There's a variety of species. In addition to all types of Pacific salmon (chinook, coho, pink, sockeye, and chum), the area also produces large halibut, ling cod, snapper, and a variety of other saltwater species.
Generally, the catch limit has been four salmon per day of which two may be chinook. We encourage our guests to practice conservation and keep only as many fish as you’ll want to eat. You are allowed to take home a total of eight salmon per person. Of these eight salmon, you can keep a maximum of four chinook. The other four can be a combination of any other of the species. In order to protect some BC fish stocks, retention of wild coho have been limited, but for several years regulations have allowed for retention of one hatchery coho and one wild coho. Currently, the halibut limit is three fish per guest.
Equipment - Blackfish Lodge has 19´, open, "Boston Whaler" type boats. Each boat is fully equipped with GPS, downrigger gear, depth sounders, and quiet, smokeless 4-cycle trolling motors. Personal floatation devices are provided for all guests. The lodge has standard BC salmon fishing and halibut gear for all guests. Our typical setup is a 9’ mooching rod with a single action (a.k.a. “knucklebuster”) reel. However, if you have a favorite fishing setup, you’re welcome to bring it along. All licenses, tackle, bait and fuel are included in our rates.
Bringing some salmon home? Your catch will be cleaned, refrigerated or frozen, and kept in heavy plastic bags. As most of our guests depart via floatplane, space limitations do not permit boxing your fish at the lodge.
We do not have access to smoking or canning facilities nor do Fisheries and Oceans Canada allow us to do much in the way of preparation. If your trip home is via floatplane, your fish will usually ride home in storage wells located in the floats of the airplane. There are facilities in both Campbell River and at Kenmore Air who will assist you in packaging your fish for airline or surface transport to your home.
Best Time to Fish is April. April showers usher in the beginning of our fishing season in both the freshwater and saltwater. The trees are just beginning to leaf out and fresh growth is bright green on all the evergreens.
Freshwater - This is the time for winter run steelhead, cutthroat, dollies, and the occasional rainbow trout. The gorgeous Wakeman River and our small streams offer some great fly-fishing for all these fish. Bring your 5 weight and 8 weight, some medium-fast sink tip line, and you’re in for some great fun. There is also plenty of great fishing for all these species for those fishing conventional (spin or casting) gear.
Saltwater - Halibut fishing is typically excellent in April. Surprisingly to many, we also fish for king salmon starting in mid-April. One of our favorite locations is stunningly beautiful Kingcome Inlet.
Some of the best weather of the season comes up in May (we wish we could predict exactly when !)…clear, mild and no AM fog/low clouds. The aspens and poplars have begun to leaf out and the smell of new cedar growth is on every breeze.
Freshwater - Winter run steelhead fishing continues until mid-month and then tapers off. Trout fishing continues. We begin to be able to fish for sea-run cutthroats in the estuaries.
Saltwater - Early season chinook salmon fishing continues through the month as does the fine halibut fishing.
Freshwater - Early June brings the end of the winter run steelhead fishing. However, if you’d like to prolong this season, take advantage of our optional fly-out fishing (helicopter or fixed wing) and chase those fish way back up the rivers! Trout fishing remains excellent in the lakes, rivers/streams, and estuaries. Mid-month ushers in the beginning of a modest and relatively short summer-run steelhead fishery. As with all of our freshwater locations, both fly and conventional fishing techniques are effective.
Saltwater - The Kingcome Inlet fishing tapers of just as the initial big runs of migratory salmon begin. There are dozens of protected locations to fish throughout the summer. June is still a chinook, only, fishery, but you’ll start to see the average size of the fish increase to the 15-25 lb. range. Halibut are an option all summer long.
Freshwater - Summer-run steelhead last until mid July. Again, our guests can extend this fishery later in the month with an optional fly-out trip. The cutthroats are growing fatter and feistier! In mid-July, the chinook salmon begin to enter the Wakeman River and its tributaries. Want a unique fly- fishing experience?? Bring your 10 weight, fast sink tip line, a strong arm, and hook 20-60 lb.+ chinook salmon on your stripped fly. Coho (silver) salmon also begin making their first appearances in the freshwater. Again, all of these fish can also be hooked on spinning or casting gear.
Saltwater - In addition to being excellent for chinook salmon, mid-July typically shows the first catches of coho (silver) salmon in the saltwater. Pink salmon will also begin to
appear. You can still go after those 40-200 pound halibut as well as those tasty lingcod!
For consistently good weather, August can’t be beat. Bring your hats and sunscreen!
Freshwater - Coho (silver) salmon are now in almost every river and stream that we fish. They’re big, chrome-bright, and very energetic. Your 8 weight fly rod, fast sinking line and weighted flies should be adequate for most of these fish. Resident and sea-run cutthroat trout fishing, as well as coho angling, is always a lot of fun on both fly gear and spinning gear.
Saltwater - When we see trophy chinooks caught, they’re usually hooked in August. Seems like every year a guest or two lands a fish over 50 pounds. August is prime time for chinook, silver, and pink salmon. Halibut and ling fishing continue.
In September the deciduous trees are starting to show their colors and the streams are thick with spawning fish. Our weather takes a little turn toward cooler and wetter, the tourist boats disappear, and it’s a wonderful time to fish.
Freshwater - This is prime time for coho fishing on the fly. In the Wakeman River you’ll catch fish until your arms can’t take it any more on both fly and spinning gear. This is also a great time to try some saltwater fly-fishing for these leaping, twisting beauties. Estuary fly or spin fishing for sea-runs continues, and now they’re big and hungry.
Saltwater - The chinook salmon fishing tapers off over the first two weeks of this month. Coho fishing continues throughout the month, tapering off toward the end. Halibut fishing remains good.
Freshwater - In October there will still be some coho and trout in the rivers and streams well into the middle of the month. Since the Bennetts are year-round residents, the lodge remains available to accommodate guests year-round. Black-fish Lodge is a great, private getaway for that special occasion or nature-watching trip.
Saltwater - In general, October marks the end of any saltwater salmon fishing.
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