Local Tofino Wildlife & Fish Species

Target Species:

There are a whole variety of exciting fish species to catch off the coast of Tofino at anytime in the season.  Most opportunities, however, are controlled by where you fish and at what time in the season.

Pacific Salmon:

  • Chinook (King) Salmon:
    The largest of all the Pacific Salmon species have been recorded growing historically over 100lbs.  These exceptional sport fish are here year round, but peak in April through September.
  • Coho (Silver) Salmon:
    Coho are notoriously acrobatic, often dancing at the surface and also take well to the artificial fly at the surface for those flyfishing or light tackle enthusiasts.  Coho will start showing up off Tofino typically from early June onwards, and are most abundant July, August and September.
  • Pink Salmon:
    Pink salmon are caught more commonly offshore of Tofino during July and August; a great sportfish for youngsters and are most abundant during odd-numbered years on the west coast.
  • Sockeye Salmon:
    Sockeye are highly acclaimed as a sushi-grade delicacy and are caught more commonly during July and August off the coast of Tofino.
  • Chum Salmon:
    Although Chum are not commonly targeted off Tofino, they are caught occasionally later in the summer season during July, August and September.  Once hooked, these freight trains are exceptional sportfish, often becoming air-born and “tail-walking” at the surface.

Bottom Fish Species:

  • Pacific Halibut:
    Halibut in general are enormous!  They have been known to reach sizes over 1000 lbs, and are an exceptional sport fish.  Halibut are caught anytime from April though September and are often caught off Tofino while fishing for salmon!
  • Lingcod:
    Lingcod are an exceptional sport fish not-to-mention great deep-fried as fish and chips!  Growing sometimes as large as 100lbs, these “bucket mouths” pull extremely hard and are known to be cannibalistic!  You may target these exciting bottom dwellers off the coast of Tofino when the season opens in April through until September.
  • Rockfish:
    Rock fish are extremely abundant off the rocky pinnacles off the coast of Tofino.  A great way for anyone new to fishing to experience a whole variety of fish species taking on such varied colors, shapes and sizes.
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We had an amazing family experience with Cleanline Fishing! Blake knew just how to keep the interest of our 2 and 4 year old as we pulled up all sorts of sea creatures in the crab traps.

— S. DesBrisay, Whistler BC