From Chinook to Tuna: The Tofino Resort + Marina Fishing Guide

From the many crystal-clear rivers of Clayoquot Sound to the deep, dark blue of the offshore Pacific Ocean, Tofino’s reputation as a fishing Utopia is well deserved. And why not? This town began life as a fishing fantasy, first as a First Nations nature stronghold, and then as a commercial port disconnected from the rest of Vancouver Island. Only after a road was pushed through and paved in the ‘60s were mere mortal Vancouver Islanders able to drive here. It was all boats before that, buddy. Imagine how good the fishing was then, eh?

Already made your mind up? Go here to book a fishing charter. Otherwise, read on.

Nowadays, anglers from all over the world know the bounty of Tofino’s waters. From tuna to steelhead—and all the classic salmon species in between—this place embodies everything great about fishing: early mornings, stunning sunsets, clean water and fresh West Coast air. So, pack up the boat (or rent one of ours) and get here ASAP. It’s all time for anglers, all year long, but especially during August and everything after. Whether you come alone or you’re treating a big ol’ group of work mates to a sweet fishing trip, we can provide the fishing adventure you seek. Add in an easy 50-minute flight from downtown Vancouver via Harbour Air and you can be on the water in Tofino quicker than you can get over a lower mainland bridge in traffic.

Tasty Tofino Tuna

Big rods, tight lines, and feverish fishers on the water. Albacore tuna fishing is a special thing. You get up too damn early, pack for a long damn day, and gain the rare opportunity to view the ocean unlike almost anyone except pirates and real sailors. Tuna are only caught offshore. Like, 100 kilometres offshore. As such, it takes a good boat, an experienced crew, and a hardy disposition to get to where the tuna are hiding. And we know where that is. Come stay with us and we’ll share our intel with you, and then our team at 1909 Kitchen can cook your tuna proper…which usually means barely—or not—cooking it at all. Need help planning it? We can book these trips for you. Call us: 778.841.0186. Or email us at

The Almighty Salmon

Alongside clearcut logging and running illegal marijuana, the sacred salmon built this fine fishing coast. From Haida Gwaii to Port Renfrew, commercial salmon fishing kept B.C.’s lights on for decades. Nowadays, we need to go easier on these poor guys, as fish farms and overfishing have done their damage.  That doesn’t mean we can’t keep a few selects for the freezer and keep the rest wet. From chinook to pink to Coho, we have guides who can show you the goods. Maybe we can even get you one on the fly if you’re the adventurous sort.

Flyfishing For the Refined

Sure, sure, it seems like a lot of work to take home a fish, but the long, slow art of fly fishing is how the Zen-like and the masochistic prefer to spend their days. At Tofino Resort + Marina, we worship in the Church of Wooly Buggers and Parachute Adams. We also rent fly fishing boats and have a few guides capable of showing up that annoying blowhard TV host on WFN. Big talk? Let us prove it to you.

It’s a Halibut Fish!

Dad jokes aside, halibut truly is a helluva fish. Many old timers view them as the tastiest to swim the seas. Speaking of dads, be ready to suffer through a few “back in the day” stories when it comes to old pop’s halibut stories. Apparently, they used to be the size of orcas (commence over-the-top eye roll). They’re smaller now, but tastier than ever. Cooking tips: don’t do too much to these fish. The less prep, the better. As with all fish, bring to room temperature first, and cook hot (450 degrees celsius) and quick to avoid making it either mushy or chewy. All it really needs is a little bit of lemon and pepper, and a bunch of butter. Mmmmm. Alternatively, take advantage of the #CookYourCatch program at 1909 Kitchen and let us do it for you.

crabs and clams

Crabs, Crabs, Crabs

The most accessible catch in the sea. When you hire Tofino Resort + Marina for a fishing charter, we begin the trip by dropping traps, and end it by pulling up a basket of goodness in the form of fat tasty Dungeness crabs.


If you’ve never tried ceviche, shame on you. If you’ve never tried rockfish ceviche, get out to Tofino and get jiggin’ with it. Found in the rocky outcrops lingering underneath every nook and cranny of Clayoquot, rockfish are plentiful. They’re also long living…like 200 years old long living, so go easy on them. Take only what you need.

Lingcod: The Taco Fish

Somehow simultaneously the ugliest and most beautiful fish in the water, lingcod come in all sorts of vibrant colours, put up a solid fight for their size, and taste like pure heaven. Found on rocky bottoms and caught by jigging, some lesser anglers look at lings like a consolation prize. To this we say, “get your head straight.” Some of the best eating in the ocean, ling cod can grace our plate any day, especially as fish tacos with a little lime and a lot of hot sauce. Because of their shallow-water residences amongst the beautiful reefs of Tofino, spearfishing freedivers love lingcod. If you want to fish like a real man or woman, get out of that boat and get into a snorkel. We can show you how.

Ready to make it happen? Get in touch.