Fishing Reports 2017

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…
Coach

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….

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 14, 2017

Hi All
Well it had to happen at some point I suppose. We have had such a great start to the season with solid fishing here in Barkley Sound but things have slowed the past few days. There are still some fish around but you are going to have to persevere in order to get it done.
My last productive day was Tuesday of this week when we once again fished the reefs off of Seabird Rocks. Skinny Gs in Irish cream glow were the still the hot ticket. Fighting through many shakers and a now very aggressive seal we managed to box four nice spring salmon in the teens. Once again we had the gear at 29 and 27 feet.
We returned the next morning and fished through the ebb tide but spring. Salmon over 10 lbs were elusive to say the least. I have to admit though the amount of spring salmon around in the 2 to 4 lb range is very exciting. They are healthy, scrappy and built like footballs. It certainly bodes well for the next couple of years!
Now the good news, the weather offshore has been superb. Calm seas and soft tides have made the trip out to the Nose or our fave hali spots almost dreamy. And the hali fishing? Nothing short of phenomenal. We had two boats offshore last week for a hali trip. Aqualady with Captain Tom went of early in the morning with 5 excited guests and I made it an afternoon trip later that same day. Tom came back in around noonish with their limit including a 132 cm beauty that weighed in at 68 lbs. The rest of their fish ranged from 25 to 45 lbs. I got the gear down at 1:30 pm and things happened fast. We hit a good fish within the first few minutes that wrapped our other line. Despite a chaotic few minutes of scrambling to untangle gear and such we boated a beauty at 58 lbs. Ten minutes later the starboard rod went off and my guest Glen was battling what turned out to be a twin of Tom’s big fish, 132 cm and 70 lbs. Another amazing day offshore here in Barkley!
We have seen quite a few Hali’s come into the dock lately. Many in the 50 and 60 lb range. If battling a flatty is on your bucket list then make sure you have the right gear. We use 8 foot sturgeon rods, I am a big fan of the Shimano Technium. Great rod! Nice and bendy at the tip so you can really tell what’s happening down deep. That said any sturdy rod and reel spooled with at least 100 lb non stretch line will do the job. Spreader bars with two lb weights minimum if your drifting. One pound and and one and a half pound are usually fine if you are on your anchor. Salmon bellies have been really productive as of late. Extra large herring will work too. Look for the humps that come up on the bank and fish in and around them. For us the magic depth is between 200 and 215 feet deep. Make sure you have a good gaff and I would highly suggest a harpoon. A 55 lb hali can be a very angry and agitated creature when pulled out of the water and into the boat.
I have guest Marcus and Raquel this weekend so I’ll be out on the water this afternoon and all weekend. Call the lodge for any info you need. Aussie John, Brett and Joe will be around to help you out. I am back to the dock and can handle calls usually after 5:00 pm daily.
We just received a shipment of tackle including more Skinny Gs ( they are still the hottest lure going for us) and a varied assortment of other gear. Coffee is on and the gas dock has both boat gas and diesel. We have some rooms available in the lodge and also some charter days available too. Just call us at 250-728-3330 and we will be happy to help plan your Harbourside Barkley Sound Adventure.
Tight lines and full boxes…
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom, Brett and Joe.

July 10, 2017

Hi All
Fishing has been very solid here in Barkley Sound during early July. It always makes me wonder why more people don’t get out here in late June and July. The weather is good, the place is uncrowded and the fishing can be every bit as good now as it is in late August, and maybe, yup I said it, even better!
I’ve been fishing with guests Curtis and Martin from Vancouver. We have had a great few days. We have worked the reefs hard at Seabird Rocks in front of Pachena Bay. We have been fishing tight to the kelp and rocks with the gear at 27 and 30 feet. Skinny Gs from Gibbs / Delta are still the hottest thing going for us. We are running a glow Irish Cream behind a uv glow green moon jelly flasher on one rig and a lemon lime flasher with the same terminal end on the other. Both rigs were equally effective.
We fished the afternoon ebb tide in Wednesday for 3 hours. We had 6 springs on plus many shakers and put 2 in the box. We returned the next morning for the early ebb tide and were into 5 fish during the early morning bite landing two fat springs in the teens. The bite slowed down mid tide and we took a break and jigged for lings. We were not successful in our attempts at boating a ling cod but the boys had a blast playing black rock fish one after another. About an hour before the flood tide change we put the trolling gear down once more for spring salmon. It was quiet for an hour or so, but shortly after the tide changed the bite came on. We managed to boat 6 more springs as my partner, Makiko had joined us and we decided we’d like to put some salmon away for us too. A great afternoon of fishing. The sun was out and all was good!
On Friday the seas looked ideal for a hali hunt offshore. . At 8:15 am we were off and running southwest 210 degrees out to the banks with four of us and Charley dog on board. As my previous blogs will attest, we were looking for humps that come up on the bank 10 miles to 14 miles out. Typically the bank is about 225 feet deep. I’m looking for humps that come up to 190ish. I then will anchor the boat close to the hump in about 205 to 210 feet. Spreader bars with salmon bellies and herring are always my go tos ! Friday they did not disappoint.  Between 10:00 am and noon we tagged 4 Hali’s measuring 120cm, 111cm, 107cm and 88cm. Basically we had one fish at 50 lbs, two at 40 and one at 27. As you can imagine supper that night was awesome!
Saturday we planned to make a run to Ucluelet for a visit to Zoe’s Cafe and some shopping for some essentials needed back at the lodge. If you are in Ucluelet check Zoe’s out. Great pastries, artisanal sandwiches, coffee etc… Worth a drop by for sure!
We also dropped the lines at the Turtle Head just offshore form Ucluelet along the way.
I haven’t fished up that way yet this season and was curious about it’s productivity.
We fished Skinny Gs once again at 110 feet this time. It wasn’t on fire by any means bit we did manage to land and release 5 nice springs from approximately 13 to 20 lbs. We fished the 160 foot contour line that runs south and north from Ucluelet about 6 miles out. At times this can be a very productive troll. Throw in an Orca show as we approached Ucluelet and we really had an amazing day!
I am fishing this week with returning guests Glen, his wife and best friend from California. Hopefully the fishing stays as good this week as it was last.
Aussie John is doing his thing down at the tackle shop and the docks. We just received a new shipment of Skinny Gs so get here and get ‘em while they last, we were sold out in three days last week!
Gas and diesel are available, the coffee is hot and we are always willing to share our thoughts on what to use and where the fishing is hot. Please, by all means, drop on in for all the latest.
We have some charter days still available, moorage at the docks and some rooms at the lodge still to be filled at various times. Aussie John can help you with all of that.
It’s been a great start to the season. Don’t delay. Get here and enjoy the Harbourside experience before the summer wears on.
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom and Brett.

July 5, 2017

Hi All
Once again we have settled into a blustery high pressure system which has given us some gorgeous sunshine but strong north west winds have limited our fishing possibilities. I am writing this Wednesday July 5  and the weather forecast does look like lighter winds for today, through Saturday. Hopefully we can get offshore on a hali hunt and give you the low down.
Fishing slowed down from last week. Austin and Cree, which were on fire last week have definitely mellowed. That’s not to say you’d be wasting your time there but limiting out by 10:30 am might be a tad on the hopeful side.
I fished there with guests Jaime and Jacinthe from Victoria. We had the gear in the water by 7am and fished through two tides. We caught two decent fish in the teens on a glow green and white skinny g at 50′ on the rigger but the bite went off and did not come back on. I decided to move after the tide change and headed south to Seabird Rocks located in front of Pachena Bay. We fished tight to structure with a uv green moon jelly flasher matched with a skinny g at 27′ and a glow white hootchie and lime green flasher at 33′. We hit a beauty immediately on the hootchie and boxed a 16 pounder. Shortly after we caught another fish in the high teens on the skinny g. The skinny g hit once again but this time the fish managed to shake the lure and continue on it’s journey. That was it for the afternoon bite. We returned to Seabird Rocks the next morning and once again the skinny g in green and white glow proved to be the hot lures. We managed 4 lovely spring salmon to 20 lbs including one screamer that took a hundred meters of line. It wasn’t crazy fishing by any means but still very productive.
The winds returned that afternoon and forced us to return to calmer flatter water.
The winds have been strong ever since making fishing around the north side of the Deer Group (Kirby, Edward King and Flemming) challenging at best. Effingham, Austin and Cree are fishable in such strong winds but the bite has not been nearly as good as it was last week.
It still looks like small spoons and hootchies are the ticket. The salmon we are cleaning at the table are full of tiny immature herring and needle fish. The skinny gs have been leading the way. I’ve had great success with the green/white glow and no bananas, cop car and silver/gold have been very good as well. Yesterday I stopped in to the marine store in Ucluelet and they echoed my thoughts on the skinny gs. They have definitely have been hot over at Ucluelet as well. The Silverhorde Purple Spoon is also working well.
So what are my thoughts if you are coming Bamfield way in the next few days?
Firstly stop at Harbourside and get the latest news on what’s happening on the water. If I am out on the water chat with Aussie John or Brett. They will give you the scoop.
I have returning guests Curtis and Martin for the next 5 days and I think we will start out by heading over to Seabird and Pachena. Friday looks like a great day to hunt hali’s so we will head out to the banks and fish the humps about 12 miles out. Spreader bars with salmon bellies and extra large herring will be the order of the day.
In the meantime please feel free to email or phone the lodge.
We have had a cancellation or two in August during prime time for lodging. Get on it now! It won’t last long. We have dates open in our self contained suites on Saturday August 5 to Tuesday August 8 and then again Monday August 14 to the 20th. You cannot fish Bamfield at a better time than those dates!
As per usual, the tackle store is stocked, fuel both gas and diesel, fish ice, drink ice all available. Stop in to say hi, we’ll leave the light on for you…
Tight lines and full boxes…
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom and Brett

June 29, 2017

Fishing Report June 29

They’re here!

Fishing here in Barkley Sound has been outstanding as of late. The winds have been up from the northwest but the action has been at Effingham, Austin and Cree Islands which are beautifully protected from the winds.

On Monday June 26 and Tuesday June 27 I fished with long time fishing pal Glen Montgomery from Flyguys Fishing Adventures. We were on the water each day with gear down by 6:30 am. We trolled the pinnacles by Austin and Cree with the gear at 60 and 50 feet on the downrigger. On Monday we fished my fav purple Kingfisher spoon behind a purple uv haze farbetter flasher. It hooked us up to our first three hits of the morning. On the other rigger we fished a green and white skinny g by Gibbs–Delta behind a Gibbs green uv moon jelly flasher. This rig then went nuts! We hooked up the next 13 springs and some coho all on this outfit. Many were shakers but we managed 4 springs in the 10 to 15 lb range and 4 lovely coho from 4 to 8 lbs. The next morning it was all about the skinny g. Purple had completely shut down but the green and white skinny g was awesome. Once again we limited out on spring salmon from 10 to 16 lbs and coho from 4 to 8 lbs.

On Wednesday, June 28 I fished with guests Dad, Andrew, and son Ross, along with Grandpa, Jim. Jim is visiting Canada from Scotland and had never held a fishing rod in his hand until now. It was great fun having all three boys on the water bonding and enjoying our spectacular west coast.

Once again we fished Austin and Cree Islands. We dragged the green and white skinny g alongside a green, yellow and red skinny g behind a lime green farbetter flasher.  50 and 60 feet on the downriggers were still the magic depths. Both rigs were deadly combos as we were into numerous double headers. We had the gear wet by 6:15 am and had 8 spring salmon from 12 to 18 lbs in the box along with 4 coho by just after 10:00 am.

Now I know that fishing is fishing, and some days are diamonds and some days are stones, but I gotta say that this has been a great start to the season and I am very excited as to what’s to come next.

Beale and Little Beale have also been productive but have been challenging on the ebb tide once the current hits the incoming westerly swells. It really makes for an uncomfortable chop and some very difficult fishing. The Wall continues to give up some nice fish and is never a waste of time. The nicer fish have been as shallow as 35 feet, much like August. Small 3.5 spoons have been the most productive lure of choice. Many of the salmon we have cleaned have been full of immature herring less than an inch long. Small spoons have been the best to mimic such bait. I have not heard much from Kirby or Flemming as the northwest winds have made both places a tough troll.

Off shore has been spotty at best, mostly because the winds have been up from the northwest making offshore not very fishable. I did manage to get out on Saturday however. Doug and Shayne, from Clairsholm Alberta, were my guests as went off on a hali hunt on the bank roughly 10 miles out. The tides have been huge as of late making fishing challenging to say the least. We managed to hook up 5 hali during the day, keeping 3 from 26 to 44 lbs. The weather was spectacular however, almost too hot for the day. It was a great day and reminded me once again at what a joy it is to live on the west coast!

The Canada Day long weekend is almost upon us which really signals the start of summer. Fishing is going full swing and the weather looks great long term. We now have some openings next for guests to stay at the lodge and for charters if need be. We would love to see you here to enjoy the Harbourside Lodge experience. As per usual we are well stocked at the tackle store.  Come in, fuel up, get some bait and tackle, or just come by for a coffee and we can fill you in on all the local hotspots.

Till then, tight lines and full boxes…

Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom and Brett…

June 23, 2017

Hi All
It’s been a blustery few days here in Barkley Sound. There have been very strong north west winds that have limited the choices of many fisher folks. Things seem to be calming down a bit today so hopefully we can get out and explore a bit more. Might be a day or two before offshore possibilities are a reality though.
Ok let’s get at it.
Salmon fishing has been spotty. There are fish around and if you have the right gear in the water at the right depths at the right time, you will be rewarded. So let’s help you with the right stuff.
I’ve been on the dock the last few days, doing some much needed boat maintenance. This actually gives me opportunity to chat with many fisherfolk coming in for fuel and gear. It’s a great way to get an idea about what’s going on around the sound.
The past couple of days we have seen fish come in from Beale, Diplock, Flemming and Sandford. It’s been typical standard early season stuff. 50′ to 90′ on the rigger. Small spoons and hootchies have been the most productive. Coho killers, 3.5′ coyote spoons, silver horde and skinny gs, have all been producing fish. Cop cars, herring aide and of course my fav, purple haze spoons are leading the parade early so far this season. Fish them 6′ behind your favourite flasher for best results ( we have all the gear you need right here at our shop!)
I have noticed a number of boats coming in with flasher hootchie setups. Many of the these have long leaders from the flasher to the hootchie . Long leaders are very effective for spoons and rolling anchovies but not so much with pulling hootchies.
Hootchies have no action of their own and need to dart through the water behind a dancing flasher. A long leader will deaden the affect of the flasher. My rule of thumb is running a leader from my chin to extended arm, likely 30 to 36 inches. At this length your hootchie will have a nice enticing wiggle and waggle that springs and coho seem to love.
Speaking of coho, we have started to see some very nice ones come to the dock.
One of our guides, Brett, brought in a beauty the other evening that was pushing 10 lbs. A great fish for early June. This bodes very well for August indeed!
Not much to report on as far as halibut fishing is concerned. It’s just been too snarky to get outside. We are hoping Friday and the the weekend will allow us an opportunity to get off shore and get after some flatties. So that said, same old same old as far as hali fishing goes. If you have read my blogs before you should have it pretty much dialled in by now. Get out to the banks 210 degrees southwest of Bamfield, ( we like to go 10 to 14 miles out), find a hump that comes up to 200′ and anchor up or drift.
Salmon bellies and herring on spreader bars are the ticket. You cannot go wrong if the seas allow a day offshore!
Harbourside is really beginning to hum now. Please drop in for fuel, gear, or a coffee and a chat about what’s hot on the water. We have some spots left at the lodge for those of you that would like to come stay and a few open charter days if you would like to up your chances at landing the big one.
Aussie John has been here for a month already and has gotten us an early jump on the season so we are all ready for you!
Till then,
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom and Brett.