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Chasing Salmon in Victoria, British Columbia

Home > Victoria BC > Boating | Hobbies | Outdoor
by Gary Brown (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics. I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published November 4th 2014
I had the opportunity to go out for a fish for salmon off the coast of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. The day's charter was out with Adam Heffelfinger from Adams Fish Charters. Before I went out on the boat with Adam I did a bit of research on what type of fishing the charter has on offer.

Adam and his crew have been guiding the waters off Canada's west coast since 1989. That's almost 23 years and well over 20,000 fishing hours, as well as over 23 years of experience from fishing as a recreational angler.

The boats are moored in Victoria BC's celebrated downtown Inner Harbour and their high performance fishing vessels will give you access to the legendary waters of Victoria's entire fishing region from Sooke to Oak Bay. They offer a wide variety of boat charters and boat tour opportunities for the whole family, from salmon and halibut charters, to crab, clam and oyster tours, just to name a few.

The night before I couldn't get a wink of sleep as I kept dreaming of what type of fish species I was going to come across. What kind of salmon were we going to target? Was it Keta (Chum), Sockeye (Red), Coho (Silver) Pinkor a Chinook (King) salmon? I know one thing for sure it wasn't going to be a pacific Halibut as we were going to be trolling with down riggers off the south coast of Victoria Harbour.

Early the next morning I took a short walk from the Empress Victoria Hotel where my wife and I were staying for a couple of nights and was greeted by Adam from Adam Fishing Charters. It was like we were long lost friends as he invited me on board his 24', Deep 'V' Design Cruiserspowered with high performance 4 stroke Yamaha engines. The trolling motors that are fitted are extremely quiet, exhaust free 4 stroke engines.

For extra comfort you have a cuddy cabins where you can get out of the weather and the salt spray. The deck at the rear of the boat has plenty of room giving you an uncrowded deck space when fishing.

All their vessels are equipped with Global Positioning Systems, Radar, Depth Sounders, Fish Finders, VHF Radios, Cellular Phones and Safety Equipment. The equipment supplied as part of the charter can either be Shimano, Islandec, Penn, Shakespeare rods and reels, with Scotty Electric Downriggers. On the day I was fishing with a Shakespeare rod mounted with a Penn reel.

After a twenty to thirty minute run out to the fishing grounds Adam had the outfits in the rod holders and the down rigger bomb was taking the plastics skirt down to the bottom. We were trolling in thirty metres of water and Adam stated that we had to make sure that the bomb was touching the mud every now and then. This puff of mud would help attract the nearest salmon to our lure. What seemed like ages the rod on my side of the boat screamed off at a hundred miles an hour. With this came a scream from Adam "don't touch the rod until I tell you", so I did what I was told, just like when my wife tells me.

After slowing the boat down Adam quickly brought in the other rod to get it out of what he called for a big fish. This was going to be a first for me as I had never caught a salmon (didn't know which type yet) in Canada. Also I had never trolled with anoutfit that had completely taken me by surprise as the rod was over three metres in length with a very slow taper and the reel was a fly reel spooled with 12 kilo monofilament.

I don't know who had the biggest smile Gary or Adam

It took me about ten minutes to get the fish up to where we could see it and as it came beside the boat Adam scooped it up in the net. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as I realised that I had just caught a 10 kilo Chinook (King) salmon. What a rush!

If you are ever in Victoria in British Columbia, Canada and are looking for a charter you should check out Adam Heffelfinger from Adams Fish Charters and if you do go out tell Adam, Gary from Sydney Australia said to say hi.

For more information on the different types of charters Adam Fishing Charter has on offer go to or email Adam at
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Where: Victoria, British Columbia
Your Comment
Hi helen I wasnt allowed to keep it as I was not a resident of canada. I am glad that you like the bream article. They do have bream tournaments in SA for both boat and kayak.
by Gary Brown (score: 2|496) 2233 days ago
Hi Gary,
Oh my, you lucky man! What a beautiful fish. What did you do with it?
I used to fish years ago until I bought my Harley & now that takes up my fishing time. But have managed a spot of fishing here & there. Like the bream story too, they are a great fish to catch. I live in Adelaide & used to be able to catch black bream years ago but the spot isn't environmentally friendly now unfortunately, (for the fish as well as us).
Good articles, looking forward to the next
by helya (score: 1|66) 2233 days ago
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