Fishing Charters Tofino, Ucluelet
Tofino is known as the surfing capital of Canada. Ucluelet 35 mins to the south is known as the one of the salmon and halibut fishing hot spots in BC for the largest feeding grounds for both salmon and halibut in BC and Alaska of any location.
But Tofino can have good fishing too. While Ucluelet may be a better fishing destination if you were playing the odds, if you are just wanting a fun afternoon on the water and catch a couple of salmon Tofino can definitely fit the bill. And there are times when salmon or halibut fishing can be very good.
In 2023 Barkley Sound (next to Ucluelet) had about 200,00 Chinook salmon return during later August and many of those salmon come past Tofino.
Both Tofino and Ucluelet have a good number of fishing charters to choose from. If you are looking to choose which town to pick from you have to weigh proximity and numbers of fish you would like to catch. 10 mins drive to the dock in Tofino is more convenient than 30 mins to Ucluelet.
Fishing charter boat sizes average between 24-32 feet. Since most days are not sunny and flat calm like the photos, it is suggested to look for a boat with a heated boat abin large enough for your group. A normal temperature on the water is 50-60 degrees on the water.
Chinook salmon (Kings) are the most common salmon caught and you can catch these up to 1 mile offshore until July 15 when you can fish anywhere.
Coho (Silvers) are limited to fin clipped Coho except inshore of the surfline. Barkley Sound south of Ucluelet would be considered better for this but Clayoquot Sound also has Coho during sporadic times in the summer. Coho are more prevalent after July 1.
Inshore or offshore.
During 2022 and 2o23 we had an effect where there was colder water closer to shore and many of the Chinook salmon stayed close to shore. El Nina may change that for 2024 so we may see a change to more salmon offshore but that remains to be seen.
Clayoquot Sound historically was a good spot for fly fishing but in recent years has been slower. We are hoping that fishery comes back. The last few years Barkley Sound just south of Ucluelet has been good for much of the summer for protected water fishing.
Cost: Tofino commands a higher price since it attracts a wealthier clientele attracted to some great resorts to stay at.
Tofino can have some good fishing during stretches of the summer and is popular for 4-6 hour trips for those with many other activities planned. If you are a single looking to fish and find others to match up with, you may have have more success with Tofino charters. Tofino has a busy harbour with float planes, whale watching boats, taxis and personal boats all with a beautiful backdrop. Fishing charter boat sizes average between 22-25 feet.
Fishing charters in both locations will provide all the gear and tackle for your trip. Canadians can find fishing licenses online and Americans should buy their licenses at Method Marine if they want to keep halibut.
Salmon Fishing Trips that are action packed and well worth the money. 50lbs a day guaranteed on 2+day Fishing packages Silver-Signature. Watch salmon fishing videos, see a picture blog, and read about salmon fishing techniques on a fishing blog. We have 27-29ft boats with large heated cabins and large
Ucluelet is 30 mins south of Tofino and is one of the hotspots in the world for large amounts of salmon coming to the feeding ground just off Ucluelet. Experience action like you would in very few places. Ucluelet is a destination for salmon fishing where people come from all over the world.
Fish with an experienced guide who has been guiding for 20+ years. Fish in a 29′ boat with a heated cabin, coffee maker and more. This boat is rigged for comfort and pleasure.
What should you bring?
Most fishing charters will have the gear necessary to take you fishing. Usually the only thing you need to get is your fishing license and motion sickness medication if you haven’t ever been fishing offshore before. You should also check with your charter to see if they have rain gear. Most charter boats in both Tofino and Ucluelet have walk around cabins which mean there is not as much protection for guests, so make sure you are protected from the coastal weather. Most have toilets, though it is always good to ask about the accessibility and space around the head.
Best times of the year:
The best fishing time of the year is usually June 15 to September 15, though April, May and early June can bring some rewarding salmon fishing. Halibut normally picks up after June 1.
As mentioned about, 2023 was a historic run for Chinook salmon into Barkley Sound . To put this in context, a good run to the Columbia River is about 500K. The Columbia River is a huge system so that is a very good sign. Its rare that there is a huge drop in Chinook salmon from year to year, but you really never know. Signs are good though that there will be another good run.
Halibut fishing is better after June 1 and picks up as the month rolls on. By July catches often involve limits.
Sometimes Tofino can be good all summer and sometimes the offshore area is much better out of Ucluelet. There are years when Tofino pulls good numbers of halibut and years when later summer the offshore of Ucluelet for halibut is significantly better. If you are just going after halibut Tofino recently has been quite good.
The catch limits for salmon and halibut are posted below for Ucluelet and Tofino.
|* On West Coast of Vancouver Island only
|* Sockeye limits subject to change
|Possession limit is amount you can take home.
|Combined daily limit of all salmon is 4 and possesion limit is 8