What Kind of Fish Can You Catch When You Go Fishing in British Columbia?

by | Apr 12, 2022

Casting a line is far from the only thing you’ll be doing if you choose to visit a British Columbia fishing lodge this summer.


You’ll also be watching for whales, orcas, and dolphins in the water. Along the shoreline, keep your eyes peeled for black bears and even wolves coming down for a drink. In between fishing excursions, there’s also time for hiking to picturesque waterfalls, dining on five-star, multi-course meals, and even relaxing on the dock at the end of a long day.


Of course, whether you’re an experienced fisherman or not, one of the biggest attractions is catching—or trying to catch—a fish. You don’t need to have fishing experience to book a British Columbia fishing excursion. With an experienced guide there to help every step of the way, and all the gear you need, the chances are good that you’ll get a bite at some point during your trip.


Wondering what kind of fish you’ll be casting for during your BC fishing adventure? Keep reading to find out.





Perhaps the best known fish to call the waters of coastal British Columbia home—and one of the most popular to catch—is salmon. But what many visitors don’t know is that the area is actually home to five different species of salmon.


Chinook Salmon, also known as King Salmon, is the largest species of salmon native to the Pacific Ocean. These fish can reach a weight of more than 80 pounds, though most average between 15 and 30. Their large size can help make them easier to identify. You can also look for their signature pointed lower jaw and their v-shaped, silver tail.


Chum Salmon, sometimes called Dog Salmon, are the next largest of the Pacific Salmon, reaching an average size of between 6 and 15 pounds. Their nickname comes from their sharp teeth, and from the fact that they were a popular choice for feeding sled dogs. Look for their faint vertical stripes, and a fin with a white top. Their large teeth are set in a hooked jaw.


Coho Salmon are much smaller than the first two species. They are mostly silver, though their backs are black. Sockeye Salmon are similar in size. While these salmon are known for their bright red bodies, these only appear when they reach freshwater. In saltwater, they are silver with black speckles and a blue back, similar to Coho Salmon. Sockeye Salmon are the most popular salmon for eating.


The most abundant species of Pacific Salmon is the Pink Salmon. They are just 3 to 5 pounds on average, with large spots on their back. Males of this species have a distinctive hump on their backs.





Salmon might be what many visitors have in mind when they think about casting a line at a BC fishing lodge. But it’s far from the only fish waiting beneath the waves.


Halibut is another popular catch—and perhaps the most distinctive. These unique-looking fish are easy to spot for their large, flat, oval-shaped bodies. Their eyes are on one side of their body, allowing them to look upwards in search of prey as they rest on the seafloor. They are dark in color, usually mostly black with a green or brown tint. Younger fish of this species often have a white belly and spots on their backs.


The Halibut is actually a species of Flounder. They are popular among sportfisherman, thanks to their large size and the fight they put up on the line. Most Halibut are around 150 pounds when fully grown, though some can reach as high as 450 pounds.



Other Fish You Could Catch


Halibut and salmon are some of the most popular fish guests are hoping to catch when they visit a BC fishing lodge. But there are plenty of other species you could reel in. Black Bass, Rockfish, and Cod are just a few of the most common fish in the area.


Planning Your Next BC Fishing Adventure


Ready to try our hand at catching a King salmon or halibut? The best way to do so is by booking a package through a BC fishing resort.


Most BC fishing resorts provide all of the gear you’ll need, as well as an experienced guide who will help show you the ropes and find the best spots to cast a line. Someone in your group not as excited about the fishing portion of the trip? Customizable wilderness packages may also be available, and can help you explore another side of this unique destination. You’ll spend your days searching for wildlife in and out of the water, hiking to picturesque waterfalls, and still spend some time fishing, if you choose.


Spots are filling up fast this summer at popular BC fishing resorts. Book your 2022 visit to the best BC fishing lodge today to guarantee your choice of dates!