Tofino Fishing Report
by Jay Mohl, Tofino
The fall season in the Tofino/Clayoquot Sound area usually starts to wind down for Salmon fishing opportunities by late September, but with drier than normal conditions for the late part of the season, Chinook salmon and Coho salmon fishing opportunities have been extended by some late arriving runs.
The numbers of 'local' Coho and Chinook salmon still entering the sound have been ongoing, providing good opportunities for late season angling action along the inshore areas of Clayoquot Sound. Anglers who like to retain a salmon for the dinner table have a great option with the healthy sized Coho salmon that are traveling through the sound. The larger, mature Chinook Salmon have been protected since August 1st, with the intention of providing the 'King' of Salmon a safe passage to their natal streams to spawn. Most anglers have found their best success at this time of the year during the incoming tide at places like Tibbs Island, as well as Kutcous or Chetarpe Points. Many anglers use small silver spoons trolled behind a chartreuse flasher, or a 4-inch Squid in glow or white haze.
The offshore waters have provided an outstanding late season fishery for 'feeder' Chinook salmon in the 10-20 lb class. These mixed stock runs of Chinook typically feed throughout the winter months along Tofino's outer coastline, gaining size and strength from the prolific stocks of Needlefish, Herring and Pacific Sardines that make up the bulk of their diet.
Bottom fishing for Halibut and various Cod species on the offshore waters from Tofino remains very strong, with weather being the permitting factor. Try using a 7 oz. Gibbs Minnow or 12 oz. Mudraker for a variety of local 'bottom dwellers" from 2-8 miles offshore from our beautiful coastline.
The remote lakes and streams of Clayoquot Sound are in their prime for great action on Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. Remember that all Salmon caught in local streams have to be carefully released, and that bait can not be used while fishing in a River or Stream in the Tofino/Clayoquot Sound region.
On a very positive note, this season's outgoing migration of juvenile Coho salmon and Chinook salmon seems to be very strong. Reports from many areas of the b.c. coast have highlighted a strong early survival rate of Chinook and Coho, with optimal food source and water temperatures being a very strong factor. The trend of the optimal colder water in the spring time is forecasted to continue for a number of years, strongly supporting future salmon survival rates.
With the 2008 fishing season proving to be consistently strong for the Tofino area, the 2009 Salmon forecast looks to be very similar. Various areas along the b.c. coast experienced slower than normal fishing during the 2008 season, but Tofino's mixed stock fishery in the offshore waters continued to provide great opportunities for angling success.
Jay Mohl runs Clayoquot Ventures, a Tofino fishing charter company. Call him at 1-888-534-7422 or visit tofinofishing.com.