Sport Fishing Guides – Getting Started
If you are looking for a salt water sport fishing experience like no other, visit Nuu-chah-nulth territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC (British Columbia.) As one of the greatest sport fishing destinations in the world, Vancouver Island’s west coast offers unparalleled opportunities for fishing enthusiasts, including all five species of Pacific salmon, giant halibut, bottom fish, shellfish, and more.
Since time immemorial, the indigenous people of Canada’s west coast have depended on seafood for their economy and sustenance. In traditional times, Vancouver Island British Columbia’s vast rivers and surrounding oceans provided a bounty of salmon, herring, halibut, and shellfish that helped Vancouver Island First Nations thrive. For this reason, Nuu-chah-nulth people, the traditional owners and managers of Vancouver Island’s west coast fisheries, have a history rich with fishing knowledge. Today’s Nuu-chah-nulth fishing guides are often the record keepers of family fishing spots, and the inheritors of 10,000 years of fishing history. They know where to find the best sport fishing hot spots.
About our Fishing Guides
All of the sport fishing guides listed in these pages operate fishing charters on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Some guides run fishing tours seasonally. Others run fishing tours year round. Many also offer other charter services, such as whale watching tours, wildlife tours, water taxi services, and more. For more information, browse the sport fishing guide listings or visit our map of Vancouver Island to find the sport fishing guide closest to you.
Booking Your Vancouver Island Sport Fishing Trip
After browsing the sport fishing guide listings and deciding where you want to go, contact your fishing guide directly using the contact information in each listing.
What to Bring on Your Sport Fishing Trip
Most BC sport fishing guides supply bait and tackle and can suggest accommodations that will pack lunches and freeze your catch at the end of the day. Check with your guide when you book your trip.
- BC Sport Fishing Licence
- Rain gear and hat
- Food (ask your guide for suggestions when booking your tour)
- Dry Footwear
Visit Adventuresmart to see their recommendations for what to pack.
Fishing Guides by Region
Southwestern Vancouver Island Fishing Guides
Fred, Big Salmon Fishing Charters, Port Alberni and Nitinat Lake
Formerly manager for the Nitinat Lake campsite, Fred has spent the past 7 years leading fishing charters from his home territory of Nitinat Lake and nearby Port Alberni. Although he still conducts tours on Nitinat Lake, today his charters focus on the Port Alberni area. Currently the only guide to offer whale watching from Port Alberni, Fred is also a BC certified Tidal Angling Guide. The waters around Fred’s home territory are frequented by a plethora of ocean fish, along with gray, humpback, and orca whales; seals and sea lions; sea birds, porpoises, and sea otters, which you can look forward to seeing as Fred helps you track down your catch. A host of wild creatures also feast on the rich seashores around Barkley Sound, including black bears, wolves, mink, and racoons.
Boat: 28 ft aluminium herring skiff converted for the ocean; 225hp four stroke Yamaha outboard engine. Accommodates up to 10 people for whale watching or 6 people for fishing.
Equipment: Equipped with marine GPS, VHF sounder, electric downriggers, rods, and a hydraulic boom for pulling crab or prawn traps.
Other Services: Whale watching, bear watching, water taxi, family fishing trips, cultural tours, wildlife viewing, sightseeing, camping services and outfitting, eco-tours, and emergency towing service.
Season of Operation: All Year
Pacific Rim Vancouver Island Fishing Guides
Larry Johnson, Aniitsachist Adventures, Bamfield
As a member of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Larry Johnson earned his ancestral name after performing a thunderbird dance for his Uncle. Aniitsachist, meaning “keeper of the sea” or “I alone own the sea,” is a “real chief’s name” and shows some of Larry’s love for the ocean. Beginning his charters in 1988, Larry first worked for Bamfield-area fishing lodges while also fishing commercially. In 2003, he bought his own boat and founded his tour company, which now services a steady stream of repeat clientele. As a lover of history, Larry offers fishing charters combined with stories of Barkley Sound. As his client, you can expect to draw on Larry’s rich knowledge of the area and come home with your choice of salmon, halibut, rockfish, prawns, crabs, and more. And because Barkley Sound is home to whales, eagles, bears, and other marine wildlife, Larry encourages you to bring your camera. Larry is fully certified in Marine Emergency Duties and small vessel operation.
Boat: 24 foot Campion hardtop, with a 250 Suzuki four-stroke engine; 9.9 four-stroke engine for trolling. Certified by Transport Canada.
Equipment: Fully equipped with large-screen marine GPS, marine radar, sounder, electric downriggers, and rods.
Other Services: Sightseeing tours, eco-tours, business charters.
Season of Operation: Year round. According to Larry, August is the best time to catch large salmon in Barkley Sound. For halibut and salmon, book anytime from May to the end of July.
Moses Martin, Clayoquot Wild
Moses Martin is the seventh generation descendent of Nuukmiis, the warrior chief involved with the legendary Tonquin ship that met its demise on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1811. A member of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, Moses began fishing at the age of seven when he joined his father and brother in the family’s dugout canoe. Having witnessed the transition from traditional to modern vessels since that time, Moses now skippers the Freedom, a 24 foot Harbercraft with an aluminum hull and heated cabin. Along with his sons James and Garry, Moses offers themed tours which include deep sea fishing, journeys into history, whale watching and wildlife, and excursions to Hot Springs Cove. Draw on the Martin family’s extensive knowledge as you fish the ancient waters of Clayoquot Sound. Your encounters could include gray whales, humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, eagles, sea otters, harbour porpoise, and many varieties of marine birds, not to mention a brush with history!
Boat: 24.25 foot Harbercraft which holds up to four people for fishing charters and eight people for whale watching charters. Fully certified by Transport Canada.
Equipment: Fully equipped with marine GPS, marine radar, sounder, electric downriggers, rods, comfortable seats and a heated cabin.
Other Services: Sightseeing tours, eco-tours, historical tours, bear watching, whale watching, wildlife tours, charters to Hot Springs Cove, and guided hikes (as requested).
Season of Operation: May to late September.
Northwestern Vancouver Island Fishing Guides
Derek Hansen, Four Seasons Sport Fishing Charters, Kyuquot
Living on the wild Brookes Peninsula, Derek Hansen has been a sport fisherman for over 12 years and a sport-fishing guide for seven. As a member of Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’ Nation, he also knows the history of the area and often takes clients to Acous, an old Cheklesaht village where totems still stand, remembering the days when Nuu-chah-nulth boats plied the waters in great numbers. Although many of his clients like to catch chinook salmon, Derek can help you land other kinds of salmon and fish including, halibut, snapper, and more. Because Kyuquot Sound is home to so much marine life, you might also catch sight of whales jumping, and seals and sea otters feeding in the rich coastal waters. Derek is fully certified in Marine Emergency Duties and Small Vessel Operation.
Boat: 20 ft long Bayliner Trophy; 150 Suzuki engine; back-up motor (9.9 kicker). Derek’s boat is fully certified by Transport Canada.
Equipment: Fully equipped with all electronics and safety gear, including marine GPS, compass, sounder, radar.
160 B Kyuquot Rd Kyuquot, BC V0P 1J0
Jordan Michael, Tyee Strikes Sports Fishing, Zeballos
Growing up at Nuchatlitz off the northern tip of Nootka Island, Jordan Michael spent much of his childhood with his grandfather fishing for salmon and halibut on his grandfather’s commercial troller. As a fourth generation fisherman and member of the Nuchatlaht First Nation, Jordan has a rich knowledge of the local waters. He founded his fishing charter business 13 years ago with a speciality in salmon and halibut. At the same time, Jordan has also worked guiding for local fishing lodges and in the logging industry as a Level Three First Aid Attendant. He enjoys helping his clients land their dream catch and pointing out the abundant wildlife at the same time. (Watch for whales and sea otters in particular while plying the wild waters of Esperanza Inet with Jordan.) Jordan can also offer packages for clients looking for accommodations with one of the local lodges.
Boat: 24-foot fibreglass Campion Explorer, with a 300 Suzuki four-stroke engine; 9.9 four-stroke engine for trolling. Certified by Transport Canada.
Equipment: Fully equipped with marine GPS, marine radar, sounder, electric downriggers, Islander reels, and top-of-the-line fishing gear.
Season of Operation: May-September for salmon and halibut.
Dave Miller, Tyee Charters, Zeballos
With 12 years of experience guiding on the West Coast, Dave Miller knows what makes a good fishing trip. Add to this his vast knowledge of Ehattesaht Tribe history and the region’s greatest fishing spots, and you’re sure to land your catch. The waters in Dave’s area are home to lingcod, cod, salmon, red snapper, halibut and other bottom fish. And thanks to the area’s wild coast, you might also see sea lions, eagles and other sea birds, sea otters, and even orcas, gray whales, and humpback whales. Dave is fully certified in Marine Emergency Duties and small vessel operation.
Boat: 22 ft long aluminium; 250 Yamaha four-stroke engine; back-up motor (9.9 kicker). Safety certified by Transport Canada and certified by the Canadian Coast Guard to operate as a water taxi.
Equipment: Fully equipped with top-of-the-line equipment, including marine GPS, marine radar, VHF sounder, Scotty downriggers, Islander reels, and Gloomis rods. Dave will also provide all the necessary bait, including herring and anchovies.
Other Services: Kayak transportation to Nootka Island, including drop-off and pick-up; water taxi services; leisure cruises; whale, sea otter, sea lion, and eagle viewings; visits to first nation village sites; and tours to Nootka Island (Friendly Cove).
Season of Operation: year round.
Alan Smith, Alan Smith Fishing, Kyuquot
After a childhood spent fishing and eight years working for local fishing lodges, Alan Smith founded his own company dedicated to good service and great fun. Combined with his grandparents’ cultural teachings, Alan’s knowledge of fishing in Kyuquot territory is extensive. Add to this his expert boating skills and his attention to quality and your trip is sure to be a success. From May to September, expect to catch halibut, salmon, ling, bass, and squid (10-25 lbs). All year round Alan offers tours, fishing charters, water taxi service, and transport for divers who bring their own gear. Visit Kyuquot Sound for a glimpse of nature’s splendour, including whales, sea birds, sea otters, and other wildlife. Alan is fully certified in Marine Emergency Duties and small vessel operation. He has also taken his First Host and Interpretive Guardian training.
Boat: 24 ft long Campion Explorer; 250 Yamaha four-stroke engine; back-up motor (9.9 kicker). Safety certified by Transport Canada.
Equipment: Fully equipped with top of the line equipment and all safety gear. Washroom aboard.
Other Services: Water taxi, sightseeing tours, diver transport.
Season of Operation: Year round.