Salmon fishing is one of the most widespread industries in the world. As far as human consumption goes, salmon is one of the most popular fish there are. These fish are taken from their saltwater marine environment by commercial trawlers by the millions every year.
Because of their taste, their abundance, and their fight, salmon are also highly prized by sports fishermen. While most species of salmon can be taken in freshwater fishing, many other species require saltwater fishing in order to bring them to the table or the trophy plaque.
Without using a “bottom bouncing” technique, for example, fish like Coho and Sockeye – who feed primarily off of plankton in the ocean – can be difficult to catch unless in their saltwater environment.
All over the West Coast of North America, and in particular Alaska and British Columbia, the economy of entire towns is largely based on the saltwater salmon fishing industry. Several spots on Vancouver Island enjoy a rivalry as the best salmon fishing spots in Canada, including the towns of Port Alberni and Campbell River.
Recreational saltwater fishing can take place in a couple of different ways. One way is through a private chartered company. Companies all over coastal areas have sprung up catering to the fishing tourist industry. Some of these companies are located in incredibly secluded spots, such as Bella Coola, where sportspeople must fly in on specially chartered planes to enjoy the unique salmon fishing experience.
Other areas, such as Port Alberni, are located on highways that connect major tourist destinations (in this case, the highway is the only road access to Pacific Rim National Park, one of the jewels of the West Coast). These towns see a huge business in salmon fishing on the ocean year round, as the salmon runs start in spring and do not end until late fall.
Aerial view of the Pacific Rim National Park coastline.
Salmon fishing trips can be booked for as little as a few hours, or for as long as a week or more. Many of the companies have infrastructures which provide lodging for fishing guests as well as the guides, boats, and other equipment needed for an exciting vacation out on the water.
Another way to get out on the ocean and enjoy some saltwater salmon fishing is by the private route. If you are fortunate enough to live near the ocean or have friends who do, odds are that you have been out on a private boat with the goal of landing a big Chinook, Coho or chum for dinner. Private boats, as well as charters, are usually equipped with sonar equipment which allows operators to locate schools of salmon and increase the odds of a successful outing.
Just remember, when you go out on the ocean, you are dealing with nature in one of its most powerful and uncompromising elements. Conditions can change suddenly, and a boat is very vulnerable to all kinds of weather. Remember all your survival gear and make sure to consult forecasts before you head out.
Saltwater salmon fishing is a great way to see unique marine environments and take a trip that relatively few people will ever get to enjoy. Safety concerns are a bit more involved than with freshwater salmon fishing, so make sure that you prepare accordingly!
Some things you will need to try a saltwater expedition:
Like mentioned above, going out on the ocean without anyone that is experienced on the ocean is absolutely NOT recommended at all! The ocean demands a massive amount of respect and there are too many factors that make ocean fishing a dangerous sport for those who are inexperienced, so again if you are not with someone who is experienced…just don’t do it. If you decide that who you are going with is experienced enough, make sure that he/she has these things on board;
- First aid kit’s
- Fire extiguisher
- Fire extiguisher
- Maps or GPS
- VHF radio’s
- Bail bucket or pump
- Cell phone
Some of the things you’ll need to go deep sea fishing, with a charter; Check with your charter to make sure there is nothing else you need to bring.
It’s not only a great idea, but it’s vital, that no matter where you are fishing, whether it be saltwater or freshwater, to tell people where about’s and when you are going fishing and also when you expect to return just in-case.
- Wet weather jacket, pants and boots
- Extra layers of clothing
- Hat (with draw string preferably)
- Extra socks
- Sun screen
- Cell phone
- Large cooler for fish, you can never have enough storage space! (and small cooler with food and drinks)
- Saltwater fishing license and appropriate tags if applicable.
- Gravol (it’s advisable to take a full Gravol tablet before you head out on the ocean to help prevent sea sickness in case of rough ocean waters. It may cause drowsiness. Check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay first.)
Deep sea fishing can be extremely rewarding and not to mention breathtaking.