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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Merry X-mas all,
I'm hoping to rent a trailer and take my inflatable to the Alberni Inlet in the middle of next Summer. I've never fished there and would like to go at a time when spring are around. Turthfully, it be Tofino if my crew weren't such a land lubber. I'm asking all the normal question what, when, where, how, and how early should we book a camp site and where is one close to the spot and who rent's trailers?
Oh, the second question, is there any better place to fish that is reasonably sheltered (sheltered enough to get at least one bad day fish from 3 if the weather turns bad) to go on the is that may not be as packed in late June, July or August with in 10 miles of the fishing?
Thanks, Jason
 

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I used to fish out of China Creek Marina/Campsite west of Alberni...book well in advance. Facilities are great! Not sure what the prices are like...it's been many years since I stayed there. As for your other question about renting a trailer - no idea. Cheers! -Nathan in NW
 

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China creek before the labour day salmon festival. hootchies work well. I have done well right off the jetty at the marina


oh yeah, why dont ya just defalte the zod. cheaper on the ferry than takin a trailer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a ridged bottom inflatable... if i deflate it'll still be 14' of fiberglass.
I think I will buy a trailer, a new one for that size and wieght of boat is not too steep - under a grand.
Any Idea on a better, less fished area, in semi sheltered water?
Have fun, Jason
 

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....Bamfield, there seems to be a lot of people all over Barkley sound in the late summer. A grand for a trailer shouldnt be all that impossible, my buddy got a new ez loader for his 12 tin boat for under $800
 

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I have fished Alberni inlet and Barkley sound for over twenty years. The fishing is probably the most reliable fishing that is easily acessible on Vancouver island. China Creek marina is the closest campground-marina in the Port Alberni area. It is aprox 10 kms on the dirt road heading to Bamfield. Book early as the prime times fill up fast. Best times for large springs in Alberni canal is from Aug 20 to the first week of Sept. Most people these days will tell you to use anchovy 6ft behind a flasher. I have always had great success with hoochies, usually 45 in behind the flasher. One of my favorite colours is the MP15 sockeye hoochie. Most productive depths are 20 - 60 ft, with 45ft being my personal fav. The wind kicks up pretty regularly in the late morning and may blow for the rest of the day. So, with a smaller boat you should plan on getting up real early and even then it may blow all day at times. Bamfield or Poett Nook marina is a good choice for smaller boats as the wind tends to be less of a problem on a daily basis. Barkley sound also has the advantage of good bottom fishing.The drive to the sound is a long drive down a dirt road that can sometimes be rough. Fishing in either the sound or the canal can be spectacular, if you hit it at the right time.

Good luck from TheBigGuy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Big Guy,
my boat is small but is very good in bad weather... no blow in an inlet will deture it. My biggy is range, I got about 10 miles with 2 hours fishing on two tanks... so I'm looking for a place close to habour with good fishing.
Thank, Jason.
 

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Bamfield, Poett Nook, and China Creek all have great fishing right off their doorsteps. That is assuming you have timed the run correctly though. Almost any area in the lower third of Alberni inlet will produce fish if the springs are in thick. Right outside the (China) creek mouth can be great fishing when the springs are running. Late Aug would be my hands down best bet for run timing. Do you have downriggers on your Zodiac. If you don't, you can still catch fish with slip weights as the fish are quite shallow in the early AM. One of my favorite tactics is to run two lines with 8-12 oz slip weights 35-45 pulls deep until the sun comes up. Once the sun comes up, I stack four lines on the riggers. Some years I catch as many, or more on the weights as on the riggers. Alberni inlet can get very crowded, especially the derby weekend (labour day). If crowds are not your thing then I would recommend Barkley sound instead. There's way more room to move around there.

I personally detest using bait unless I am not catching fish. Many different artificials work in these waters. Plugs are a good choice if you are targetting large springs. My favorites are the 158 or 602 tomic plugs in 7 inch sizes. I caught a twenty pound coho on my last trip as I was reeling in my big plug in at dusk just outside Poett Nook. Spoons can also work well at times, I still like old school chrome wonder spoons in size 7 fished alone or stacked above a dummy flasher. Most of the other spoon fishermen prefer to use coyote spoons these days.

The majority of my fish by far over the years in this area have been caught on hoochies. Don't believe the numerous fishermen who insist you must use anchovies or don't bother going out. I caught three Tyees in one day in Alberni inlet on the tiny MP15 hoochy. For hoochies in octopus sizes, I would recommend the following colors. For clear water with good visibity, especially in the Sound: Glow, White, Blue&White, Purple People Eater, Purple Haze, Jellyfish, Army Truck, and Glow with green splatter back.
For discolored water, especially dark brown water mostly encountered in the inlet. I would recommend the following colors in needlefish or mini plankton sizes: Pink (MP15), Gold, Blaze Orange (MP27), or Red.

I hope all that info helps, but remember that Alerni Inlet is like a big funnel. The wind can get very strong and sometimes it doesn't let up for days on end. I'll probably stay at China Creek this year, but I may also go to Poet Nook as well. Hope you make it there, and catch a bunch.
 

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What's your opinion on fishing the Bamfield area during the first 10 days of September? Still lots of springs around during that time period or are they all up the inlet or rivers?

Slabby20 >>)))))'>
 

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In my opinion, the first week of Sept can still be good spring fishing in Bamfield (but don't count on it). In the average year I think late Aug is a better bet. It all depends on the year, some years the runs are later than others. Some years the spring fishing is awesome the first and even into the second week of Sept. The other thing to consider is even if the fishing is still good, the springs get progressively darker as you get into Sept. If you are looking to keep fish for the table the chromers are usually more often caught in Aug.

The second week of Sept is definitely getting into Coho territory. You can usually still catch springs, but by then the Coho fishing is usually getting red hot. I have regretted not bringing a fly rod to cast to massive schools of Coho in mid-Sept on more than a few occasions. The second week of Sept is probably the best Coho fishing you may experience without paying thousands to go to a fly in lodge. The coho are numerous, and just get larger as Sept progresses. Teener Coho are fairly common and plus 20 pounders are caught with regularity.

To sum it up, Spring fishing in the sound is a bit of a crap shoot in Sept. You may however, experince the best Coho fishing of your life in the Sound in Sept. If you are looking for prime table fish the coho are unbeatable. Sometimes they are also nearing the size of Springs as well as being much cleaner. The action is also no comparison. My last trip with my son, I gave up running more than one line as I couldn't get the other line down before another Coho was on. I don't think there's too many fishers who'd complain the Spring fishing was slow when the coho fishing's like that.

Hope that is helpful. In my opinion, if you want more Springs try a little earlier if it's possible. However, many of my friends insist that Sept is great for Springs in the Sound. It all depends on your point of view and what you are looking for. The two are not mutually exclusivive, you can still run the top lines shallow with short leaders for Coho. With the deep lines run longer leaders for springs and you are covering both bases. Best of both worlds.

Barkley Sound is one of the most scenic places in the world. Even if the fishing sucks, you could do far worse. When the weather is nice you can be pretty sure God is vacationing there too. Enjoy.

Best of luck: TheBigGuy
 

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Thanks Big Guy,

I really appreciate the reply. I've fished Bamfield and Tofino mid to late August for years and I agree that that is the prime time for fishing springs. My fishing buddies have an August conflict for 2007 so we'll be heading to Bamfield September 3rd through the 12th. Never been there in September and always wondered how fast the springs cleared out and was a little nervous about going during that time frame. I'm looking forward to the Coho fishing for sure and hoping for a good mixed catch of Coho and springs. Sounds like there should still be plenty of springs around. One nice thing is that the fishing pressure probably goes way down after the derby weekend.

Slabby >>))))'>
 

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and the fish that were in the sound for the derby seem to get a little gun shy for a couple days.


(I should have said the channel)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice Avatrare Fishaholic. And I thank big guy for the info, I hope to get there next year.
But FishAhohic, I got that pic covered, twiced... once in reality, the second a girl from Norway I know and with the cash needed to will come for the adventure. She fly fishes for Altlantic salmon in Norway... and surfed OZ.
Really, one day I will do a Hemingway and take a small boat with a hand line for Marlin off Vaninaute or Bom Bom.
Reallity TV that is that.
Have fun, Jason
 

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Rotflmao
Not gunna take credit for that pic or even being there, so ya got me beat. Last week of august is key and if ya end up being round for labour day weekend and the salmon festival, head to bamfield, the weather is usually nice that time of year, and like thebigguy says, I've outfished many upon many of ppl up there dragging bait when I was dragging rubber, its all about colour.......pm sent
 

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bigjay said:
Thanks Big Guy,
my boat is small but is very good in bad weather... no blow in an inlet will deture it. My biggy is range, I got about 10 miles with 2 hours fishing on two tanks... so I'm looking for a place close to habour with good fishing.
Thank, Jason.
Don't think it does'nt get ugly in the inlet I have been through there a couple of times in the afternoon in 20ft+ boats and it was nasty.One year in may we had to sit in Nahmint bay untill eight oclock at night before the wind let up enough so we could continue to bamfield.
 

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I totally agree Mr. Tyee.

The usual wind pattern in Alberni Inlet is calm in the early Am. Wind usually picks up from the west in the late morning. Once the wind starts up it usually keeps building till it just howls on a lot of days. Sometimes the wind drops off in the late afternoon and you get a calm evening for fishing. I would say that is the exception though. Sometimes the wind never lets up for days.

This is not very comfortable in a smaller boat. My advice for anyone fishing Alberni inlet in a sub-15ft boat is to start towards home once the wind starts picking up. If you are inexperienced on the ocean or you don’t have a lot of freeboard. Don’t get caught too far from port once the wind starts.

TheBigGuy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The bigguy,
I like your advice has been great. As for the small boat - 15 foot inflatable - yes it is small but I have taken it safely in waters no other boat of it size has taken. I've taken it it in up to 8' steep seas. It's better for many days I will not see. OH, other boat was a Catlna 42'. I've sailed in of 50 knot wind in Jonston Strait. It is normal for me to fish in a 4 to 6 foot sea on Goegai Strait cause that is the day I have. And oftent is the case off the Bell Bouy, I have the same weather. To me it is weather... it has got to be a pretty big or not. I have gone in over 30 foot swell in Cofff's Harbuor Australia for Marlin.... had two hit but not take.
Have fun, Jason.
 

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Not a problem Jason.

I'm sure you know the limitations of your boat, and obviously you are a very competent seaman. My advice was more for people that are inexperienced and overestimate what their boat can do. I'm sure there's more than a few people read these posts that are not used to fishing the west coast. I often fish Port Alberni with a 14 ft boat, but I know the waters very well and know what to expect. I have also taken 25 footers to the west coast and have returned to port some days. Basically I was just giving a word of caution to people who read the forum and might be unaware of what to expect. I'm sure you'll do fine fishing the inlet. I'm often the last guy out fishing in a 14 footer when all the guys in the big boats have packed it in. It doesn't hurt to know the areas where you can avoid a little of the full force of the wind either. If you go in late august I'm sure you'll enjoy some great fishing. It's awful easy to get spoiled over there when the fishing is good.

Good luck hope to see you there: TheBigGuy
 

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Hi Jason, all of the replys are valid, If I were in your shoes make arrangements to stay at Poett Nook, the road from Port Alberni is bloody awful but once you are settled in you cannot be in a better place to intercept the fish heading up to Port. I have had good fishing right out of the Marina and down the Bamfield Wall, you can easily slip over to Pill Point if need be, depending on the wind you can slip through Robbers Channel and cut up by Diplock and then to Pill and stay out of the worst of the wind and swells. My 22 foot Campion was down for maintainance in Sept this year so we took the 14 foot tin boat and just roamed around stying close to the Nook, the fishing was as good as it can get. Use hootchies splatter back, purple haze, white, or use spoons, army truck/ green glow or the cop car and stay around the 25 to 40 foot level. Take a camera and have it ready, we had more encounters with whales last year than I have had in the 15 years that I have been fishing Barkley Sound.
 

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I agree. I would fish the sound anyday over the inlet Your not just limited to a morning bite.There is always somewhere nice and calm to fish.And as robertg said you can have great fishing starting right out side the nook.
 
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