Fish illustration

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.
Click here for the Fisheries Openings and Closures for the Pacific Region

Remarkably Good Fishing

Fishing Department - Friday, April 28, 2017

  We still have remarkably good fishing in Nanaimo; I've never seen anything like it in my 15 years of fishing this area. In fact, I've never seen anything like it during my time sport fishing and working charter boats on the West Coast. I can't give any specific recommendations because every depth, and every lure, seems to be working.

I went out for a very short trip Sunday afternoon. The weather man had lied, and the wind picked up instead of dropping off - 17knot winds are too much for a 14ft boat... Although I did get some nice fish, the biggest being 14lb. My Irish Cream spoon got snapped off by a big hit right away while I was playing a feeder sized fish. I then had another bite, and a second later a double header. Soon after a wave splashed over the transom and I decided to call it a day.

Last night and this morning some larger fish have moved in. Several in the 20's, and one that was 25lb (confirmed). This morning nice, big, mature fish where caught 40ft out in the deep water off Five Finger Island, which is crazy shallow for around here. There has also been fish as deep as 200ft. Take you pick, either way it's nuts.

It's the best fishing I've ever seen.

Top lures are still 4" Irish Cream, 4" Pink Sink4" Mavrik, and Jughead Shakers on green glow hootchies.

Best Flashers are any glow flasher, preferably with moon jelly. I also use the Fish Witch inline flashers as they produce less drag. I've been using the Fish Witch flashers for at least four years, and it's defiantly more fun to fight a fish with them rather than a regular flasher.  

I'm also hearing about record breaking catches of big Dungeness crab. So get out there and catch some dinner.

Tips up, traps down :)

Steve Vavrik


Epic Fishing!

Fishing Department - Friday, April 21, 2017

The last week has been an epic time in the history of Mid-Island fishing. If you didn't get your limit of Chinook than either you forgot to put a hook on your line, or you stayed home. French Creek, 5 Fingers, Thrasher, Entrance are all on fire. Anywhere from 85 ft, to 200 ft down. A little off shore is best, but there are fish in close too. You don't even really need a downrigger.

Best lures are Irish Cream, and Pink Sink spoons in 3". But Jug Heads, Ace high Fly in green, Anchovies and even plugs are working.

Many fisherman I know caught between 20-30 legal Chinook in one trip. West Coast guides that talked to me are saying its better than their best West Coast days ever

I don't know how long this can last, but get out there while you can. Maybe this is our reward for last years lackluster fishing.

Tips up, and tubs full.

Steve Vavrik

Easter Salmon

Fishing Department - Friday, April 14, 2017

The Easter bunny brought us Chinook!

 I'm hearing excellent reports of White and Red Springs two miles off the Fingers.

 Troll around 180ft deep with glow lures. Green glow Jughead was the best lure this morning. The fisherman I talked to got 4 keepers out of 7 fish, and the biggest was 15lbs.

I've also been told that the Peetz spoons are working. As a fan of Peetz equipment, I will definitely be running them when I get out.

Also, just in case anyone missed it, here's a link to the Killers whales swarming the boat in Howe Sound.

Tips up, Steve Vavrik

Chinook are showing

Fishing Department - Sunday, April 09, 2017

Just a quick report to let everyone know that Nanaimo fishing has really picked up. Troll deep with green glow, or green splatter back spoons off Five Finger Island. Troll towards Texada until you mark/catch fish, then circle back and work that area.

Thrasher Rock, and the East side of Gabriola is also a good bet. Tent Island and Porlier Pass are still producing.

Tips up,

Steve Vavrik

Prawn Season!!!

Fishing Department - Monday, April 03, 2017

Prawn season is here!! The sun is shinning and its time to get back on the water.

Early reports are mixed, with some trips producing 200+, and some as few as a dozen (Hi Todd :)

So get out early and beat the wind! Pre-soak your prawn pellets with our prawn oil. Make sure to weight your traps to keep them from bouncing with the waves.

There are decent numbers of winter feeder salmon out there too. No word yet on the big white springs showing up yet, but they should arrive sometime in the next couple weeks. Normally they are found in deep water, way out on the salmon hi-way.

So drop your traps and then drop your cannon balls deep. Make sure to run glow flashers, and glow spoons/hootchies.

Tips up,

Steve Vavrik

Check back regularly for our latest reports

Want advice from the experts?
Ask the Pros  Voted number 1 marine store
The Harbour Chandler Ltd

52 Esplanade
Nanaimo BC V9R 4Y7


Toll Free:


on orders over $99 (some conditions apply)


View our instructional videos


for updates about our special offers!

disclaimer iconRead our disclaimer