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!

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