Fishing Reports: A How To Guide

Fishing reports can get you a lot of information in one go. They can tell you whether or not a charter is successful, what time of year you want to go to that particular destination to catch the fish you’re after, what to expect out of your trip and even what the next year might be like so that you can plan ahead. Of course, there’s always a mystery element in fishing, and it is never 100% predictable. Not sure what makes a good fishing report? Read on for an example of a fishing report based out of Ucluelet, B.C. on Vancouver Island! Pay attention to things like the time of year, what is said about limits (and how long it takes to catch them), as well as the other kinds of fish available and when.


Fishing Report, Ucluelet, B.C. – 2017 Season End


March and April are considered very early in the season, and the fishing reflected it! While there were definitely fish around and days where limits were caught by everyone, there were also plenty of days where the boat had to work for a reward of just a couple fish. Thanks to the weather, halibut fishing can also be challenging that early in the season, but if you had the patience and the skill, it was rewarding. Of course, the good thing about Ucluelet is that if there aren’t any salmon or halibut to be found, there was plenty of lingcod and rock cod fishing to keep you busy. For the early season, booking a couple days is best as it might take a bit of time to get out there thanks to weather, or to get your limit in salmon.


Anglers that headed out to the water for May and June were rewarded surprisingly well, as the fishing was much better that time of year than in the past. In fact, it wasn’t a one-time thing to reel in a 20lbs+ Chinook salmon and some charters even hauled in some early season Tyees! Not that the salmon were exactly jumping into the boat on most days (some they basically were), a steady paced day could find your freezer full by the end of it.  There were plenty of grilse around too, which keeps everyone hopeful for a fantastic 2018 early season. Fishing Big Bank from June straight through August was the destination of choice for fishermen that knew where to be.


Peak season went great in July and August and nearly every boat came back happy with their limits in chinook and halibut. As per the usual, mid-August saw the fish moving in closer to shore, which is a great time to come if you’re worried about heading into big swell offshore. Long story short, if you want some big fish in close to shore, July is your time to shine. July had another perk that passed by: live squid fishing! While it only lasted a week, it can make for a jam-packed day of action! Halibut slowed down near the end of August, but if you were patient, you could still enjoy your limit in those, too. The Coho also move in to Big Bank, so offshore boats can have fun reeling them in. They’re a more aggressive and acrobatic fish that have a fast bite and put up a great fight.


Wrapping up the season, the Chinook hung around until about mid-September when the numbers really dropped off. Unfortunately, the halibut fishery closed on September 5, which is very early. Luckily, lingcod meat is sometimes considered even better than halibut, and there were plenty of those to go around as usual.


Did you find the strong points in the report? Are you convinced you know the best time for you to come and what to expect? Perfect! Now you’re ready to read other reports for your destination of choice – they can be a helpful tool if you know what to look for. If you’re convinced from this that Ucluelet is where you want to fish, check out To find some more reports for the area with photos, or a charter to take you out, visit

Finally, if you know you want to come to Vancouver Island, but aren’t sure where yet to enjoy your fishing adventure, pay a visit to

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