Author Archive

Sept 8, 2017

Hi All
It’s amazing how it seems that we are so right in the middle of it all. Our mornings are still early, there are boats to fuel, bait and tackle to sell, we are on the water all day, fish to clean and package, suppers to make and dishes to clear, and then… it feels like in one fell swoop, it ends…
The lodge was full to the brim on the September long weekend. It was hustle and bustle with excited fisherfolks just as it has been all summer. I fished Monday morning till 11ish then back to the lodge, showered, packed my bag and off on a Pacific Seaplanes Beechcraft floatplane. By 1:30 pm Monday afternoon I was having lunch in Vancouver and just like that, my season ends… The lodge is still up and running this week and will be through next week but now it’s more catching up on paper work and getting things ready to close up. And just like that we start the process of dreaming of next year….
As for the few ardent fishers who will still be making the trek to Barkley Sound? We can still offer some last minute advice as to where to go and what to drag behind the boat.
The Derby weekend, in all honesty, I found difficult. I expected to deal with much more boat pressure than usual but that teamed up with some marginal fishing results made things a tough grind.
I fished with returning guest Carmen and his lovely wife Rene. They were at Harbourside with the Pace Processing Group. (Thanks so much to our friend Sean Darrah for organizing such a great crew and great food for all of us on the long weekend!) We fished hard Friday starting at Little Beale and Whittlestone and finishing at Edward King and Kirby. We ran a skinny g at 37 feet on one rigger and a chovey at 33 feet on the other. After 4 hours we returned to the lodge without a sniff. There were 5 other Harbourside boats out with the Pace Processing group Friday afternoon and some boats did well on running bait. Al, Joe, Tom, Sean and Duncan all came back to the dock with 2 or more nice fish. Coach? nope we were skunked…
The next day dawned with renewed hope. We trolled Kirby first light then tried the Wall all the way to Danvers. Again, not even a hit. We ran bait at 33 and 37 feet. Once we arrived near Danvers we ran a bit deeper at 39 and 45 feet. No results but very clean gear. Ahhh… Frustration indeed setting in. This is prime time after all!
We pulled up our gear and set off for Flemming. Running bait in a bloody nose teaser head and green uv flasher at 29 feet and then a purple haze teaser head and purple flasher we finally had some action. The bloody nose hit not 5 minutes after we dropped the gear but didn’t stick. Then my old fav purple took over. We managed two nice springs and a gorgeous coho to the boat expertly played by Rene and Carmen. Not a great day as far as full fish boxes were concerned but it felt like we made some progress and we all had a great time on the water.
Th next day was an offshore day for a hali hunt. Neither Carmen nor Rene had tagged into a hali before so we had high expectations. We hit our hali spot early, 14 miles off Cape Beale on a hump that comes up to 197 feet. The idea was to anchor up setting our gear in around 205 feet or so. We were teamed up with Tom’s boat Aqualady.
My first anchor drop was miscalculated and we did not drift into where I though the best hali fishing would be. I pulled up and tried again. Once again I was off on my expected drift. I was not comfortable with our spot. We pulled up one more time.
Now it was stick and stay and make it pay time. Tom’s boat, Aqualady were into 2 nice hali before we dropped a third time. Not long after we settled our first hali hit. Salmon bellies on spreader bars were once again what these flatties were after.
In the next four hours we had 11 large hali hit and peel line. Only one stuck. It was another frustrating afternoon to say the least. 100 meters to our west Aqualady boated four beauties including a 130cm 65lb fish. We came home with a lovely 37lb hali but were very disappointed at what could have been. Such is fishing….It ain’t catching after all..
So if you are making one last trip out to Bamfield I’d suggest the following. Little Beale, Whittlestone, Brady’s Beach and the Wall all the way down to Danvers will be fishable and produce. We were starting to see some beautiful northern coho show and there will still be the odd spring around. Choveys, glow white hootchies and and small spoons, (skinny gs will be killer in glow green and white) will give you a solid shot at hooking up. 25 to 40 feet on the riggers. Kirby and Flemming will also be productive. I love the tack in tight at Flemming with less than 40 feet of water under your boat.
So we are almost done. I do have one more trip and it’s a biggie. Officially I am done my personal business and I am now back at my real job. I am the Athletic Director at St. John’s School here in Vancouver. Hence my moniker as “Coach”. Every fall during the 2nd week of September I take 44 grade 10 students out to Bamfield and Harbourside Lodge for 4 days. It is an awesome experience. Showcasing 44 teenagers the amazing west coast of the Island and the treasures of Barley Sound is a real joy for me. We hike, we fish, we whale watch. The kids cook and clean and really get into life on the west coast. It’s my favourite trip of the season. Watching the kids eyes light up as they feel their first tug on the line, see a breaching humpback or 1500 lbs of steller sea lion lazing on the rocks likely does more for me than it does for them. Sharing this with our young people indeed goes along way to keeping you young too. Can’t wait…
Until then… as per usual, Aussie John and Franny are keeping the lodge, gas bar and tackle shop up and running. We will be selling bait and fuel all through next week. I’ll have a final run through of the last part of the season and some thoughts on the summer as a whole. In the mean time and in between time,
Tight lines and full boxes…

Aug 31, 2017

Hi All
I’ve just returned from the Big Smoke, Van City. Two and a half months at sea, so to speak, almost had me looking forward to being back home in Vancouver, however three nights in the heat and noise of the city had me yearning for the quiet and cool of Bamfield. So I have returned, eager and anxious to be back on the water for this last push.
It’s Derby time here in Barkley Sound. The Port Alberni Salmon Festival is the grand daddy of all the summer derbies. The beauty of this derby is anyone can win it. Grandpa with his 14 foot car topper and 9.9 outboard stands just as good a chance to net the winning fish as anyone else does in their 30 foot Grady and their twin 4 stroke 250s. Every bite and every hit could be the derby winner – for me, that makes the anticipation all the more intense. You just have to buy the rod fees and who knows? It could be you and why not, you deserve it. Except, I think this year I’m due. Yup, it’s my turn. Now last year the derby was pretty much over as the winning fish at over 50lbs was caught early on day one. I plan on being a bit more dramatic, perhaps charging up the ramp to the scales at 3:55 pm on Monday with a hog – or maybe not. A man can dream right?
Ok as I have said I have been away. I spent today, however, at the dock helping guests with fuel and tackle orders. The dock provides a wealth of info regrding what is happening on the water. So, this is what the word is.
There seems to be a fresh push of fish as of yesterday afternoon. Late in the afternoon Wednesday and into the evening the bite came on. Whittlestone, Kirby, Flemming, Aguilar Point and the Wall all gave up fish. Skinny G’s again were very productive in cop car, bon chovey and irish cream. Bait, as per usual, was also good but it did seem from what people were saying that spoons were more effective. Coho Killers in glow green and white, white lightning, watermelon and army truck were also hot. Things bode well for the derby indeed!
Off shore the hali fishing has definitely picked up. Last Saturday I was out and managed three beauties in 2 hours. A 75lber at 132cms along with a 45 and a 35. Guide Brett from Harbourside also had a great day boating twin 132cms! What’s the secret? Find the pinnacles that come up to 190′ or so. Fish in and around them in 205′ to 215′. Salmon bellies and spreader bars are the mosh productive way to go. We will be off on a hali hunt this weekend so we will keep you updated.
We are looking forward to all the crew from Pace Processing joining us for the long weekend. This is an annual trip and we thank Sean so much for booking every year with us! We are eager to start filling the boxes for you guys!
We are fully stocked with fuel, bait, salt ice, drink ice, tackle, and snacks. Why wouldn’t you want to stop in? Come chat about the fishing, the Blue Jays, the upcoming NFL season, or, if you are talking to Aussie John, the latest test scores from the cricket pitch down under. It’s all good and we would love to see you!
Stay tuned for a report early next week…
Coach (aka Jonathan), Tom, Aussie John, Joe Joe and Franny…

Aug 26, 2017

Hi All
Well it’s true, some days are diamonds and some days are stones and every nice in a while stones turn into a diamonds. Shall I explain?
I spent the last three days with DJ, Bryan, Norm and Steven. Great guys which made a great crew. I will admit that I struggled to get these guys into fish. We drew a blank the first afternoon and then a complete blank the following day. That’s a hard thing to deal with when boats around you are boxing fish and your box remains empty. I take it personally, I shouldn’t, but I do. I so badly want people to experience the rush of fighting such amazing fish as the spring salmon we have here in Barkley Sound. When you spend 12 hours on a boat in the Pacific with nothing in the box, one trends to desperation. My crew, however saw it differently. They had a blast. That said, it made me want to try all the harder the next day. So we did.
We ran our gear at 33′ and 31′ at Kirby. I ran anchovies on one side and a Bon Chovey skinny g on the other. First pass through we hit a nice spring. Bryan was excellent on the rod as he brought the fish towards the boat. Finally we looked like we would have one in the box. But, yup there was a but, the fish ploughed the water on the surface as a seal lined it up for a breakfast snack. 30 minutes later we managed our gear back but the fish was gone. Of course all around us boats are netting fish, taking advantage of the morning bite. We hurried to get our gear back in the water and over the course of the morning we boated 3 decent springs. Much better than the day before but a bit short of what we had hoped. The day was still young though and we were determined to find fish.
We headed over to Gibraltar and Swale, where the afternoon bite at the tide change had been good to me. No such luck on this day. We marked tons of bait and lots of salmon but could not encourage a take. Getting late in the day we made a move to Whittlestone and here we took one last fish for the day. This one, however was special. Was it a tyee? No. A spectacular fight? Not really. But it was the fish of the summer for me, as it was caught and landed by Steven, who is blind. Steve was aboard my boat with Roxy his guide dog. Steve fought this fish by feel and he was spectacular. I was amazed, proud and stunned all at the same time. I’ve had double diget spring salmon days, I’ve caught Tyees, 40s and even two in the 50s, but Steve’s fish was better than them all. Not because he overcame his disability but because he came despite his disability. In the three days we spent together I realized that Steve was just Steve, special because he really is, not because he’s blind. I’ll never have a better fishing day. Some days are diamonds, some days are stones, and sometimes stones turn into diamonds.
Thanks boys for a memorable trip.
Now, more about the fishing.
It’s good right now. Bait (though small bait is better), small spoons and glow white hootchies have been the best choices for spring salmon. 30′ to 40′ on your down riggers. All the usual spots are good. Just make sure you fish the early morning bite and through the tides. Whittlestone and Kirby have been solid, same with the Wall and just west of Aguilar Point. Coho still have not arrived in numbers, fingers are crossed they get here soon! There are a few around but not what it should be for this time of year.
Offshore is still spotty. Big Bank has been downright poor. Hali fishing has been ok but nothing like it was in July. Hopefully both will turn on one more time before the end of the season.
Please come see us at the lodge and store. Gas and diesel are at the docks along with bait and tackle in the shop. Aussie John will talk your ears off if you let him. It’s highly entertaining so go ahead, let him.
I’m back to Vancouver soon and back to my other life as Coach. School starts in a few days. I have two more groups and then I’m done for the season. Stay tuned for some reports as we close the year.
Till then, tight lines and full boxes…

Aug 21, 2017

It’s a Monday afternoon on August 21. I’ve been pretty much on the water now daily since June 16 with a few changeover days sprinkled in. I am waiting for my next crew, DJ, Brian and the boys to arrive at the Eastside dock. We were blanketed in August fog early this morning but by 10:30am it lifted and we could see a foggy version of the eclipse of the sun – it might be one of the prettiest days of the summer. I have 4 groups left this season. I’ll admit I am tired and a bit beat up but as I am writing this I can only wish the boys would get here sooner as I am itching to get out there and drop the gear. It’s days like this in Bamfield that we dream of come the grey, dreary days of the oncoming winter. Folks, if you love the water and love salmon fishing, then book off work, call in sick or heck just quit. Get here fast, the weather is stunning, the fishing is terrific and Barkley Sound is like a jewel in the sun. Oh we just wish this would last forever…
Ok let’s get you updated on the fishing. Fishing is great but you are going to still have to work hard to get it done. Don’t expect 20 lb springs to just throw themselves into the boat. The right gear, the right depth, the right place and time all factor in.
Let’s talk the right place. Beale, Little Beale, Whittlestone, Kirby, Flemming, Swale Rock and the Wall have all had their moments. I think that Beale and Little Beale are likely the more consistent. I’ve also been doing very well at Gibraltar just south of Swale Rock.
Get to a spot and fish it through the tide. Don’t leave until you are at least an hour past the slack. Someone told me the other day that the fishing sucked. I asked him where he was fishing and he replied, ” All over. I went to Beale, then to Swale, then to Kirby and Flemming and finally finished up at the Wall”. No wonder fishing sucked, you can’t catch fish at 40 kph when you are traveling all over the map. Go to a spot, fish it hard, then move once if need be. Fish that hard and call it a day. Keep to it and you will produce.
Now let’s talk gear and depth. Depth is easy. Keep you gear between 25 and 40. First light I might go 30′ to 35′. I’ve been having great success in the afternoons at 40′.
Bait, more specifically anchovies are everyone’s ” go to ” this time of year. I tend to agree. Yet this year I am still having more luck with smaller spoons then rolling ‘chovies. And yup, you have read all about it here in my blog this summer, skinny gs are still getting it done.
Now the best fisherman I know just happens to be our next door neighbour. Al and Duncan from Team Fish are very good on the water. Al could pull a spring salmon out if the ditch along Highway Number 1 if he wanted to. Al rolls bait and he rolls it well. Fine tuning your roll makes a difference. Al proves it day in and day out. I like to thing I’m pretty good on the water too. I am still catching fish but they seem to want my skinny g before they want my bait. Yesterday I rolled bait on one rigger and a Bon Chovey skinny g on the other. 8 springs came to the boat in six hours. Not one took my bait, all hit on the skinny g. As for my friend Al? He had 7 to the boat all before 9:30am.
So what do we take from all of this? Bait still works and works very well for those who know just the subtlest of differences to gain an edge. As for the rest of us? I’ll continue to roll bait on one side and and a skinny g on the other. Why not? It works for me. Small spoons and hootchies are all a good go too. Keep your gear moving through the water at 2.5 to 3 mph speed over ground.
Offshore hali has picked up. Still some great opportunities to get some nice flatties for the freezer. Any where the humps come up on the bank to our south west. As per usual, spreader bars, salmon bellies and or extra large herring will entice hali to some vicious takes. Drop by the store for more info re: hali fishing should you be interested.
We have about three weeks left for our season here at the lodge. We have one charter boat available should you want to plan a late season trip. Still some rooms upstairs as well. We are pumping out the fuel both gas and diesel. Lots of tackle and bait in the store. We would love to see you drop by for a coffee if you are in our neighbourhood.
Stay tuned for another update later this week.
Until then,
Tight lines and full boxes…
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Franny, Tom, Joe Joe and Brett!

Aug 17, 2017

Ok things are getting seriously fun now folks. The fish have arrived with attitude! This is as prime time as it gets here for us. Mature springs are showing at all our usual haunts.
Let’s talk about how you can maximize your time on the water and enjoy this incredible resource.
Hot spots? Beale and Little Beale I think has been the most consistent, especially for the morning bite. Anchovies in a variety of teaser heads will work here. 30′ on the down rigger in anywhere from 40′ to 100′ of water. I’m still having luck running spoons. Skinny Gs have still been productive but I do think rolling anchovies is likely a better bet at this point in the season.
Early morning at Flemming has been very good but extremely crowded. Personally I’m staying away, it’s too much like combat fishing for me. Kirby has been good also but with much more room. At Kirby you can run your gear as deep as 45′ if you want, though I must admit I am a shallow guy this time of year. I like to keep it under 35′.
The Wall always produces and is certainly doing so now. It’s a great place for an afternoon or evening fish. Lots of room and lots of fish. Going up the sound towards Danvers or what some call Yankee Bay, just before Poet’s Nook, has also been very good. Here I do run my gear a bit deeper. 35′ to 45′ on the rigger seems to be a productive depth.
Whittlestone and Brady’s Beach have also seen their fair share of fish this past week.
Bait first but don’t rule out small spoons either, sometimes the fish prefer them.
As I alluded to earlier, Skinny Gs have still worked for me. The Bon Chovy Skinny G and the purple and nickel have been very good. I replace the hooks however as I find the packaged hooks weak and will bend easily on an energetic spring salmon. Coyote spoons in 3.5′ green glow have also been very effective. Green flasher and white hootchies are still a rig that will also produce.
We are just finishing up a week with Drew, Brunny, Dave and Deano. It’s been such a blast to have these guys out on the boat each year. Already looking forward to next year. We have also had the pleasure of Jaime, Jaz and Guy along with Chris and his partner Chelsey joining us at the lodge. Chelsey has come all the from China visiting Canada and of course Bamfield, for the very first time. What a great experience for her and what a joy for us take get to know her!
The Harbourside Lodge experience is a special one and each year we make new friends and share such special memories. We would love to share this magical place with you too. It’s easier than you think. Aussie John will take your calls for bookings, charters and accommodations. If you want to know the latest fishing news please call or email us. Don’t forget, if you are up with your boat to come by for fuel, bait and tackle or a coffee.
The fish are here, so where are you?
Till then,
Tight lines and full boxes…

Aug 11, 2017

It looks like August is transitioning into what we usually expect from Barkley Sound this time of year. I think our fish are perhaps a tad late but fishing for bigger springs seems to be picking up.
First let’s talk offshore. I’ve made a few trips out to Big Bank and the Rat’s Nose. There are plenty of fish to be had. I have been mixing it up trolling spoons, hootchies and occasionally plugs. Unfortunately my attempt at plug fishing has been slow. Hootchies and spoons were much more effective. I’ve been trolling underneath the nose by what many call the egg, a hump that comes up to about 190 feet. I’m using 18 lb balls and finding most of my fish at 135 feet. Lots of fish but nothing really huge. Typically boats are coming back home with 10 to 15 lb springs with the odd larger one thrown in. As for terminal gear? I’m not sure it really matters but you can’t go wrong with a glow white hootchie or a glow green and white spoon.
I’m sad to say, at least for me, the hali situation has slowed considerably. There have been fish coming into the dock in the 50 to 60 lb range taken from the humps from 5 to 7 miles out on the bank, but I’ve been catching chickens and a whack of octopus! I still think the hali fishing will pick up again as August has been good for us in the past, but really, can we complain? It’s been likely the best hali season we have ever had.
Ok let’s talk inshore. This is the time of the season we have been waiting for. Typically inshore fishing in the Sound is a bait fishery, almost exclusively. So far this season spoons and hootchies are still producing. I’ve spent some time fishing near Keeha and had great success with glow white hootchies. Seabird Rocks has slowed but Beale and Little Beale have been very productive with quality fish. I fished Beale with a 3.5 inch purple haze silver horde spoon on one rigger and a purple / silver skinny g in the other. Ran them at 30 and 35 feet. I didn’t light it up by any means but managed 3 springs 20lbs plus in an afternoon.
Earlier in the week I was fishing with Nat and Franko and we managed a double header at little Beale. Gorgeous 22 lb beauties!
I had such a good time with these guys! I have to give them a plug as they own and run Nat’s Pizzeria on Broadway in Kitsilano, Vancouver. Gotta tell you people, it’s the best best pizza I have ever had! I’ve always told the truth on this fishing blog and trust me, go eat there. Tell Nat and Franko I sent you!
So what then would be my advice if you are heading out this way? I’d still fish bait on one rigger, but try a spoon or hootchie on the other. Keep it shallow and don’t be afraid to troll quick, 2.5 to 3 miles and hour will turn your gear the right way.
Things are very busy at the lodge. Gas and diesel are available at the dock and we are stocked with all your tackle needs. Drink ice and salt ice are in good supply. We are happy to talk strategy and share tips and locations.
It’s prime time people, don’t miss out!
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom, Brett and Joe.

Aug 3rd, 2017

Typically speaking most ardent fisher folks who ply the waters of Barkley Sound will tell you that August is magic time, especially for big springs. In wrapping up July, I’ll admit there were some tough days but all in all it was a tremendous month. There were fish to be had and if you are a hali lover then July really rocked your world. That said, August can be special as larger springs move in tight to the shorelines of the sound. They tend to school shallow which makes for very exciting fishing in calm protected waters.
Ok here then is the skinny. And no, I don’t work for Gibs Delta! But for me anyway, the skinny g still is reigning supreme when it comes to trolling springs. The Bon Chovey, Irish Cream, and Cop Car have been very effective. I’ve been using the Bon Chovey and Irish cream, both off shore and in tight to the rocks at Seabird rocks. Trolled deep off shore or shallow next to the kelp, salmon can’t seem to resist them.
On Monday I finished four days with the Ludemann group. I had aboard Dad, his two sons and their cousin Martin who was visiting from Germany. We made a couple of trips to the Big Bank and to the Rat’s Nose. Both trips were productive. On the first trip we fished a glow white hootchie on one rigger at 135 feet and an Irish Cream Skinny G at 120 feet on the other. We were kept busy all day with wild and hatchery coho some pinks and springs. Most of the bigger springs came on the glow white hootchie. We finished the day with 8 springs from 10 to 15 lbs and 8 hatchery coho.
Two days later we returned and I had decided I wanted to try fishing plugs, ( I love plug fishing!). We fished Tomic 602 & 530 plugs at 135 and 120. This tactic seemed to pay off as we were hitting larger fish. We came home with our limit with springs from 13 to 20 lbs, plus we left a few hogs out there that broke us off. It was a sunny day with beautiful water.
We also spent a day in between salmon fishing with a day of halibut hunting. Once again the humps out on the bank yielded 4 lovely Hali’s ranging from 27 to 35 lbs – absolutely gorgeous table fish! Spreader bars and salmon bellies did the trick.
The last few days I’ve had the boys from the Kitsilano Secondary School Athletic Department out fishing. Randy and Don along with son Brock have been regulars at Harbourside for 7 years. (Brock is taking a break from training with the Canadian National Rugby Team. We really wish him the best as he represents out country).
We fished a few hours on day one from 3 pm to 6 pm out by the kelp beds of Seabird rocks. It was an exciting afternoon as we were into 12 springs in 3 hours. That said, we were 3 for 12, as we lost many near the boat. Tons of fun though and we did manage a 25 lb fish for Brock. Next day we went back expecting an early morning bite. We were fishing shallow at 29′ and 26′, all skinny gs again. We had the gear in the water by 5:45 am. Nothing happened until 10 am. Then the bite came on. We had 16 springs on and kept 6 for the box all between 15 and 23 lbs. It was a great morning with sunny skies and flat water. Not much better than a great bite, wonderful water and great people. We are very lucky it seems, as all our Harbourside guests are such great people and it’s a treat to spend time with them and get to know them.
August as you know is very busy. We do have a few spots left at the lodge for accommodation, moorage and some charter days. Please call Aussie John asap for info. Stop by for fuel, both gas and diesel as well as all your tackle needs. For fishing related info you can call us at the lodge or just stop by while you are here in Bamfield.
This upcoming long weekend is the Bamfield Fireman’s Derby. This is a great time and a great cause. Swing by the docks for derby tickets. There are tons of prizes, family barbecues and all kinds of entertainment. It’s going to be a great weekend that you shouldn’t miss!
Till next time, tight lines and full boxes…
Coach, Aussie John, Tom, Brett and Joe….

Bamfield Salmon Derby Aug 5,6 &7, 2017

Tickets for the 2017 Bamfield Salmon Derby are available at Harbourside Lodge from our store on the docks.

Tickets are $25 per rod and there are great prizes to be won.


We also have Drink Ice, Salt Flake Ice, Bait, Tackle and fuel (Gas and Diesel) available at our docks.


July 27, 2017

Hi All
Ok, I have to admit things have been challenging lately here in Barkley Sound. The good news is there are fish to be had but you are going to have to work for them. We have also heard stories of herds of fish north of Estevan Point that just might be on their way here. Might be true or might be just stories but it does give us something to hang our hats on. Our local fish are going to arrive sooner or later we just have to hope it’s sooner. In the mean time let’s work with what we have.
Here’s what news we have from the dock and what we have garnered from our time spent in the water.
The best fishing continues to be just around the periphery of the sound. Beale, Little Beale, Keeha Bay, Pachena and Seabird Rocks. I am still plying my trade at Seabird. As I have alluded in earlier blogs it is a technical troll. We are in tight to the kelp often in 28 feet of water. There still seems to plenty of bait, albeit small immature herring.
Skinny gs still have been our best bet. Anchovies have not been very effective in all honesty. Hootchies and other small spoons will also work. Silver Horde’s Herring aid and uv purple haze spoons have also been working. Once again I am trolling shallow, 29′ and 27′. Putting your boat deep into the rocks and kelp and jigging has also been effective and I might add, a whole ton of fun. 70 gram MacDeeps have been very productive for us. Try it, it’s about as good as it gets when you hook up a decent spring in 20′ of water. Set the hook hard and hang on for dear life!
Bamfield’s usual haunts have been so so. Whittlestone has had it’s moments but not enough to guarantee anything. Same with Kirby, Flemming, and the Wall. Are these spots a waste of time? Not at all, they are going to turn on soon. Who knows, it might be you that gets to play with the first wave of big fish!
Offshore things have been steady, not spectacular but steady. The Big Bank and Rat’s Nose have been productive provided the weather allows one to get there. Here we run our gear deep. I know many guys who bounce the bottom with their cannon balls. I am not a fan of that personally, it’s a pain in the butt and I often troll around a shaker or small cod fish without knowing. I run my gear between 120′ and 140′. Usually a glow white hootchie behind a flow green flasher on one side and glow green spoon on the other. There is definitely an early morning bite offshore and again with the tide changes.
Halibut fishing remains strong. Salmon bellies on spreader bars have been our best bet. Come see us at the dock and we would be happy to help you with getting to productive Hali spots. In the mean time, fish the humps between 10 and 14 miles out on the back. 205′ of water seems to be the sweet spot.
August is fast approaching and things are going to get very busy here at Harbourside. We have a few spots left open towards the end of August for moorage, accommodation, and charters. Aussie John is in fine form, (you’ll know what am mean when you chat with him). He’s the man to talk to regarding all bookings. They are filling fast so get on it quick.
The store is fully stocked with gear, food and coffee, gas and diesel are in good supply. I’ll be on the water most days but am usually back at the dock at 5ish. Happy to help out with any of your fishing related queries.
Until then,
Tight lines and full boxes….
Coach, Aussie John, Tom, Brett and Joe Joe.

July 22, 2017

Hi All
Fishing continues to be solid here in Barkley Sound. That said you are still going to have to put the time in and work for them. Perserverance goes a long way to success.
Ok here is an update as to where I have been fishing and what I have been using.
I fished with Marcus and Raquel last weekend. We went around the corner of Beale to Seabird Rocks. Once again we trolled Irish Cream and Bon Chovy skinny gs. We fished tight to the reefs and kelp beds keeping our gear at 29′ and 27′. We had a very successful morning with 4 lovely springs to 18 lbs. Seabird is a technical troll. Many times my gear was was running at 29′ with 28′ feet of water under the boat. I really like that kind of fishing but don’t feel that you need to do the same. I saw boats fishing in safer water nearby and they also did quite well.
On Monday this past week I had the opportunity to fish with my partner Makiko.   The sun was out and the water flat calm. We returned to Seabird and decided to keep the downriggers in the boat and do some old fashioned jigging. We tied on 70 gram MacDeeps and fished amongst the reefs and kelp beds, way in tight. What a blast!
We were fishing 20′ of water and in less than two hours we fought 8 springs and a couple of pinks. We put 4 in the box for us for the winter, all between 15 and 19 pounds.  If you think the only way to catch salmon is trolling off the downrigger then explore the jigging option.  Albeit the conditions have to be almost perfect but man is it ever worth the payoff! Can’t wait to try it again!
I also fished Beale a couple of mornings and found it to be well worth the time. The only issue was the Beale Seal! I lost four springs in a row to the seals on Thursday morning last week! It was a bit frustrating to say the least. That said I am not one to advocate the seal cull. Seals and sea lions are smart and learn quickly. It’s an easier way to catch dinner for them by waiting for us to do it for them. If it’s a problem just get up and move.
Offshore fishing has been picking up. I did a trip out to Big Bank and the Rat’s Nose this past week. It was steady and nice to see some bigger fish. We had Jason, Francis and their Uncle Jimmy out and it didn’t take long to limit out on springs and coho. I can’t give up my skinny g just yet so we ran a Bon Chovy at 120′ and my standard go to on the bank, a large glow white hootchie at 135′. It was a very productive day!
Halibut fishing is still going strong although I did get skunked the other day, well sort of. I was out at 12 mile and anchored up in 205 feet. After battling through 3 large pacific octopus that all three did a twirl around the boat and tangled all three lines, we finally hooked up a hali. The rod was bent down to the water and the line was screaming of the reel. As excited as I was I knew this fish was too good to be true. Indeed it was. Once again I was fishing with Jason, Francis and their Uncle Jimmy.
Uncle Jimmy was on the rod and was in the battle of his life. We managed to get the fish to the boat and it was plainly obvious that she was well over the 133 cm limit. I placed my harpoon next to her and she was equally of length or more. Pushing 165 cm would have been close. We were lucky enough to get some great pictures and video before cutting her lose and watching her ease her way back to the deep.
Sad to see her go in some ways and yet what a feeling to release such a beautiful fish to continue the gene pool.
We are fast approaching the middle of the season. It’s flying by! We would love to help you out if you are in the area. Gas and diesel are in plenty of supply at the dock. The shop is stocked and the coffee is on. Please feel free to come by and quiz us as to what’s hot and where to go. We are happy to share. August is coming and so are our local big fish. We have some rooms available at the lodge and some open charter dates as well. Don’t miss out! Call us for bookings!
Till then,
Tight lines and full boxes…
Coach, Aussie John, Tom, Joe and Brett