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Fishing in Ucluelet vs. Tofino

    Ucluelet, Tofino’s southern neighbor, is less known, but is considered one of the top prime spots on Vancouver Island to consistently catch loads salmon and halibut.  Simply put it is a destination place to fish. Ucluelet has the largest area of accessible water anywhere on the coast of British Columbia to catch salmon. Because of its central location boats can go as far south as Bamfield and as far North as Tofino. Rarely do boats ever need to.

    Tofino is one of the most famous destinations on Vancouver Island, mostly for its stunning stretches of uninterrupted sand and title of Surf Capital of Canada. However, it’s also has some good fishing from time to time for salmon and halibut. Most people that fish here come as part of a larger vacation. If you have your heart set on doing a shorter trip in morning hours, Tofino is a good place to do that.

    So, how to pick between the two? If you are wanting to stay in a posh resort on the beach and fish close by with a short trip, Tofino has many more options. If you are looking at doing a 3+ day fishing trip expecting to get your limit of salmon and halibut, Ucluelet will be much more consistent for that. That doesn’t mean you can’t get good fishing out of Tofino. It just means the expectations from guides are often very different.



    -Older fishing town – more knowledgeable guides

    -Barkley Sound Fishing

    -Sheltered and Offshore fishing

    -Less Charters and much less traffic

    -Quieter town


    -Fewer charter options

    -Smaller town = less accommodation choices



    -Plenty of charters = more choices

    -More options for Resort accommodation


    -Very busy town

    -Plenty of charters = more traffic

    -Less sheltered areas

    -Accommodation fills up fast during summer

    Those are some of the things that set the two apart, but there are also plenty of pros they share. For one, both are drive-in, rather than fly-in. That means that you’ll be able to have great, private accommodation of any scale rather than a lodge, all the amenities of a town at hand, and still be just moments away from your bed to the boat. Both Ucluelet and Tofino catch Chinook and Coho salmon, halibut and lingcod. They have great restaurants, beautiful scenery and plenty to do when you’re not on the water. Finally, they’re only 30-minutes apart, so if you think you’re missing out on something in the other town, you will be able to check out both.

    For more on Fishing in Tofino, check out:

    For Ucluelet, check out:

    For more about salmon fishing resorts take a look at Discover Vancouver Island’s Fishing (