Winter Harbour Advice

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Whole in the Water, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    Planning a trip this summer up to Winter Harbour with 3 buddies. Only place on the west coast of the island I haven't fished, so I am a newbie on this.

    Looking for any advice from this forum on when to go for good chinook fishing and bottom fishing.

    Specifically looking for good times to go (plan on fishing 4 days sometime in July-Aug.), places offshore and inshore to go and how deep to fish for springs (heard you may need to fish deep up there). Also any good prawning up there?

    Any advice on what lures/bait to use also appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  2. N2013

    N2013 Active Member

    Done a few trips up there from mid-June/mid-July. Never August. We were hitting fish both times. It has some inshore places like Kains lighthouse or zip over to Cliffe Pt. Those are good places to go when the weather is up outside. If it's nice/you're able, you can go north to Lippy Pt/Grants Bay, topknot (watch for the RCA), or south towards Lawn Pt or further. Fish can be inshore/offshore so just have to ask around and figure out where they're catching them. Or follow them out. One year the fish were all in at the lighthouse, another year they were offshore. As far as gear goes, you gotta match the hatch. Last year we did best on white hootchies/bait, then a few weeks later it was brown turds/bait. The year before it was skinny g's. Bottom fishing is pretty good around there too as there's lots of rock piles, humps, reefs for your ling/hali. I'd make sure you have a decender device aboard to send the yelloweyes back down. Look at your charts and look for banks/piles. Big white swim baits worked best for us jigging.
     
  3. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this good info. Anyone else got some info on this area?
     
  4. Gong Show

    Gong Show Well-Known Member

    Not much to say on depth, the Highway is the same Highway that goes all down the island.
    You only get a choice as to troll direction if it is zero wind.
    N2013 described the 2 inside spots, they are pretty shallow fishing, like most 'inlet' fisheries.
    There will be boats at all these places, one of them will be me.
    Pack some extra beer and let's chat on the dock.

    We caught springs and cohos on big tomic spoons, skinny g's, small herring, plugs, you get the picture.
    Hali and lings were hit and miss last year for us. Picked random spots and did well, picked good looking spots and got skunked.
    We were there for four days and we did well. We try and do our west coast fishing trip on the BC day long weekend.
     
  5. Gong Show

    Gong Show Well-Known Member

    Look for my posts from the Winter Harbour fishing reports from last year, I think I was pretty detailed.
     
  6. N2013

    N2013 Active Member

  7. Islander57

    Islander57 Well-Known Member

    Cliffe Point can be pretty good at that time of year too
     
  8. Ceilidh69

    Ceilidh69 Active Member

    We went the first few days of August last year and wall tented at the campground. Fishing was good for cohos, slowish for larger springs, bottom fishing was pretty good, water was the calmest we have ever seen after fishing there for several years.
     
  9. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. Would you recommend going earlier in July for better spring fishing?
     
  10. Ceilidh69

    Ceilidh69 Active Member

    Know you said springs but we usually go a bit later so we can have more opportunities to catch and keep cohos inside. Some days it can be epic. The spring fishing has not yielded many larger fish for us for a while out there - might just be our techniques haha. Cliffe Point and Kains Island are usually pretty good for springs well into August. Some say the bottom fishing slows down later as well but we have always done OK if the weather lets us get offshore 200-300' near the edge of the highway. We trolled as deep as 190' for springs on the highway last year with limited success.
    Teaser heads worked the best. Tried all the hardware. There are some good YouTube videos from the Procure guys on the WestCoast Sporting Journal website. They slather everything with Procure juice and catch lots of fish. Some prawns way inside the sound - depends how bad they get hit during the commercial season - have not fished them myself there just what I was told. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  11. Verdi

    Verdi New Member

    I would recommend leaving the prawn traps at home. I have tried the a few spots near cliff point and never done that well. Also there are hagfish around i have been told, never had them in my traps but they can mess up your traps. I have only prawned within 20 mins of winter harbour, i have heard way inside the inlet can be good but it is a long run back and forth.
    Early july, late june can be good if you time it with the squid spawn for springs.
     
  12. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    What are the preferred places to stay in Winter Harbour?
     
  13. N2013

    N2013 Active Member

    How many people? There’s cabins at Oli’s, The Outpost, and even the old Qualicum Rivers Lodge. Cabins are sweet for a bigger group, the outpost is good for smaller groups. Look at those places online & last years report posts.
     
  14. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    4 guys in our own boat
     
  15. Fish Camp

    Fish Camp Well-Known Member

    I'm sure your looking for creature comforts.I am launching late june with backpacks and ice & fuel .kicker and main on the 14"tinny to koprino to fish cliffe pt.might find a bay to look for treasure allong the way.27 K there and all fishable and 7 k to cliffe (per trip).boat is to be ancored with rope to shore, to a weighted trap for crab.Tents , ice,feul left on shore .2 nights .then back to RI or CH for a trip to hardy for freash ice ,before heading south.whatch your wake ,wish we had a buddy boat.
     
  16. ronj

    ronj Active Member

    Good Luck booking at Oli's... I don't think he is taking anyone now unless you charter with him as well. Seems like he is really doing mostly corporate stuff... good for him.. bad for anyone wanting to stay there. We have 2 trips booked. One for July, one for August.... accommodations are tough up there. The outpost store has apartment style condos right above the store that don't look to bad. I think the outpost building is completely condemned .... don't quote me on that but I think it is.... amazing place to fish for sure.
     
  17. Islander57

    Islander57 Well-Known Member

    If you are going in July or August, forget taking the prawn traps. The commercial guys will have stripped the area. I take my boat from Port Alice out to Winter Harbour. I have set my prawn traps all over the place in Neroutsos Inlet. Slim pickings at best after July 1st. I stay in the Port Alice area (Victoria Lake) as my boss has a cabin there. I do day trips to the outside. I have prawned and crabbed in Neroutsos Inlet for at least eight years now. Everything is best before July 1st. Don't waste your time running from Winter Harbour out to Drake Island. It's a waste of gas for prawns and crab.
     
  18. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    If you could pick one/best time to go up in the summer to fish WH what would it be?
     
  19. spring fever

    spring fever Well-Known Member

    3rd week in July!!
     
    Redfisher likes this.
  20. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    Well happy to say that we just booked 4 days fishing in WH at the end of July - can't wait to go! Anymore info guys have about fishing up there is greatly appreciated!
     

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