News, views, opinions and reviews from Van Isle Marina, one of the largest full service marinas in British Columbia.

maintenance being done

Essential Off-Season Haul-Out Services for Your Boat

yacht park haul outs

Summer is for spending as much time as possible on the water. But when your island-hopping excursions and weekend fishing trips are wrapped up for the season, it’s time to get started on critical boat maintenance and upkeep.

The fall and winter seasons are the ideal time to take care of your boat and show it some love by getting everything taken care of in preparation for next summer. At Van Isle Marina, you will have access to a full assortment of haul-out maintenance services to keep your boat in peak condition and looking fantastic. In this article, we’re going to break down each of those essential services.

Battery Servicing

boat sailing on water

When you’re ready to haul your boat out for the season, the battery is one of the first things that will need to be looked at. After all, without a proper functioning battery, you aren’t going to have a great time out on the water. If you properly maintain your battery, you can expect 4 or 5 full seasons of boating without needing to replace it.

One of the main problems we often encounter with batteries is components coming out of place due to the vibrations and movement of your boat. Battery cables can come loose and cause engine failure, plus the nuts holding down the battery can come ajar. We don’t service batteries directly here at Van Isle Marina, but we’re a hub for many different skilled trades with various specializations (including batteries), so we’d be happy to refer you to a specialist located on site.

Fuel Systems Maintenance

fuel station

Your fuel systems are another area that need attention to ensure your boat runs smoothly all season long. Plus, of course, the type of fuel you put in your boat makes a difference. Fuel blended with ethanol can cause all sorts of problems, such as erosion of plastic, rubber and metal. It can also cause your engine to run too hot and exhaust the valves.

At Van Isle, we offer both diesel and ethanol-free premium gasoline, with a variety of other fuel additives available for sale in our fuel dock store. While we don’t service engines ourselves, we’d be happy to refer you to an on-site team that specializes in engine maintenance.

Power Washing

storage facilities

Power washing is essential maintenance for any type of boat that’s been on the water. Regular service can help your boat look sparkly clean, but power washing does far more than help your boat aesthetically.

Out on the water, your boat is exposed to plenty of harmful elements that can cause damage if left untreated, such as oxidation, humidity, bird droppings and even just the salt in the water. Plus, if you’re travelling in certain areas, your boat can also be exposed to hard water, acid rain and smog. Microplastics in the water are also known to breed parasites which can affect not only people and fish, but your boat too.

When you’re finished with your annual boating season, head to Van Isle Marina to get your boat fully cleaned and detoxed. When power washing a boat, we focus on the hull to scrub away marine growth build up. We can also detail other areas of your boat, or refer you to an on-site boat detailing specialist.

Bottom Painting

boat hauled out

A fresh coat of paint for your boat is great off-season maintenance to tick off your checklist. Not only will your boat look excellent with a new coat, marine paints such as epoxy, enamel, and anti-fouling can also provide another layer of protection.

That’s because marine paint isn’t like any other paint you’d use around the house – it’s designed to withstand the harsh conditions out in the ocean. If you use the right paint, it’s actually resistant to both water and salt, which means you’ll be able to defend against high levels of moisture, corrosive environments and even UV radiation. Marine paint is similar to sunscreen for our skin. By protecting against all of these elements, you can dramatically increase the integrity of your boat and its lifespan.

The main purpose for using anti-fouling paint is that it slows the growth of marine organisms from growing on the surface of your boat, while also facilitating the detachment of marine life when the boat starts moving.

Contact our marina maintenance experts when you come to get your boat serviced. Stop by Van Isle Marina and we’d be happy to apply a new coat of paint and replace the zincs on your boat.

Dry Storage

view of Van Isle Marina

When your boat has been treated to its full maintenance routine for the season, you’re going to want a secure space to store your boat until you’re ready to use it again. As opposed to leaving it in a driveway or parking lot, a storage facility for your boat like the one at Van Isle Marina is far more preferable. Our area is fenced, complete with a security system, and it is monitored by cameras to ensure boat owners have peace of mind when their boat is stored. Check out our full list of dry storage features.

At Van Isle Marina, we can accommodate trailers with unlimited ramp access, plus all boats up to 70 feet in length. Our dry storage prices vary per foot. Depending on the amount of time you need storage for we can offer monthly rates, and special rates & packages for annual storage customers. Contact us today to learn more about our dry storage facility and all other essential haul-out maintenance services for your boat.

OS35 model cruising with passengers in the back

5 Reasons to Consider Buying a Pursuit Offshore Boat

Life in coastal British Columbia is nothing short of spectacular. From the appealing mild weather to the stunning BC scenery dotted with quaint islands, lush forests and towering mountain ranges, we’ve got plenty to explore. But in order to fully take advantage of everything this beautiful province has to offer, you’re going to need a boat – and not just any boat.

Pursuit’s line of offshore boats are perfectly designed for exploring the coast of BC and its surroundings. Their award-winning offshore boats are designed with comfort top of mind. Completely safe in the open ocean, these boats will allow you to live, work and relax for extended periods of time, both securely and enjoyably.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the key reasons to consider buying a Pursuit boat for your weekend fishing trips, romantic island getaways, family day trips and everything in between.

Comfortable for Long Trips

view of the rear seats from the back

One of the biggest selling points for Pursuit’s line of offshore boats is the comfort level, meticulously designed and built for weeks long and even months long trips. Ranging from 32 feet – 46 feet, the offshore line provides true live-aboard space for you and your passengers.

In each model, you’ll find berths in either the forward or aft sections (or both), which will allow 2-4 people to sleep comfortably. You’ll also find a fully functional galley complete with maple cabinets, a glass cooktop, microwave and stainless-steel refrigerator, along with an enclosed head with a stand-up shower.

But aside from the galley and head, which will provide you the functionality of home, Pursuit’s offshore boats also come standard with various entertainment options, from the JL Audio System to LED TVs.

Everything from the complete functionality down to the specially crafted upholstery will ensure you’re truly equipped for long, comfortable trips in a Pursuit offshore boat.

Fishing Capabilities

fishing with a rod

If you’re passionate about fishing or curious about diving into the hobby, coastal BC is an excellent place to be. And with a Pursuit offshore boat, you’ll have all the capability you’ll need. Like all Pursuit models, the offshore line comes standard with plenty of rod holders, live wells, fish boxes, tackle storage and cabin rod storage space. To learn more, check the specifications that are available with each Pursuit offshore model.

Along with specific features designed for fishing, there are other aspects of the Pursuit offshore models that make them ideal for fishing. Standard in every model is an anchoring system, bow thruster and dedicated transducer location. There are also safety features built in that can go a long way when fishing, such as grab rails and anti-slip cockpit flooring.

Beauty in the Details

dining area in cabin

The Pursuit offshore series are highly functional boats designed for fishing and longer trips with family and friends. But that doesn’t mean that anything has been sacrificed when it comes to style and design. Front to back and top to bottom, the offshore series is beautifully designed and meticulously crafted.

Every model features a hand-laminated hull and moulded frameless tempered glass windows. When you custom order a Pursuit boat, you’ll have your choice of hull, helm, boot stripe and interior colour packages. And when you head down into the cabin, you’ll notice no detail has been left out. From the stainless steel and countertops to the upholstery to the luxurious head, the Pursuit offshore line exemplifies beauty in the details.

Purpose Built & Protected

control panel and front seat

For decades, Pursuit has been committed to designing and building high quality offshore boats. Whether you’re buying an offshore boat or a model from one of their other lines like Dual Console, Centre Console or Sport, they like to say every Pursuit Boat is ‘purpose-built’.

While the term ‘purpose-built’ is usually applied to necessity, Pursuit boats are built with a very different purpose in mind – for romantic weekend getaways, beach days with the family and fishing expeditions with your friends. The purpose is bliss. And it’s evident in every stitch, fixture and surface.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Pursuit is willing to put their money where their mouth is with the Pursuit Protection Plan. Regardless of which model you end up purchasing, each Pursuit boat comes standard with:

  • 5-year hull/deck structural warranty
  • 5-year blister-free warranty
  • 2-year limited warranty

As a new Pursuit boat owner, the Pursuit Protection Plan goes a long way in providing you with real peace of mind. After all, it’s a big investment. And you can rest easy knowing the manufacturer has your back.


OS325 model cruising side view

Pictured: OS325 model

Along with being one of the largest full-service marinas in the province, Van Isle Marina is proud to be the exclusive dealer of Pursuit Boats in Western Canada. So if you’re looking to purchase a Pursuit yacht, you’re in the right place. At our docks right now, we have a selection of both the OS325 and OS355 models.

The OS325 model is the smallest model in the offshore collection at 34 feet, but it is every bit of stylish and will comfortably sleep two guests. You’ll still find the hardwood, sleek stainless steel and LED TV. It’s got twin Yamaha F300 engines that give you cruising speeds of 30 mph and a fuel tank capacity of 370 gallons.

The OS355 model is the midsize offshore model at 38 feet, powered by triple Yamaha engines for an extra kick. This model sleeps four with a little more seating and storage, and a larger galley, TV and live well.

When it comes time to actually purchase your new boat, Van Isle Marina can provide some real peace of mind. Apart from our highly experienced Yacht Sales team, we offer the full collection of vessel documentation services, including:

  • Title & Lien Search
  • Closing Statement
  • Transfer of Funds
  • Bill of Sale
  • License Transfer
  • Casual Remittance Return Form

To browse our collection of Pursuit offshore boats, come visit our docks at Van Isle Marina. Located at 2320 Harbour Road in Sidney in Tsehum Harbour, our marina is just minutes away from the BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal and the Victoria International Airport. Reach us by phone at 250-656-1138 or by email at

Exploring Vancouver Island by Boat: From Van Isle Marina to Northern Vancouver Island

Best Places to See When Exploring Vancouver Island


Exploring Vancouver Island’s lush rainforests and beautiful beaches is a boater’s dream. Starting at Van Isle Marina on your map of Vancouver Island, BC, this guide to sailing Vancouver Island will highlight the best places to visit along the east coast culminating in northern Vancouver Island at the tip of Cape Scott Provincial Park.


No car, no problem. This guide to locations and activities has been carefully crafted with a boater in mind to be only a short paddle, walk or bike ride away. So, pull out your Vancouver Island map and follow along to chart your course of charming and unique destinations along Vancouver Island’s eastern coast. An adventure awaits.

8 Stop Worthy Spots from Van Isle Marina to Campbell River

Starting at Van Isle Marina on the tip of the Saanich Peninsula and heading north through the Southern Gulf Islands, you will find many interesting small towns to explore as well as stunning, wildlife-filled coastlines. Some recommended stops include:

While at Van Isle Marina – Borrow a courtesy bicycle for a quick ride to an outdoor activity that will appeal to everyone – Robert’s Bay Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary (750 m). Victoria Distillers (3 km) provides a taste of something local, while Glass Beach (3 km) will keep the treasure hunter occupied.


Explore the Float Homes at Cowichan Bay Village – Enjoy the slow pace as you wander the float-home lined bay, browse for unique trinkets and enjoy the fish & chips at The Rock Cod in North America’s first Cittaslow designated community.


Shop Salt Spring Island’s Farmers Market  Stock up on fresh local produce, mouth-watering baking, one-of-a-kind clothing, and internationally acclaimed art from one of the many friendly artisans at this famous Saturday market. Doggy daycare is available too.


Discover all the Murals in Chemainus – With over fifty murals and sculptures to guide you through the town of Chemainus, this community-driven art tourism experience provides a new twist on a walk around town.


Bite Into an Award-Winning Cinnamon Bun in Ladysmith – Take a short walk for a sweet treat. With nine cinnamon bun flavours to choose from and a host of house-made baked goods, there’s something to suit everyone at Old Town Bakery.


Bike Around Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) – This Marine Provincial Park, home of the Snuneymuxw people, is a stone’s throw away from Nanaimo. Rent a bike or walk the many hiking trails to see if you can find an elusive white raccoon foraging through a tidal pool. Saysutshun is one of the only known locations white raccoons have been encountered in British Columbia. Look for moon snails at low tides as you walk to Protection Island.

Explore the Malaspina Galleries on Gabriola Island – This unusual wavelike formation carved into the sandstone peninsula is an awe-inspiring landmark worth exploring. Best visited at low tide, the Malaspina Galleries are admission free and accessible to the public.


Shuck a Huge Fanny Bay Oyster – On your way to discovering the coastal trails on Denman Island and Hornby Island, anchor and visit the Fanny Bay seafood shop and get your hands dirty. Create your own tide-to-table experience with their fresh and sustainably sourced seafood and slurp-worthy oysters.

7 Adventures from Campbell River to Cape Sutil

Continuing the journey to northern Vancouver Island, travel through wildlife-rich waters where the island meets the mainland. Keep your eyes peeled for orcas, whales, sea lions, bald eagles and a plethora of other sea life while enjoying your journey between these recommended locations:


Sail Around Quadra Island – If sailing Vancouver Island’s iconic locations is on your bucket list, Quadra Island is the perfect destination. Renowned in the Pacific Northwest for its protected anchorages and accessible beaches, the island’s late-summer placid water is ideal for cruising. Weather systems at any time of the year make for exciting sailing in Quadra’s many open channels.

Whale Watch at Robson Bight – The barnacle-encrusted rocks of Robson Bight attract pods of orcas to this stretch of Johnstone Strait. Unfortunately, the ecological reserve is closed to the public. However, nearby Boat Bay or Growler Cove on West Cracroft Island make excellent whale-watching anchorages. Help keep these magnificent mammals safe by following the Federal Watching Guidelines.


Rent a Cottage at Telegraph Cove – One of eastern Vancouver Islands’ last boardwalk communities, Telegraph Cove, transports you to another time. Steeped in history, this colourful community of cabins still stands on stilts. Treat yourself to a night off your boat at one of the many charming rentals and enjoy the self-guided historical boardwalk tour. This convenient location provides access to paddling opportunities, outdoor adventures, and abundant Pacific marine wildlife in the Broughton Archipelago and Johnstone Strait.


Immerse Yourself in Culture at Alert Bay – Be sure to spend a Saturday on Cormorant Island to enjoy the T’sasala Cultural Group Dance Performance in the ‘Namgis Traditional Big House (July & August). While you’re here, marvel at the world’s tallest Totem Pole and immerse yourself in the rich history of the local people at the U’mista Cultural Centre.


Take a Wander Around Port McNeill – Take a break from exploring the Broughton Archipelago in Port McNeill – home to the world’s largest burl. Stroll the seawall and carry on downtown to Broughton Boulevard to view this thirty-ton bulbous growth taken from a Sitka Spruce.


Meet the Locals in Port Hardy – The Totems and Big Houses that stand tall amongst the towering Douglas Fir trees in Port Hardy connect you to the story of the Quatsino and Gwa’sala’ Nakwaxda’xw peoples. Grab a coffee at Café Guido and meander through the Hardy Bay Seawall and Carrot Park, wonderful places to chat with locals.


Plan an Adventure at Cape Scott Provincial Park – If you want to get out and stretch your legs after cruising the entire east coast of the island, the North Coast Trail provides a challenging multi-day adventure for experienced backpackers. The sea stacks at San Josef Bay and sandy beaches are a stunning stop-off for those more interested in a day trip. Find anchorage at Bull Harbour on Hope Island to prepare for your west coast adventure and ready yourself to round the cape if you’re circumnavigating the island.


Van Isle Marina – Excellence and Value in Every Marina Experience

Whichever locations you choose to explore on Vancouver Island, be sure to stop at the premier marina in the Pacific Northwest, Van Isle Marina. As one of the largest full-service marinas in British Columbia, our unparalleled personal service will meet all your needs. Let us know how Van Isle Marina can help you plan your trip sailing Vancouver Island.


We are located in Tsehum Harbour, just minutes from BC Ferries’ Swartz Bay terminal, and the Victoria International Airport. Directions by car, boat, coordinates and chart can all be found at


broken group islands

Journey to the Broken Group Islands: Your Guide to Boating and Exploring This Stunning Destination

The Broken Group Islands: A Boater’s Paradise

Scattered at the mouth of Barkley Sound, between Ucluelet and Bamfield, the Broken Group Islands welcome travellers with stunning vistas and an incredible array of wildlife.

Consisting of over 100 islands, islets and rocky outcrops just begging to be explored, the Broken Islands Group offers adventures for boaters and landlubbers alike.

The Broken Islands form part of the traditional territories of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations, the Toquaht Nation and the Uchucklesahtbroken islands Tribe, each of whom has treaty rights involving the Pacific Rim Park National Reserve.

Benson Island is considered to be the birthplace of the Tseshaht First Nation and is believed to have been consistently occupied for at least 5,000 years. Honouring the cultural history of the island, the Tseshaht house post welcomes visitors to what was once the cultural center of the Tseshaht.

Whether you prefer to skim along the water in a kayak, take in the natural beauty from your sailboat, explore any of the many rocky beaches, or soak in the rich cultural history, a trip to the Broken Islands is one you’re sure to remember.

Read on for everything you need to know to plan a journey from Van Isle Marina to the Broken Islands Group.

Getting To the Broken Islands

While the Broken Islands Group are a part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, they are naturally only accessible by boat.

If getting there by kayak is to your taste, you’ll find a convenient launch at Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch, which is about a 45-minute drive east of Ucluelet.

If you wish to explore by yacht, there are several marinas to launch from in both Ucluelet and Bamfield, but remember that none of the islands have docks, so you will need to be familiar with off-shore anchoring techniques.

A great way to combine travelling with sightseeing is by equipping your larger craft with a kayak or canoe. That way, you have the freedom to spend your time in the Broken Islands kayaking from island to island, exploring the shorelines and even pulling onto beaches for a while.

Tip: Research the area before you arrive and utilize a detailed Broken Islands map to plan mooring and exploring locations.

Note: If you’re hoping to launch from your Sidney, BC, Van Isle Marina base to travel up to Barkley Sound, you will need to plan for a trip consisting of several adventure-filled days. 

Camping in The Broken Group Islands

As part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, camping in the Broken Islands is a great travel choice for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. broken islands kayaking

Campgrounds can be found on the following islands:

  • Gilbert
  • Hand
  • Turret
  • Gibraltar
  • Clarke
  • Dodd
  • Willis

Parks Canada insists that all camping be confined to these designated areas. While there are basic facilities, such as solar composting outhouses, you will need to bring your own water supply and take your garbage with you.

The Tseshaht Nation works with Parks Canada to share the beauty and history of their traditional territory with the public with initiatives like the Beach Keeper program. Continuing a cultural history of land stewardship, volunteer Beach Keepers are onsite to welcome campers and adventurers, as well as provide safety information and advice.

Note: Campers heading to the Broken Islands for their getaway will need to make sure they have a Backcountry Camping Permit in addition to a National Park Entry Pass, both of which can be obtained through the National Park’s online reservation system.

Tips for Camping on the Broken Islands

Since the campgrounds in the Broken Islands Group are nestled in the wilderness and offer only basic amenities, there are a few things you should bear in mind when planning to camp there:

  • Bring biodegradable soap
  • Hang tarps with rope, not nails
  • Make sure to store food and garbage safely away from wildlife
  • Dogs are not allowed unless they are service dogs
  • Pack out what you bring in

Broken Island Wildlife

The natural land and seascapes created by the Broken Group Islands are second to none, but the diverse wildlife is where the Broken Islands truly shine. Boaters and campers alike can spot grey whales, humpback whales, transient orca, mink, bald eagles, seals and sea lions, otters, and morebroken islands group shorebirds than anyone can count.

Scuba divers will be treated to a spectacular array of anemones, fish, crabs and sea stars as they explore the ocean floor. Also, while they might not be typical, cougars, wolves and bears are sometimes spotted.

Staying Safe Around the Broken Islands

The most important thing to remember when you visit the Broken Group Islands is that you are in a wilderness area that is subject to nature and fast weather changes.

With that in mind, there are a few safety tips to consider when planning your trip to the Broken Islands:

  • Use a cooking stove instead of cooking over a fire
  • Keep all fires below the high tideline
  • Keep all food and garbage safely stored
  • Check your campsite for dangerous trees before you set up
  • The Imperial Eagle and Loudoun Channels are prone to strong winds, making these difficult to travel by kayak or other small vessels
  • If the waters are rough, you should pull into the nearest campground instead of the one you planned on
  • Barkley Sound faces the open ocean, so it is prone to harsh ocean conditions, which can mean large swells, rough winds and strong currents
  • The Broken Group Islands are a maze of reefs, islets, islands, and submerged rocks, so navigation can be difficult. Carry a Broken Islands map and navigational tools such as a compass when on the water.
  • Be aware of other marine traffic in your area
  • As with any outdoor adventuring, exposure to the elements is a concern. Make sure you check the weather forecast for the area and bring appropriate clothing.
  • You are sharing space with wildlife, some of which include cougars, bears and wolves. Be mindful of your surroundings.

With a bit of preparation and a healthy dose of caution, you can enjoy an outdoor adventure in a truly stunning setting and return home with memories to last a lifetime.

Planning Your Broken Islands Journey from Van Isle Marina

At Van Isle Marina, our yacht sales team can help you find the perfect boat for your planned adventures.

Talk to one of our crew members onsite, or contact us today for assistance.

bc fishing regulations

BC Fishing Regulations: 6 Things You Need to Know Before Saltwater Fishing

BC Fishing Regulations

A Complete Overview of BC Fishing Regulations on the Ocean

The west coast of Canada is a fishing enthusiast’s paradise, and we all want to keep it that way. That’s why BC fishing regulations are designed to ensure that the resident species can be fished without being depleted too quickly. 

While fishing regulations may seem inconvenient to some, they act as on-paper stewardship for the marine ecosystem, ensuring fish populations remain strong for generations to come.

Read on to learn 6 things you should know before saltwater fishing on the west coast, including the saltwater fishing regulations BC enforces, licensing rules and the types of fish found in British Columbia’s coastal waters.

6 Things to Know About Saltwater Fishing in BC 

Even frequent anglers can’t be expected to remember all the fishing regulations for British Columbia. So, it’s always good to refresh your knowledge before going out on a fishing trip, especially for a species with which you are less familiar. 

As a starting point, here are five things you should know about before saltwater fishing in BC.

1. BC Saltwater Fish Species

BC’s coastal waters are home to a wide variety of saltwater fish species, including some considered “anadromous,” meaning that they spend part of their lifecycle in the ocean and in freshwater. saltwater fishing regulations

While fishing species like halibut, ling cod, albacore tuna and any of the 5 types of salmon are among the most popular to fish, there are many species that anglers are likely to come into contact with in the oceans off BC’s west coast.

This Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish identifier list for the Pacific region details the fish found in the area and how to identify them.

2. Fishing Licensing Rules in BC

By law, anyone who wishes to go fishing in British Columbia must have the correct license. To catch any species of shellfish or finfish, you will need a BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing License. 

It is useful to know the following regulations connected to the use of a BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing license:

  • The license is not transferable.
  • The license must be carried when fishing and produced on request by conservation officers, fishery officers or guardians. 
  • All retained halibut and chinook caught in a Management Area must be recorded on the license.
  • All retained ling cod caught in waters off the eastern coast and southern tip of Vancouver Island (Management areas 12-19 plus 20-5 to 20-7, and 29-5) must be recorded on the license.
  • BC salmon fishing regulations state that anyone intending to catch and retain any species of Salmon must have a Salmon Conservation Stamp in addition to their BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing License. However, the stamp is optional if the angler intends to release all Salmon caught.

3. License Types and Fees

There are various saltwater fishing license options available depending on how often you plan to go ocean fishing. You must choose a non-resident license if you are not a resident of Canada. 

You can find details of the types of licenses available, their associated fee and an online license application here.

Note: Although children under 16 require a tidal water fishing license, it is free.

4. Saltwater Fishing Gear Restrictions

Since saltwater fishing often goes beyond the simple fishing rod and hook gear selection, there are regulations in place to specify and restrict how much and what kind of gear may be used in catching saltwater fish.

Looking for a new fishing boat? Read more about the best boats for fishing.
fishing regulations

Below is a quick breakdown of the restrictions and allowances surrounding using particular gear.


  • Gear restrictions and allowances are subject to change mid-season.
  • You can use multiple rods in coastal tidal waters, but only one rod is allowed when fishing in BC’s tidal rivers.
  • You may not use a sinker weighing more than 1 kg unless you use a downrigger line. In this case, the fishing line must be attached to the downrigger with a release clip.
  • A gillnet for smelt fishing may be at most 7.5 meters, with a mesh size between 25 mm and 50 mm.
  • Only one gillnet may be used at one time and must have a buoy with the owner’s details clearly marked on it.
  • If you use a dipnet to catch mackerel, smelt, sand lance, sardines or anchovies, it must measure at most 90 cm, with a bag no longer than 1.5 times that measurement.


  • Barbed hooks, including triple-barbed hooks, may be used for all finfish except salmon and trout.
  • Barbless hooks must be used when fishing in the tidal waters of BC rivers.
  • Your line may only have one hook except for:
    • Multiple hooks may attach a piece of bait to the line, provided they aren’t intended to catch more than one fish.
    • Multiple hooks may catch mackerel, herring, anchovy, Pacific Sand Lance or Pacific Sardine.

Using Fish as Bait

  • Fish suitable for human consumption may not be used as bait in sport fishing.
  • Fish offal, mackerel, sardines, or herring may be used when baiting traps.

5. Be Aware of Daily Catch Limits

Catch limits protect local fish populations while allowing anglers to retain something from their catch. Because some fish species have healthier populations than others, daily limits for saltwater fishing in BC vary according to the species and the Management Area you are fishing in.

Always research daily catch limits for the area you are fishing in before setting off and remember to record all halibut, chinook and lingcod catches on your license.

6. Reporting Your Catch

To monitor the impact of recreational fishing on the species found in BCs oceans, DFO requires any BC Tidal Water Sports Fishing licence holder aged over 16 to report their complete catch, whether retained or not, for a fixed period.

For example, an annual license holder will be asked to report all catches for one specific month, indicated on their licence.

Participation in this recreational monitoring program is mandatory and a condition of being granted a license. 

Get On the Water and Catch the Big Onevan isle marina

Now you know the regulations and licensing requirements, it’s time to get out onto the beautiful west coast ocean and get fishing!

You can easily access the world’s best sports fishing from your southern Vancouver Island base at Van Isle Marina.

Do you need a new fishing boat to get you out to the best fishing spots? Our yacht sales team can help you find the perfect vessel. Contact us today to find out more.

kayaking vancouver island

Kayaking Vancouver Island: Top 6 Best Spots on The Ocean

If you enjoy sea kayaking, Vancouver Island is the place to be. From sandy beaches and hidden coves to mountain views, island archipelagos and an abundance of sea wildlife to spot – you can access all the stunning experiences from the seat of your kayak.

If you’re a yacht owner, you’re one step closer to the best places for kayaking Vancouver Island. Anchor up in a sheltered bay and put your kayaks in right there. The beauty of bringing your kayak on your vessel means you don’t have a long paddle to get to your chosen destination – you can spend your time exploring instead.

In this guide to sea kayaking Vancouver Island, we’ll explore the 6 best places to kayak from your boat and share some tips to make every experience memorable.

What Makes Sea Kayaking Vancouver Island Special

From short scenic paddles to multi-day adventure trips and everything in between., there is a multitude of sea kayaking opportunities to be found in all parts of Vancouver Island.

With stunning scenery, mild year-round temperatures and marine life at every turn, no wonder the Pacific Northwest is considered one of the bestsea kayaking vancouver island ocean kayaking locations in the world.

If you have had a dream to kayak with orcas, Vancouver Island is the perfect spot. Many of the waterways around the island are within feeding and migratory paths, and kayakers are often treated to the joyous sight of a pod of resident orcas emerging from the waves.

It’s not only whale watching that is possible from the water. Ocean kayaking around Vancouver Island is likely to get you up close and personal with marine life, including:

  • Humpback Whales
  • Gray Whales
  • Sea Otters
  • Sea Lions
  • Bald Eagles and other bird life

What to Know Before you Kayak Vancouver Island

Although you may be an experienced boater, there are some things to know before setting off on any kayak trip.

Weather – Vancouver Island weather can change often, especially on the west coast. Always check the marine weather forecast before setting out to avoid getting caught on the water.

Safety – According to the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide, safety equipment required for human-powered vessels includes:kayaking nanaimo

  • A PFD for each passenger
  • A bailer or bilge pump
  • A sound signalling device (whistle)
  • A buoyant heaving line
  • A reboarding device, such as a float

Complete a kayak rescue course before you start ocean kayaking to learn lifesaving skills should you or someone with you capsize.

Be prepared – Plan ahead for any trip. Check maps and research the area you plan to paddle in, as some areas are only suitable for experienced kayakers due to strong currents.

6 Best Places to Go Sea Kayaking from Your Yacht on Vancouver Island

There are so many options for sea kayaking on Vancouver Island. However, here are our best suggestions that offer a variety of experiences for the confident kayaker or first-timer.

Kayaking Nanaimo

Nanaimo’s downtown harbour area offers interesting shorter kayak trips. When arriving on your yacht, either moor in the harbour or anchor up by Saysutshun (Newcastle Island). Beginners will enjoy looking for sea stars along the Newcastle Channel, while more experienced rowers can kayak around the island in a couple of hours. Look out for the resident albino raccoon which inhabits this marine provincial park.

Tip: End your day by paddling over to Canada’s only floating pub on nearby Protection Island for refreshments with a view.

Kayaking Deep Cove

Boaters with resident moorage at Van Isle Marina may enjoy a short day trip and paddle closer to home. Head north around the tip of the Saanich peninsula to Deep Cove. Situated on the peninsula’s west side, this sheltered cove is protected enough for beginner paddlers but large enough to test your arm muscles. Anchor up offshore and enjoy exploring the sandy shoreline.

Kayaking Quadra Island

kayaking quadra island

Quadra Island is located within the Discovery Islands on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island and is surrounded by the stunning scenery of the mainland mountain ranges. Quadra has two marine parks: Small Inlet and Octopus Island, which are ideal for exploration by kayak. There are plenty of protected bays to anchor up in while you enjoy getting closer to the secluded shorelines and rich forest greenery.

Tip: If kayaking the ‘inside passage,’ watch out for challenging tidal rapids and whirlpools that can develop in bad weather.

Kayaking Broken Group Islands

One of the most famous places to sea kayak on Vancouver Island is the Broken Group Islands.

Situated off the west coast, south of Tofino in the Pacific Rim National Park reserve, the Broken Group consists of 100 small islands featuring white sandy beaches, inlets and abundant wildlife.

Many people plan multi-night kayak trips in this area, making the most of wilderness camping opportunities on the islands. Arriving by yacht means you can anchor up directly within the islands and take short or longer explorative paddles. Mooring overnight is permitted with a valid Parks Canada pass, enabling you to explore this stunning area at your leisure thoroughly.

Tip: Weather is very changeable on this coast, and fog can roll in quickly. Stay alert to your surroundings and location.

Kayaking Johnstone Straight and Broughton Archipelago

Johnstone straight is the body of water found off the eastern coast of northern Vancouver Island and one of the best places to encounter orcas. During the summer, you can dock at Telegraph Cove, a historical waterfront resort formerly a cannery, a Canadian Air Force mill and a telegraph post.

This marina can accommodate boats up to 25ft and is a great starting point for half or full-day kayak trips with the incredible mainland mountains as a backdrop.kayaking deep cove

Note: The marina at Telegraph Cove does not offer electrical or water hookups. However, there are services such as a store and restaurant on land.

Tip: From Telegraph Cove, you can easily travel by boat into the Broughton Archipelago, the islands and islets between Northern Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. These islands offer opportunities to spot black bears and cougars on shore.

Kayaking Victoria

Another short trip from your Van Isle Marina base is downtown Victoria. Less experienced paddlers will enjoy the gentle waters of the inner harbour and gorge, which offer plenty of historical architecture to admire from your vessel.

Tip: Day moorage can be booked online with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

Start your Vancouver Island Sea Kayaking Adventure from Sidney’s Van Isle Marina

Van Isle Marina’s location just north of Sidney, BC, is a great starting point to explore Vancouver Island’s many sea

kayaking opportunities. The staff at our state-of-the-art marina are always happy to share some great locations nearby for all of your adventures. .

If you’re looking for a new yacht to transport you and your kayak to our recommended paddling locations, our yacht sales team can help. Contact us today for more information on purchasing a yacht or mooring with us.

bc sport fishing

BC Sport Fishing for the Fun of It

All About Sport Fishing and How to Catch the Big One

Residents and visitors to British Columbia are lucky to have access to some of the best sport fishing waters in the world. 

BC sport fishing remains a popular pastime thanks to the abundance of sport fish that populate the local oceans, lakes and rivers. Whether you aim to catch and release or keep your catch, you are spoiled for choice for first-class sport fishing locations and fish species on the west coast of Canada.

Read on to learn more about sport fishing (also known as recreational fishing) and some of the best locations in British Columbia to try it out. We will also share what you need to know to make your next hunt for ‘the big one’ successful.

See our Sports Fishing Boats for Sale

All about BC Sport Fishing 

Sport fishing is any style of fishing done for the primary purpose of recreation or competition. In other words, it is for fun – not to make a profit or for commercial food distribution. Sport fishing usually takes place from a boat, although in some cases can be done from shore.cod fishing

Most sports anglers take part in the activity for the enjoyment of being in nature and the skill of a successful catch. Many sports or recreational anglers will choose to practice catch-and-release fishing, where special equipment is used not to harm the fish.

Many sport fishing competitions occur in saltwater and freshwater locations across BC each year, allowing anglers to show off their skills. The International Game Fish Association sets and oversees voluntary rules and guidelines for recreational fishing, including angling rules, world records, conservation and competitions.

What Species of Sport Fish Can You Catch in BC?

British Columbia is well known as a salmon fishing and halibut fishing hotspot, but there are many other sports fish species in saltwater and freshwater locations too. Although BC isn’t as well known for cod fishing, groundfish species, including Ling Cod and Pacific Cod, can be found in some areas.

salmon fishing

The sport fish species most commonly sought by recreational anglers in BC include:

  • Pacific Salmon – Chinook, Chum, Coho, Sockeye and Pink
  • Trout- including cutthroat and steelhead
  • Groundfish – including Halibut and Lingcod
  • Sturgeon – mostly found inshore or in large river systems

See this complete list of fish species found in the Pacific region for more information about and images of each species.

Where are Good Sport Fishing Locations in BC and Vancouver Island?

There are so many good sports fishing spots in British Columbia that you are spoiled for choice. Generally, your location will be determined by whether you wish to fish off-shore (saltwater) or in freshwater (lakes and rivers) and, of course, by the species, you hope to catch.

Here are some of the sport fishing spots we recommend:

Vancouver Island

The waters around Vancouver Island are well known for saltwater sports fishing with a mix of inshore and offshore locations. Almost any area around the island will have some successful big-catch fishing, but some well-known and popular sites include:

  • North West Vancouver Island – Known as the salmon highway, the areas around Kuyquot Sound and the Brooks Peninsulasport fishing are great for both salmon and halibut fishing.
  • Northern Vancouver Island – Visit Port Hardy and Cape Scott waters for good fishing opportunities for all 5 salmon species.
  • South West Vancouver Island – Sooke is a popular salmon fishing spot for those with less experience or who wish to stay closer to shore.  

Across British Columbia

Across the mainland of BC, there are plentiful opportunities for freshwater sportfishing in locations such as:

  • Fernie River – Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this area is famous for Bull Trout fishing.
  • Nicola Valley – The many lakes of this region are perfect for trout fishing.
  • Fraser River – Well known for the chance to fish for the mighty Sturgeon – although there are strict catch and release rules for this ancient species.

Visit for plenty of good suggestions for fishing locations and itineraries across Vancouver Island and the province.

What Do You Need to Know Before Sport Fishing in BC?

To ensure a fun and successful recreational fishing adventure, you should read the following recommendations:

Get the appropriate licence

Depending on where you plan to fish, you will require either a tidal (saltwater) fishing licence or a freshwater fishing licence

Don’t forget – you will need a salmon conservation stamp if you wish to retain any species of pacific salmon.

Know the local recreational fishing regulations

Make sure you understand British Columbia sports fishing rules and regulations before setting out on a fishing trip. This guide provides information about catch and release restrictions, catch limits and tagging and how to identify your catch and protected fishing areas.

Remember your catch limits 

If you plan to retain some of your catch, ensure you are up-to-date with the permitted catch limits for each species. Note that limits can vary in different areas. 

If in doubt, fishing equipment suppliers are a great source of information regarding local rules and the best locations for sports fishing.

How to Catch ‘The Big One’

Some things to bear in mind that will help you be successful in your quest to catch (and release) the big one:

  • Plan ahead: Make sure you research your preferred location, the species of fish you may catch there, and, most importantly, check the weather forecast
  • Get a reliable boat: Before setting off on any sport fishing trip, you must have a suitable boat and all the necessary equipment.

Recommended boats for offshore sports fishing include:

    • Centre console
    • Sports yachts
    • Walkarounds

catch and release

These types of sports fishing vessels all offer good deck space, built-in rod holders and lots of storage space.

  • Be prepared with the right equipment:  If you plan to catch and release, you will need to purchase some specialist equipment, such as barbless hooks, which don’t harm the fish.

Tip: Remember to carry enough emergency and safety equipment for everyone on board.

  • Have Patience: Some days, the fish don’t bite immediately, but patience usually pays off. Of course, you can always switch to a different location – many choices exist.

Van Isle Marina – a Good Base for Your Sport Fishing Adventures

Van Isle Marina is proud to be located nearby some of the best recreational fishing waters in the world. From our state-of-the-art marina in Sidney, BC, you can easily access some great fishing experiences.

If you’re interested in a new sports fishing yacht, talk to our experienced yacht sales team, who can find you the perfect boat.   You can also top up on supplies and equipment at our on-site store at the fuel dock

Contact us today for more information about mooring with us and our other services.


boat electronics

Best Boat Electronics on The Market

A Guide to Essential Marine Electronics

Most modern-powered yachts come with an array of boat electronics, but you may wish to add some extras or have an older boat that needs upgrading. 

This guide will offer a list of the best marine electronics you should consider adding to your slice of on-the-water heaven. 

Read on to learn what’s available, how to get started with boat electronics and how to maintain them so they last a long time.

Tips on Getting Started with Boat Electronics

Boat electronics provide essential functions, like helping you navigate, maintaining the lines of communication, and providing a single operational hub for all your boat’s electronic components. However, like the other parts of a ship, they must be chosen carefully and appropriately maintained. 

Before you purchase any new marine electronics for your yacht, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. What type of boat do you have?

Not every boat requires every type of gadget. When choosing boat electronics, you’ll need to consider what kind of boat you own. Is it a cruising boat, a fishing boat or a sailing boat? For example, a fish locator won’t be your top priority if you don’t own a fishing boat and don’t go fishing often.

  1. What are your needs?

You’ll have to consider your needs when choosing which electronics to outfit your boat with.marine electronics

A chart plotter is excellent to have onboard if you regularly travel away from the shore. If you don’t travel far from shore, but fishing is a favourite hobby, you might consider getting a fish locator. 

  1. Do you want to upgrade your system?

Like other types of technology, marine electronics are constantly evolving, so it is never long before the next generation of gadgets comes along. If you want to upgrade a component of your system, choosing one with NMEA 2000 networking protocol will allow you the convenience of plug-and-play capability.

  1. How do you want to enter data into the system?

You should think ahead. A touchpad will be fine if you’re going somewhere warm enough to rule out the need for gloves. On the other hand, if you are likely to be wearing gloves, a keyboard will work best since touchpads don’t always register input unless the fingers are bare. 

  1. Where exactly do you want to go?

Navigation devices often come with maps for inland, coastal and international waters, with the ability to add other maps to the collection. You can also buy combo gadgets that feature chart plotters and fish locators.

Top 5 Must-Have Boat Electronics

While some boat electronics are optional, like a marine stereo that allows boaters to have audio while out on the water, others are must-haves for all boaters.

Here is a quick look at some of the essential best boat electronics to have on your yacht:

  • VHF radio. A VHF radio is an essential electronic tool that allows you to maintain lines of communication with the authorities in an emergency. Since they don’t rely on cell reception and can handle getting wet, VHF radios are reliable and easy to use.marine stereo
  • Multifunction Displays. Also known as “MFDs,” modern versions look and operate like smartphones. In boats that have an array of onboard electronics, an MFD acts as a hub that controls all of it.
  • GPS systems. Just as GPS navigation has made getting around on land easy, it can do the same for getting around on the water. Called either a GPS or a “chart plotter,” this type of electronic tool can act alone, be added to your MFD or be accessed through an app on your tablet or smartphone.
  • Fish locators. MFDs have a built-in fish locator, but you can buy them individually. Fish locators allow you to locate fish more quickly through sonar. Depth sounders work the same way.
  • Engine Monitors. Engine monitors analyze the engine’s components for functionality. An MFD can include this electronic gadget, but it can also work individually as preferred. 

Cleaning and Winterizing Your Boat Electronics

Marine electronics are handy, but you must adequately maintain these tools like any other equipment on your boat. Your electronics will need to be cleaned regularly and winterized before the cold season – or before long periods of disuse – to work at their best.

How to clean your gadgets

Follow these steps to quickly and easily clean your boat electronics:

  1. First, turn off the unit to keep your settings safe.
  2. Then, spritz the gadget lightly using fresh water and a spray bottle to remove any salt residue.
  3. Check the manufacturer’s cleaning directions. If there are none, wipe the gadget’s components with a soft cloth and a mixture of fresh water and mild soap. You can also use a 50/50 dilution of white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. Never use ammonia or bleach-based cleaners, as these can cause the screen’s coating to be yellow. 
  4. After cleaning the unit, dry it with a microfiber cloth. Do not use paper towels, as these are abrasive and often contain chemicals.
  5. Don’t rub too hard when you clean or dry the unit since the screens on some gadgets can be delicate.
  6. Apply a bit of boat wax to your plastic radome and GPS antenna. That will give them UV protection.
  7. When you aren’t using the boat’s electronics, keep their screens covered so they don’t get damaged by the sun or dust.

How to winterize your gadgets

If you live in a place with cold and damp winters, think about winterizing the onboard electronics. Winterizing can be quickly done by following these steps:

  1. First, clean the boat’s electronics using the steps above.
  2. Then, remove the electronic tools from the ship and store them indoors.
  3. If you can’t remove the electronics, disconnect the batteries. You can also put a paper bag of rice or silica bead packets near the wiring harness to prevent corrosion when the boat isn’t in use.
  4. If you have to leave the electronics onboard, turn them off every so often to reduce the amount of moisture collecting inside.

Let Van Isle Marina Help You Get Connected

van isle marina

Do you need help finding a new yacht with all the electronic systems you want? The yacht sales team at

Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC, can help guide you to a suitable model.

For more information on how we can help you, contact us today.


bald eagles

Bald Eagles: 10 Interesting Facts You May Not Know

All About Bald Eagles and Where to See Them

Even if you are used to seeing bald eagles soaring above, it’s still a thrill to see one of these majestic birds at the top of a nearby nest tree or out on the hunt.

If you want to find these birds of prey, Vancouver Island is a great place to be. While exploring some of the island’s beautiful shores on your yacht, keep an eye or camera lens out for these impressive symbols of freedom and strength.

Read on to learn about bald eagles and some of the best places on Vancouver Island to see them.  

All About the Bald Eagle

The word “bald” might suggest that this eagle lacks head feathers, but in fact, that part of its name comes from the term “piebald,” which refers to an animal bearing a pattern of spots or an area that lacks pigment. bald eagle wingspan

With white feathers on the head and a dark brown body, an adult eagle already looks striking, without considering that the typical bald eagle size is 3 feet from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. 

Their size and an average bald eagle wingspan of 8 feet might make you think an adult is a hefty bird. But they weigh less than 15 pounds because of their hollow bones.

While bald eagles are native to North America and can be found all over British Columbia, their preferred habitat is near the coast or in densely treed areas around rivers and lakes. 

What Do Bald Eagles Eat?

Bald eagles mainly eat fish – such as salmon – and other birds. However, they can also hunt for small mammals and even those up to the size of a tiny fawn. 

While bald eagles prefer live prey, they are also known to eat carrion (dead or rotting flesh) when their typical game is not abundant. 

Although bald eagles are predatory, they are considered opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat whatever meat is available, whether alive or not.

10 Interesting Facts About Bald Eagles

Bald eagles are not only beautiful birds and impressive hunters, but they also have some hidden skills to help them survive. Here are 10 bald eagle facts you may not know:

  • Excellent vision. A bald eagle has eyesight that is 8 times better than a human’s. This characteristic allows them to spot prey hundreds of feet in the air.
  • Devoted mates. When bald eagles find a mate, they remain with that mate for their entire life.bald eagle size
  • Neck rotation. Eagles can turn their head 210 degrees to spot prey more easily.
  • Impressive grip. Bald eagles have a grip strength up to 10 times that of a human, allowing them to not only catch their prey but also carry it over distances without letting go.
  • Bold and intelligent. Bald eagles dive directly in front of the sun to blind their prey.
  • Living the high life. A bald eagle’s nest is typically found at the tops of tall trees or high cliffs. By making a home so high up, bald eagles can keep themselves away from other predators while giving them an excellent vantage point for spotting prey.
  • Balanced feather loss. When bald eagles lose feathers on one side, they will also lose the same ones on the other. This way, their feathers remain balanced so as not to impact their ability to fly correctly.
  • Nesting. Bald eagle nests can be up to 2 meters in diameter and are made of lichens, seaweed, plant stalks, sticks and moss.
  • Swimming skills. Have you ever seen a bald eagle swimming? Although it’s not an everyday activity, they have been known to use their wings to propel themselves through the water, usually while holding onto a fish with their claws.
  • Illegal eagle. It is unlawful to pick up bald eagle feathers to take home or to own any part of a bald eagle.

The 5 Best Places to Spot Bald Eagles on Vancouver Island

Bald eagles are a common sight for fishermen and other boaters travelling along Vancouver Island’s coasts. On any given day, you might see one or two bald eagles, but you might also see dozens as they soar through the skies and hunt the coastline for their prey.

While it is possible to spot bald eagles almost anywhere along the coast of Vancouver Island, including Victoria, some places are recognized as offering better sighting opportunities. 

Here is a list of the 5 best places to spot bald eagles on Vancouver Island:

  1. Tofino. On Vancouver Island’s west coast, situated on a peninsula in Clayoquot Sound, you’ll find Tofino, a district with a population of around 2,000 people. Tofino is home to coastal rainforests, sandy beaches, inland lakes and bald eagles.bald eagles nest
  2. Campbell River. Just over 50 km from Courtney, on Vancouver Island’s east coast, you’ll find the city of Campbell River. Nestled between its namesake river and the south end of Discovery Passage, Campbell River is virtually surrounded by prime bald eagle habitat.
  3. Telegraph Cove. Located just over 200 km northwest of Campbell River, Telegraph Cove is a tiny community of just 20 people. Formerly the site of a fish cannery, Telegraph Cove is now a hotspot for eco-tourism, including bald eagle viewing.
  4. Port McNeill. Port McNeill is situated near the east coast’s northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. With a small population of around 2,000 people, Port McNeill is a popular summer-time tourism destination due to the wide variety of wildlife that can be seen in the surrounding area.
  5. Ucluelet. Just over 40 km south of Tofino, on Vancouver Island’s west coast, is the municipality of Ucluelet. Ucluelet is bordered by water on three sides and offers an abundance of bald eagle viewing opportunities.

Wildlife Viewing from The Comfort of Your Boat

One of the best ways to view bald eagles in BC is from your boat. Contact a member of Van Isle Marina’s knowledgeable sales team if you’re interested in taking full advantage of Vancouver Island’s natural beauty by exploring the coast by purchasing a new or used boat. We can find your ideal yacht and get you out on the water in no time. 

Our state-of-the-art marina is the perfect location to start and end a day of on-the-water wildlife viewing. Contact us to find out more about mooring with us.

deep sea fishing

Deep Sea Fishing in Victoria, BC

Everything You Need to Know About Catching Deep Sea Fish

Deep sea fishing is a thrilling experience and a great way to spend time on the water with some fellow avid anglers.

The chance to do this type of fishing doesn’t come along often, so when it does, you don’t want to risk spoiling the trip with poor planning.

Instead, use this handy guide to learn what gear you will need, the ideal type of fishing boat and what you can expect to catch when fishing Victoria, BC waters.

See our Fishing Boats for Sale

Fishing Rods for Deep Sea Fishing

For deep water fishing, you need a strong rod coupled with a reel that can handle the length of line you will need. There are two main types of saltwater fishing rods:

  • trolling rods and
  • surf rods

Trolling rods are shorter and stronger than typical casting rods. They feature a large top-mounted reel that has free spooling

deep sea fish

movement and holds plenty of line. Trolling rods are typically placed in rod holders on the stern of the boat and allowed to trail behind as the boat moves. All you do is drop your bait and deep sea fishing lures in the water, set your rod in the holder, and let the line drop.

Surf fishing rods are typically used onshore, but they can also be used on boats. They can handle large fish and come in a range of lengths and weights. The reel is bottom-mounted and looks much like a casting reel except that’s a bit

larger. The only “catch” is that, since they are designed for fishing in shallower waters, you may be limited to keeping your bait and hook closer to the surface.

Types of Hooks for Catching Deep Sea Fish

The types of hooks used in saltwater fishing are the same as in freshwater fishing, except that they have a greater size range since the target fish are generally bigger. There are three types of hooks used in deep sea fishing as follows:


J-hooks come in a range of styles according to what kind of fishing you plan to do, but the unifying feature is that they are shaped like a J. The basic rule when choosing your hook size is to match it to the size of fishing bait you intend to use and the kind of deep sea fish you want to catch. deep sea fishing lures

Circle Hooks

The introduction of catch-and-release fishing gave rise to the circle hook, shaped so that the point of the hook turns inward toward the shank, rather like a J-hook with a more pronounced curve. This shape prevents the hook from becoming stuck in the fish’s gut, instead moving to hook onto the fish’s jaw as the line is pulled.

Treble Hooks

Treble fish hooks resemble three J-hooks clustered together. The biggest benefit of a treble hook is that you can usually use a treble hook that is a size or two smaller than the comparable J-hook and still get the same result.

Types of Boats for Deep Sea Fishing

In deep water fishing, your boat has to be big enough to accommodate you, your friends, all your gear and whatever you catch. So, a simple powerboat won’t do. Your boat also has to be able to withstand the fight of a large fish, as well as have that fish on board.

Below, you’ll find a quick look at the 3 most common types of offshore fishing Victoria

Cuddy Cabin 

This type of boat features a vee-shaped hull, 20 to 35 feet long, with inboard engines. The cockpit is set to the side, allowing entrance to the small cabin at the front of the boat. The cabin has seats that can double as beds, and the more luxurious models will have a bathroom.

Down East Cruiser

This style of boat is popular and has been in use for both commercial and recreational fishing for well over 100 years. With a large hull and large inboard motors that can hold a substantial quantity of fuel, this type of boat is ideal for multi-day trips. Down East Cruisers range from 25 to over 45 feet long, with deep vee-shaped hulls that enable them to handle rough seas.

Sport Fisher

This type of boat is purpose-built for chasing big fish. The minimum length of a Sport Fisher is 30 feet, but they can be up to 90 feet. Sport fishers have “tuna towers,” from where the captain controls the boat and keeps an eye out for fish. Featuring a typical range of over 950 km and an array of outriggers, a Sport Fisher can comfortably take up to 8 people wherever they need to go to catch the type of fish they want.

What to Bring on a Deep Sea Fishing Trip

As with any fishing trip, there is always a list of extra things you will need to take with you including an emergency boating kit. When you are spending a few hours or days out on the water, you won’t be able to run to a shop to get something you missed.

So, before you set foot on the boat with your rods and deep sea fishing reels, go over the checklist below to see what else you will need.

  • Tidal fishing licence
  • Tackle
  • Extra line, hooks and sinkers
  • Bait
  • Clothing for all possible weather
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Shoes with good traction
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Seasickness medication
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Plenty of food and fresh water
  • Life vests
  • Life preserver rings
  • Towels
  • Camera
  • Sealable plastic bags for waterproofing
  • Cash, if you are hiring a charter
  • A large cooler with ice or freezer packs
  • A dry bag or duffel for transporting supplies

For overnight trips, you will need to include the following items on your checklist:

  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sleep mask
  • Battery pack and charger for a cell phone
  • Toiletries

What You Can Catch in BC’s Pacific Waters

British Columbia is known for salmon, so it’s no surprise that all five species can be found here in the waters around Vancouver Island. In addition to the five types of pacific salmon, there is a variety of fish species that are popular catches, including the following:

Get Started on Your Deep Sea Fishing Adventure with Van Isle Marina

Do you want to go deep water fishing but aren’t sure where to start?

Whether you are looking to buy your first sports fishing yacht or want to upgrade from your current cruiser, the Yacht Sales Team at Van Isle Marina can get you set up with the boat of your deep sea fishing dreams.

Our state-of-the-art marina, located in Sidney, BC, is close to the spectacular scenery of the southern Gulf Islands, making it a great place to start and end your open sea fishing adventure.

Contact us today to find out more about our current yachts for sale and our marina services.