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Ucluelet Ladder Salmon Derby fish off

The Ucluelet Ladder Salmon Derby fish off occurred the weekend of September 9th to 11th. This was year two of the Derby with $10,000 in prizes and cash going to the winner. There was a total of $60,000 in prizes. Much of this year proceeds went to the Thornton Creek Fish Hatchery located in Ucluelet. The top three fish were over forty pounds. Rich Allen was first with his 41 pound 9 ounce Chinook landed at the Starfish,

Second place went to William Webber whose fish was also landed at the Starfish and came in at 41 pounds 3 ounces. Ken Nakagawa landed a nice Chinook at the Hyason Bank. His salmon was very close the the first and second place fish and came in at 40 pounds 15 ounces. The top ten fish of the Salmon Ladder Derby ranged from 31 to almost 42 pounds with six of these Chinook landed at the Hyason and the other four at the Starfish. It is expected that the big Chinook will continue well into September and that the outer and inner South Bank and also the Wreck and South-West corner will see many of these salmon move through these hotspots as they migrate to their rivers and streams. The 2011 season is not yet over. We expect some great fall fishing for Coho and the late summer Chinook. There is still plenty of good weather during the fall especially on Vancouver Island which has become British Columbia’s premiere salmon fishing destination.The Ucluelet Salmon Ladder Derby wrapped up with a bang with its three-day Fish-off and the closing celebrations.

The summer-long event attracted local anglers and visitors from all over the northwest. “The participants were so excited, and the Fish-off was so much fun,” said derby coordinator Lisa Brisco.

The largest fish caught this season was a 22.37 kg (49 lb, five ounce) Tyee landed by 16 year-old Erik Brownell when he was visiting from North Vancouver in early August. The derby wrapped up with the Ucluelet Salmon Festival after the weigh in station closed on Sunday afternoon.

This family-friendly event had live music, a marketplace, beer gardens, children’s activities, a salmon barbeque, and closing ceremonies for the derby. It was well attended by derby participants and the community of Ucluelet.

All proceeds from the derby and the Ucluelet Salmon Festival are donated to local salmon enhancement projects, specifically to the Thornton Creek Hatchery. This year, the hatchery received $6,000 total from the event.

To become a sponsor of the 2012 derby, to donate to salmon enhancement, or for more information, visit

Barkley Sound Fishing Report

Barkley Sound areas have been hit and miss over the last two weeks. Popular angling locations close to Poett Nook have produced some great Coho catches. Pill Point to Alan Point has been very consistent for Chinook and Coho. Chinook have been averaging in weight from 14 to 24 pounds while the Coho are 8 to 10 pounds with the odd Coho coming in at 15 pounds. During the Alberni Labour Weekend Derby there were a few Coho taken at Swale Rock and Gilbraltor weighing almost 20 pounds. The last few days Pill Point has had a good number of Coho and teenager sized Chinook. Bait seems to be the way to fish at the current time. Doug has been landing salmon on bait only in either an army truck, green haze or bloody nose Rhys Davis teaser head with a six foot leader behind a purple or gold kinetic flasher. One hootchie that has been effective is Pistachio with 42 to 44 inches of leader.

he AORL 12 has also been a good hootchie and is often the best in September if using hootchies. With a good number of fish still offshore and many reported to the north of Ucluelet close to the beach we are still expecting some good numbers of salmon to swim into the sound before swimming up the inlet to the Somass River system or some other river, creek or stream.


Year after year Ucluelet fishing continues to impress most anglers who are either using their own sport boat or on a guided salmon fishing trip. The many different banks outside the Ucluelet Harbor are often full of rich bait fish which are the areas that the different runs of salmon will feed and rest before making their long migration journey to their natural river. Ucluelet (weather depending) is one area where fisher people have opportunity year round to land a twenty pound salmon. September and into early October is often the time of year where those big Chinook over forty pounds and also the big fall Coho will still be found. The summer and late spring months often find plenty of big Schools of Chinook and Coho averaging 18 to 30 pounds (Chinook) and 8 to 12 pounds (Coho) but it is of ten the fall when one will find that trophy Tyee or Northern Coho. This fall should be of no exception. This has been a marvellous year for fishing. The water has been flat and the many days have had little fog. September and early October have often been described as that time of year with no fog and no wind. It is thought that September will have some great fishing. The Ucluelet fish off derby proved that with many big fish being weighed in. The same final ladder derby in 2010 did not produce the landed Chinook catch sizes that this particular year did. Many guides are still using big gear as there are still plenty of good sized Chinook swimming the offshore and inshore water. Big gear can be termed as six or seven inch plugs and spoons. Many guides will move to the use of smaller gear as they begin to concentrate on Coho. The Inner and Outer South Bank should have some great September fishing as should inshore spots such as Mara Rock, the Lighthouse Bank and also the Turtle Head which is only four miles out of the harbour mouth. The fishing up to the past day or two has been excellent for Chinnok with the Starfish and Hyason Bank producing some good sized Chinook jut over forty pounds. Schools of Coho have sitting and feeding at the Inner and Outer South. These Coho are in the top sixty feet of water and are hitting hootchies and four inch coyote spoons. We are expecting some great sport Coho fishing right into mid October. Book your Chinook Coho trip before the end of the season or consider a trip for next year.

by Doug Lindores – Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing

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