OBMG's Vancouver Island Travel Guide

BC Fishing Resorts and Pedder Bay and OBMG.com - April 23, 2014

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner, which means many people are likely planning a vacation to Vancouver Island. With a number of different resorts and restaurants on the Island, no one knows more about enjoying Vancouver Island than the Oak Bay Marine Group, which is why we’ve assembled this guide. We want to share our knowledge with you so you can get the most out of your vacation. Follow our tips below to learn everything you need to know about travelling to Vancouver Island.


Planning Your Trip


Read Traveller Reviews

Websites that allow users to post reviews of hotels, restaurants and other attractions they’ve visited are a great resource for travellers who are trying to decide where to stay on their trip. By far the largest of these sites is TripAdvisor, but Yelp, Urbanspoon and OpenTable are all great resources for reviewing accommodation and restaurants. Here are a few tips when reading reviews:

- Most websites give an overall rating based on the number of positive or negative reviews, but make sure to check and see how many reviews an establishment has. The more reviews there are the more credible their overall rating is.

- Check to see how recent the reviews are. Reviews that are over a year old may be out of date.

- Every establishment will have the odd negative review. Read these carefully to determine whether these incidents were single bad experiences or consistent trends.


Getting to Vancouver Island

There are two ways to get to Vancouver Island: By air or by sea. Here’s a rundown of both your options.

- BC Ferries: For those who want to drive their own vehicle to their destination, or don’t want to pay the extra money for a flight, BC Ferries is your best option. There are three different routes that leave from Vancouver, two to Nanaimo and one to Victoria. Travel times range from 1.5 to 2 hours. Travellers can either walk on or drive on. For more information, go to www.bcferries.com.

- Flying: The benefit of flying is speed and convenience. It will cost a little more, but travellers can reach their destination in as little as twenty minutes. There are a number of flights available from Vancouver, Seattle and other mainland locations. Here are some of your options if you plan on flying to Vancouver Island: Pacific CoastalKenmore AirHarbour Air SeaplanesHelijet


Once You Get Here


Visitor Information Centres

There are a number of visitor information centres located on Vancouver Island. Look for this symbol displayed along highways to find helpful information, professional counselling and a wealth of travel literature.


Places to Go

There are a number of tourist attractions on Vancouver Island that are fun for the whole family. Here are our top five picks of places you should visit while you’re here:

- Butchart Gardens: The Butchart Gardens is one of the world's premier show gardens, and a designated National Historic Site of Canada. Located in Brentwood Bay, near Victoria, the gardens receive close to a million visitors each year and are world renowned. They’re simply a must-see for any gardening enthusiast. For more information go to www.butchartgardens.com.

- Royal BC Museum: Founded in 1886 in Victoria, the Royal British Columbia Museum tells the story of the province through a variety of permanent galleries and featured exhibitions. Learn about BC’s natural history, First Nations people, and modern history, or enjoy a film at the IMAX theatre. For more information go to royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

- Cathedral Grove: Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park near Port Alberni, is an untouched old-growth forest. Visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, some of which are more than 800 years old. For more information go to www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/macmillan/.

- Wild Pacific Trail: The Wild Pacific Trail is a network of paths around Ucluelet tracing the rugged shoreline and offering panoramic views of the Broken Group Islands. The trail winds through ancient rainforests, with giant windswept trees, ferns, mosses, nurse logs as well as birds and other forest creatures. For more information go to www.wildpacifictrail.com.

Campbell River Museum: Learn the history of North Vancouver Island at this popular museum. Exhibits include First Nations, Pioneer Life, Sport Fishing, Logging and more. An extensive native mask collection is also on display, and souvenirs are available at the gift shop. For more information go to www.crmuseum.ca.


Things to Do

There’s always something fun to do on Vancouver Island. Here are our top five favourite local activities that will keep you entertained while you’re here:

- Fishing: Vancouver Island has some of the best fishing in all of North America. Salmon, halibut, bottom fish and more are all plentiful along the east and west coasts of the island. The area offers year-round sport fishing opportunities, and there are plenty of guided fishing options for visitors looking to test their skills out on the local waters.

- Wildlife Tours: Vancouver Island is home to a wide array of stunning wildlife, including bears, eagles, seals, sea lions and more. Take advantage of the variety of wild life tours available on the Island and see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

- Whale Watching Tours: If it’s whales you’re after then Vancouver Island is the place to be. Orcas, humpbacks and grey whales can all be seen from various locations on the island. Whale watching tours are one of the most popular activities on the Island and get you up close to these majestic creatures.

- Camping and RVing: Vancouver Island has an abundance of campgrounds located near the ocean and lakes. Whether it’s beachside fun or a trek through the wilderness you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it here. If you’re looking for something a little less rugged you can try one of the many RV resorts that are found on the Island as well.

- Kayaking: Kayaking through the waters surrounding Vancouver Island is a great way to view the local scenery and wildlife. Kayak rentals are readily available and make for the perfect outdoor activity on a sunny day.


Our Resorts and Restaurants


Are you planning a trip to Vancouver Island? The Oak Bay Marine Group operates a variety of resorts and restaurants on the Island that will help you build your dream vacation.

Painter’s Lodge

Nestled on the pristine shores of Vancouver Island, Painter’s Lodge offers world-class BC salmon fishing, thrilling wildlife and whale watching tours, breathtaking scenery and all the amenities you’d expect from a traditional resort. The property also includes two restaurants, Legends Dining Room and the Tyee Pub. A free water taxi travels between Painter’s Lodge and its sister resort, April Point Resort & Spa.

April Point Resort & Spa

April Point Resort & Spa brings you into the heart of BC’s coastal paradise. This is where breathtaking scenery, vibrant marine life and the laid-back pace of the islands come together to create an incredible vacation. Activities include fishing, wildlife tours, whale watching, kayaking and scooter and bike rentals. The property also features an Aveda spa and the April Point Dining Room.

Canadian Princess Resort

Enjoy the excitement of the west coast of Vancouver Island at the Canadian Princess Resort in Ucluelet. This British Columbia fishing lodge is the perfect place to gather your friends, family or co-workers for an unforgettable fishing adventure. Whale watching tours are also available from the resort.

Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina

Located in beautiful Metchosin, BC, Pedder Bay is the perfect family getaway for those who love the outdoors and enjoy fishing, boating and other marine activities. In addition to the RV resort, the property features a full service marina facility that includes a fuel dock, three-lane boat launch ramp, boat rentals and guided fishing charters, gear rental and a tackle shop.

Marina Restaurant

Enjoy the fresh tastes of the West Coast in a spectacular waterfront setting at the Marina Restaurant. This award-winning establishment is a local favourite for delicious seafood, regional cuisine, Sunday Brunch and sushi.

Call 1-800-665-7090 to book your trip!


5 Different Ways to Fish With Oak Bay Marine Group

BC Fishing Resorts and Pedder Bay and OBMG.com - April 14, 2014

With DFO forecasts indicating that this could be one of the best fishing seasons in 30 years the Oak Bay Marina Group is ready to deliver with five different ways to fish in British Columbia. You’ll have your choice of boats and locations, giving you the ability to build your dream fishing vacation. Are you ready to catch that big fish you’ve always dreamed of?

Here are five exciting ways to fish with the Oak Bay Marine Group:

1. Boston Whaler

These boats are perfect for those looking for a more rugged and outdoors based fishing experience. They seat two guests and a guide and get you face to face with the beautiful BC wilderness. Exciting, productive, invigorating, and intimately in touch with nature are ways our customers describe this fishery. If this style of fishing is for you then this option will be sure to surpass your expectations every day.

Available at: Painter’s Lodge, April Point Resort & Spa, Canadian Princess Resort and Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina

2. Delta Boat

Set off in a 43’ or 52’ cabin cruisers targeting salmon, halibut or bottom fish – the choice is yours. A professional skipper and deckhand will accompany you on the trip and familiarize you with the equipment, coach you on technique and help you bring in your catch. You fish party-style with other guests, enjoying the camaraderie of celebrating great catches with other anglers. Coffee and hot chocolate are available during fishing trips. The Delta boats have plenty of deck space, a heated cabin and washroom facilities. 

Available at: Canadian Princess Resort

3. Kingfisher 2825

The newest addition to our fleet is a luxurious 28 foot cabin cruiser that’s outfitted with all the latest fishing technology. The fully enclosed heated cabin features comfortable seating for five guests, allowing you to relax inside while you wait for the fish to hit. When the fish are biting you’ll have all the room you need to get your prized fish to the boat. The large fishing deck has plenty of room to deal with the double and even triple headers you will likely encounter without tripping over your fishing buddies. There won’t be any need to take turns with the Kingfisher 2825. Now everyone can fish at once.

Available at: Canadian Princess Resort

4.Tyee Rowing

This is as pure as fishing gets. Traditional Tyee Fishing is done from classic rowboats in the famous Campbell River Tyee Pool. Experienced local guides will teach you the proper techniques and row the boat through the pool. It is then up to you to watch the rod and set the hook when the fish bite. If the fish is successfully boated and weighs over 30 lbs., the catch is recorded and the angler has earned a membership in the Tyee Club.

Available at: Painter’s Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa

5. Boat Rentals

If you’re an experienced angler looking for an unguided fishing trip then our boat rentals at Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina are perfect. We proudly maintain the largest and most affordable fleet of rental boats on Vancouver Island. Choose from 16′ Hourstons or Double Eagle watercraft. Both comfortable and easy to manoeuvre. Tackle boxes, rods and reels and other gear are also available for rent.

Available at: Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina


Call 1-800-663-7090 to book your fishing trip this summer!

Amazing Fishing Outlook for 2014

BC Fishing Resorts and Pedder Bay and OBMG.com - April 2, 2014

Vancouver Island is known for great fishing, and our resorts have consistently brought large amounts of fish to the docks. So, is it possible that we could see even more fish in the waters this year? According DFO’s pre-season forecast, we just might! Based on their predictions, 2014 could be one of the best fishing seasons in 30 years!

Here are a few things for anglers to look forward to this year:

Large Chinook Returns

Everyone loves catching a big salmon, and it looks like there will be lots of those, particularly around Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Chinook abundance index is up over 100%, with a large number of 4 and 5 year old fish (25-40 lbs).

Over on the east coast, Chinook returns are also predicted to improve over 2013 with a larger number of big fish in the forecast as well.

Sockeye Opening in Campbell River

2014 could mark the biggest Sockeye run ever. Conservative estimates place it at 20 million, but it could be as many as 35 million or greater. This means a Sockeye opening should occur by August 1st, possibly sooner.

Retention of Wild Coho

For a few years now anglers have only been able to retain hatchery Coho in and around Campbell River. Reflecting recent significant increases in abundance of coho in Northern Georgia Strait, the potential for retention of at least one wild fish in the total daily bag limit is in discussion with DFO. Stay tuned for the final decision.

Over on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Coho bag limits have been increased to 4 wild per day on the inside waters of Barkley Sound to reflect huge increase in local abundance.

Shorter Closure of The Cape Mudge Lighthouse in Campbell River

The Cape Mudge Lighthouse is one of the best salmon fishing areas in the Campbell River area, so anglers will be pleased to hear that the traditional closure of this area may be 50% shorter than in recent years. Once again, we’ll update as soon as a final decision is made but this would represent a real opportunity for anglers should it come to pass, as this fishery is close to both Painters Lodge and April Point. Less time running to  the grounds = more time fishing!

We’ll keep you updated as we receive more information, but so far it’s looking like this could be a fishing season for the ages!

Interested in booking your own fishing adventure? We’ve got you covered with four fishing resorts on Vancouver Island.

Choose from one of our fine locations:

Painter’s Lodge – Campbell River, BC

April Point Resort & Spa – Quadra Island, BC

Canadian Princess Resort – Ucluelet, BC

Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina – Metchosin, BC

Call 1-800-663-7090 to book your trip!

See you out on the water!