fishing at sunset in bc

Have a Reel Good Time! Fishing on Vancouver Island

There’s a lot to see and do on Vancouver Island but if you’re an avid angler, there’s only one way to spend one of our many sunny days–and that’s out fishing! There are tons of fishing opportunities all over the Island and you’ll find some of the best fishing in the world off the coast of British Columbia, Canada! Whether you decide to spend a slow, peaceful day casting a line from one of the great fishing spots on the shore or you book a charter to head out on the pacific ocean, you’ll have an incredible day followed by an incredible dinner! With so many types of fish to catch from Dolly Varden trout to pacific salmon, cod and even halibut, Vancouver Island fishing is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Just make sure you have a valid stamp and fishing licence! Both freshwater and saltwater fishing licences are conveniently available to purchase online or at most sporting shops.   

Shore Fishing on Vancouver Island


One of the earliest independent settlements in the Province, Sooke is a peaceful, historic town nestled amongst wild West Coast landscape. If you’re lucky enough to stay right in Sooke or in the beautiful neighbouring village of Metchosin, you’ll know how quickly you can fall in love with the beauty and tranquillity of this area. Sooke is the perfect spot for all outdoor adventures, especially fishing. 

East Sooke Park

Just a twenty minute hike from the parking lot will take you to the bluffs where the ocean drops off sharply. Here the water runs deep and you can easily fish for chinook, sockeye, pink and coho salmon. If cod and rockfish are more to your liking, a short 5 minute walk will take you to a plethora of sites that are perfect for bottom fishing. In these sites you can cast a line for rockfish and delicious ling cod. A day here is always well spent. If you need equipment, or advice from lines to lures the Crab Shack Store and the Sooke Marine Center are great options to make sure you have all the gear to have a successful day out! 


As the weather gets warmer, Victoria becomes abuzz with activity! There might be  many ways to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of BC’s capital city but fishing is the only one that has a (potential) edible reward at the end of it! Whether you’re staying right in the heart of downtown Victoria or a little farther away in Sidney, there are lots of great fishing areas nearby to do some shore fishing. 

Ten Mile Point

In the late summer months, Ten Mile Point is a great spot to try your luck! The rocky outcrops provide the perfect place to set up for the day. With strong currents and an ocean floor that drops away for hundreds of feet, Ten Mile Point provides an ideal spot to fish for chinook. If you hit those tides perfectly, you can even catch some bottom fish like feisty lingcods. 

Ogden Point Breakwater

Right in the bustling neighbourhood of James Bay, you’ll find the popular Ogden Point Breakwater. The huge, concrete walkway is a great place to catch salmon, cod, geenling, flounder, perch and more! If you’re looking for a peaceful angling spot, it’s best to go here on cloudy days and during the week as it’s a very popular walking path that attracts lots of people!

Langford Lake

If you’re looking for some freshwater fishing, Langford Lake, right in the heart of Langford is stocked full of rainbow trout and smallmouth bass that you can easily catch from the fishing dock found along the Ed Nixon Trail just off Leigh Road. 

Saanich Peninsula 

Sidney is a stunning, walkable seaside town that lives life at a slower pace. One of the most popular features of this little town is the beautiful waterfront trail that offers incredible views, beach access and access to the popular Sidney pier! 

Elk Lake

This popular lake is a great local option to find excellent shore fishing. There are several rest stops around the lake where you can find spots to cast a line to catch rainbow and coastal cutthroat trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, common carp or yellow perch. 

Sidney Fishing Pier

In the heart of Sidney’s town centre you can find beautiful gardens, a stunning seashore, outdoor gallery and the famous Sidney Fishing Pier. This enormous pier that juts out above the water, makes a great platform for crabbing and fishing. Here you can catch pacific salmon, cod, sole, flounder, and so much more! 

Cowichan Valley 

Cowichan River

If you’re looking for the very best freshwater fishing on Vancouver Island, you’ve found it! Known for the incredible sizes and species of trout in this river, no matter where you choose to cast a line, you’re sure to get a photo-worthy catch! While the Cowichan River is open to fly fishing, and freshwater river fishing, the rules and regulations for this river change from time to time and they can be tricky to navigate. If you’d like to fish in the Cowichan River, you’ll want to do you research or hiring a guide to make sure you’re doing everything by the book so you can focus on just having an incredible time! 


Nanaimo Waterfront

If you’re looking for great shore fishing in the heart of Nanaimo, this is the spot for you! While there are fish here during the winter, the main run will show up as early as April and peak in later summer, you can grab your gear and head down to the picturesque walkway and drop a line to catch pacific salmon, bull head, dog fish, Dungeness crab, perch, herring, cod and so so much more! For a full list and all the information check here!  

Englishman River 

While this fishing spot is one of the best for river fishing near Nanaimo, there are some strict rules about where you can and more importantly–where you can’t fish in Englishman River. There is no fishing below the lower falls all the way to Top Bridge and crossing at the end of Allsbrook Road from December to the end of May. But don’t let those restrictions stop you! You can still fish for most months of the year in this gorgeous river and you can start catching steelhead trout as early as January, cutthroat trout arrive in spring and stay to feed on the salmon hatchery in the fall which brings spawning pink, chinook, coho and chum salmon in good numbers, making Englishman River a teeming fishery for many months of the year! For more information about this location, click here

Westwood Lake

This stocked lake is a great place if you’ve got kids you want to take fishing with tons of rainbow trout ready to bite! The fishing platform in Westwood Lake Park can get busy on the weekends so if you’re heading here, you might want to plan on showing up early, when the weather is cloudy or on a weekday and avoid other anglers! 

Campbell River

Fly Fishing on Campbell River 

If you’re looking for the best spot for fly fishing on Vancouver Island, you’ll want to pack up your gear and head up to Campbell River! This river offers year-round fly fishing opportunities and there are even some areas of the river that have been set aside for fly fishers only! Cast your line in the spring for rainbow trout, summer for pink salmon and steelhead or into the beaches and estuaries for feisty cutthroat! There’s no end to the incredible fly fishing experience you can have here – just make sure you keep your eyes peeled for hungry bears who also fish in this incredible river!  

Discovery Pier 

If you’re looking for the premier spot in Campbell River to cast a line from the shore, this is it! With incredible amenities like rod holders along the pier’s length, fishing chairs and even dip nets, this pier is one of the best fishing spots on Vancouver Island! This pier is Canada’s first saltwater fishing pier and it extends along Discovery Passage right near Fisherman’s Wharf in Campbell River. Just make sure that you bring or rent heavy duty gear – the currents are strong and the fish here can be huge! Even if you’re not planning to cast a line, this is a must see when you’re in the area as you can get incredible views of the Passage, spot breaching whales, sea lions and watch the boats navigate the rushing currents while you enjoy food and ice cream from the nearby stand. 

Tyee Pool

Ok this pool is not exactly shore fishing but it needs an honourable mention for its popularity! There’s nowhere else you can find the perfect combination of modern sportfishing and classic fishing like Tyee Pool. Reserved for non-motorized boats only, this elite tidal fishery is great for challenging salmon fishing and can bring you close to enormous salmon (think 30+ lb) and you can spend hours with aspiring Tyee Club members trying to boat massive fish with heavy tackle and traditional lures. While the fishing here is not for the faint of heart, it is one of the most rewarding experiences for the avid angler!

Cape Mudge

Perched on the edge of beautiful Quadra Island, this scenic lighthouse looks out onto some of the area’s most popular – and populated – fishing grounds! Known for what the locals call “The Hump” this fishing spot has an underwater fish magnet making it a safe bet for finding salmon and even the occasional halibut! 

Fishing Charters on Vancouver Island

Shore fishing is great, but if you want a serious crack at Vancouver Island fishing and you’re up for an adventure, you’re going to want to book a charter to take you out on the water! The waterways around Vancouver Island hold hotspots for incredible fishing whether you’re looking for salmon, deep water fish like halibut, crabs or even prawns! There are so many fishing charters to choose from so we’ve rounded up our favourites to make your choice easier! 


Bluefin Fishing Adventures 

6947 W Coast Rd, Sooke, BC | 778-966-1436

Book salmon or halibut fishing charters as well as tours through Sooke’s pristine waterways to find steelhead and salmon! 

Blue Wolf Charters

1581 Dufour Rd, Sooke, BC | 250-704-9653

Owner and operator, Roy Carver has made a name for himself as a fun, experienced fishing guide and chef. Every guest is sent home with a few of Roy’s favourite recipes to help make your catch into a fabulous meal!

Goin’ Coastal Fishing Charters 

7062 Richview Rd, Sooke, BC | 250-532-9284

Tory Howe, owner, operator and fishing guide extraordinaire knows all the nooks and crannies of the ocean floor and is ready to help you catch a big one! 

Warrior Fishing Charters 

6971 W Coast Rd, Sooke, BC | 250-208-9879

If you’re looking for creature comforts while out on the ocean, look no further. Their boats are outfitted with heated cabins and kitchenettes and offer experienced guides for a deluxe fishing experience. 

Good Time Dave’s Fishing Charters

4901 East Sooke Road, Victoria, BC | 250-883-9252

Looking for a laid-back, fun loving guide who knows the waters around East Sooke like the back of his hand? Good Time Dave’s is the charter you!

Crab Shack Sport Fishing 

6947 W Coast Rd, Sooke, BC | 250-642-4410

Whether you’re new to fishing or an avid angler, a small group or large, 30 year fishing veteran Elden Smith is ready to make sure you have a great time and catch some amazing fish!


Foghorn Fishing Charters

475 Head St Unit 2, Victoria, BC | 250-658-1848

Located right in the Inner Harbour, this team of experienced fishermen offer guests 20 years of experience fishing off southern Vancouver Island and have everything they need to have a great day out! 

Salmon Eye Fishing Charters 

453 Head St, Victoria, BC | 250-244-1821

No matter the season, Salmon Eye is ready for guests! With heated cabins and seats for five people under cover, experienced guides and top-of-the line equipment, booking with this charter is a great idea.

Beasley’s Fishing Charters

12 Erie St, Victoria, BC | 250-514-4070

No matter if you’re hoping to go deep water fishing for halibut, coasting in the ocean for salmon or exploring one of the island’s gorgeous rivers for steelhead, this fun, inclusive company makes fishing fun for every age and ability!

Adam’s Fishing Charters 

812 Wharf St, Victoria, BC | 250-370-2326

Specializing in salmon and halibut charters, this company has high performance vessels ready to take guests from Sooke to Oak Bay in search of the perfect catch!

King Size Adventures

1327 Beach Dr, Victoria, BC | 250-507-5500

Boasting one of the biggest, top performing charter vessels in the Victoria charter fleet, King Size adventures takes guests onto the Strait from Oak Bay to fish for halibut, salmon, lingcod, rockfish and Dungeness crab.

No Limit Fishing Charters

1104 Wharf St, Victoria, BC | 250-888-2277

With a reputation built on outstanding salmon and halibut fishing charters, owner and operator, Lewis Freeman offers guests memorable fishing trips off the coast of Victoria. 


Sea King Adventures

10441 Resthaven Dr, Sidney, BC | 250-920-6531

For something a little different than your average fishing charter, consider Sea King’s ‘Deadliest Catch’ fishing tour that includes prawning, crabbing and fishing for salmon and halibut all in an amazing 6-7 hour adventure!

Bon Chovy Fishing Charters

9835 Seaport Pl, Sidney, BC | 604-306-2619

If you’re looking for a charter that offers flexible tours and year-round fishing in Sidney’s calm waters, Bon Chovy is a great charter option!

No matter where you stay or what your speed is, there is always lots of excellent fishing to be found all across the southern end of Vancouver Island! 

Cowichan Valley

River Quest Charters

5650 West Riverbottom Rd, Duncan, BC | 250-748-4776

If you want a full fishing experience in the Cowichan Valley, this is the place to go! Stay in a gorgeous fishing lodge on the banks of the Cowichan River, and let expert guides show you everything you need to know about fly fishing or spin fishing on the river as well as take you to local lakes for still water fishing! 

Kenzies Fishing Adventures

7469 Hudgrove Rd, Lake Cowichan, BC | 250-701-3670

Whether you’re an expert who knows exactly what kind of fishing you’re looking for or a total novice who is looking for a fun, relaxing and educational day out, Kenzie’s customizable charters are the perfect place to start! 


Reel Time Fishing Charters & Marine Tours

1956 Zorkin Rd, Nanaimo, BC | 250-667-6950

With over 2 decades of experience on the waters around Nanaimo, Captain Andrew Turkstra offers incredible and affordable tours and friendly, encouraging expertise–which is why he has so many happy customers! 

Nanaimo Adventure Charters

1000 Stewart Ave, Nanaimo, BC | 250-667-8272

If you’re looking for a great easy to spend an afternoon in Nanaimo, you’ll want to book a fishing trip with Captain Michael Hill! With lots of experience and a friendly demeanour, he’ll take you out to all the great fishing spots and even clean your catch for you to take home! 

Campbell River

50 North Adventures

1374 Island Highway, C Dock #19A, Campbell River, BC | 250-702-4515

Originally from Australia, Captain Dean Parsonage has fished all over the world – so when he says that Campbell River is the fishing capital of the world, he means it! Come and see what makes this area an angler’s heaven!

TD Coastal Adventures

1374 Island Hwy, Campbell River, BC | 250-895-3165

With decades of sportfishing experience, Captain Dan is ready to welcome you and your family aboard for a day of fun, sun and fishing!