Travis Dezall, owner of Reel Life Charters in Sooke, shows off a pair of recent catches. Dezall said it is not surprising Vancouver Island was recently named a top fishing destination by fishingbooker.com. (Photo Courtesy of Travis Dezall)

Vancouver Island named to top fishing destinations list

Fishbooker.com named the region one of Canada’s best, with special a call-out to the Sooke region

Vancouver Island has been named one of the top fishing destinations in Canada.

The website fishingbooker.com claims to be the largest platform in the world dedicated to connecting anglers with guides and charter services and offers more than 30,000 fishing trips in more than 2,000 locations across the globe.

Vancouver Island earned its top destination billing thanks to the region’s multitude of fresh and saltwater species and fishing locations ranging from streams and rivers to lakes and, of course, the mighty Pacific ocean.

“With such a generous variety of fishing grounds to explore, there’s also an impressive list of potential catches,” the Island’s entry on the website reads. “In lakes, rivers, and streams, you can get your hands on Pacific salmon and steelhead. And in the ocean, there are massive halibut and albacore tuna. Of course, these are just a few of the ‘superstar’ catches available on the island, among plenty more.”

READ MORE: Interior Fraser steelhead face extinction, warn B.C. fishing, conservation groups

The Sooke-based Reel Life Charters Travis Dezall said the recognition is far from unexpected. He regularly welcomes guests from all over the world who made the trip specifically because of the excellent fishing on offer.

“Vancouver Island has always been a top fishing spot in Canada since I have been fishing,” said Dezall, noting many of his guests come from other well-known fishing areas like Florida. “Most guests want to catch chinook salmon. Not only is the fishing good, but there is other wildlife to see and great scenery.”

Thanks to this stellar reputation, Dezall said his boat is consistently booked through his July to October season. Because his business is doing so well already, he said he does not expect FishingBooker’s recognition to have much of an impact on him, as even the pandemic has done little to hurt his business. However, he said he knows of other fishing charters which have been hit hard.

Other top fishing destinations in Canada included in the website’s unranked list include B.C.’s Fraser River, Ontario’s Eagle Lake and Thousand Islands regions, Manitoba’s Cranberry Lakes and Aikens Lake areas, Great Bear Lake North West Territories and Alberta’s North Saskatchewan River.

READ MORE: New report suggests Alaskan fisheries are overharvesting plummeting B.C. salmon stocks


@JSamanski
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