To Book, or Not to Book

-A guide to deciding if a fishing charter is what you need. –


If fishing is on your list of activities for your next vacation, you may be considering booking a fishing charter. How do you know if booking a charter is the right option for you? There are plenty of good reasons to book a charter, and plenty reasons not to. Answer the questions below to see whether or not you think a fishing charter will be the best option for your vacation.


Have you fished a lot before?

If you’ve done that style of fishing since you could hold a fishing rod, then having someone show you the ropes is far from a good use of money. However, if you’ve been fly fishing, but never salmon fishing, then you’re in for a surprise if you think you can breeze in and do it all yourself. For different types of fishing, it might be handy to have a professional give you the introduction.


Are you bringing your own gear?

If you’re only fishing for part of your vacation, do you really want to lug all of your equipment with you? While it can be nice to work with stuff you know is great and can work with your eyes closed, sometimes bringing it all along with you can be a pain. Most charters include the gear, so you just need to show up.


Do you want to rent a boat?

Along the same lines of the gear – do you want to tow your boat to your destination? If not, you’re going to have to find a place that will rent one out to you for your fishing adventure. That can be expensive, or impossible in some places without booking a charter.


Do you like doing your research?

To try to fish somewhere new, you’ll need to read a lot about the area. Where are the best spots? What has been working to catch lately? What is the forecast like? Tides, weather, moorage… All of these little details will need to be known by you. If you like planning and doing research, this can be the fun part. If not, you might want to let someone else do that part for you.


Do you like driving boats – even in less than perfect conditions?
If you’re not used to driving your own boat while trolling in the ocean, or exploring new areas, then trying to run your own charter in unfamiliar territory can be a challenge. It might also affect how many fish you catch. Plus, if you’re heading offshore and aren’t used to an area’s conditions, the task can be even more difficult than it normally would be.


Do you like enjoying drinks on board?

If so, you probably won’t want to be in charge of driving your own boat. If you hire a charter and a guide, you’ll be able to kick back and have a cold one (if desired), while someone else drives and sets everything up.


Do you have a tight budget?

Hiring someone else with their equipment can be expensive when you already have everything you need at home. If you’re on a tight budget, it might be better just to go fishing on your own. While you might not know all the best spots, use the best lures, or be able to get to exactly where you want to be, fishing is often about the enjoyment of the sport. That’s why it isn’t called catching, right?


Do you like to do everything yourself?

If not, then book a charter. Someone will take care of all the details, planning, gear and will know where to be. All you need to do is show up. For many, that’s the whole point of a vacation – worry-free enjoyment of a new place and the adventures it has to offer.


If you answered these questions thoughtfully and honestly, all you need to do is check back on your answers and see which way they lean – fishing charter, or not? There’s no wrong answer, and you need to make the most out of your holiday. One area that is a top fishing destination is Vancouver Island on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Want to check it out? Visit the website to check out the incredible fishing options they have. On Vancouver Island, Ucluelet and Tofino are a couple of the most desirable fishing hotspots. More can be found out about their great fishing at and  To read more about a charter and what might be involved in booking one out that way, is a great on in Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Alaska vs. Vancouver Island

Salmon fishing in Alaska has received plenty of media attention. It’s for a good reason, Alaska definitely has some fantastic salmon fishing. However, there is an unsung hero farther south down the coast in Canadian waters, and it goes by the name of Vancouver Island. Despite its relatively unspoken media presence, fishermen that have been to both might even argue that Vancouver Island is the real king of salmon fishing, especially towns like Ucluelet and Tofino on the west coast. Not sure you’re ready to give up your stake in Alaskan fishing to gamble on something new? Read on to be convinced that salmon fishing on Vancouver Island is less than a risk.


The Season

While Alaska typically has a tight peak time for catching great salmon, Vancouver Island’s season can go year-round if you know where to go. Ucluelet alone has a season that can span from March to October. Even peak time on Vancouver Island is 2-3 months long, not 2-3 weeks. Check out this handy chart to get an idea of when you want to come fishing (

The Numbers

A key thing to look for in a fishing area is how many river sources feed its waters. Alaska has the Yukon and the Kenai, which have seen dwindling numbers of chinook (King) salmon as the years have gone by. Vancouver Island’s waterways have multiple spawning rivers that flush the ocean with plenty of fish fresh for the catching. Using Ucluelet as an example again, just one of its sources, the Fraser River, saw more than half-a-million fish returning. With the addition of its other resources, you’re looking at close to a million salmon, while Alaska sees about 200,000.

The Fish

Besides king salmon, the classic prize for anglers coming to Alaska, Vancouver Island sees all five types of Pacific salmon. Second most desired are the Coho, which reach the Vancouver Island in great numbers and large sizes starting in July. There are also the tasty sockeye, where the Port Alberni Inlet is a go-to destination to reel in some supper. Aside from salmon, Vancouver Island is also a great place to snag halibut, which are another main reason angler’s trek all the way up north to Alaska. To learn more about the type of salmon there are in B.C. and on Vancouver Island, check out

The Weather

As far as storms, wind and heavy seas go, Vancouver Island is much more temperate than Alaska, even on the wild west coast. That means more days on the water fishing, and less sea sickness. There are also so many different areas to fish off of Vancouver Island, that you’re likely to find one that is more sheltered than others, but still produces fish. That makes it a perfect place for those that are prone to sea sickness, even in small swell.

The Consistency

It’s no secret that Alaska had to close its Chinook fishery early this year, which caused a lot of serious anglers to re-route to Ucluelet on Vancouver Island in order to fill their freezers. While Alaska has seen a lot of stock decline over the years, Vancouver Island has been less effected, and the fishing season is still going strong. Out of Victoria, B.C., you can even do some winter angling for chinook and halibut!

The Convenience

Rather than head all the way up north, Vancouver Island can be reached in a day from most places in Canada and many parts of the US. There is a major city nearby, and Ucluelet itself is a well-stocked town. All of your accommodation options are within couple minutes of the boats, too. While getting to Alaska can be quite the journey, getting to Vancouver Island is a scenic and easy feat. For more about getting to even as far as the west coast of Vancouver Island, check out

The Seclusion

Thanks to its lack of media, Vancouver Island is still a well-kept secret in the fishing world. That means you don’t have to share the waters with hundreds of other fishermen out to get the big one. With so many fishing hotspots, not everyone will pick the same destination, either. Even though there are larger destinations on Vancouver Island like Victoria, a number of the fishing towns still give you that remote fishing lodge vibe, without being littered with tons of lodges and traffic of a highly publicized place. Just because it isn’t all over the TV does not mean it isn’t a top spot to go.

The Beauty

Vancouver Island is a destination for a number of reasons, one of them being its unique, stunning beauty. Mountains, towering forests and incredible oceans and rivers await on this rock off the coast of British Columbia. At times, it is a mystical place where whales splash, cougars and bears roam, and the giant forests seem to be telling each other secrets. The west coast also offers its own unique brand of Pacific Northwest beauty, with a raw, rugged and wild essence of the coast that will steal your breath just as much as reeling in a Tyee will.

The Activities

While Alaska is very fishing oriented, Vancouver Island is the perfect place to escape to, even if you have friends and family that don’t want to just salmon fish. There is so much to do! From whale watching and bear watching, to foraging, hiking, skiing, beach combing, wine tasting and numerous other activities, there’s something for everyone. On Vancouver Island, you can be guilt free while out on the boat, knowing that your significant other is having just as much fun exploring everything Vancouver has to offer on land.


So, there’s the comparison, the rest is up to you! If you’re not sure about Vancouver Island, check out this charter company’s guarantee – they’re so confident in the fishing on Vancouver Island that they swear by 50lbs a day. You can learn more about the different areas on Vancouver Island at