Best time to Fish

Salmon Eye Charters is located in Ucluelet, on the west side of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, near Tofino, It is approximately  5 hours (driving and ferry) from Vancouver or a 20 minute flight. Fishing here is spectacular!

So when is the best time to fish in Ucluelet?

If you want to fill your tub with Chinook (King Salmon), Coho (Silver Salmon), Halibut, and Lingcod, this is the place to visit. We think its  better than the any area in Alaska for Chinook (King) salmon  and is one a few hotspots in BC Canada. And Ucluelet is fantastic for combination salmon and halibut fishing.

One of the greatest benefits of fishing in Ucluelet is that, unlike many other areas of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, this area has not seen a decline in limits for fish . In fact, every year fishing in Ucluelet consistently produces eye popping results !

In the Ucluelet area, the fishing boom lasts from May until September. At the beginning of the season, in May and June, come visit us to catch  feeder Chinook, Lingcod and Halibut and Vermillion.  In July, we usually start catching larger Chinooks and Halibut and schools of Coho begin traveling in the area. The Large Chinook return to the Ucluelet area in August, which keeps fishing exciting!

When is the best time to fish?

  • The best time to fish depends on the species you want to catch.
  • For Halibut

  • Halibut start showing in April, May though you have to spend longer fishing for them normally. By late May they can be showing up in decent numbers.
  • Best for Halibut June, July, closer to shore, early August halibut generally start to be 20+ miles out
  • September 1-15 is more varied. Some years it is great to late September and some some the halibut numbers drop dramatically.
  • For Chinook (Kings)

    • May to mid July more Chinook in protected water
    • Early to mid-July is a good time for Chinook salmon fishing in more protected areas or areas close to shore.
    • August is generally the time for bigger ones close to shore.
    • Up to September 1-10 Chinook (King) fishing is slower close to shore but there are still some bigger ones around.
    • September 11-30 almost all Chinook are normally caught 20 miles off shore.

    For Coho salmon (Silvers)

  • Some Coho can start showing mid June.
  • By July 1 they are regularly being caught and often close to the harbour mouth.
  • July 15 -Sept 15 Coho are in larger numbers offshore. We can only keep fin-clipped Coho offshore.
  • For Ling Cod

  • For Ling Cod, we suggest May to early July.


    What time of year is right for you?

  • Fishing in close to shore is better for June/early July which is what we normally recommend for 2-3 anglers as you can often get your Ling Cod as well.
  • For groups of 4-6 per boat, July 15-August 30 is more recommended
  • Our Chinook fishing in close to shore starts slowing down around August 28-Sept 1  generally speaking but can stay good in some years till early September.  Last year  it was good until Sept 10 and then there was a significant drop-off.

    Anomalies do happen and in 2015 the fishing  close to shore for large Chinook was on fire right up until Sept 18 which was our last trip. Sept 19 a storm came in and that was the end!

What’s the forecast for Chinook/Coho in 2024?

  • There is another good Chinook forecast projected for the Columbia River which last year was over 500K and most of those fish go past us during May-early July. The local Stamp river is at a 25 year high the past 4 years of 120-160K and those fish are normally along close to shore from early August to early September.
  • Read the full 2024 Ucluelet fishing forecast here.
Even when you’re not on the fishing boat, the west side of Vancouver Island is a great place to visit. While you’re in the area, you can also experience the beauty of Ucluelet’s rugged coastline by whale watching, golfing, kayaking, surfing, hiking, and much more!

With a population of approximately 2,000, Ucluelet is a quaint town, perfect for a getaway. Lovely shops and restaurants are all close by, as well as a spa and various boutiques and galleries.

Come and join us here in Ucluelet BC. We’d love to take you on a salmon fishing adventure! For details, see our fishing packages.