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Fishing Report

Harbour Chandler Fishing Report

Up-to-date fishing news for BC. Read through our forum, which highlights local fishing conditions, amazing catches and more. And remember that if you are looking for expert fishing advice and top-of-the-line supplies, visit our fishing store in Nanaimo.
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Nanaimo fishing heating up

Fishing Department - Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Nanaimo area fishing is heating up. Go Fish Charters is reporting that Thrasher Rock has lots of nice winter springs up to 16lbs. They are averaging 6-10 fish per trip. Almost all of them are above legal size, which is unusual for this early in the season. All forecasts are pointing to larger fish than normal this year.

Tent island is still producing well, but there are more shakers off Nanaimo. Make sure to check your lines every 15 min, as you often won't know they are on the line. Take care in releasing them, and consider using larger gear to avoid them.

Best lures are Killy Magee, Pink Eye, Lemon-Lime Cream spoons and anchovies with glow teaser heads. Glow Coho killers are also doing really well in areas with larger fish.

Also a reminder that the Vancouver Boat Show is this weekend. We match all boat-show deals, so save the cost of taking the Ferry and get the same deals here in Nanaimo.

We have blow out pricing on down riggers, line haulers and reels, including Trophy reels for $249.99 until Sunday at 3 p.m. For the record, I bought a Trophy last year and want another.

Tips up,

Steve Vavrik

Simple Smoked Salmon

Fishing Department - Saturday, January 07, 2017

I'm always surprised how many fisherman don't smoke their own fish. It's simple, easy and very rewarding. When you do your own fish you know how its been handled, and you know you are always getting your own fish back.

We regular stock both Bradley and Chief brand smokers.

 Personally I love smoking my own fish, oysters, meat, in fact I even smoked an acorn squash once.

So here is a very basic smoked salon recipe.

  • 1kg brown sugar
  • 7/8 cup pickling salt

Now you can also add what ever extra flavor you like. I use garlic powder, dash of Worchester, soysauce, pepper, rum, teriyaki sauce, the list goes on.

Cut your fish into chunks, place in a non-metallic bowl and cover with the above brine mixture. Put in the fridge for at least eight hours, overnight is better.

Remove fish from brine and rinse under cold water. This step is important otherwise it will be too salty. Then dry it off with paper towel.

The fish must now be put in a cool, dry place for 2-3 hours to dry or 'set up'.

Pre-heat your smoker and put the fish in.

Smoking time is very variable depending on thickness of the fish. Anything from 4-12 hours.

I like to start at a vey low temperature and slowly increase it.

Also if using a Chief brand smoker make sure not to let the wood chips get too scorched. This will give a burn flavor to your fish.

If you have a Bradley smoker like me (I have the digital model) you don't need to worry about this, as the smoker will dump the old wood puck and load a new one for you. Both brands of smokers will do the job, the Chiefs just require a little more attention. Also if you begin to branch out into smoking meat, poultry or making sausages the Bradley units give you better temperature control which is less important if you are only dealing with fish.

There is lots more to smoking but that is the basics. So which ever smoker you have, get some fish in it. If you don't have a smoker come on in and I'll be more than happy to sell you one and help you getting going in the flavorful world of smoking!

Tips up,

Stephen Vavrik

Welcome to a brand new fishing season

Fishing Department - Monday, January 02, 2017

Welcome to a brand new fishing season! 

For me January marks the beginning of the fishing calendar (Even though our fishing licenses are valid until April 1st) It's time to start cleaning up your vessel and gear. Make plans for any major repairs now, so you are 100% ready by April. Although really you should be fishing now.

Thrasher Rock is still producing lots of decent feeder springs. There are a few off Neck Point. Irish Cream spoons and glow flashers at 180ft and beyond.

Tent Island however, is your best bet for large Chinook right now. No change since the last report. 80ft down in 95ft water.

It's also Vancouver boat show month. Jan 18-22. We are almost all packed up with great deals for the show. Most (but not all) of these deals with be available in store as well.

On a personal note I received a surprise Christmas present on Christmas day. A 7lb 11oz baby boy, although as a fisherman I'd round that up to 10lb. He showed up a little early so I haven't bough him a fishing rod yet, but I'm thinking a Trophy rod and Abel reel might do. Of course I'll have to use them for the first few years....

Tips up,

Stephen Vavrik

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