Author Archive

July 9, 2019

Hi All

We have now completed a full week and a bit of fishing Barkley Sound and it feels like we are getting a better picture of all that’s happening fishwise throughout the area.
I just finished up with Brendan, Paul, Liam and Patrick. Had a great time with these four guys. Lots of fun on the water and in the evening at the dinner table.
The Boys arrived on Thursday afternoon so after settling in and getting their gear stowed  we set off for an afternoon / evening fish. We went round the corner of Beale to Keeha Bay. Here we got out the MacDeep jigs and buzz bombs and jigged the bottom for springs feeding on spawning Opal squid. It was calm, partly sunny and just gorgeous on the water. After tangling with the odd flounder and rock fish Brendan hooked into a feisty 10 lb spring. With one in the box the pressure was off and on we went. Things slowed down some so we decided to see if we could cover some water by trolling. I rigged up a white flasher with a large glow white squid imitation (Aussie John has them in store!). We hooked up two larger springs and lost two others. The Boys were fading as it had been a long travel day and we headed back to Harbourside for some steaks on the grill.
Friday morning we returned to Keeha and picked up two nice springs on the same rig within the first hour. After that the bite went off. We pulled up the gear and headed over to my favourite haunt, Seabird Rocks. We decided to try and find some lings for the Boys and I was hoping to see some salmon arches on the sounder. Seabird should be happening now but things are different this year and it really looks very quiet. The current (very big tides right now) was very strong and we found it difficult holding the boat tight to structure where the lings hang out. At one point while drifting through the kelp I was jigging a 6 inch green and white needle fish Magic Lure when I felt a solid thump. Thinking I had hooked a good size ling cod I set the hook hard and called Brendan over to take the rod. All of a sudden the line went horizontal and the reel started screaming. The fish then braked hard and came flying to the boat. At the stern the water broke and over three feet of silver arched toward the sky and then bolted towards Pachena Point. The biggest spring salmon I had seen this year was putting on a show. In passing the rod to Brendan one of us must have knocked back the drag and all of a sudden we were in free spool. The fish was running hard and we backlashed the reel big time. I tried to reel over top of the backlash in an attempt to save the fish but alas the slack line was enough for the big brute to spit the hook. Ahh… the ones that get away always become great stories, but damn… I wanted that one…
That was really the only action we head at Seabird. We pulled up the gear and tested the waters at Little Beale (just inside Cape Beale).We fished here for 45 minutes and things did not look fishy here at all. Time for one more move, across Imperial Eagle Channel to Austin and Cree Islands.
I love this trolling tack. I put the gear at 50 and 60 feet, trolling a Bon Chovy and an Irish Creme skinny g. Very close to Austin Islets is a channel between two reefs. Bait fish collect in there pushed by the tidal action of either a flood or ebbing tide. Stay patient and fish through the tide change and more often than not the bite will come on. As if by clockwork that’s exactly what happened. It started with a double header right off of the last rock section of Austin. Every time we trolled by this rock and, only trolling the same direction as the incoming tide, we hooked up to a nice spring. The next hour went fast and furious as we ended the day with some quality fish.
Day three was a hali day and off we went to some humps rising on the bank to about 200 feet. I anchored in 205 feet and rigged up salmon bellies and heads on spreader bars. The dog fish have been thick lately and you have to wade through dozens it seems before a hali will hit. I know dog fish are a pain but please release them with care. I realise some fisherman are happy to rip hooks out their mouths and even slit their throats but we must understand that dog fish also have a place within the marine ecosystem. They are to be treated with as much respect as we treat releasing a wild salmon. We are, after all, guardians and custodians of this amazing resource and we must do our all to take care of all of it. Ok I am now down off of my high horse… back to fishing.
I am now strictly using circle hooks only. I keep the drag on my reels very loose so a striking hali can easily peel line. Once it stops its initial run just tighten down the drag and reel gently. When you feel head shakes and weight keep reeling and you’ll be hooked up. The circle hook is usually tight to the corner of the mouth and likely won’t come loose.
We hooked up and landed 4 halis at 125 cm, 123 cm, 105 cm and a 102 cm. A very productive day for sure!
The boys left back to Vancouver with a good haul on Sunday morning. I had Sunday off and and now await my next guests, Curtis and Reza who are spending the next 4 days with me.
I will update my blog Friday morning of the 12th.
As for a synopsis of the fishing here in the Sound? It’s spotty at best. Some of the local tacks tend to go off occasionally but it seems there is no rhyme or reason. You just have to have gear in the water at the right time. The most consistent fishery seems to be Keeha and or Effingham, Austin and Cree. Skinny gs and glowhite hootchies would be your best bets at this time of the year. At Keeha fish them just off the bottom. at Ausin and Cree I fish skinny gs at 50 and 60 feet. Make sure your gear is in the water an hour before and after tide change. If you need to move make it after tide change.
In the mean time please stop by Harbourside and check in with Aussie John, me or Joe.
We are well stocked with fuel (gas and diesel), tackle, bait, drink ice, and shaved salt ice. We are also an IAP so we can issue online fishing licences.
Harbourside also has accommodation and moorage and we have some availability, so ring us on 250 728 3330 or email requests@harboursidelodge.com.
In the mean time and in between time, we will see you soon…
Coach (aka Jonathan)

July 2, 2019

Hi All
The traveling on weekends back and forth from Vancouver to Bamfield has finally ended and I am now settled in at Harbourside for the duration of the summer.
My first crew of the year arrived Friday evening. Rob who lives in South Surrey and his good friend Michael from Kelowna were very eager to get out on Charley Girl and experience all that Barkley Sound has to offer.
Day one, Saturday morning, was a salmon day. Rob has spent time working as a deckhand on a gill netter but never had the opportunity to catch a salmon with rod and reel. Michael was an experienced salmon fisherman but he hadn’t pulled in a halibut before (on the agenda for Sunday). Either way I had a job to do.
Saturday morning was warm but socked in. Thankfully the radar works beautifully on the new boat. We went round the corner at Beale and headed down to Sea Bird Rocks. We fished a glow white hootchy with a glow green flasher at 30 feet on down rigger 1 and ran a black trimmed glow flasher with an irish cream skinny g at 27 feet on the other rigger. Other than some rambunctious black rock fish we came up empty. We changed the gear to different colours and different depths. We couldn’t get bit. My buddy Al from Bakerbuoy Charters sent me a text that there was a good bite going on at Keeha Bay. Now this is Al who I have mentioned before. The best fisherman I know. This is the guy who can pull a spring salmon out of a ditch on a rainy day along the Island Highway. In my mind there is no one better on the water. If he texts and says the bite is on, then go! They were having success jigging off the bottom in 45 to 70 feet of water. The squid spawn is still going on at Keeha and the springs were taking advantage. Off we went full of anticipation. But…a day late and a dollar short. My first trip of the year and we blanked. O for, nada, empty box, zippo. I drove the boat home with my tail firmly between my legs…
Sunday was a hali morning that dawned with splendour and renewed hope. The trip out to the banks was stunning. Clear skies, flat seas. We saw sea otters, humpbacks, sea lions, harbour porpoises, dall’s porpoises. Salmon were finning everywhere feeding on the surface krill. It was just wonderful.
We anchored on a hump on the bank that came up to 200 feet, dropped the hali gear with herring and salmon bellies and the bite was on. At least the dog fish bite…
Omg! I couldn’t get the gear down before the bait was stolen and or we had a dog fish on. I use circle hooks and it did prevent some of the pesky sharks from hooking up and made for easier releases but man I was working my butt off.
After a couple of hours Michael hooked up his first ever hali and we boated a fat 104 cm fish. Not long after that Rob hooked into a beast. The initial run lasted a minute and pulled a couple of hundred feet of line. The battle was on, however I knew it was an oversize fish. No matter Rob was having a blast. After 25 minutes or so we finally got colour. This wasn’t a hali but the largest dog fish I have ever seen. This thing was 6 feet long and two feet thick. I had never seen anything like it. The b

A great morning at Keeha

oys thought it was awesome and I didn’t have to release an oversize.
We waited it out another two hours before we got another hit. Before the end of the day Rob managed to boat a hali at 106 cms. We picked up one more to end the day and the three of us came home with some serious white gold. After the day before I let out a long sigh of relief.
Monday morning was my last chance to put Rob on to his first ever spring salmon. We headed over to Keeha and got out the MacDeep jigs. We back trolled with the kicker to keep the lines straight up and down and just off the bottom. In a span of 2 and half hours we got the boys into 5 springs and landed 4. Great day on the water!
I now have 3 days off to spend some time on the water with Makiko. Nothing better then spending some quality time on the water with your loved one!
The season is really just starting and there are some fantastic fishing opportunities here around the Sound.
Aussie John is performing his usual magic at the fuel dock and tackle shop. I swear people stop in here for fuel just because he’s so darn entertaining!. Come check him out folks. Seriously, he’s worth it!
Joe, our other guide is here and ready to run with his boat. Call and book with Aussie John. I’ll have another report out within the next 5 or 6 days.
Till then,
Coach (aka Jonathan…)

June 25, 2019

Hi All

Fishing in Barkley Sound in June has been very good. If you are willing to put in the time, fish through the tide changes and find a spot where the rollers aren’t turning everyone green, you will be rewarded. The last week or so has seen some iffy marine weather. Not so much with rain and such but strong north westerlies that are hammering the coast lines surrounding the Bamfield area. There are fish to be had if you have the stomach for it!
We have seen and tremendous invasion of spawning squid. This in turn has fired up both the springs and coho. They are feeding hard and are very willing to pounce on a variety of gear.
I have been up at the lodge just for weekends as I finish out the school year. I haven’t been able to get out on the water as much as I’d like as I have been finishing the setting up of my newer Grady White. I have managed the odd trip out. This past Sunday we made our way over to Whittlestone and Little Beale. We ran a green  flasher with glow white hootchy at 45 feet and on the other rigger we ran a black trimmed glow flasher with an Irish Cream skinny g at 30 – 37 feet. Both rigs hit fish. That said we did not hook up with any springs but did manage to limit out on some gorgeous fat early season coho. Each coho was just plugged full of squid!
We had a number of fisher folk staying at the lodge and all of our groups did well with springs. Whittlestone and Kirby were the hot spots. Flasher hootchy’s were the rage although small spoons and bait has also been productive.
Austin and Cree has produced nicely but few ventured over there so as not to worry about navigating a snarky Trevor Channel. Once one is over at Austin and Cree it is very fishable as it’s in the lee of the north westerly flow. Make sure though you are in a very seaworthy vessel if heading that direction especially when it’s blowing north west. 50 – 90 feet has been the zone for successful chinook fishing at Austin and Cree.
Not much to tell you different on the hali front. Too rough for many boats to get out the last while. Winds are settling down today and Tuesday so boats will be able to get out after some flatties this week. See last week’s fish report for info on early season hali fishing.
I am up for the summer as of Thursday evening June 27. Please contact Aussie John about moorage, accommodations, fuel and tackle. He will be very happy to help you out anyway he can.
Our other lodge guide Joe Martell will be arriving at the lodge this week. There are guide days available with both Tom’s and Joe’s boats. These are great guys to fish with, knowledgable, safe and tons of fun. Join us for a fabulous fishing adventure here at Harbourside. You’ll be glad you did!
We will see you soon,
Coach… (aka Jonathan)

June 14, 2019

Hi All

It’s good to be back! I hope everyone has had a great winter and I can only imagine how excited you all are to get back on the water. Barkley Sound is a magical place and if you are anything like me summer cannot come soon enough.
Breaking news for those of you who will be joining me on the water this summer! You will be welcomed aboard a new ride! As of February, Fishing With Coach Charters added a 2002 Gradywhite Gulftsream into the fold. We are now a little longer and considerably wider. The Boat aptly named, Charley Girl, has been up at Harbourside since the May long weekend. We have managed a few forays out into the Pacific with her and are very pleased with it’s performance so far. For those of you who often chat with me over the VHF and dial me up as Charley’s Angel, take note of our new handle, Charley Girl. Not a huge change I know. By the way the real Charley Girl, the 15 year old golden retriever who owns me and has accompanied me on all of my fishing adventures the past 15 years is still doing well. Noticeably slower but happy, content and enjoying life still. I doubt she will be out on the water as much this summer as in summers past but she will still be a presence at Harbourside.
Ok enough about me. What you really want to know is what is happening on the water! Are there fish around and how can I get into some?
I have only really been out twice so far. Last Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday afternoon I trekked over to Seabird Rocks to check out old haunts and see if there are any springs around.We fished a glow white squid imitation (squid spawn is happening now) 30 inches behind a glow green flasher between 27 and 44 feet on the downrigger. We have two solid swipes and misses, both of which pulled off the rigger clip. On the other side we fished a Bon Chovy Skinny G behind a Gibbs black glow flasher, also between 27 and 44 feet. We trolled mostly in depths between 33 and 60 feet. After about 2 hours we manages a hook up on the Skinny G and Makiko landed a gorgeous 18lb spring. First of the year and a terrific fish for the table! That was, however, our only fish of the day.
I have managed to chat with numerous other fisher folks up in Bamfield last weekend and I can summarize the early fishing as follows:
Beale, Edward King, Kirby, Meares, Austin, Cree, and the Wall have all had their moments. The fish have been a bit shallower for early season. Alot of folks were finding decent springs (8 to 18 lbs) at 40 – 65 feet. I would still keep a deep line near the bottom if I was fishing Kirby, Edward King and perhaps Beale. At Austin and Cree I’d likely go 50 and 65 feet. At Meares perhaps 65 – 90 feet. If you see bait stick with it as long as you can. Sooner or later the bite is likely to come on.
As for the hali front? They are around for sure. There are a few spots right n the sound which can produce early season. We, however,  popped off shore to the banks last Sunday found a hump that came up to about 205 feet. Here we let down the anchor. We fished two lines with 2lb weights, spreader bars, salmon bellies and extra large herring. Inside of an hour we had 5 solid takes and put two nice fish into the boat. One was right near the limit at 125 cms and the other was a very fat 101 cm fish. It was a very productive morning.
We have had some nice springs caught by guests this week – a 32lb and 34lb came in last Wednesday, and some nice bottom fish. There have also been some nice coho landed.
We are very lucky here in Barkley Sound. Our regs haven’t really changed that much. Even the banks will be open to chinook retention starting July 15. I am very concerned about the charter operations here in Vancouver, east side Vancouver Island and those in the Juan de Fuca. It’s so tough when you have that much invested in boats and equipment and you get shut down. Hopefully there are plenty of hungry springs around after July 15th and these guys can get booked solid for the rest of the season.
As for all of us at Harbourside? We are open and going full bore. Tom and Aussie John and have been at the Lodge for weeks now getting everything ready.
The shop is open with tackle, bait and fuel. We still have some accommodation and moorage available, so book with Aussie John soon, as the later we get into the summer the busier the lodge will be. As I have mentioned many times in this blog, June and July can be fantastic fishing here in Bamfield. Less crowds, great weather and awesome fishing.
 I am up for good come June 27. Hope to see you all soon!
Coach (aka Jonathan….)

May 28 Fisheries Update

Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada Subject:

FN0466-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Southwest Coast of Vancouver Island

Information relating to Area 23 and 123

Area 23 & 123 – Coho Fishing Times and Limits Continuing conservation concerns for Interior Fraser Coho require that 2019 Coho management measures remain precautionary.

Area 123 - the daily limit for Coho is two (2) per day, hatchery marked only from 00:01 hours June 1 to 23:59 hours December 31, 2019

Area 23 – Barkley Sound

Effective 00:01 hours June 1 until 23:59 hours December 31, 2019 you may retain
two (2) Coho per day (hatchery marked or unmarked) except for;

Subareas 23-1 to 23-3 (Alberni Inlet) effective 00:01 hours August 1 until
23:59 hours December 31, 2019 you may retain four (4) Coho per day (hatchery
marked or unmarked.

 

 

April 2019 DFO – Chinook, Coho, Halibut, and others

Hello,

These are the latest regulations for 2019 as published by the DFO for Area 23 (Barkley Sound) which is inside the Boundary Line (1nm outside the surfline offshore),  and Area 123 which lies outside the Boundary Line seawards.

1. Area 23 (inside the boundary line):
   Chinook: 2 per day, 4 possession; minimum length 45cm;
   Coho:  Non-retention until June 1st then they will set the limits. We expect they will be the same as last year.
2. Area 123: (offshore outside the boundary line):
   Chinook: Non-retention until July 14 then will probably go to the same as Area 23
   Coho: Non-retention until June 1st when limits will be announced
Other species:
Area 23 and 123:
Halibut: The possession limit is either of: one (1) halibut measuring from 90 cm to 126 cm head-on length, OR two (2) halibut measuring under 90 cm head-on length.
Lingcod: Fillets, including the tail, must meet the minimum “head off” size limit of 53 cm. (21 in.)
Rockfish – Anglers in vessels shall immediately return all rockfish that are not being retained to the water and to a similar depth from which they were caught by use of an inverted weighted barbless hook or other purpose-built descender device (we sell the descender devices at our tackle store)
Area 23, 123 Rockfish: Daily limit of 3 Rockfish per day, of which only 1 may be a China Rockfish or a Tiger Rockfish or a Quillback Rockfish
The Boundary Line is approximately 1nm seaward of the surfline and is defined as follows: A line that begins at Pacheena Point lighthouse at 48 degrees 43.327′ N 125 degrees 05.855′ W then to 48 degrees 42.456′ N 125 degrees 06.583′ W seaward of Pachena Point, then to 48 degrees 46.420′ N 125 degrees 13.997′ W seaward of Cape Beale, then to 48 degrees 54.572′ N 125 degrees 33.622′ W seaward of Amphitrite Point. There are more points for the boundary line further north that can be viewed on the DFO website. Follow our website link to Are 23 and 123 Regulations.

Sept 6, 2018

Hi All

The frenzy that the last week of August sets upon us has also seen us through the first week of September. There are still solid returns of chinook and the first of the bigger coho are starting to show more consistently.
I finished up last Monday with the Suter Home group from Whistler. We had four days together with my Grady and Paul Suter’s 30 foot Sea Ray.
We started the trip over at Swale and Gibraltar on Friday afternoon. We fished anchovies in bloody nose and glow green teaser heads behind white  and green glow flashers at 35 to 45 feet. Both boats hit some good fish during the tide change bite and it seemed to stay on long after the water shifted. In a matter of 3 or 4 hours we put 11 springs and 3 coho in the box between the two boats. A great way to start the trip off!
Saturday was a designated off shore day. Both boats headed out to 12 mile on a hali hunt. I anchored up at 198 feet and put down three rods tipped with salmon bellies. Paul anchored up a mile and a half northeast of me and also put down salmon bellies. He was anchored in 190 feet of water.
We hit two beaut hali fairly early after we got the gear down. Unfortunately both were over size and we cut them lose. A bit frustrating for sure but it’s still very cool to watch those big breeder halibut swim away.
Paul’s boat got hot early and limited out on their 4 hali in a couple of hours.
We picked the anchor and moved to Paul’s boat and hooked up a nice fat 25lber right away. Our last fish was an under at about 15 lbs. We picked up the anchor and headed back inside to fish springs. Things had slowed down some over at Swale and Gibraltar. We had 3 nice hook ups but only managed one 18lber to the box.
Sunday morning saw both boats head up to Whittlestone and Little Beale.
I dropped the gear at Whittlestone and lost a nice fish early. I found the boat traffic a bit much so I trolled my way up from Whittlestone towards Spike Rock at Little Beale. We were rolling anchovies again with a bloody nose teaser head and a glow green no bananas teaser. We dragged them at 27 and 30 feet behind a glow green and glow white flasher. We hooked up a number of nice springs and a couple of gorgeous coho. The latter part of the day we fished Brady’s Beach. We spotted a number of active bait balls and immediately were into two nice chinook. Turned out to be a very productive day on the water. Good fish, good guys and good times overall.
Our last morning out we fished Whittlestone tight to the rocks in the bay. We dragged our gear between 25 and 33 feet. There was a solid bite very tight to the rocks in the big surf. It wasn’t an easy troll but Paul’s boat just lit it up. We saw them play double header after double header. I wasn’t as fortunate. We hooked up but could not put a fish in the box! It was still a whole ton of fun though!
I’ve had to make my way back to Vancouver to start my teaching job. Its has been such a good season. Solid fishing from Canada Day weekend on.
I have one more trip out. I am bringing 40 grade ten students out to Harbourside from my school. We spend four days hiking, fishing and whale watching. Its such a tremendous trip. There is nothing like watching the wide eyed stares of kids seeing their first whale up close or catching their first ever fish. I think its a fun for me as it is for them. Very cool indeed!
Just a heads up to all of you that if you are thinking of coming up to Harbourside next summer, book now! We are already filling up. Most people think late August is prime time and it many ways it is, but late June and July fishing has been fantastic in and around the Sound. Better weather, more daylight and plenty of fish. Aussie John is the guy to call to book. Don’t leave it too long! Email john@harboursidelodge.com for your enquiries.
I’ll write one more report after I get back next week.
Coach…..

29 August 2018

Hi All

Barkley Sound fishing is prime time and in full force! The past week or so has been tremendous for springs and our run of coho are also starting to show.
I finished up last weekend with the Pace Processing group. Thanks so much to Sean Darrah for organizing the trip. It was great food, great times and great fishing. We had six boats out on the water for these guys, and every boat did well.
I had Matt and Felix on my boat. Super nice guys and super eager!. We got out o the water last Friday and headed over to Swale. We fished blood and bones teaser heads with anchovies at 35 and 39 feet. We had a great afternoon. We managed to get Matt into his first ever spring salmon. It was a thrill for him and for me watching his eyes light up as his first ever spring ripped line of his reel. We fished for 3 hours or so and came back to the dock with a full box. 6 beautiful springs between 13 and 21 lbs. A great start to the trip for sure!
The next day was an offshore day. We were hoping to get the boys into a couple of halibut and some coho. We anchored 12 miles off Cape Beale on a hump on the bank that comes up to 197 feet. We got the gear down and waited for Mr. Hali to announce himself. It was slow, very slow. In the mean time we jigged MacDeeps for coho. It too was slow. It looked as if the herds of coho offshore had moved on. We landed some small springs which we released and the odd coho. The boys did have some fun however with all of the mackerel about. It seems the offshore waters are inundated with chub mackerel. They are very cool looking fish. They only weigh 4 or 5 lbs but fight like stink! They are a blast. That kept us busy while we waited for a hali strike. It took some time but we managed to get Felix into his first ever hali. It was a lovely 30 lb fish. Matt then followed up with a 25 lber.
The next day we were back out for springs. We returned to Swale and fished again at 35 and 39 feet with the same gear. It was a little slower but we limited out the boys eventually and still dropped quite a few. It was so much fun fishing with Matt and Felix. Their enthusiasm was invigorating. I look forward to seeing them again next year.
I am back in Vancouver for a few days getting ready for school. I am back to Harbourside on Thursday evening. This weekend we are welcoming the Suter Homes Group from Whistler. Paul Suter brings his crew up annually and each year we have a great trip. Really looking forward to it!
The lodge will be busy this weekend as the Port Alberni Salmon Festival gets going on Saturday through Monday. This is such a big event. Some lucky angler is going to win the whole thing. It may even be on my boat. One can only dream…
Please stop in to see us if you are and about searching for the big one. Aussie John and Tom will be down at the docks serving up gas and ,diesel, along with drink ice, salt ice, bait, fishing tackle, drinks and snacks. I’ll be on the water.
Till next time…
Coach….

28 August 2018 – Halibut

DFO have just announced that the 2018 recreational Halibut fishery remains open until further notice.

 

 

24 August, 2018

Some days are diamonds, some days are stones….
I know it’s late for my normal fish report. Things have been busy for sure. I had to take a few days off to attend a wedding in Revelstoke. My good friends Brendan and Andrea made it official last Saturday. It was a great weekend despite the smoke and blackened skies. As much as I hated leaving here during prime time it was great to get away and do a road trip with my partner Makiko. We had a blast! Thanks again to the generosity of everyone associated with the wedding. We felt so welcomed and part of the family.
Now as for fishing here at Bamfield? I would have to say it’s very solid right now but there are days when we search for fish and struggle some. That happens from time to time. Waves of fish arrive but not always all at once. You’ll have stragglers from the previous wave and the leaders of the next. When that happens fishing can be slow. But, in one tide things can change.
I just finished up with a group of four. DJ, Bryan, Norm and Bill. Great guys and a barrel of laughs. We got out for an hour and a half at Whittlestone on the day of their arrival. We trolled anchovies in glow green and bloody nose teaser heads at 30 and 35 feet. We had one strike and Bill landed a lovely 12 lb spring that was to be our dinner fish.
The next day we left the dock and headed to Little Beale. Once again trolling anchovies at 30 and 35 feet. We fished the early morning bite for 3 hours with nary a sniff. We pulled up gear and headed for Kirby Point. We fished Kirby for another three hours through the tide change. Again…not a hit, not a bite, nothing…
My confidence was waning and I started to search the tackle box for some much needed magic. Experience has taught me though that when the bite goes off it’s likely better to stick with what usually produces rather than grasp at straws. I stuck with rolling bait. Still nothing. Ok, one move and then I was digging in. Over to Swale. I decided to make our stand here and fish it through closing time. Upon arrival we saw the odd fish being boated so this was a good sign. Within a few minutes we had our first hit and Bryan was into a fish. Not a salmon but an unexpected nice ling cod. At 70 cms it was a nice start to the box. The afternoon was still slow but it did pick up. We managed two lovely springs pushing 20 lbs and dropped three others. Encouraging for sure but a long day with only 2 springs. Some days are stones for sure…
Next morning we returned to Swale. We dropped anchovies in glow green and bloody nose teaser heads to 35 and 40 feet at 6:15 am. By 7:00 am we had two beauties in the box. Things quieted down for us over the next few hours. On a hunch I replaced the glow green teaser and anchovies with an Irish Cream Skinny G. Bang! Fish on. We had 5 strikes and four fish to the boat in the next 35 minutes. So nice to see fish hitting on the spoon. So much easier to fish! As the afternoon continued the bite sort of stayed consistent. We finished the day with a double header. We were looking for one more spring to tag the boys out so with the double I took the 2nd one on my tag. I haven’t been able to get out much for myself so I was happy to have a fish for the smoker.
We ended the day with 9 springs and coho. A tremendous day of fishing. Some days indeed are diamonds….
The end of August is approaching and it kind of saddens me. What a privilege it is to be on the water each and everyday here in one of the most stunning places on earth.
I wanted to send a shout out to our Harbourside friend Ron Conway. He’s been bringing his boat up from Washington State for 40 years! Fish on Four was his radio handle and we loved chatting with him while on the water. Ron had has to sell his Sea Sport which was very hard for him to do. But, it turned out to be in our favour as he now comes up and charters us. Ron and our guide Joe spent a number of days together over the summer and they did really well. Great to see Ron back on the water! And thanks so much Ron for the tackle!
I’ll be chartering the Pace Processing group this weekend. Sean brings a large contingent of family and employees out for a tremendous weekend of fishing and fun.
I return to Vancouver for much of next week as I must get ready for school. I’ll finish up the season with the Suter Homes group from Whistler on the Labour Day weekend.
I’ll have one more trip up after that as I bring 44 students from my school up for four days but much more on that later.
Until then…. We have fuel, both diesel and boat gas, tackle, fish ice, drink ice, coffee, snacks,  pretty much everything but the fish. That you will have to do.
Hoping to see you here,
Coach…