneath it.



Ken carefully worked his line under the boat and managed to avoid hooking the motor.



The third try was much smoother. Bob scooped the fish up once he could get a good aim.






A memorable fishing experience, shared by three generations of Ken’s family.


A beautiful chinook salmon for dinner, this is what Fraser River bar fishing is all about.



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