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Sportfishing in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands

Masset Area - Ocean Fishing

Zane's coho salmon

Several ocean sport fishing charter vessels of various sizes operate out of nearby Masset, offering day trips in pursuit of salmon, halibut, coho and crab. Rates vary, but Robert on the Sakana Taka offers great specials...www.sakana-taka.com.

Angling the Masset area rivers

Three Masset area rivers in the immediate vicinity of the beach cabins - the Hiellen, Sangan and Chown - offer angling of coho salmon and dolly varden trout , providing decent sport fishing from August through December.

North Beach Shore Fishing

Halibut and other bottom fish can be caught at low tide from the rocks at the mouth of the Hiellen River at North Beach.

N.B.: Fresh/Salt water fishing licenses required, available locally.

Fishing Calendar for North Islands


Spring signals the start of HALIBUT fishing. These bottomfish range in size from the tasty ‘chickens’ (30-40#), to the old ‘homesteaders’ (400# and up). Cod are also plentiful.

In spring too, the herring come up the Masset (and Skidegate) inlets to spawn, and the SPRING SALMON follow. This lasts as long as the herring are ‘running’.

In May and June, the first major runs of Chinook (Spring) salmon bound for BC’s coastal rivers appear along the North coast. Summer (May to August) see millions of salmon passing through local waters: CHINOOK (a.k.a. spring, tyee, king), CHUM (a.k.a. dog), SOCKEYE (a.k.a. red), COHO (a.k.a. silvers), and PINK (a.k.a. humpies).

These runs move back and forth along the beach feeding on herring and needlefish, circling these schools closely. The first runs usually return to the Nass and Skeena rivers. 25-35# fish are common, ranging up to 60-70#. These fish are just starting their spawning migration and are silver bright and feisty. The runs of spring salmon continue through the summer with lulls between the various schools headed for different rivers on the mainland.

By about July 1 the coho show up; schools of females followed closely by schools of males. Early runs average 9-10#, later runs weigh up to 20# or more. Trophy Chinook abound this month and bottom fishing stays consistent.

August sees diversified salmon fishing, with significant runs of Chinook and Coho frequenting Masset waters. There is also an abundance of Crab, Halibut, Ling Cod and Snapper.

In September, the large, hook-nosed northern Coho make their appearance. These fish are spectacular fighters when caught on light line. The early days of the month still offer fat ocean-feeding Chinook. Bottom fishing is great.

In cycle years, an abundance of Pink Salmon run up Masset Inlet. These fish are smaller and easier to catch, and smoke or pickle up very nicely.


Queen Charlotte Islands - Stream Fishing

Fall heralds the return of the salmon to the Queen Charlotte Islands streams and rivers. The abundant runs of coho provide both anglers and fly fishermen hours of satisfaction and excitement. The opportunity to target, follow and hook individual fish provides hours and days of thrills and good eating.


CUTTHROAT and DOLLY VARDEN TROUT can be caught year-round in most streams.

Visit the Pallant Creek Hatchery in October to witness a massive mixed run of Chum, Coho and the occasional Chinook, along with the attendant bears upstream and sea lions at the mouth.

October marks the start of the coveted STEELHEAD fishery, which peaks in December and January, and lasts right through to March. Responding to anglers, drift, and fly fishermen alike, these steelhead present an exciting challenge to all.


For sportfishing rules and regulations and information on fishing closures in the Masset area,
check with these government agencies: Federal Fisheries (saltwater), Provincial Fisheries (freshwater)
or call 1-877-320-3467 (We are in areas 1 & 2)

Local charter boat operators, as well as licensed river guides, are available to help you maximize your fishing experience both in terms of catch and enjoyment. Sport Fishing licenses are available in Masset at the DFO office, Co-op Grocery, or Home Hardware. Your fish can be packaged and shipped. Contact Seapack for more information.


Below are a list of species of sportfish reported in local streams (courtesy of Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Federal Govt of Canada):

Yakoun River Sportfishing

Tlell River Sport Fishing

classified waters

  • Steelhead – Nov to April
  • Cutthroat trout – May to July
  • Pink salmon – early Sept to mid-Oct
  • Chum salmon – negligible
  • Chinook salmon – non-retention
  • Coho salmon – Sept and Oct
  • Sockeye salmon – non-retention

classified waters

  • Steelhead – Nov to April
  • Dolly varden trout – May to July
  • Rainbow trout – negligible
  • Cutthroat trout – non-retention
  • Pink salmon – late Aug to Oct (tidal waters only)
  • Coho salmon – Sept and Oct


Sangan River Sportfishing

Hiellen River Sport Fishing

  • Steelhead – negligible
  • Cutthroat trout – May to July
  • Dolly varden trout – May to July
  • Pink salmon – negligible
  • Chum salmon – negligible
  • Coho salmon – Sept and Oct
  • Steelhead – negligible
  • Dolly varden trout – May to July
  • Cutthroat trout – May to July
  • Pink salmon – negligible
  • Coho salmon – Sept and Oct


Shore fishing - Halibut and other bottom fish can be caught at low tide from the rocks at the mouth of the Hiellen River, North Beach.

Activities in and around your Beachcabin

Art Imrov | Beachcombing | Bird Watching | Fishing
Golfing | Hiking & Cycling | Photography | Romance
Seafood Foraging | Shopping | Water SportsWhale Watching

Contact Us
www.beachcabins.com Rapid Richie’s
Box 667 Masset,
Queen Charlotte Islands / Haida Gwaii
British Columbia, Canada
Tel: 250-626-5472 Cell/Voice
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