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

Beat the Heat, go fishing!

Fishing Department - Monday, July 24, 2017

The heat of summer is upon us, and fishing is heating up again too. The big springs that have been "hung up" around Nanoose Bay are finally filtering into the Nanaimo area. They are running deeper and further out than typical for this time of year. Best bet is to head out past Entrance Island and troll along the East side of Gabriola and Valdez Island. Run gear at least 150 ft down and follow the 200 ft contour. 4" Glow Cop Car, and Pink Sink spoons are the best lures.

There are lots of smaller Springs around 5 Finger Island, but most of them are not legal size. Jigging Lil' Nibs and Half Jigs are best lures to use in this area. 

Ling cod fishing is good this year around Entrance Island Reef. Our new Savage Gear Burbot swim baits is absolutely the best Ling cod/Halibut lure I have ever used. Plus, it's big enough to avoid killing any Rock fish.

The Pinks are off of Campbell River, so they are on their way here.

Tips up,

Steve Vavrik

Jigging Season!

Fishing Department - Saturday, July 08, 2017

Jigging season is here! For the next few weeks, jigging will be just as productive as trolling (once you find the fish). I love jigging for salmon; with just a small jig and nothing else on the line. Normally I do this in 50ft of water near some underwater structure that holds bait. I park on top of the structure and drift into deeper water. Most hits come as the lure flutters down. My favorite lure for this is the Lil'Nib. It's designed in Nanaimo and I've had great luck with it. The only time a salmon towed my boat, I was using a Lil' Nib. Last night Vartan (maker of the Ace Line hauler)  used it to out fish the Harbour Chandler's own fishing expert Dane (Feel free to remind Dane that this is year 3 that's he's lost out to Vartan).  Dane was using the Delta half jig and caught a bunch of salmon too, just no really big ones. (Pics to come)

South of Nanaimo trolling Bob Marley spoon is still your best bet. North of Nanaimo Trolling Gibbs razorback spoons, and jigging is productive.

Lingcod fishing is really hot right now. Rubber swim baits are dominating, but we also have a new burbot shaped lure that is very, very promising.

Just a reminder that next week is the Smokin' Reels Charity salmon derby, put on by Nanaimo's firemen. I will be taking the weekend off to go in it. See you on the water.

Tips up, Jigs down.

Steve Vavrik

Coho and Sockey

Fishing Department - Monday, July 03, 2017

It's Coho Season in Georgia Straight! They are larger than normal, averaging around 4-7 pounds. As they move around, they can be a challenge to find, but are voracious biters when you do find them. I just use a Chinook spoon that have blue and green on it, and fish shallow. 

Chinook fishing is up and down, some days are great and some days are slow. Although, it's getting progressively better each and every week. The average size is decent, around 15-25 pounds.

The best locations have been Silva Bay, The Grande, and Thrasher Rock. The most productive lures have been, Bob Marley, Irish Cream, and Razor Back spoons. Also, anchovies brine'd in the green pro-cure, and blue hootchies. 

Jigging has really picked up, and is actually out producing trolling in some locations. Use Little, Nibs, Delta Half Jigs, and Mac Deeps. I tend to look for bait balls and underwater reefs, then I jig on the down current side.

I hear sockeye is open in Alberni. I'm not sure how long the opening will be, as the DFO website is less than user friendly. If it stays open, we have all the normal sockeye gear, plus some interesting innovative stuff like Rolly Blade flashers and Maruto U.V. pink hooks with "cheater barbs." (Note they are not actually barbs)

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