The fishing has been great in Campbell River, with plenty of 20+ pound Chinook already being reeled in in early June. But don’t just take our word for it. Travis Fleming, part of our marketing team at our head office in Victoria, went fishing at Painter’s Lodge over the weekend to see for himself how good the fishing is right now. Read his story to find out how he did!
I found myself in Campbell River over the weekend, and with all the great fishing reports I’ve been hearing from out crew at Painter’s Lodge I wanted to get a line in the water and see what I could reel in!
I arrived at Painter’s on Sunday with my mom and my brother where we talked with some of the guides coming back from the morning tide. They echoed all the good news I have been hearing from the crew about how great the fishing has been of late. Needless to say, I was pretty anxious to get on the boat and get going!
The three of us hopped on a cruiser with our guide Keith and set off for “The Hump,” a popular local fishing spot just south of Quadra Island. We got our lines in the water and took in the beautiful British Columbia scenery. It wasn’t long until a bald eagle swooped down right in front of us to scoop up an afternoon snack.
I talked to Keith about how the fishing has been, and he was quick to say that it’s been a really good year. According to him the Chinook fishing doesn’t usually take off until mid-June, but just a few days into June they were already seeing loads of good-sized Chinooks, which is a really good sign for the rest of the season.
After a little while at “The Hump” we decided to try our luck at the “Green Can,” which was just a little further south. Soon after we got there Keith pointed to his fish finder. He said there was a lot of herring underneath us. In fact, the school was so thick he couldn’t even see the bottom of the ocean! Where there are herring there are usually salmon, so we knew we were on to something. We passed over the school once with no luck, so Keith quickly turned the boat around for another pass.
Suddenly Keith leapt out of his chair and grabbed one of the rods. Fish on! He set the hook and then passed to rod over to me. There was definitely something big on the end of the line. It’s been a while since I’ve reeled in a fish, but Keith was quick to give me some pointers to make sure I got the fish to the boat. My arms were pretty tired by the end of it, but after a good fight we got the fish in the net. It was a beautiful Chinook salmon!
After a quick photo op we got our lines back in the water. No more than five minutes later Keith leapt up again. Another fish! This time it was my brother’s turn. The fish fought hard, but he finally got the fish close enough for Keith to scoop it up in the net. Another nice Chinook.
After our flurry of success the other boats in the area quickly converged on our location. Two other boats quickly hooked fish as well. Trust the Painter’s Lodge guide to find the hotspot!
As we were about to head back Keith killed the engine and pointed to our right. Two orcas suddenly emerged just 100 yards away from us, with two smaller ones popping up shortly afterwards. I’m originally from Campbell River, so this wasn’t my first time seeing orcas, but it never gets old. It’s still one of the most magical sights you can see out on the water.
It looks like there’s lots of salmon out there already, and it’s only going to get better once summer hits. If you’re thinking about doing some fishing in Campbell River this is definitely the year. I know I’ll certainly be heading out again this year to see what else I can catch! Hopefully I’ll see you out there!