Tag Archive for: fishing

halibut fishing around vancouver island

Halibut Fishing Around Vancouver Island

What You Need to Know About Fishing for Halibut

If you enjoy fishing, chances are you have dreamed about heaWhere and when to fish for pacific halibutding out onto the ocean to try your hand at Pacific Halibut fishing. The waters around Vancouver Island are home to halibut all year round, with abundance during the spring and summer months, making the area a great choice for halibut fishing in B.C.

Fishing for halibut requires a slightly different approach than for other fish species, but once you know the tricks, tips, and equipment required, you’ll be all set for a successful catch.

Where and When to Fish for Pacific Halibut

Pacific Halibut are the largest species of flatfish on the West Coast of Canada. They have a distinctive diamond shape with a white underbelly that makes them easily recognisable.

While the most commonly caught halibut tend to be in the 10 to 50 pound range, they can grow up to 400 pounds and 8 feet long – that would take some hauling in!

Pacific Halibut live mainly on the deep ocean floor, or on shelves at the edge of underwater plateaus. They are bottom feeders, so anglers must target these areas to be successful.

Good locations to fish for halibut around Vancouver Island include:

  • Victoria and the southern Juan de Fuca Strait
  • The entire West Coast, from Port Renfrew to Quatsino Sound, especially the Clayoquot Sound and Tofino area
  • The northern tip of the island from Cape Scott to Port Hardy

Pacific Halibut do not have a migratory cycle, which means they are around throughout the year; however, spring and summer are the best times to fish for them as the weather conditions and temperatures make for a more enjoyable experience.

What Equipment Do I Need for Halibut Fishing?What equipment do I need for halibut fishing

Where Pacific Halibut live and how they prefer to eat means anglers need some specific equipment. Follow this checklist to make sure you have all the right equipment to make your next halibut fishing trip in B.C. a successful one.

  • Rod and Reel: If you will be regularly fishing for halibut, invest in a halibut rod. These are 6 to 7 feet in length, strong, balanced and lightweight, enabling them to withstand the heavy weight and powerful pull of the halibut. A reel with a large handle will make the long reel-in easier and more comfortable.
  • Line: Because Pacific Halibut can live 200 to 300 feet underwater, a long and strong line such as an 800 foot long, 60 to 80 pound braided nylon, is essential.
  • Hooks and weights: A common halibut rig setup includes a large hook with a hoochie or other attractor, tied to one end of a spreader with strong line. A circular weight is attached to the other end of the spreader to ensure the bait stays on the ocean floor.
  • Bait: Halibut use sight and scent to find their food, so aim to create a strong scent trail with live bait. Fresh octopus, herring, crab or cod are good bait options that halibut are attracted to.
  • Halibut Spear: Not essential, but a spear will help to bring the halibut in at the surface of the water, before it is able to wriggle off the hook.

Consult your local fishing equipment expert for more information and advice on setting up your halibut fishing rig.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Halibut Fishing

Consider these additional tips and tricks to help you have a successful halibut fishing trip:

  • Check your marine charts and depth finder to locate plateaus where halibut are likely to be found.
  • Review catch limits and closure notices for the area you are fishing in. Current catch limits on the British Columbia coast for halibut are either one measuring 90 cm to 133 cm in length (head on), or two each measuring under 90 cm in length (head on).
  • To attract halibut to your bait, lift and drop the weight regularly to distribute the scent and send out seafloor vibrations.
  • Bright teasers or beads will attract halibut to your bait.

Caught a Halibut? Here’s a Tasty Recipe to Try.

Congratulations, your halibut fishing trip was a success and now you have a beautiful fresh fish to serve up for dinner. If you know how to fillet a halibut, you will be able to get the maximum meat from your fish and cook and eat it fresh, or flash freeze it for another day.

halibut recipes

The quickest and simplest way to enjoy fresh halibut is pan-fried. This method is easy enough to do right in your yacht’s galley so you can enjoy your haul the same day you caught it.

Pan Seared Pacific Halibut with Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 4-6 Halibut fillets
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic (fresh or powdered), paprika, fresh herbs – optional and to taste


  1. Pat halibut fillets with paper towel to dry them off
  2. Season with salt and pepper and other seasonings of your choice
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet, once hot lay halibut fillets in pan
  4. Allow filets to sear without moving or turning for 3-4 minutes (this prevents the fish from falling apart when you turn it)
  5. Flip fillets and cook for additional 2-3 minutes
  6. Remove fish from pan and keep warm
  7. Reduce the pan to medium heat. Add butter, allow to melt and cook until light brown
  8. Add juice of 1 lemon and simmer until liquid is reduced by half
  9. Serve halibut fillets drizzled with lemon butter sauce sprinkled with your choice of fresh herbs
  10. Serve with steamed veggies or a crisp salad

Prefer something different? Choose from this list of 10 quick and delicious halibut recipes.

Go Halibut Fishing in a New Yacht from Van Isle Marina

Van Isle Marina is ideally placed to be your base for a halibut fishing trip. Located in Sidney, B.C. on the southeastern corner of Vancouver Island, many halibut fishing grounds are within easy reach of our full-service marina for a single or multi-day trip.

Need a new yacht to access those halibut fishing hotspots? Our knowledgeable yacht sales team can find you the perfect vessel with room to pull in a big fish. Contact us today for more information.

winter fishing for chinook on vancouver island

Winter Fishing for Chinook Salmon

Fishing Season Doesn’t End When the Temperature Drops

Chinook (King) salmon are a species that can be fished year-round here on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, so you can go ahead and keep fishing all season long. Of course, this is subject to any local area restrictions – always check those before planning your trip. 

What do Chinook Salmon look like - Identify your catch

Also known as “feeder springs” or “winter springs,” Chinooks actively and aggressively feed in the winter, making them a hard-fighting, very flavourful species of fish. If you love fishing for Chinook in the summer, you’ll really enjoy fishing for Chinook in the winter. There are a few tweaks, with location being the biggest one, since you’re targeting young fish that are on a mission to feed. These juveniles feed voraciously starting in early November. These fish will typically be smaller, but if they’ve been well fed, chances are good that you’ll be able to spot and land some larger ones. 

What Do Chinook Salmon Look Like?

It can be easy to get different species of salmon mixed up, but chinook have a few defining characteristics that can help you identify chinook vs. coho, sockeye or another species. A chinook has large, sharp teeth, dark gums, a V-shaped, silvery tail and large spots on its back. Pinks also have large spots on their backs, but they’re much smaller and do not have a silvery tail. To spot the differences between various species of trout and salmon, check out this easy to use guide to identify your catch. 

Consider the Weather Before Boating in the Winter

Winds in the Georgia Strait or Howe Sound can change rapidly during the winter, and harsh storms can blow in without much advance warning. Always check the forecast and keep close tabs on the weather and tidal conditions before setting out on your boat during winter. Of course, you’ll always want to make sure you have our winter boating checklist, emergency checklist, a full emergency kit, multiple warm layers with plenty of extra items on hand, and that your boat is in good working order. Another thing to keep in mind is that changing wind and current can compromise your fishing trip, scattering the chinook in the opposite direction. Your best bet is to wait for a calm day with a steady current or try a protected area like Barkley Sound, near Port Alberni or the eastern Juan de Fuca Strait near Victoria. For other ideas on where to go, take a look at Where to Go Fishing in BC For Saltwater Fish.

Check Regulations and Limits Before Fishing

Check regulations and limits before fishing - Chinook Salmon

One more check – making sure that it’s legal to fish in the region you’re headed to. You can quickly check for any last minute closures or changes in regulations, tackle requirements and more by visiting the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Recreational Fishing. Currently, Chinook fishing is closed around southern Vancouver Island in an effort to protect the southern resident orcas. If you see an orca while you’re out fishing and you’re 1000 m or closer, slow your boat to under seven knots. This helps keep the noise and wake down. Our guide to boating with marine mammals will be helpful if you’re uncertain about general limitations.

Trolling Can Be Much More Effective for Chinook Fishing

Chinook fishing can be more productive when troll-fishing with the current of the Pacific Northwest. Chinook salmon swim in schools and are more passive than other fish like trout. It will get caught up in a current and not be able to swim against it. This makes trolling for Chinooks more effective than using bait. If you do use bait, make sure it blends in with whatever is schooling nearby. This will dramatically increase your chances of landing a nice big Chinook. 

Adjust your trolling speed as needed

Campbell River is a great spot to troll for these Feeder Chinook. These fish eat a mixed diet and are not picky. Because of this, they’ll chase herring, anchovies and some squid, depending on where you’re fishing. Who knows? You may be able to catch some Pacific Coast Squid and enjoy calamari with your salmon dinner. 

Adjust Your Trolling Speed as Needed

Speeding up and slowing down at intervals can also increase the chance that you’ll have a good trophy to bring home. If the fish aren’t biting, you may be going too slowly. Speed up and your bait will too, attracting the salmon to what you have on offer. A good rule of thumb is to always have a 30-degree angle on your downriggers.

Try it Without the Flashers

In the winter months, the water is much clearer and the fish may not be fooled by a large flasher. It’s all about personal preference, but consider switching to a flasher with more natural colours, like a bronzed edge, or skipping the flasher entirely. 

Aim for the BottomFishing season doesn't end when the temperature drops

A lot of winter Chinook fishing is about keeping a balance between fishing near the bottom and not getting your gear caught up in the gravel and rocks. Because Chinook love Sand Lances, another tasty baitfish, you’ll want your own bait to blend in with their school. Another reason not to get too close to the bottom is that you might nab an out-of-season rockfish or lingcod. These guys are fighters and will cause a commotion as you reel them in. All this commotion will disturb the Chinook and pretty much ruin your chances of a salmon dinner.

If you’re new to winter fishing, we highly encourage you to get out on the water and give it a try. Winter is feeding time, which means that chinook salmon between two and four years old are out fattening themselves up on schools of sand lance, herring and anchovy. These young fish can reach over 20 lbs, with many coming up from the Puget Sound’s hatchery production. While these fish are marked, it’s legal to keep them under the Canada – U.S salmon treaty.


Van Isle Marina Can Help You Find Your Ideal Fishing Boat

Winter fishing requires a boat you can trust to stay steady on the winter ocean. When it comes to world-class sport fishing boats and yachts, we’ve got your match here at Van Isle Marina. Whether you’re looking for a pre-owned vessel or a brand-new Pursuit Boat loaded with innovative and luxurious features, our brokers will help you find the perfect fit for your next adventure on the water. Contact Van Isle Marina to speak with an experienced yacht broker today!

choosing sustainable seafood

Selecting Sustainable Seafood

How Choosing Sustainable Seafood Can Support Our Oceans

 Is your fish ‘n’ chips, seafood cocktails, clam chowder or cedar-planked salmon sustainable seafood? However you enjoy eating your seafood, how do you know whether your choice is sustainable?

What is sustainable seafood

Over the past 20 years, the demand for seafood has significantly increased as people look to make healthier choices in their diets. This demand is placing huge pressure on our oceans and fish stocks.

According to Ocean Wise.org, it is estimated that 90% of the world’s fish stocks are overfished using harmful catch methods and that 4 out of every 10 fish caught are bycatch – which means they were not the target species and end up as waste. With the additional issues of climate change and pollution to contend with; our oceans are struggling.

As people who love spending time on the water, we want to keep our aquatic environments and sea-life healthy both for us and for future generations. The good news is that nature is resilient, and if we start making the right choices now, our ocean ecosystems have a good chance of bouncing back.

When you choose sustainable seafood, you are helping increase demand for ocean-friendly practices in the seafood industry which will ultimately lead to healthier marine habitats.

What is Sustainable Seafood?

Sustainable seafood is species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the stability of both that species and the general marine ecosystems in the future. Sustainable seafood production:

How choosing sustainable can support our oceans

  • Stops overfishing of species 
  • Reduces habitat destruction
  • Reduces negative impacts on other ocean wildlife and habitats
  • Takes into account the economic and social impacts on the communities that rely on the seafood industry

Whether your seafood is sustainable can depend on:

Maintenance of a healthy population – some species have been overfished almost to extinction, but when good stock management and regulations are in place, species have a chance to thrive sustainably.

Catch method – some fishing and harvesting processes, such as seafloor dredging, can cause significant damage to marine habitats and other fish species. Sustainable harvesting, such as line and pole, targets single species in smaller numbers and is therefore more sustainable.

Carbon footprint – in order to get seafood to the consumer at its freshest, it’s often shipped by air, rail or road across long distances. Locally sourced seafood, previously frozen and tinned seafood all have a lower environmental impact.

Can Farmed Fish Be Sustainable?

Aquaculture, the farming of fish and other seafood, can be sustainable when good practices are used. On-land fish farming limits chances for disease, pollution and damage to ocean environments; farmed shellfish such as oysters, clams, mussels and scallops are even considered to be beneficial to the surrounding habitat.

How Do I Know if My Choice is Sustainable?

How do I know if my choice is sustainable

When faced with the multitude of seafood choices at a store or on a restaurant menu, how do you know which choices are sustainable?

One of the easiest things consumers can do is to look for seafood which has been approved by a regarded organization like those listed below. Grocery stores and restaurants across the world have signed up to support these programs and display signs or labels indicating the most sustainable seafood choices.

Each organization has its own definition and benchmarks for sustainably-sourced seafood, but they all strive to help you make better choices.

Ocean Wise – The best known seafood ranking program in Canada which bases its recommendations on criteria focused on fish stock numbers, harvesting methods and aquatic damage. 750 partner organizations including grocery stores and restaurants across Canada label Ocean Wise choices to make sustainable choices easier. Visit the Ocean wise website for consumer guides and a sustainable seafood list.

Seafood Watch – Created by the Monterey Bay Museum in the USA, this program also considers social responsibility and economic sustainability in its recommendations. This takes into consideration the human rights and circumstances of those involved in the fishing industry. Seafood watch accreditation is used more commonly in the States but its consumer guides have useful tips for buyers anywhere.

Marine Conservation Society – One aim of this global organization is to encourage manufacturers to include detailed information regarding seafood origins on packaging. The MCS’s online Good Fish guide is searchable by species enabling you to do a quick check before buying.

Seachoice – This Canadian organization works to influence the seafood supply chain to create more traceability. It recommends customers look out for products certified by either the Marine Stewardship Council or Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

A Quick Guide to Sustainable Seafood Shopping:

So now you know what sustainable means, and why it is important; follow these simple steps to ensure you are making the best choices every time you shop.

  • Ask your local retailer what sustainable fish they have and how they support sustainability. By asking for sustainable seafood, you encourage suppliers to make improvements to the industryA quick guide to sustainable seafood shopping
  • Look for recommendation symbols – from the organizations listed above or a retailers’ own program. 
  • Discover local suppliers – buying local in-season, small-catch seafood, reduces pressure on fishing stocks, has a small carbon footprint and supports local families
  • Educate yourself about what sustainability is and what the best seafood choices are in your area
  • Try something different – choose a less common, local alternative to your usual or choose shellfish which are low on the food chain and reproduce quickly.

Enjoy Your Sustainable Seafood Supper with Van Isle Marina

Looking for a new yacht on which to host your sustainable seafood feast with friends? Contact our sales team who can help you find the vessel with the perfect galley kitchen for your needs.

If you need some recipe inspiration check out these delicious crab cake recipes, which you can make with locally sourced, sustainable BC Dungeness Crab. Else, how about some mouthwatering chowder recipes, halibut recipes, trout recipes or these spot prawn recipes.

If you prefer to catch and harvest your own fish and seafood; make sure you stick to local catch limits. The knowledgeable staff at our Sidney, BC, location will be glad to help advise you on the best places to go for a successful fishing trip.

B.C.'s Top 10 freshwater fishing spots

B.C.’s Top 10 Freshwater Fishing Spots

The Best Fishing Lakes and Rivers in British Columbia

With over 20,000 lakes and 750,000km of waterways, British Columbia is a freshwater fishing paradise and a dream for anglers.  Freshwater fishing offers a completely different experience to ocean fishing, and the opportunity to catch a variety of species of fish, some of which are unique to the area.

Anglers Spoiled for Choice in B.C.’s Species Rich Fresh Waters

There is an abundance of fish species to be found in British Columbia’s lakes and rivers including:

Anglers spoiled for choice - trout

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Bull Trout 
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Kokanee
  • Steelhead Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Dolly Warden
  • Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass
  • Arctic Grayling
  • Sturgeon

A great catch is almost guaranteed thanks to an annual program funded by the freshwater licence fee that stocks trout in over 800 lakes across the province.

Top 10 Spots for Freshwater Fishing in B.C.

There are so many amazing lakes, streams and rivers in British Columbia but our list includes those which a fishing fanatic should not miss. They are all accessible by boat, although most of these can be fished from shore too.

Elk and Beaver Lakes: Located in the Saanich area of Vancouver Island these lakes are stocked with Rainbow Trout and small and largemouth Bass. The lakes are connected via a shallow channel and are very popular for day use by families. Motorboat speed and power limitations are in effect in some areas.

Quesnel Lake: With a depth of 2,000ft, this Cariboo area lake is believed to be the deepest fjord lake in the world. Access this pristine wilderness fishing spot via boat launches and recreation sites on the western shore. This lake breeds large fish with Lake Trout up to 20kg as well as Rainbow and Bull Trout and Kokanee to be found.

Top 10 spots for freshwater fishing

Sheridan Lake: Despite its secluded location near 100 Mile House; this lake is considered to be one of the best trout fishing lakes in the province. Rainbow Trout can grow up to 16kg thanks to a diet rich in freshwater shrimp which is abundant in the lake. There are a number of boat launches and resorts for anglers to choose from. 

Shushwap Lake: Known for its beautiful beaches; this lake, which has four ‘arms’ is rumoured to contain up to 19 species of fish. Chinook, Coho and Sockeye Salmon are certain to be found in the aptly named Salmon Arm, but angler’s in the know go for the Bull and Rainbow Trout which can weigh in at 10kg.

Williston Lake: At over 1,700sq km, this lake is actually the largest reservoir in BC, formed when the W.A.C Bennett Dam was constructed in 1968. A popular lake with many beaches and provincial parks on its shore; Williston is considered to be one of the best fishing lakes in the province with Arctic G

rayling, Rainbow and Bull Trout, Kokanee and Whitefish all reaching good sizes here.

Anderson Lake: Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout and Sockeye can all be found in this spectacular lake located north of Pemberton. At 21 miles long and nearly 1,000ft in depth the lake can get quite rough in windy weather so smaller boats should stay closer to shore.

Chilko Lake: This glacier-fed lake is the largest high elevation freshwater lake in Canada. Its turquoise waters and surrounding volcanic mountains make for a picturesque backdrop to a day of fishing for Rainbow and Bull Trout. A classified waters licence is required to fish here.

Top 10 spots for lake and river fishing in BC

Skeena River: Excellent salmon fishing can be found year-round on this river which runs between Terrace and Prince Rupert. Accessible boat put-ins can be found along highway 16. Bring your fly fishing gear for a successful trip.

Fraser River: B.C.’s largest river system, found east of Vancouver, is best known for its Sturgeon fishing opportunities. You’ll need some strong gear and arms if you catch one of these ancient fish which can grow to 12ft long. 

Cowichan River: Located in the centre of Vancouver Island; anglers find most success in the shoulder seasons when the river is cooler. It is considered the finest trout stream in the province thanks to its abundance of insects which keep the unique Brown Trout species plentiful in its waters.

Successful Freshwater Fishing – What to Know Before You Go

  • Get a freshwater fishing licence – All anglers aged 16 and over require a specific freshwater licence to fish the lakes and rivers of B.C. This can be purchased online or at a licenced vendor. Be aware that some locations or species require an additional conservation fee.
  • Familiarize yourself with freshwater fishing regulations –  these include areas with catch and release only fishing, catch limits and region-specific rules.
  • Bring the right gear – Freshwater fishing needs different equipment to ocean fishing. Your local fishing store can help you with supplies such as:
    • Fly fishing rods and lures
    • Species-specific bait
    • Strong hooks and lines for large lake fish
    • A depth finder
  • Remember to wash your hands!  – Freshwater fish are sensitive to odors and may be scared away by smells they don’t recognize.

Van Isle Marina can help you find your dream fishing boat

Van Isle Marina Can Help You Find Your Dream Fishing Boat 

Keen to try some freshwater fishing but need to upgrade your boat? Van Isle Marina’s experienced sales team can advise you on all the options and additions available, contact us today to find out more.

Got a fishing boat you need to store? We offer docking and dry storage facilities in addition to our 500 open and covered marina berths at our state-of-the-art marina.

Located in Sidney, B.C., Van Isle Marina is a convenient starting point to access the amazing freshwater fishing that Vancouver Island offers, or take the nearby ferry to the mainland to explore all the freshwater fishing locations on our list.

Easy and Delicious Crab Cake Recipes

Easy and Delicious Crab Cake Recipes

A Short History of the Crab Cake


First called crab patties or crab croquettes in the 19th century, crab cakes were another take on minced meat patties. Thanks to a plentiful supply, some North American pubs actually gave fresh crab away to patrons, prior to the Second World War. The crab cake was created out of necessity as a cheap hearty meal. Original recipes called for a mixture of bread crumbs or cornmeal, seasonings, eggs, and crab meat.

No longer a budget selection, unless you catch your own, crab is a premium menu choice, and crab cakes are commonly served in high end seafood restaurants. However, making your own crab cakes is surprisingly simple.


Basic Crab Cakes- A Simple and Adaptable Dish

The beauty of crab cakes is that the base recipe for this popular dish remains pretty much the same as all those years ago, making it a fun dish to experiment with.

You can just as easily create a rich, indulgent cake or a lighter dish, depending on what toppings you choose. Tartar sauce or a bearnaise sauce creates a rich, indulgent meal, while crab cakes topped with freshly chopped fruit salsa or microgreens makes a much lighter dish.

Crab cakes are also great any time of day. Have you ever tried Eggs Benedict atop a crisp, succulent crab cake? Replace the english muffin with a crispy, tender cake of fresh Dungeness or Red Rock crab, and you’ve just taken two classic dishes to a whole new level.

While crab cakes are best without too many fillers, they do well with small scallops, shrimp or even minced fish, if you’re a little short on fresh crab.

We scoured the web for a tried and true crab cakes recipe, so you can make them anytime, anywhere – no pub or restaurant required. Try making the easy recipe below, and play around with a variety of seasonings, sauces, sides, and toppings.


Best Crab Cake Recipe

Classic Crab CakesBest Crab Cakes Recipe

Serve these with aioli, fresh greens, fruit salsa, tartar sauce, and more.


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, or tarragon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 440 g fresh crab meat, chopped
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 400 F

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk 1/3 cup of mayonnaise with egg, parsley, Dijon and Tabasco.
  • Gently stir in crab just until combined. Scoop out 1 heaping tbsp crab mixture, roll in panko, and form into 1-in.-thick cake. Repeat with rest of mixture.
  • Place cakes on baking sheet 1/2 in. apart. Lightly spray or brush tops with oil.
  • Bake in centre of preheated oven for 10 to 12 min. Turn cakes over and continue baking until light golden, about 5 more min.
  • Let stand on baking sheet for 5 min before removing to a large platter.
  • To make the aioli, whisk together the remaining mayonnaise, lemon juice, and smoked paprika. Serve with lemon wedges alongside the crab cakes.

Get the full crab cake recipe from Chatelaine Magazine


Crab Cakes: Pairings and Toppings

Try pairing crab cakes with a white wine, like a pinot gris, the “white wine king of British Columbia.” This helpful guide from BC Wine Trends will help narrow down your selections if you’re looking for a new favourite. There’s also an excellent white sangria recipe which would bring a fresh tropical vibe to crab cakes topped with fruit salsa.


Tropical Salsa Recipe
IngredientsTropical Salsa on top of Crab Cakes

  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) finely diced papaya
  • 1⁄3 cup (75 mL) finely diced ripe star fruit
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) seeded and diced jalapeño pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) grated lime rind
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and spoon over top

Get the full recipe from LCBO.com


Tartar Sauce Recipe

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 6 drops Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and you’re done!
  • For best flavour, chill before serving.

Get the full recipe from Simply Taste


Tips for the Best Ever Crab Cakes

  • Pan fry for a crispy outer crust. Melt 1tbsp of butter or oil on medium heat, and add cakes just when the butter sizzles. Cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add a sprinkle of mustard powder. Rather than adding heat, this brings out the flavour of the crab even more.
  • Chill in the fridge for about an hour to let the crab cakes set.
  • Crab Cakes can be made ahead of time and frozen. Just shape the patties, freeze on a lined baking tray, and transfer frozen cakes to a freezer bag or container.

Still have leftover crab? Lucky you! Take a look at some other great fresh crab recipes.


Before you go crabbing or fishing, be sure to check the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for any updated information on closures, or restrictions. To learn more about what BC’s coastal waters have to offer, take a look at our guide on BC shellfish.


Tired of crabbing on shore with a net and hip waders? Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC has an extensive supply of new and pre-owned boats for sale – from motorboats to superyachts – to take you from low tide to the high seas. Take a look at our current selection of boats for sale or contact us to speak to our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Halibut & Salmon Fishing

Where & When to Go Fishing In BC for Saltwater Fish

The Best Places to Find Salmon and Halibut in British Columbia

The West Coast of BC is home to some of the world’s most amazing fishing. People come from all over the globe specifically for our pacific salmon and huge halibut. Fishing around here is culturally and commercially significant as well, and can be done year-round in our region, with July to September being the busiest time of year for fishermen.

No matter where you plan on travelling in BC, you won’t have to travel too far in search of a place to go saltwater fishing, as there are thousands of places to explore. To help you narrow it down, we’ve provided a high level list of places to check out around Vancouver Island. These destinations were chosen either for their proximity to the Island’s must-see cities and coastal communities, or their remoteness, which offers an unparalleled opportunity to see the West Coast.

Pair many of these fishing excursions with our list of top recommended Vancouver Island attractions and you should be all set for an unforgettable trip.

Note: fishing regulations throughout BC may vary so please confirm all closures with Fisheries and Oceans Canada before heading out. Also note that certain areas such as Tofino, Gulf Island, etc may have local closures due to COVID-19 so plan ahead!

Fishing Destinations Around Vancouver Island

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Winter Harbour

Winter Harbour and Quatsino Sound – Located close to the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, head here for open ocean and the chance to catch salmon or halibut in the summer and fall. Dedicate a few days to this trip, and take advantage of the protected inlets and bays before venturing out further.

Port Hardy – 75 kilometres from Winter Harbour is the small rustic fishing village of Port Hardy. Here is your chance for a great day out on the boat to explore the wild, remote north coast of the Island while catching salmon or halibut in the spring, summer, and fall. You’ll be joined by commercial fishermen, however, so stay alert!

Scott Islands – The 5 Scott Islands can also be found on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Great for salmon and halibut fishing, but also a remarkable opportunity for birdwatching, with more than 2 million seabirds living in the region. The weather conditions can be a bit rougher, so this trip is best suited to experienced boaters.

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Johnstone Strait

Johnstone Strait & Robson Bight – East of Port Hardy is the Johnstone Strait, between the Vancouver Island and mainland BC. There are plenty of islands in this region to explore, and the opportunity for some great salmon fishing (chinook, coho, and pink) in the summer. There are also resident orcas in this area, meaning you’ll be competing with them for the fish!

Read More: Guide to Whale Watching in BC

Northern Gulf Islands – Salmon and shellfish are plentiful around the 200 Gulf Islands off the coast of mainland BC, in the Johnstone Strait and the Strait of Georgia. The areas south of Denman and Hornby Islands are popular spots for salmon fishing, while Flora Island and Lambert Channel are great areas for prawn traps.

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Brooks Peninsula

Brooks Peninsula – Brooks Peninsula is a remote part of northwest Vancouver Island that takes awhile to get to but will lead you to salmon, halibut, bottom fish, and even tuna if you travel offshore enough. Allow a few days to make this journey. South of the peninsula is Kyuguot Village, another remote area of the island offering the same opportunities as Brooks Peninsula.

Desolation Sound – Just north of Desolation Sound near Campbell River on the east side of Vancouver Island is an excellent spot to catch some resident and migratory salmon throughout the year. Spend plenty of time in the beauty of the region’s large network of tidal channels and inlets.

Nanaimo – Get plenty of salmon fishing done year-round off the coast of Nanaimo and nearby Gabriola Island, Protection Island, and New Castle Island. Nanaimo is Vancouver Island’s second largest city, so while it is a bit quieter than Victoria, there is still lots to do there on land as well as at sea, and quite a few amenities for boaters as well. Be sure to stay clear of kayakers and the BC Ferries!

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Strait of Georgia

Strait of Georgia – The Straight of Georgia that flows between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC provides excellent pacific salmon fishing opportunities, around the Gulf Islands (already mentioned) and also nearby Parksville and Qualicum on Vancouver Island. You’ll have the biggest chance of making a catch between May and November, but with less lines in the water from December to April, you might just score a big one in the wintertime in this region.

Bamfield – Allow the small coastal town of Bamfield to be your starting off point for a multi-day fishing trip along the Island’s west coast. Just south of Tofino, Ucluelet, and Port Alberni,  Bamfield is a quieter location with less boating traffic. Salmon and halibut can both be found here, mainly in the summertime.

Port Alberni – On the west coast of Vancouver Island, just north of Bamfield and en route to Tofino and Ucluelet, you’ll reach Port Alberni, where chinook, coho, and chum salmon are in abundance, as they make there way back into the ocean from the Somass River. Port Alberni celebrates the Salmon Festival and Derby every September, so you know the fishing here has got to be good.

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Tofino BC

Tofino & Ucluelet – If you only have time for one fishing trip as you head to Vancouver Island, consider the Tofino-Ucluelet region on the West Coast of the Island for summertime salmon fishing. The backdrops are stunning, offering a range of island hopping, coastal exploration, and open ocean adventures. After a long day on the water, moor your boat as you explore the lands. The beaches of Long Beach will be bustling, as will the villages of Tofino and Ucluelet.

Victoria Harbour – Salmon fishing just outside of Victoria Harbour and in Ogden Point is a popular activity on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It can be done from summer right into winter. BC’s capital city comes alive with tourists in summertime, making this a lively destination for more than just fishing, with many boutique and larger hotels and restaurants nearby.

Oak Bay – At the southern tip of the Island near Victoria, you’ll find spectacular Oak Bay with an English-inspired village as a backdrop on one side, and a distant view of Mt. Baker on the other. Stay awhile at Oak Bay Marina before spending the afternoon salmon and halibut fishing in the mildest region of all of Canada. Prepare for a lot of other boaters at the height of the fishing season (July-September).

For more information on any of these suggested locations, and some suggestions for shore fishing as well, check out Anglr, an initiative of the Sport Fishing Institute of BC.

Tips & Resources

Before setting out on your self-guided fishing trip in BC, note that there are specific fishing licence requirements, catch limits, and regional safety tips and seasonal closures you’ll need to know about. All of this information is provided by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

And, if you’ll have your smartphone on board with you, we highly recommend loading it up with the Fishing BC app. This free sport fishing app for tidal waters features a GPS locator, pinch-and-zoom map, and information on up-to-date official regulations including information about species, boundary maps, conservation areas, closures, contamination alerts, and more.

Also included in the app are a catch log, the opportunity to take photos of your catch and share with your social network, and a species ID guide specific to what can be found in BC’s tidal waters.

Read More:

If you’re on the market for a new fishing boat, check out our selection of fishing boats for sale, including Pursuit Boats and Riviera Yachts. We invite you to learn more about our yacht sales process or come and see us in Sidney, BC.

Quick & delicious Halibut recipes

Quick & Delicious Halibut Recipes

10 Ways to Prepare Your Halibut Catch

Who doesn’t love a good recipe roundup? Especially when the star ingredient is halibut! At Van Isle Marina, we are big fans of anything to do with halibut, whether it’s grilled, baked, poached, barbecued, or sautéed. Fortunately, you don’t have to get too fancy with halibut in order for it to taste amazing.

Here are our top recommended ways to enjoy pacific halibut – the most highly prized groundfish found around Vancouver Island. Use freshly caught or previously frozen halibut for any of the recipes below. And get your lemons ready – they are the star ingredient in most halibut entrees!

1. Heavenly Halibut

Topping our list of great halibut recipes is Heavenly Halibut from Allrecipes.com. The crisp parmesan topping of this dish adds texture and a boost of flavour to impress guests. You can get the taste of a gourmet halibut dish with just a few ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butterHeavenly Halibut Recipe
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 2 pounds skinless halibut fillets

Get the full recipe at Allrecipes.com

2. One-pan Mediterranean Baked Halibut with Vegetables

This recipe involves taking your basic grilled halibut recipe, adding in a few of your favourite vegetables, and then baking it all in one dish instead of grilling.

  • 1 1/2 lb halibut fillet, slice into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemonsOne-pan Mediterranean Baked Halibut Recipe
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced into half moons
  • Salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from The Mediterranean Dish

3. Thai Grilled Halibut

Sweeten things up a little with this Thai-inspired halibut recipe. While this grilled halibut recipe involves a few ingredients you might not have readily available on your boat, it’s so tasty that it’s worth making on land one day.

You’ll need:

  • 2 to 4 halibut steaks or fillets
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauceThai Grilled Halibut Recipe
  • 6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup coriander (fresh, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Brown sugar

Get the full recipe from The Spruce Eats

4. Classic Fish & Chips

If you’ve got a deep fryer and the will to use it, considering wowing the crowd with a good old-fashioned plate of battered fish and chips. This deep-fried halibut recipe will be a crowd pleaser for sure, without requiring that many ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless halibut
  • Classic Fish and Chips RecipeSalt
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • About 1/2 bottle beer

Get Hank Shaw’s full recipe from Honest-Food.net.

5. Poached Halibut with Tomato and Basil

This healthy halibut recipe from Rachel Ray is low in fat and is such a colourful dish. Fresh basil is a must, as are locally grown, in-season tomatoes if you can find some!

You’ll need:

Poached Halibut with Tomato and Basil Recipe

  • Halibut fillets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine, eyeball it
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, well drained
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, torn or shredded
  • Salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from The Food Network

6. Halibut & Smoked Salmon Chowder

Here is a nice comfort food recipe from Thrifty Foods that is quick to whip up but will taste like it took hours of slow cooking. This chowder contains nothing but the good stuff, and no shellfish of any kind.

You’ll need:

  • 100 gram pkg cold smoked salmon
  • 1 lb of halibut fillets
  • ButterHalibut and Smoked Salmon Chowder Recipe
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups chicken or fish stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium red-skinned potatoes
  • 1 cup light cream
  • Fresh dill
  • Salt & white pepper

Get the full recipe from Thrifty Foods.

7. Crispy Fish Cakes for Two

Halibut can play a starring role in many fish cake recipes. We like this one from Pinch & Swirl for its simplicity, both in ingredients and preparation. Fish cake recipes are great for when there is leftover cooked fish to use up, if that ever were to happen, that is!

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbsCrispy Fish Cakes Recipe
  • 1/2 pound cooked halibut
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk sour cream
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 rib celery very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
  • Fresh lemon wedges optional
  • Salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from Pinch & Swirl.

8. Halibut Ceviche with Mango and Avocado

The ceviche method of “cooking” doesn’t actually involve any heat. Instead, the fish is marinated in an acidic mix of ingredients and the final product is served cold. It’s best served as an appetizer before a main meal on a hot, sunny day when you have access to freshly caught halibut.

halibut ceviche with mango and avocado recipe

You’ll need:

  • Halibut fillets
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Hot sauce
  • 1 large mango
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • Red onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Olive oil
  • Honey or agave
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Get the full recipe from From a Chef’s Kitchen.

Another great ceviche recipe we love comes from Epicurious and stars pineapple, jalapeno, and tequila as key ingredients.

9. BBQ Halibut Steaks

It’s easy to prepare halibut on the BBQ – just skip the store-bought sauces and use this recipe instead!

You’ll need:

Barbeque Halibut Steaks Recipe

  • Halibut steaks
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Fresh garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Soy sauce
  • Halibut steaks

Get the full recipe from Allrecipes.com

10. Lemon and Dill Baked Halibut

This classic baked halibut dish includes a healthy dose of cherry tomatoes and asparagus. It’s healthy, easy to make, and delicious to devour.

You’ll need:

Dill and Lemon Baked Halibut Recipe

  • Halibut fillets
  • lemons
  • Asparagus
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh dill
  • Garlic

Get the full recipe from Jacked Kitchen.

Read More: Quick & Delicious Salmon Recipes

Is it almost time for a new fishing boat? At Van Isle Marina we have a wide range boats and yachts for sale moored at our docks. Come by 2320 Harbour Road in Sidney, BC near Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to check out our selection, or cruise around our website to learn more about the types of boats we have for sale.

best quick and delicious trout recipes

Quick & Delicious Trout Recipes

12 Ways to Prepare Steelhead Trout


In addition to pacific salmon and fresh local halibut, another favourite fish the Van Isle Marina team loves to eat is steelhead trout. Like other types of fish, steelhead trout is quick and easy to prepare a number of ways, whether that be baking, steaming, grilling, barbequing, pan-frying, smoking or canning.

Here are our top recommended ways to enjoy steelhead trout – a popular type of trout that is plentiful around Vancouver Island and closely resembles salmon in its taste, texture, and colour. Use freshly caught or previously frozen steelhead trout for any of the recipes below.

1. Garlic Butter Steelhead Trout in Foil

With classic pantry staples, this recipe is about as standard as it gets when preparing baked fish. You’ll appreciate the easy cleanup with this recipe, due to the foil, which also leads to an incredibly moist and flaky baked trout entrée.

Garlic Butter Steelhead Trout in Foil Recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound steelhead trout fillet, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, minced (optional)
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at Kitchen Swagger.

2. Trout with Garlic Lemon Butter Herb Sauce

This recipe takes a classic grilled fish recipe and gives it a little oomph with the Italian seasoning and white wine. It’s so easy and so healthy, making it a recipe worth memorizing.

  • 5 pounds trout with skin on the bottomTROUT WITH GARLIC LEMON BUTTER HERB SAUCE
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at Julia’s Album.

3. Maple Balsamic Trout

This recipe always leads to tasty trout, no matter how much you customize it. Try substituting limes for lemons, or honey for maple syrup. For saltier flavour rather than tangy, try using soy sauce instead of vinegar. Simply stick to the ingredient amounts noted and you’ll end up with a flaky and moist baked trout dish.

  • MAPLE BALSAMIC RAINBOW TROUT5 lbs trout fillets
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sriracha
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at Two Kooks in the Kitchen.

4. Barbequed Steelhead Trout

If there’s a BBQ on your yacht, there is no excuse not to try out this tasty trout dish at least once per season! The trick to this one is using a high-quality BBQ sauce – one that isn’t too sweet or too sour but is “just right”.

  • 2 pounds steelhead trout filletsBarbequed Steelhead Trout Recipe
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce

Get the full recipe at All Recipes.

5. Dijon-Style Trout Fillets

Mustard plays a surprising role in this simple trout recipe.

  • 2 trout filletsDijon Style Trout Fillets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • Garlic gloves
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at SOS Cuisine.

6. Spicy Garlic Grilled Trout

This simple recipe packs a lot of punch with the red pepper flakes, which balance nicely with the brown sugar. You can control your spice level to suit everyone at the table and have everything ready to go in just 30 minutes.

  • Trout filletsSpicy Chili Garlic Grilled Trout
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at Bake Eat Repeat.

7. Smoked Steelhead Trout

This dry brine recipe from a humble, self-taught chef named Steve is just the answer if you’re looking for a sweet treat. Prepare this smoked trout recipe using a Bradley electric smoker and apple or alder wood. While a smoked fish recipe doesn’t quite fit our post’s theme of ‘quick’, it’s certainly delicious and sure to be quickly devoured.

  • 2 pounds of steelhead trout filletsSmoked Steelhead Trout
  • 6 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

Get the full recipe at The Black Peppercorn.

8. Trout Cakes

Try this easy, classic fish cake recipe when you have lots of trout you’re trying to use up and want to keep things varied and interesting. These cakes are good hot or cold and are a great grab and go snack for a day on the beach. Play around with different herbs and dipping sauces to truly make these trout cakes pop.

  • 1 pound trout meatTrout Cakes Recipe
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/4 cup tarragon or dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Get Hank Shaw’s full recipe at Honest-Food.net.

9. Trout with Olives and Brown Butter

Whip up this Mediterranean-inspired dish from Martha Stewart in under 30 minutes. The olives, capers, and lemons add a lot of zip to the fish.

Trout with Olives and Brown Butter

You’ll need:

  • 8 trout fillets, skin on (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, quartered and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons slivered pitted olives
  • 1 tablespoon small capers
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at Martha Stewart.

10. Umbrian Fish Soup with Trout

This versatile bouillabaisse-like stew/soup is inspired by Umbria – a region of central Italy. It is a nice break from rich creamy chowders if you’re looking for a light fish soup. It’s quick, delicious, and can be customized to your liking. Try adding spinach and more than one type of seafood, such as shrimp or a can of clams with the juice.

Umbrian Fish Soup recipe

You’ll need:

  • 2 lbs trout fillets
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water

Get the full recipe at Epicurious.

11.  Barbequed Trout with Warm Pineapple Salad

This recipe is a healthy standby that comes with the added bonus of a side dish prepared right alongside the trout. Make it as mild or as spicy as you want. The jalapenos, ginger, and lime all complement the pineapple well.

You’ll need:

Barbecued trout with warm pineapple salad

  • Skin-on trout fillets
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Get the full recipe at Chatelaine.

12. Whole Grilled Trout

Impress your guests with this fancy-looking dish. Due to its typically smaller size, trout is a popular fish to serve whole. Plus, grilling a whole fish – skin and bones and all – enhances its flavour, so very little extra input is added to this grilling process.

You’ll need:

Cooking Whole Fish And Grilled Trout Recipe

  • Two 3/4 lb whole trout
  • Butter or coconut oil
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch dill
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 lemons, one sliced and the other halved
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe at Paleo Leap.

Read More: See our Quick & Delicious Salmon Recipes. Trout could easily be substituted in these salmon dinner suggestions.

Looking to upgrade your fishing boat? At Van Isle Marina we have a wide range boats and yachts for sale moored at our docks. Come visit us at 2320 Harbour Road in Sidney, BC near Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to check out our selection. Learn more about the types of boats we have for sale.

Quick & Delicious Salmon Recipes

10 Ways to Prepare Your Salmon Catch

At Van Isle Marina, we eat a ton of salmon – and we are constantly impressed with how many different ways there are to prepare it. From baked, grilled, smoked, and canned, salmon is a source of endless meal ideas.

There are 5 types of pacific salmon that draw anglers from around the world to our region, with Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye being prized the most for their flavour and texture. Here are our top recommended ways to enjoy pacific salmon – whether it’s from your own fishing expeditions, gifted to you by friend or family, or otherwise picked up from your local fish market or grocery store.

Easy Honey Garlic Baked Salmon

You’ve probably had tons of honey garlic chicken, but the essence of honey garlic sauce can also be applied to salmon and the results are amazing. This recipe is an easy, one-pan wonder that’s sure to impress everyone at the table. Best of all it can be whipped up and pan seared in 15 minutes!

You’ll Need:

Easy Honey Garlic Salmon

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • lemon juice & wedges
  • salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from Café Delites.

Maple Salmon

This recipe is similar to the honey garlic style salmon as mentioned above, but maple syrup is used in place of honey, and there is no added fat.

You’ll need

  • maple salmon recipe1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Get the full recipe from Allrecipes.com

Baked Salmon with Garlic & Dijon

This healthy salmon dish is low in sugar but high in flavour. With just a few ingredients, a high temperature, and a short roasting time, this baked salmon turns out both juicy and flaky! In just 20 minutes you’ll end up with a dish that tastes like it is straight from a professional chef’s kitchen.

You’ll Need:

Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dijon

  • salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • lemon slices
  • salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen.

Cedar Plank Salmon

This adapted recipe is inspired by the First Nations’ traditional method of preparing salmon threaded on cedar stakes while over an open fire.

You’ll Need:

cedar plank salmon recipe

  • salmon fillets
  • olive oil
  • lemon or orange juice and zest
  • chopped fresh basil
  • cedar planks slightly longer and wider than the salmon fillets
  • salt & pepper

Get Robert Clifton’s full recipe from the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Cilantro Lime Salmon

Cilantro lime salmon is a refreshing way to enjoy fresh or previously frozen salmon. It’s easy to pull off in a single skillet.

You’ll Need

  • 2 tbsp. olive oilcilantro lime salmon recipe
  • salmon fillets
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Get the full recipe from Delish.

Classic Baked Salmon

This five-ingredient baked salmon recipe is perhaps one of the most standard ways to prepare salmon . It’s perfect for when you’re not sure if you’re cooking for a cilantro-loving crowd or not. With the butter, lemon, and dill, there is no going wrong with this one!

classic baked salmon recipe

You’ll Need

  • salmon fillets
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Get the recipe from The Stay at Home Chef

Salmon Chowder

Salmon chowder is great for feeding a lot of people at once. It’s a comfort food that goes a long way and tastes great heated up the next day if it doesn’t get devoured the same day. Chowders are versatile soups where almost anything can be added to the standard creamy base. Bacon, corn and potatoes truly elevate this salmon chowder.

You’ll Need

  • 1/2 pound red potatoes
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon
  • 2 cups chopped scallions
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cornsalmon chowder recipe
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 5 pounds of salmon fillet
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh lemon juice

Get the full recipe from Epicurious.

Superfood Salad with Pan-Seared Salmon

Adding salmon to any basic salad is a fool-proof way to turn a salad into a meal. However, there are certain ingredients that will truly help bring out the flavours in a plain baked fillet that’s been prepared with just olive oil and salt and pepper. The flavour in this dish comes from its homemade vinaigrette.

You’ll Need

  • superfood salmon salad recipesalmon fillets
  • 1 ½ cups kale, chopped
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ of an avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from Alaska from Scratch.

Less Quick But Still Delicious

Salmon Cakes

With a few helping hands in the kitchen, this could be a quick recipe, but on its own it’s considered an intermediate technique to preparing salmon. The trick is in getting the right texture, which takes the right cook time and chopping everything to uniform size.

  • fresh salmon
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 stalks small-diced celerysalmon cakes recipe
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 slices stale bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

Get the full recipe from The Food Network.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is a delicious way to preserve your extra salmon if you have a little bit of time on your hands. Choose from regular or candied hot-smoked salmon, depending on your preference. If you’re serving a large crowd, the smoked salmon is always the first item to disappear off the buffet line!

smoked salmon recipe

You’ll Need

  • salmon fillets
  • a smoker (Traeger, Bradley, Little Chief, etc.)
  • wood
  • brining salt
  • syrup for basting
  • brown sugar from brining

Get Hank Shaw’s full guide from Honest-Food.net

Canned Salmon

Canned salmon is a great way to preserve freshly caught salmon for the months to come. For the most thorough run-down for canning salmon, check out this article on how to can salmon. To avoid contamination of the jars, it’s important to follow the method precisely as outlined.

Once you have canned your salmon, you can enjoy it straight from the jar or on sandwiches, or in salads, pitas, pastas, and quiches. Check out the Food Network’s 15 Delicious Ways to Use Canned Salmon.

If you’re using freshly caught salmon for any of the above recipes, be sure to review our quick guide to Cleaning Fish On a Boat.

Is your boat too small for all the fish you’ve been catching? If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your salmon fishing game, at Van Isle Marina we have a wide range of yacht services and yachts for sale moored at our docks. Check out our selection online or come and see us in person. Find us at 2320 Harbour Road in Sidney, BC near Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.


Different Types of Fishing Lures

An Introduction to the Best Lures for Catching Fish in BC

If you’re thinking about finally doing some fishing aboard your boat for the first time, check out our guide to the different types of lures there are to choose from, and how they work. The lures on this list are suitable for many different types of fish in BC, including salmon, trout, and groundfish.

Below is the Van Isle Marina team’s introduction of the top fishing lures we recommend trying out the next time you take your sport yacht or fishing boat out on the ocean or lake. All of the items described below are available in several different sizes, colours, and brands, so you’ll need to:

  • Choose your size based on the size of your target species.
  • Choose your colour based on the water’s depth and clarity; and
  • Choose your brand based on your budget and personal preference.

Using the lures listed below to your advantage will require some practice and experimentation, which we believe is all part of the fun of learning a new hobby.

Type of Lure: SpinnersTypes of Fishing Lures - Spinner Lure

A spinner, or spinnerbait as it is sometimes called, is essentially a shiny and reflective metal blade that spins freely when it is reeled or trolled through the water. Spinners come in different sizes and styles and sometimes feature more than one metal blade.

How Spinners Work: The motion of a spinner moving in the water resembles a small swimming fish, which your target species hopefully mistakes as its next meal, thereby biting your line. Salmon and trout can sense spinners partly via their reflective appearance, and partly by their vibrations, which are especially effective in murky waters, where salmon tend to hang out often.

Types of Fishing Lures - Spoon LureType of Lure: Spoons

Fishing lures known as spoons are metal lures that are a little less round and a little longer than an average teaspoon. Spoons come in a wide range of sizes and colours, and usually come with a hook already, making them relatively straightforward to use.

How Spoons Work: Spoons work like spinners – they resemble small baitfish when wobbling in the water. Your spoon size should match or come close to the size of the fish your target fish species would be on the hunt for, based on the season or time of year.

Type of Lure: PlugsTypes of Fishing Lures - Plug Lure

A plug is a solid piece of rigid plastic that is painted to look like a fish, usually a herring. They are sometimes reflective as well. Some plugs, called wobbling plugs, are made of two pieces hinged together. Such plugs are designed to wobble in the water, adding a bit of movement to an otherwise static lure.

How Plugs Work: Plugs are painted and designed to look like fish, a.k.a. a food source that lures larger fish in. Wobbling plugs, with their two pieces instead of one, cause a flutter in the water as they’re being reeled in, creating a much-needed vibration to lure in salmon in murky water.

Types of Fishing Lures - Hoochie LureType of Lure: Hoochies

Meant to resemble small squid, hoochies are those brightly coloured, squishy plastic lures with strands of plastic tassels and painted on eyes. They come in a wide variety of colours, sizes, and styles – usually without any hooks or flashers, allowing you to customize your rig by supplementing your own additional lures and live bait.

How Hoochies Work: Hoochies are bright, which attract fish to the end of your line, but their lack of reflective properties and the fact that they are motionless make them not as effective when they are used alone.

Type of Lure: FlashersTypes of Fishing Lures - Flasher Lure

A flasher is a long, thin, shiny rectangular piece of metal, or piece of plastic with an added metallic adhesive tape or sticker on it. Flashers range in size and colour, with the largest ones being about a foot long. They are usually recommended at depths below 50 feet.

How Flashers Work: In the right weather conditions, to your target species, a flasher looks like another larger fish who is ferociously attacking its prey. This signifies to nearby salmon or trout that there is  food present, causing them to swim closer to the flasher to check out what’s going on. Ideally this leads to your target species biting your bait!

Flashers are only required when you are using lures that don’t move on their own in the water, such as hoochies. They aren’t required if you are already using spinners, wobbling plugs, or spoons.

Types of Fishing Lures - Jig LureType of Lure: Jigs

Jigs are a multi-part lure consisting of a lead weight sinker and a hook covered with a soft rubber or silicone material. A third component is sometimes added on that resembles a fish head with tassels or flies. With all these parts to consider, there is an endless number of jigs out there to try.

How Jigs Work: Because of the lead weight, jigs are designed to move vertically in the water, rather than horizontally like other lures on this list. The lead sinker allows your line to get to the fish at the bottom of the seabed – making them perfect for catching groundfish.

Using Scents & DyesTypes of Fishing Lures - Scent Bait

Adding scents and dyes to artificial lures is becoming more common practice. You can buy both items at the tack shop. They come in either gels, oils, or pastes, and in scents like anchovy and herring.

How Scents and Dyes Work: In the absence of live bait, scents are added to live lures to stimulate a fish’s appetite. More importantly, they mask any human smells left behind by an angler’s hardworking hands as they load up their lines.

Also available at the tack shop are dyes. Adding dyes to your live bait gives your line the aromas and flavours of the live bait, and an added boost of colour, helping fish see as well as smell your line.

Fishing with Live Bait

Live bait includes everything from insects, worms, anchovies, herring, fish row, minnows, leeches, shrimp, and more. Larger fish like lingcod and halibut also love octopus and mackerel. Live bait is most effective when it looks as life-like as possible in the water.

How Live Bait Works: Live bait puts off a scent that naturally draws fish to your line. They can be used alone or with a larger rig set-up that includes more than one artificial lure. With all your bases covered like this, you’re bound to catch something!

Read More: Lures or Live Bait? Understanding the Pros and Cons of Each

Learning your fishing lures takes some practice due to the overwhelming amount of selection and combinations out there. It might take some trial and error before you find a rig you’re successful with and comfortable using. The staff at tack shops are a good place to start for more information on fishing lures, in addition to talking to other anglers you know about what works for them, subscribing to magazines, reading blogs, and watching tips on TV.

At Van Isle Marina, we love talking about fishing, including what lures work best, and about all the fishing hotspots near here. Come see our team with all your fishing and boating related questions. We are located in Sidney, BC, near Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Find out how to get here.

And now that you know all about fishing lures, have you considered picking a new boat to fish from? Learn more about buying a boat through our brokers. We can recommend several that are perfect for your new hobby!