Everyone asks me “what’s the best time” and I always reply “what do you want to catch?” Every time is an excellent time in Quatsino and there is always something to catch but of course fish have different seasons and inevitably sizes... and then there is the weather to consider.
Chinook feed off the northern tip of Vancouver Island and right through Quatsino Sound both summer and winter. We are very fortunate this way. But weather being what it is we suggest April through mid-September for the sport fishing crowd. The average size for Chinook all year is 15 - 25 lbs but the big ones come all year long too. As the year progresses the spawners continue to grow so there are more large fish about later in the summer for our local rivers. The rivers further south have their big spawners going by earlier.
Coho become legal June 1st each year and they too run up the river in the fall (later than the Chinook though). They start out fairly small but increase through the summer. The big Northern Coho come in between 17 - 23 lbs on average late August and through September.
Halibut are open February December with a daily limit of 1 and a possession limit of either 1 halibut between 90 cm and 126 cm in length, or 2 under 90 cm in length.
Ling Cod are plentiful and recreationally open April 1 - October 1. In our area of the west coast we are allowed 2 per day for a total of 4.
Tuna - the golden trophy sport fish - start showing up in late August and can be there as late as October BUT they are water temperature and wind dependent. They travel a long way in 24 hours and the weather makes all the difference. Catch limits are very liberal.
River fishing for Chinook, Coho and Pink salmon begins in late August but really comes into its own late September and throughout October. We recommend not keeping salmon once they have ade it to the river.
Steelhead tend to be more available through the summer and early fall months in our area.
Walter, Blondie, our guide Neil and the shore staff outdid themselves again this year. This is the fourth year we have enjoyed fishing from the Quatsino Lodge. The fishing has always been great but this is the first year we had to come back to the lodge early because we “limited out” with four fishermen in the boat. We experienced good weather most days except one. The third day rained heavily but didn’t deter our fishing. We caught the most fish during this downpour. I have never had to release so many large Coho’s (15 lb range) in all the years I have been fishing. Two of our group have never been salmon fishing before. They enjoyed themselves so much they now want to come on this trip every year! Words can’t express the natural beauty of the area, the experience catching big salmon and the hospitality of the staff.