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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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Fishing Report for August 14th. “Watch the skies”

The Harbour Chandler - Friday, August 14, 2015
Fishing Report for August 14th.
“Watch the skies”

We are beginning to see a real big push of mature Chinook in the Nanaimo area. They are coming in tight to shore following structure, and will start feeding aggressively with the weather change and low pressure system that is rolling in. Now is the time to get your trophy spring for the year. We typically see this run sometimes from Mid August to Mid September, and it is not to be missed.
Dane, our Tackle department manager has boated at least one spring in the mid-twenties last night, and it was noticed his boat was out again this morning. I have head of quite a few other larger springs caught in the last 24 hrs.
At this time year I normally get rid of the green glow flashers and switch to purple onion, purple haze, and Kinetic U.V. blades. Don’t tell anyone, but Dane only uses plain mirror flashers at this point in the season.
There are also still loads and loads of pinks. They are holding fairly deep and far out. As yet I’ve heard nothing to indicate they are heading to the beach. To target them use anything you have with a fishing hook attached. I’m confident you can take them with a 12” plug right now...
There are also some Sockeye showing up off Nanaimo. Remember they are currently closed this year in our area. On an unrelated matter, this year I have noticed a much larger Fisheries presence both at the dock and on the water. It’s nice to see the Officers patrolling, and not having to foot the gas bill themselves.

Think fishy,
Steve V

Nanaimo Fishing Report for Aug 9th 2015

The Harbour Chandler - Sunday, August 09, 2015
We are in an interesting time for Nanaimo fishing. Some guys who often do well are not catching anything, and some rookies are cleaning up. Just goes to show the old rule that 20% of the fisherman catch 80% doesn’t always hold true. Also it seems the guys who do things a little differently are out fishing the rest of us. Sometimes it pays to experiment.

Over the last couple days most of the really nice springs are coming from 5-Fingers and from the Grandee. In both locations small anchovies have been producing the bigger Chinook. I guess they are just tired of seeing Irish Creams, and Pink Sink spoons. As for teaser heads, mostly green haze, silver betsy , and purple haze.
I also saw a really nice 25 lb. spring caught yesterday on a plain old white hootchie.
The fish are getting shallower as the season progresses, 80-140 ft. This means fisherman without down-riggers, and kayak fisherman, can now begin to reach decent sized salmon.

There are some schools of fairly large Coho moving though.They seem to be changing location rapidly, so I can’t recommend a location. What was good today is probably not tomorrow. I target them by dragging a blue, purple, or green bucktail on the surface right in the wake. We have a rapidly diminishing supply of real polar bear hair bucktails, that we found in Nikka fishing’s storage when we bought all there stock over the winter. Don’t expect to be able to get your hands on polar bear hair again. At least not without a pair of scissors and a lot of luck.

The Pinks are still swarming in like locusts. If anyone sees them moving into the bay please let me know. I am very much looking forward to taking my little daughter out for some beach fishing.

On a sad note, there seems to be unprecedented poaching in the Nanaimo river this year. Four gill nets have been seized so far from non-natives. With the water so low it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. If anyone has time on their hands, go for a river walk with a camera and a phone. Observe and report violators, and post pictures online so we all know who is doing it. Nobody should be fishing the river right now and putting our salmon at risk.

Tips up,
Steve V

Fishing Report for August 4th

The Harbour Chandler - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Fishing Report for August 4th
  Entrance Island and The Cannery are producing really nice spring salmon right now. Lot’s of 20+ pound fish. One customer came in today saying 3 springs over 20 lbs., and a dozen Pinks all in 1 hour at 80-140 ft. down. All on 3” pink sink spoon. I also hear Supertackle 3” hootchie #157 is doing very well.
The schools of Pink Salmon keep moving in to our area in huge numbers. Get out and catch some for the smoker, as the river won’t be able to hold the numbers that are going to try to spawn. Target them with pink sockeye hootchies.  
Jigging little nibs and Delta half jigs over shallow reefs is working when trolling is not. Sometimes you need to mix it up. Last year at about this time my boat got towed for 15 min by a big, big spring at 5-Fingers while jigging a chartreus little nib.
If you want lingcod, we are running out of the mullet jigs. They are no longer being made, and are the best lingcod/hali lure we have ever seen. 
Cheers, Steve V

Fishing Report July 24, 2015

Matt Price - Friday, July 24, 2015

Fishing Report
July 24, 2015
Entrance Island  is the place to be!  There are Springs between 120-200 feet on the East side of the Long reef on the Southern end of Entrance. There are still some nice Coho in there as well. Green Glow, Irish Cream, and Pink Sink spoons are your best bets. Another very productive spot is the area following the shore from the end of the Tinson Point rock fish conservation zone, North to Olibar Point. (The point closest to Entrance). You can troll this area, but jigging with Delta Half Jigs is also working.
The entire area around Entrance is also infested with small Pink Salmon. Try to target them with small pink hootchies. Expect a lot of action!
  I was out yesterday for a mid-day fish. I fished close to The Fingers as my battery wasn’t charging, and my kicker’s water pump was partially blocked... so I wanted to stay close to the dock. Ever pull started a 50 hp outboard? It wasn't too easy, but good practice. 
Anyway, I got one decent Spring (on 3” Killy Magee) right as I was letting the gear down, and then spent the next 2 hours releasing tons of undersized ones. Lots of entertainment but not too productive. 

Steve V

Fishing Report for Sunday July 19th

The Harbour Chandler - Monday, July 20, 2015

Fishing Report for
Sunday July 19th
Fishing is a little spottier than last week, but still very good. We are still getting a nice mixed bag of different fish. 
A lot more pinks are showing up off 5-Finger Island. They are deep at the moment, around 140 feet, but should move in closer to shore soon. Kayak, belly boaters and shore fisherman should get ready for an early start to the season. 
Speaking of shore fisherman, I’m hearing excellent reports from the guys casting off rocky point. They are getting nice Chinook with Little Nibs, and Delta Half jigs. 
Right now Entrance Island is producing some nice large Chinook. Fish small green glow hootchies, and spoons at 200 feet. There are also a lot of Coho and some Pinks at Entrance too. Remember, hatchery Coho only, and they are out  there. Harbour Chandler fishing expert Dane got a nice 5 pound hatchery on Saturday.
I plan to head out tomorrow afternoon when the wind drops and do some in depth fishing research. 

Wish me luck,
Steve V

Fishing Report For 2nd week of July - ‘The week of many fishes’

The Harbour Chandler - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fishing Report For 2nd week of July
‘The week of many fishes’
My apologies for not reporting for the last couple weeks as I was out fishing. Remember, 'if all your fishing buddies are not at home at the same time, you might want to see if your trucks are all at the boat launch'.  
The fishing in the Nanaimo area is on fire. We have Chinook, Coho, Pinks, Halibut, and Lingcod coming in right now. 
Big springs can be found at all depths. Entrance Island, Whalebone and Thrasher Rock are the best bets.  Lot’s of nice fish above 20 pounds, and one long lime local fisherman brought in a 36 pounder (pics coming.) 
Also near Entrance Island Kevin (our downrigger repair expert) caught and released several Coho, including an 8 pounder. He also brought in some nice Chinook. All on yellow tail spoon.
There are also some fish in tighter to shore if you only have a small boat.
Best lures (right now) for these big Springs are:
firecracker anchovies with green/chartreus heads 
small spoons: Killy Magee, Bob Marley, Yellow Tail are doing well.   Also try 3.5” coyotes in green, glow, chartreus tiger pattern, and one of our new custom spoons, known as “Oatmeal” image below.
There have also been several nice halibut caught around entrance. Predator charters brought in a 38 pounder from that area.
  "Boring, but it works" - Dane

Steve V

Fishing Report Fathers Day Weekend & Silva Bay Fishing Derby

The Harbour Chandler - Friday, June 19, 2015
Fishing Report
Fathers Day Weekend
& Silva Bay Fishing Derby

The fish are deep! I am getting reports of good fishing 200 ft. down and deeper on small 3” Green glow and Pink sink spoons. So if you have a new digital scotty, or at least braided line and a 15 lb. cannon ball then you can reach them. If you have steel line on your downrigger and a 12 lb. ball then you are probably not going to do well until some shallower running fish show up.
The good news is a lot of shallower running fish are passing the Winchelsea Islands on there way to their Nanaimo feeding grounds. There will be a lot of large Chinooks in this group of fish. I expect to see a few tyees in the coming week. This is perfect timing for the 27th annual Silva Bay Derby. I wish I had the day off to go in the derby as the prizes are impressive. A 9.9 hp Yamaha outboard and a Lowrance HDS9. So if anyone wants to cover some shifts at the Chandler let me know!
If I was going in the derby, I’d fish a Pink Sink or Mavrik 3” spoon at 220 ft. on one side, probably with a Chili Pepper, or Green Glow flasher. And on the other side either small anchovies on green glow heads, or possibly a 639 plug.
Good luck to everyone in the derby,

Steve V

Wind Report for June 30th

The Harbour Chandler - Saturday, June 13, 2015
Wind Report for June 13th

The fishing report for the last week can be summarized with one word; windy. It’s been way too windy for most fishermen, although I hear the clamming is excellent.

Very few brave/foolish fishermen have ventured out and been successful, but I suspect they were very sore the next day. One gentleman went out to Entrance Island yesterday and got an 18 pounder right away.

Today I am hearing about some incredible fishing reports from the Sangster Reef area. This is great news, as those fish should be off Nanaimo all this week.

With almost nobody able to fish, tackle sales are slow here in the store, which makes the owner nervous about having too much stock. So, if you want a deal on something now is the time to come in and ask.
Also, we have a very rare 20% off sale on Tomic spoons and plugs. Free braid spooling ($60 value) on Qualia level-winds. 5 inch Coyote Cop Car Spoons are 3 for $10.
Steve V

Nanaimo Halibut and Squid Up-Date!

The Harbour Chandler - Monday, June 01, 2015

Nanaimo Halibut and Squid Up-Date!
  Another lucky Nanaimo fisherman caught a nice 55 lb. halibut while trolling for salmon off Neck Point. Similar area to where many others have been caught.
If you get a Nanaimo halibut take a picture with a recognizable landmark (e.g. 5 Finger Island) in the background, bring us the pic, and we will give you a Nanaimo Halibut Club T-shirt.
  Also, there are reports of a large, unidentified species of squid off 5-Fingers. So time to get your squid jigs out, or come buy a new one from us. I love calamari!
Cheers, Steve V

Salmon, Salmon Everywhere!

The Harbour Chandler - Friday, May 29, 2015

Salmon, Salmon Everywhere!
  We are still experiencing an unusual distribution of salmon for this time of year. Basically they are everywhere. I have heard good reports from almost all Nanaimo spots, ranging from 80 ft. to 220 ft. 
The deep water (800-1000 ft.) off 5 Fingers and Gabriola is producing some large fish mostly 140 ft. down, averaging  15 lbs. but several above 30 lbs. I know one fisherman that had 6 nice ones in just one morning of fishing. 
Thrasher Rock is also a great location right now, with another fisherman I know getting 8 solid fish in one trip.
  Best choice for trolling lures right now are still small spoons. Most productive have been Pink Sink, Nasty Boy, Kitchen Sink and of course Killy MaGee (Killy was designed by and is exclusive to The Harbour Chandler)
Also, don’t forget hootchies in glow white, or splatter back green.
  The odd thing for this time of year is we are doing well in shallow water, and close to shore. Nice springs are being caught right off Pipers Lagoon and Neck Point just like in late summer. Some have even been taken jigging in 50 ft. of water or less. This is my favorite type of fishing. A big Chinook; on light gear, in shallow water is a blast.  I did very well last year doing this and it’s exciting to find fish already there.  I use Lil’Nibs, McDeeps, or Delta Half Jigs (Half Jigs or designed by The Harbour Chandler Staff) for this type of fishing.
  Ling Cod fishing is great right now.  Here in the store we have the last of the lingcod mullets that were ever made. These are a rubber swim bait and are the best Ling and Halibut Lure we have ever seen. 
We hope somebody starts making them again but at this point they are out of production, so if you need one get them while you can.
  However you want to fish, get out there soon! We have the best fishing on the Island right now, so get out there take advantage of it.
Have fun,
Steve V

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