In our overly fast-paced world, it’s good to know there are still some effective ways to unplug your brain and ease into a slower pace of life. But while a round of golf or a local park visit can always offer some respite, fishing may be the ultimate way to take a break from your busy life.
“The act of fishing…transports us to a special world and a state of mind where we are free,” says author and broadcaster Fennel Hudson. And in Richmond, you’re never far from a great spot to exercise that invaluable approach to life.
Read on for our introduction to the local sport fishing scene—including insider insights from Michele Berry, a manager and self-proclaimed “jack of all trades” at family-run Berry’s Bait & Tackle, a legendary gear and equipment store that has been based in Richmond for almost 50 years.
Richmond has some great fishing piers. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
WHERE TO GO
“Fishing along the Fraser River is fairly easy, and many spots are nice and close if you’re visiting the city,” says Berry. “There’s also a lot of species diversity here, from bullhead and whitefish to cutthroat trout and even sturgeon—which you can fish for year-round in this area.”
There are several shoreline city hot spots where anglers congregate, she says, mentioning a popular location along No. 3 Road. Just west of the intersection with Dyke Road, there’s a large sports fishing pier that offers scenic views towards distant Mount Baker.
The pier is on the South Arm of the Fraser. And it’s not far from Steveston Village, where fishing-minded visitors should also consider making a day of it by checking out Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site—both attractions show you just how tough fishing was for those working in the industry back in the day.
There are two additional South Arm angling spots even closer to central Steveston. Consider the No. 2 Road Fishing Pier and Float as well as Imperial Landing, a great riverfront park with boardwalk views across the water.
It’s not all about the South Arm, though. Anglers craving a little more seclusion should beeline to one particular locale on the river’s North Arm. The No. 7 Road Pier is situated in its own small, picnic-perfect park (keep your eyes peeled for eagles). There’s also a little beach and handy washroom facilities here.
Fishing along the Fraser River. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you’re planning to fish in Richmond, you’ll need a Tidal Waters Fishing Licence. One-day, three-day, five-day, and annual licences are available (they cost from $5.51 to $22.05 for residents and from $7.35 to $106.05 for non-residents—those under the age of 16 in both groups receive annual licences for free).
You can purchase your licence online or drop into Berry’s Bait & Tackle and pick one up there. The advantage of that—especially for visitors—is that you can also tap into the store’s deep reservoir of insider knowledge at the same time. And if you’ve left your favourite Purple Sparkler Jig at home, you can also pick up a replacement, along with just about any other item of gear you can think of.
“We’ve been serving the fishing public for 47 years—our friendly staff are anglers and they can answer all your questions about fishing in the area,” says Berry. “We’ve got all kinds of equipment and we look after everyone from beginners to experts here. We’ll even tell you where to go—in a good way!”
THE INSIDE LINE
Just holding a licence isn’t enough, of course: you also need to know the detailed rules that govern fish and fishing in the area. “The regulations can be hard for visitors to figure out,” concedes Berry. “Connect with us first and we’ll help get you started,” she says, adding that the store’s website also includes fishing reports so you can check ahead before launching your angling trip to the region.