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Port Hardy

Port Hardy has been a popular place to fish for some time


Situated at Vancouver Island’s northern tip, Port Hardy is the destination for thousands of salmon and halibut fishermen each year. Slightly more than 500 km separate Port Hardy (pop. 4500) from Victoria, BC along Route 1 and then Route 19. Port Hardy is also the southern terminus for the BC ferry run which travels all the way to Prince Rupert. Named after Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Port Hardy was mostly a mining, commercial fishing, and logging town. Now its natural beauty draw sports fishermen and adventure seekers from around the world.

Large runs of all five salmon species travel right past the entrance to Hardy Bay every year, down the famous Queen Charlotte Straight and on to hundreds of destinations from the mighty Fraser to small watersheds such as Rosewall Creek. Other adventurers use Port Hardy to launch longer expeditions to other famous destinations such as Rivers Inlet and Hakai Pass.

You can fish for salmon almost year round in Port Hardy. Outside of the usual summer fishing season, the deciding factor generally is the weather. The locals start gearing up for serious fishing in June and fish right through to the end of September. If you are in search of the big spring salmon, all of August is a good bet. For Coho, the season generally starts near the middle of July and goes right on through the month of September. June and July are also good months for sockeye and pinks, as the giant Fraser runs must pass by Port Hardy’s front door.

There are literally dozens of excellent spots to fish within an hour’s boat ride of Hardy Bay. I’ll list a few of my favorites, but as always, ask the locals for the hot spots and watch where the charter boats are fishing.

Duval Point
An easy run out to the entrance at Hardy Bay, Duval Point is a favorite of the locals, and many of them never seem to go anywhere else. The times I fished there, it did seem as if there were an inordinate amount of pink salmon, even when I was using larger spoons and plugs. But the Chinook fishing can also be outstanding, so Duval Point is a good place to start.

The Deserter Group
One of my favorite places to fish for big springs, period. I have seen salmon in excess of 60 pounds taken here. Rumor has it that some of the Rivers Inlet fish drop south to this area for a last minute feeding frenzy before heading back to their respective rivers to spawn. Make sure you have a good GPS and seaworthy boat when venturing here to fish. The fog rolls in quickly and finding your way back on compass through the Gordon Group could prove impossible.

Christie Pass
Christie Pass is better known for it’s coho numbers, and they seem to come in by the thousand. Trolling fast with flasher and hootchie, or motor mooching with cut plug herring are both effective methods. I’ve also hooked 70 pound plus halibut in the center of the pass, mooching herring along the flat bottom.

The Gordon Islands
Fishing here can be productive, but it takes a little know-how. I’ve spent hundreds of hours motor mooching off the shoals and islands of the Gordon Group, but when it came to spring salmon, I never caught as much as when I fished Duval Point or the Deserters. After the middle of July, coho fishing here can be spectacular, and the herring balls can be almost everywhere.

I love fishing Port Hardy. Big springs, big halibut, and lots of coho. It has a west coast feel without the weather and groundswell of the open ocean. Literally millions of salmon pass Port Hardy every year. Hopefully you will make it here for your fishing adventure soon.

Fishing Charters in Port Hardy
Starfish Charters – Come on a fun fishing adventure with your guide David Connor!

Campbell RiverPort RenfrewTofino
Nootka SoundPort AlberniUcluelet
Port HardyNorth IslandVictoria