Last week we dealt with boating and diving on the Sunshine Coast. This week we are starting with fishing. For generations the Sunshine Coast has had the reputation as being a great spot for sport fishing. Salmon are the best known sport fish but there is ample opportunity to catch cod, snapper, sole, flounder and sometimes halibut in the salt water. There is also fresh water fishing for steelhead, rainbow trout and cutthroat to name some species.
Some troll with plugs or flashers and herring or mooch with live herring for spring salmon. These are the largest salmon caught on the Sunshine Coast, particularly in Georgia Strait and Sechelt and Jervis Inlets. In the past, springs have been caught on the Sunshine Coast as large as 50 pounds, but in recent years, 35 pounds would probably win you a salmon derby. Fishing for the large springs is exciting when you hook one. If you are a sports person you will use light tackle when trying to land a large spring. You have to let the fish run out time and time again before you can entice it into your net.
Sometimes there is more to landing a large salmon than playing the fish. There have been occasions where there have been difficulties caused by interference from a third party. Such interference happened in the waters of the Coast one evening just before sunset. It is believed by many that large salmon which do not travel in schools feed mainly near sunrise and sunset. On this occasion a twelve-year-old boy was fishing in a small boat with his father and grandfather, both of whom were experienced fishermen. The boy had been fishing with his father for a few years. He had caught salmon but never a large spring. As the sun started to set there was a serious strike on his line and his rod was nearly doubled over. The boy played the fish for over an hour until there was little daylight left. Finally, he managed to get the fish within sight of the boat. It was at least a 30 pound salmon. Both fish and boy were nearly exhausted. Suddenly, a seal appeared next to the boat. The grandfather hit the seal over the head with an oar but it might as well have been a tooth pick as it had no effect. The seal, not the boy, got the salmon. I am assured this is a true story but you never know about fish stories. Fishermen are not expected to always be truthful.
There are opportunities to fish for salmon on the Sunshine Coast when you don’t have access to a boat. Fly casting from the beach is very popular. Beach fishing is possible in most bays that have fresh water flowing into them. Government campsites on the salt water offer beach fishing opportunities.
Salmon are seasonal but cod and flat fish are available year round. The Sunshine Coast is also a great place for prawns and crabbing. As for fresh water fishing, some of the best places are somewhat remote and are accessed by boat or plane, however, most lakes have fish. REMEMBER! You need a federal fishing license for salt water and a provincial license for fresh water. Provincial fishing licenses can now only be purchased online.
Come to the Sunshine Coast and catch a fish. Even if you don’t catch one you will bask in the beautiful scenery and fine weather.