1st Trip: Bella Bella or Rivers Inlet (with guests)?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by AKMary, May 5, 2019.

  1. AKMary

    AKMary New Member

    I've got all summer to run my trawler up to the Rivers Inlet/Bella Bella area.
    This is my first time this far north and I'd like to take plenty of time to explore and soak in the area.

    Guests start arriving mid-July and I'll have them onboard for about 10 days at a time, through late August. We'll be anchored out most nights and will use the 13' Whaler to fish and explore.

    My guests will be flying in and have yet to make reservations. Our options are to fly into RI, BB or Shearwater.

    My boat averages 8 kts - would it be reasonable to pick up on one end, say Rivers Inlet, and drop off at Bella Bella? I'd then then drift the opposite direction with the next crew.

    I don't have a good feel for travel times up there & my concern is spending too much time running the cruiser and not enough time fishing & relaxing.

    Of the 3, which location would historically have better fishing? Chinook, coho, sockeye (though I haven't read much about sockeye in these areas) and halibut/lingcod are the usual suspects. Plus some prawning and crab as available.

    Advice and tips with a slow boat in mind would be much appreciated.
  2. Mary;
    It would be approx. a 9 hr. cruise from Dawsons Landing in Rivers Inlet to Shearwater or Bella Bela ( their right next to each other) at 8 kts. Dawsons would be the best place in Rivers Inlet for you to tie up and the float planes come right to your dock. The Chinook fishing will be happening at Rivers. Read the regulations carefully. Coho wont begin until Sept.

    At the north end, Shearwater would be your best place to tie up and meet your guests.. Bella Bella doesn't have much of a guest dock. From Shearwater most of the salmon fishing is a little further north out Seaforth Channel or to the north west. Also, you will be cruising right by Hakai Pass when traveling between these two places. Great fishing fairly close to shore but you are in the ocean swells. You could anchor in Purth Bay and run the little boat out.
  3. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    Never been there. I plan to go soon & will probably base out of RI; theory being that you NEED your line in the water to catch fish. Based on past experience, the waters around RI outside the inlet look like good bottom fish territory. I have caught Halibut in 40 ft of water in Haida Gwaii; I just think you need to find a somewhat untouched location.
  4. bullyjack

    bullyjack Active Member

    Used to comercial fish rivers, big sockeye.
  5. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    That’s Pruth Bay!
  6. Sangstercraft

    Sangstercraft Well-Known Member

    It's a bit strange up there.. I camped on Calvert Island last year and went off-shore to a number of remote reefs. Fished them hard and only caught a rock cod or two. Then I learned that the long-liners hammered that area, hence the absolute lack of fish. When we finally targetted a pinacle that was completely alone - no reefs nearby and thus unattractive to long liners (who would burn the fuel to fish one tiny reef) - that's when we connected with hali and ling.
  7. TomicTime

    TomicTime Member

    Mary - Shearwater is a nice base of operation w haul out, mechanics, reliable food, fuel and air or ferry service.docks fill up but there are spots to anchor up and hide. St Johns Harbor on Milbanke is a spot to consider w fishing close by at notch, Cape Mark, etc.
    Get a good inside passage book from Hardy to Dixon is the one I use and study it. Great course lines and a ruler for distances. While I travel at 20 knots, eight can be fun.
    Do research the Pine to Egg stretch !!!!!
    I have seen some ugly stuff in that stretch
    have fun
  8. BearCove

    BearCove Crew Member


    Have done this trip many times from Hardy to Bella Bella, from Rivers Inlet to Bella Bella is spectacular, cruising at 8 knots will give you the opportunity to really enjoy and take in this amazing area. For guests coming and going Bella Bella is a great spot, scheduled flights daily, guests can take a taxi to the water front from airport then Shearwater is across the bay and has all that you will need to restock for incoming guests. Fuel, mechanic (if needed) grocery store, liquor store, tackle shop, laundry. The extensive area to cruise in and around BB is endless, the further away from BB you get the less traffic and people you will encounter.

    In all of my years making this trip I have always had my best fishing success in the first two weeks of August, I fish and hold up south of BB, between BB and Haki Pass area, very few boats, lots of place to anchor up, endless opportunities for pawning, crabbing, fishing.

    Send me a PM and would be happy to give more details.

    Chasin' Dreams likes this.

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