Self Guided Fishing

The Best Fishing Spot On Vancouver Island. Period.

Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet have the best and most consistent fisheries on Vancouver Island! What sets us apart from other areas like Ucluelet, Winter Harbour, Haida Gwaii and Port Renfrew is our commitment to salmon enhancement and sustainable fisheries. Returns to the Conuma River are actively monitored and managed and our guests can feel good about participating in a fishery that is well cared for. With the most modern and comfortable rental fleet on the West Coast, we will get you out on the water with the best chances of success.

Self-Guided Rental Boat Rates

Rental Boat Rate Guide

OptionsHalf Day (5 Hours)Full Day (10 Hours)
18ft QuayCraft Aluminum Centre Console Boats $399 $499
22ft ABD Aluminum Centre Console Boat$649$799
24ft ABD Aluminum Centre Console Boat$749$999

Rental boats are available to guests of Moutcha Bay Resort and Nootka Sound Resort and are fully equipped for a day of fishing with safety equipment, VHF radios, GPS & depth sounders, two Scotty electric downriggers and cannonballs, rods, reels, rod holders, net, gaff, and basic tackle. Maximum of 4 guests per rental boat. This rate does not include fuel or bait. 

22′ and 24′ ABD options each include an onboard head.

See The Quaycraft 18’ See The 22’ & 24’ ABD's

B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Boat)

We understand that some guests want to fish out of their own boat, and that’s why we gladly welcome U-boaters. Enjoy the day of fishing at your own pace, while still experiencing luxury accommodation when you return to the dock. With our full service marina at Moutcha Bay Resort, we are happy to offer fuel, bait, and tackle to all of our D.I.Y. guests.

Full Service Marina

Nootka Sound And Esperanza Inlet

This is a true west coast fishing mecca and provides some of the best fishing on Vancouver Island. Steep, heavily forested mountains border deep protected inlets and the multitudes of sheltered coves and bays offer vast fishing opportunities.

From May to September, anglers reel in Chinook Salmon (also known as Springs or Kings) and Coho Salmon (also known as Silvers), which abound in our fishing area. Many of our best fishing holes are mere minutes from the resorts.
If you’re looking to hook into one of the most sought-after bottom fish in the Pacific, we are lucky to be in the vicinity of prime halibut fishing grounds. We also regularly pull in nice-sized Ling Cod and Pacific Rockfish.

Our three luxury fishing resorts provide the perfect starting point for the Vancouver Island fishing trip of your dreams.

Types Of Fish On Vancouver Island

The fishing on Vancouver Island, BC is so diverse that’s it’s hard to narrow it down to a list that can fit on the page. Here are some of the most popular ones that continue to draw people from all over the world to this beautiful island:

Salmon Fishing, Vancouver Island B.C

Salmon fishing in Nootka and Esperanza is downright fantastic, with vast fishing grounds at your disposal. This area of Vancouver Island has the most consistent Salmon fishing with the enormous migratory southbound runs plus the tens of thousands of salmon returning to our local rivers. We reel in Chinook salmon between 15 and 25 pounds on a daily basis, and larger fish are landed every year. Nothing beats catching a Coho salmon – the active, fun fish known as the “acrobat of the sea”. These species are prized for their high fat content and rich taste.

Halibut Fishing, Vancouver Island B.C

Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet boast an abundance of “chicken” Halibut. Considered the best for eating, “chickens” (between 10 and 30 pounds) are a lot of fun to catch or reel in the more challenging larger halibut that frequent our waters. The Halibut in our region are a combination of migratory and resident fish, with fishing taking place along the baitfish-filled offshore banks. If Halibut is what you’re after, discuss with your guide prior to leaving the dock for the day.

Ling Cod Fishing Vancouver Island

One of the most highly prized bottom fish is the Ling Cod. Despite their appearance, this fish has a very delicate meat with a sweet flavour. You’ll find Ling Cod hiding amongst underwater rock structures and ledges, waiting to ambush your bait or lure. If you’re not having any luck in a location with good structure, try changing your depth – generally going deeper. We are fortunate to have a bountiful amount of Ling Cod over the 65cm minimum size limit. With their aggressive attacks and great fights, they are a lot of fun to catch.

Rockfish Fishing Vancouver Island

There are copious amounts of a variety of Pacific Rockfish in Nootka and Esperanza Inlets. They are usually found near bottom structure and are caught on jigs or while trolling. Bait such as herring, octopus, and squid work very well.

Tuna Fishing Vancouver Island

This is an intense, adrenalin-stimulating fishery that’s become the latest craze amongst sport fishermen. The warm-blooded Albacore tuna is a fast-moving predator with a body built for speed, and they hit the bait like a locomotive. The fish average 10-35 pounds with firm white flesh, delicate taste, and excellent eating quality. The Albacore tuna run occurs late August and/or early September when thousands of fish pass along our offshore Vancouver Island waters. Newton Cove Resort is only 15 minutes from the open ocean and is the ideal launching point for accessing the tuna fishing grounds. Contact Guest Services for more information on booking your opportunity of a Vancouver Island tuna fishing adventure.

Fishing Calendar

Anglers can refer to our fishing calendar from mid-April through September for our monthly fishing reports, tips on when to fish, including tackle and “hot spot” information.

Check fisheries postings online for openings and closures for all salmon, bottom fish, and shellfish opportunities as they are all subject to change at any time.


Outside waters will give anglers access to early migratory Chinook as well as local feeder spring salmon, and fantastic bottom fish opportunities. Spring boasts the best prawning and crabbing chances of the season. Freshwater fishing is also excellent for Winter Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. Try trolling in the 60 to 90-foot range for salmon, and just off the bottom for Ling Cod and Halibut; or stop and jig for all species of bottom fish along the kelp beds and on rocky bottom structure.


Salmon fishing on both the outside and inside is now steady with mature and feeder Chinook salmon. By the middle of the month small Coho will start to show in good numbers, primarily from the lighthouse and beyond. Bottom fishing is outstanding for all species, including halibut; again one must fish outside from the lighthouse to Bajo Reef for best results. Prawning is still steady at this time, crabbing will begin to slow down somewhat by mid-month, and oyster picking is still great but check for red tide first.


All species of salmon and bottom fish are available in both the inside and outside fisheries. Check our fishing reports for updated hot spots and guide gear choices. Prawning and crabbing will slow down as the water temperature starts to increase, but groups will still get plenty to dine on while they are here in Nootka Sound.


This is prime season for all species of salmon and bottom fish, both the inside and outside fisheries are in full tilt, our local larger mature fish arriving in anticipation of the fall rains as they can enter the rivers to spawn in September and October. Albacore tuna opportunities are heating up and on the horizon towards the end of the month! Limited prawn and crab opportunities are available due to the heavy pressure and warm water conditions, however for those who are willing to move their traps around, will eventually find decent success, enough to enjoy with dinners during your stay!


Chinook and Coho fishing remain strong until mid-month, depending on how much rain we get. It can be excellent in the local rivers at this time. These fish begin to stage directly in front of Moutcha Bay Resort and Newton Cove Resort as they await their chance to run up the river toward their home spawning grounds. Bottom fishing will stay strong through the month's end for those who are willing to take the run to the outside grounds. Crabbing opportunities increase greatly with the arrival of all the mature spawning salmon.
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