Considered by many as the “Heart of Vancouver Island”, Port Alberni is a hub for travelers seeking an exciting outdoor getaway. Visitors descend on the area most often for its reputation of being voted Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town. Plan a trip yourself to experience Port Alberni Salmon Fishing Capital of the World.
Port Alberni Salmon Fishing Capital of BC
The Alberni Valley has built an international reputation for its bountiful salmon grounds that include the Chinook, Coho and Sockeye. From the open waters of the Alberni Inlet leading to Barkley Sound, the deep waters of Sproat Lake or the feeding waters of the Stamp and Somass rivers, the fishing is both exciting and challenging. I experienced what fishing is like myself first hand with my fun-filled trip with ZenSeekers, you can read more on that trip HERE.
Port Alberni is ready to cater to experienced fisherman with their own boats (many consider the region the boat trailer capital of Canada also) or for visitors wanting to experience fishing for the first time.
All the local shops from those in the fishing industry right down to the local coffee shop are friendly and will happily point you in the right direction to answer your fishing questions. The community has centuries of their way of life built around the Salmon, they eat sleep and breathe fishing. Fishing in the region can be experienced on land with rod and reel or on the open water with experienced local charters.
Port Alberni Salmon Fishing Destinations
Incredible fishing is possible on endless freshwater opportunities which include the famous salmon ladders of the Stamp River, the Somass river which feeds into the Alberni Inlet or the deep waters of Sproat Lake.
If the open water is what you are after on your West Coast adventure then the Alberni Inlet is one of the best places to be. The 40km inlet stretches all the way from the Port Alberni harbour out to the mouth of Barclay Sound, Bamfield and the Pacific Ocean. Here is where having one of the many local guides or taking a charter will be key. Let a local who has grown up on these waters help you land the Salmon of a lifetime.
For planning your Port Alberni Salmon Fishing trip consider these times
Sockeye (Halibut also) runs begin in June and July.
Chinook (up to 40lb/18kilo) reach the Alberni Inlet in August (river systems a month later)
Coho fishing peaks in late August
Port Alberni Salmon Fishing – Famous Annual Salmon Festival & Derby
Held annually, the famous Port Alberni Salmon Festival and Derby is entering its 47th year of celebrating Port Alberni salmon fishing. The festival brings the entire community together over the Labor Day weekend each year with fun activities for fisherman and families alike. During the Festival you will experience concerts, fireworks, beer gardens, contests, kids activities and so much more.
The big draw is the salmon fishing during the festival. The organizers hold the biggest salmon derby of the year as part of its activities. The fishermen that hauls in the biggest fish of the weekend will win an extra $10,000. Daily prizes each day for the largest fish are; $5,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
The largest salmon caught during the derby was in 1982 at 60 lbs 8 ozs by Art Berlinski.
Find out more on the event’s website; Port Alberni Salmon Derby and Festival
Port Alberni Salmon Fishing – If You Go
Search #ExplorePortAlberni for more inspiration. Be sure to tag #ExplorePortAlberni while exploring the region as you could be featured on the ZenSeekers social media channels.
Start planning your adventures in Port Alberni at Alberni Valley Tourism .
Start exploring your Port Alberni region options with Destination BC .
Find out more at the City of Port Alberni’s website .
Disclosure: This post was published in partnership with ZenSeekers
Related Travel Ideas When You Visit Port Alberni
For more travel destination ideas to experience on your visit to Port Alberni read more in my blog posts listed below.
For other road trips and travel destinations check out my Mindful Explorer Road Trip Page . As well I am always grateful for a follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where I share more frequent photos and stories daily.