Aug 14, 2018

The first waves of Somass springs have arrived in Barkley Sound. Grady’s , Ocean Sports and or 14′ car toppers all can have a real shot at landing a 30 lb Tyee. That’s the beauty of Bamfield. No matter the weather, everyone can find a spot on the water and get their gear on front of some serious spring salmon.
This past week I fished with Don and son Brock along with good friend Randy for three days then Marcus and his wife Raquel later in the week.
Earlier in the week we started out at Little Beale. We fished the early morning bite into the high tide change at 11 am. We trolled anchovies at 33 feet and an Irish cream skinny g at 28′. We hooked up a beauty and Randy played it like a pro. Unfortunately when all was said and done the Beale Seal lead 1-0. Very frustrating to work so hard at getting hooked up just to lose your fish and your gear.
That was our only bite. We packed in at 11:30 am and departed for 7 mile. The water was flat and we were looking for some fish for the box. With the gear at 80 and 90′ we worked our butts off for the next two hours. It was fish after fish. Nothing big but really nice hatchery coho and some 10 to 12 lb springs. The boys had a blast and some great eats to take home.
The next day we fished over towards the Broken Group. My good buddy Mike form Vernon radioed me and called me over to this avocado like hump just south of Gibraltar. We fished from 65′ to 140′ around the pinnacle. We picked up a nice spring in the teens and some amazing coho to 13 lbs. turned out to be a productive day. We fished bait and skinny gs . Skinny gs still ruled the day for us.
Marcus and Raquel are returning guests. Their first experience salmon and halibut fishing was last summer. We also started out at Little Beale. We fished anchovies at 33′ and continued with Irish Cream skinny gs at 28′. For some reason I just can’t hook up on bait but the skinny gs keep producing. We managed two nice fish, a 22 lber and a teenager.
We decided to take a run offshore for a halibut hunt. When we arrived at 13 mile, Mother Nature was putting on an incredible show. There were humpback whales everywhere. Tail slapping, breaching, pec fins slapping the water. Salmon were cruising the surface tailing everywhere you looked. We set the anchor and put down the gear. I rigged two salmon rods with MacDeep jigs and within seconds we had fish on. Coho after coho, spring salmon one after the other. Nothing huge but what a blast. At one point I heard the commotion of rippling water behind me. Thinking it was tidal current I continued tending the gear. When I looked towards the bow I was dumbfounded. There was a mass of surface feeding salmon approaching the boat. All I could see was the backs of salmon on the surface. At one point they were actually bumping the boat. It really was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. If I had jumped off the boat I would have put myself at risk of concussion by landing on fish! Unbelievable. It’s so gratifying and wonderful to see nature still asserting herself. If we can only just give her half a chance.
I’ll be fishing this week with Drew, Dean and David. Great guys and great cooks. It’s going to be a fun week of fishing along with some fabulous meals.
The tackle shop is well stocked. We only gear up with what our guides use. Leave the tackle shopping till you get here. We have everything your need right here. Come by for a coffee, fuel, ice, bait and everything else you need for a great stay on the west coast.
Till next time…
Coach…(aka Jonathan)

Aug 7, 2018

Wow. July has come and gone and we are heading towards the home stretch. Seems just last week I got up here and got started. It’s been such a great season so far. Great fishing and great people. I expect exactly the same as we go through the rest of August.
It’s just about time for our local Somass fish to show. As of today they have not, at least in any sort of numbers. I have noticed some changes that typically occur this time of year and they bode well for the rest of the month. It’s a bit of a transitional time but soon, very soon it’s going to go off, and when it does, you should be here.
This past week with I had Jason Lee,  Francis and Jimmy up for three days and then finished the week with Jeff and his son Chris.
We fished Seabird as per usual and managed some nice springs. Once again skinny gs have been the ticket for me over there. We decided to do an offshore day and I made my way to the Big bank and the Rat’s Nose for the first time this year. The amount of coho out on the Banks is very encouraging. It’s extremely difficult to get the gear down for a shot at some springs as the coho often pop it off on the way down or while you are hooking it up to the riggers. We had tons of fun with the coho and a few small springs. We then decided to make our way back towards home and stop for a hali hunt. We dropped the anchor at 13 mile on a hump that comes up to 197 feet. We sat on the anchor for the next 4 hours. We had three hali takes but no hook ups. While we were anxiously waiting for a hali strike we jigged with MacDeeps and hooked up with countless coho and the odd spring. A great way to while away the time waiting for halis. We were fortunate to have an amazing humpback ahead show all around us and were also visited by a large pod of orcas. Absolutely awesome!
The next day I did a one day charter with Fred from Manitoba and Frank from Creston. They were wanting an offshore experience and were eager to tangle with some halibut. I returned to my spot for the 2nd day in a row.  Once again, I was blanked. We sat on the hook for 9 hours and did not hook up a single halibut. Was the day a waste? Hardly. While we waited the boys jigged springs and coho at 30 pulls. On after the other. So much fun! When the coho are that thick, don’t fight it and worry about the springs. Take off the flashers, stop the boat and jig. Use buzz bombs, MacDeeps or any 3 inch or so jigs. Snap it up and down and wait for the chaos to begin. It’s a deserving way to fish these marvelous salmon.
While we were jigging coho we had two blue sharks show up to play. One was almost 10 feet and the other pushing 8. One of them took a coho we were playing and the other grabbed our hali bait when we pulled it up. Darn they are strong! I managed to pull the fish alongside the boat and try to unpin it. It rolled in the line and snapped us off. Marvellous and beautiful creatures. Very cool for the boys on their first ocean fishing experience!  By the way, one of our guides went out to the hali humps yesterday and killed it. 3 nice flatties along some springs and coho made it a great day. Hopefully the hali are back!
This past weekend was the Bamfield Fireman’s Derby. What a great job they did. I went to the awards ceremony on Monday afternoon, it was a very cool event. Keep it on your calendar for next year’s August long weekend.
I fished the derby with Jeff and his son Chris. We went hawg hunting down at Seabird last Friday to scope thing out. We fished at 24′ and 26′ using a Bon Chovey skinny g on one side and an Irish Cream on the other. We have a very productive day. We had 10 springs to the boat and took four for the boys. They were all between 18 and 24 lbs. Saturday was the start of the derby. We once agin made the trip down to Seabird. The morning started off well with 3 hits early and one in the box. Then the switch sort of went off. We fished the next 4 hours with nary a bite. Low slack came and a small bite came on. We had three more hits and Jeff landed a beauty 24.6 lber. We took some time in the afternoon to jig up some ling cod and called it a day.
Jeff’s fish was officially weighed in at the weigh station and he took over the leaderboard. His fish lead day one and day two but dropped to 2nd place as the Pederson Clan from Poet Nook took over the number one position with a 26 lber.
Everything held up through Monday and Jeff’s fish took 2nd place. Disappointed in losing top spot, but we were pretty happy with 2nd. Once again, keep these dates on your calendar. It’s a great weekend and a ton of fun.
Back to fishing. Seabird has really cooled off. It might be the end for it this summer. The Nitnat fish will have gone by. Now it’s time for our Somass fish to show. I think they will any day. Swale, Harbour Entrance, Gibralter, all over in the Broken Group might be good spots to try. While it’s not time to put the skinny gs away just yet it is time to start dragging some meat. Anchovies become the hot ticket here in August.
I’ll spoon it on one side and drag an anchovy on the other. In a week or two I’ll be using just anchovies.
I have the day free today to clean the boat and tie gear. My next group, Donny, Randy and Brock arrive later tonight.
The lodge and the docks were very busy this past weekend but during the week it is a bit quieter, so take some time off work and get out here. It’s going to be an amazing August.
The docks are very busy keeping everyone stocked up with fuel, ice, bait and tackle.
Till next time…
Coach…. (aka Jonathan.)

30 July 2018

The end of July is here now. It really has been a terrific month of fishing here in Barkley Sound. Going through my log book I can see that July has produced more and larger fish this month than any July in the last 8 years. It hasn’t been shorting ducks in the proverbial barrel but if you are willing to put in the time and fish through tide changes you will likely be rewarded.
July has been my busiest month since I started this business. I’ve been on the water everyday since June 29. I’m tired for sure, not yet tired of it, just physically tired. I have a month to go and then back to the real world in Vancouver. I am such a lucky man to be able to spend my summer days on the water. I meet such wonderful people and see amazing things every single day. I’m very much looking forward to August and the return of our local spring salmon.
I’ve fished last week with Marlee and Melanie from Vancouver along with Marlee’s brother Josh, who made the trip up from San Francisco. We fished a short afternoon at Cree Island on day one. A full day at Seabird in day two and then a third day offshore for halibut. Cree was good in the afternoon as we picked up a nice couple of springs. 55′ on the down rigger fishing bait one side and an Irish Cream Skinny G on the other side. Both setups produced. It was a first salmon ever for Melanie and she played it like a pro!
The next morning we scooted out to Seabird. We hit a lovely 23 pounder first thing at 24′ on the riggers. Josh then boated a teenager not long after. The switch kind of went off after that. The next 5 hours of trolling Skinny Gs was unproductive. We switched up tactics and decided to jig with 70 gram MacDeeps. We put the boat up close to Seabird Rocks in a little trough of 35′ and jigged about 6 feet off the bottom. Marlee hooked a monster spring, almost pulling her over the starboard gunnel, burying her rod in the water right up to the reel. Biggest fish I have seen in 5 years! It ran starboard out about 50 meters and then launched skyward. It then ran across the surface back to the the stern of the boat and out the port side. Another leap high into the salt air and the fish went one way and the jig went another. $#%….or darn it gee! ( perhaps more saltier phrases were actually spoken ). It was a hog! Some you win and some you lose. It was awesome however just having a chance to play.
We did manage another spring after on the jig. It was a lovely 22 pounder.
The next day we were off shore. It was a challenge. After we had laid the anchor and were tight to the hook the seas came up to 2.6 meters. We were having trouble getting around the boat without stumbling. We were fortunate enough to land one 25 lb hali before we had to call it and get out of there. It wasn’t much fun. My crew were good sports about it but I doubt they would want to get out in those seas again anytime soon!
My next trip was with Elizabeth from Vancouver and her brother Ray from Toronto.
We fished Little Beale on the afternoon of day 1 for a couple if hours but to no avail.
The next morning we were off in the deep fog to Seabird. Fishing at 24 and 27′ we dragged Skinny Gs, the Irish Cream and Gold Nugget. We dropped the gear at about 6:00 am. At 11:00 am we still had an empty box. Time to change it up. High slack was at noon so I wasn’t going to move. We got in tight to the rocks to jig with MacDeeps.
Drifting over this little 35′ slot Ray hit a good spring and the fight was on. We were fortunate to get this one into the box, a 27 lb gorgeous spring. What a way to land a salmon. Engine off, drifting in 35′ feet of water pulling jigs at 12 pulls. Can’t get any better.
A south wind started to blow us off our slot. We decided to go back to trolling. In the next two hours after high slack we had 11 springs to the boat and managed to box our limit. Just an amazing afternoon! All the fish were in the 20 lb plus range. We dropped a few that were much larger!
Hali was the target species on day two. I like the humps that come up on the bank 12 miles or so out. We anchored in 205′ and put down spreader bars with salmon bellies and one rig with an extra large herring. It wasn’t on fire but we boated two decent halis. We also had half a dozen hali takes that just didn’t hook up. It gets that way sometimes. We also jigged out the stern while waiting for hali hook ups. We played some lovely wild coho and some small springs. We also boated two small hatchery coho. Very entertaining while waiting for a flatty strike!
After two halibut were in the box we pulled up the gear and headed for Seabird rocks for the tide change bite. High slack was at 2:20. We had the gear in the water at 2:40 pm. Once again dragging Skinny Gs. This time I had Irish Creams on both riggers. The port side rod went off time and time again. We hit 4 springs in our first pass. Then two more in out next pass. All on the same rig at 24 feet. With just two landed I checked the gear to see why the port side was so blatantly outfishing the starboard rig. The only seemingly difference was leader length. The port side rig was about 8 inches longer. I re-rigged a longer leader and dropped it down. Bang! It goes off. After that both sides hit equally including a couple of double headers. A seven foot leader seemed to be the ticket. What a day! We limited out on springs to 27 lbs all in an hour and twenty minutes! Just gotta love this place!
We returned to Seabird the next morning on a half day looking for ling cod. The MacDeeps seem catch all. We played two large springs which we decided to put in the box for the smoker but legal sized lings were not in the cards that morning.
I have the Jason Lee group coming this afternoon and spending the next few days with us. This is their return trip as they were up to visit up last summer for the first time.
The fishing has been awesome but the fog has been very thick. You have to have the right electronics to navigate your way around.
Aussie John has been busy chatting it up on the docks selling ice, tackle and fuel.
Please come by and say hi. We’d be happy to share fishing info and tackle tips.
It’s the Bamfield Fire Department Derby this weekend. It’s a great cause and a great time. We have tickets at the shop. No better place to spend your August long weekend!
Till next time,
Coach…

July 23, 2018

Hi All
I’m writing this in the dining room at Harbourside Lodge. It’s 6:30 am on a Monday morning. The fog has moved in over Bamfield inlet and has obscured the east side.
The weather the past two days has been outstanding. Sunny, warm and inviting. It’s been few and far between it seems that I’ve been able to ” t-shirt and flip flop it” on the boat this summer. Yesterday, however, was amazing. Those are the kind of days come December / January that you dream about. Yup it’s good to be alive and living large in Bamfield, even in the fog.
So how’s the fishing? Well it’s still productive if you happen to be in the right place at the right time. I fished Saturday morning at Seabird Rocks. Trolling skinny gs once again. Glow green and white at 27′ and gold and silver at 25′. It wasn’t fast and furious but we managed two gorgeous springs in the high teens and lost two others. The bite at Seabird is sporadic. One can go hours without seeing bait or arches on the sounder then bang bang it comes on hard and fast. Such has been the case lately. It has been the most productive on the flood tide. Typically an hour or two before slack. That said it’s never a waste of time on the ebb. Stick and stay and make it pay. I usually give Seabird a 5 or 6 hour window and it always seems to pay off.
Fishing in the sound has slowed some. There are still fish around but you must put in the work. Little Beale and Beale have given up a few fish. Austin and Cree has been solid, especially on the early morning bite. Try fishing at 50′ to 70′ amongst the reefs and pinnacles. I typically fish deeper here than elsewhere in the Sound. Beale and Little Beale seems to shallower. I fish them at 30′ to 35′. Edward King, Kirby have been slow for most but good fish are still taken there. The Wall, Agular Point and Brady’s Beach are actually producing rather well. 30′ to 40′ on the rigger will work well here. Skinny gs and or rolled anchovies will get it done. It just proves that here in Bamfield you really don’t need to go far to stand a good shot at a quality fish.
Things are happening offshore. We spent an epic day 12 miles off shoe yesterday fishing the humps for halibut. While anchored and waiting for a hali to pull we noticed small immature squid all around the boat. And cruising for a feed were salmon all over the surface. We tied on 90 gram MacDeeps on our salmon rods. 20 to 30 pulls and was it ever game on. The surprise was we were hitting springs as well as coho. In fact while we waited for hali hits we limited on springs to 16 lbs on light tackle and an anchored boat. It was chaos of the good kind! We also released countless wild coho and put a number of hatchery in the box to boot. What a blast! There are not many better easy to catch pacific salmon than that. The water was still, the sun was shining. It was a wonderful reminder that the sea can be forgiving and gentle every once in a while.
My next group comes in this afternoon. I am thinking a return to Seabird will be on the agenda. Before that, however, the tying of gear, boat cleaning etc all have to happen.
This week will be a little quieter at the lodge. Still some room and space should you suddenly get the urge to call in sick to work! Aussie John has been a fixture down at the gas docks, and no doubt keeping everyone entertained as they stock up on fuel, bait and tackle. Stop by, give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to give you as much info as we can about the goings on here in Barkley Sound.
We will talk again in 3 or 4 days.
Coach… ( aka Jonathan)

July 18, 2018

July has been just terrific for salmon fishing here in Barkley Sound. I know traditionally folks are convinced that August is the go to month but the past few years July has not only rivalled August but it’s been better. Less crowds, better water and more fish. People! Get with the program and get here soon. It’s been just awesome! I’ve been fishing at Austin / Cree, Seabird Rocks and Little Beale. All three spots have produced. Each spot seems to be unique and fish slightly different from each other. When I’m at Austin / Cree I’ve found the most productive depths have been 50 to 65′. I spend a lot of tine trolling the pinnacles near Austin and the reef extending south form Cree. Skinny gs are still working better than anything else in my box. Irish cream glow has been the most productive over the last week. Bon chovey glow is right behind it. Over at Beale I’ve been trolling gear at 35 and 30′. Irish cream skinny g has been very good here at Beale but rolling anchovies in green teaser heads is working well too. I usually troll from Spike Rock about a kilometre and a half west and back again. I keep fairly close to the shoreline in 50 to 80′ of water. At Seabird? It’s all about structure. I fish in anywhere form 28 to 80′. The reefs come up fast so I keep my gear shallow. Here it is always 27 to 30′ on the riggers. I’ve also found that Seabird fish really take to skinny gs. All the bait is small needle fish and immature herring. The weather has been a factor lately and I haven’t been able to get over there as much as I’d like. But when I can? It’s my favourite troll. Things are starting to hop right now at Harbourside. We are chock full this weekend. We still have plenty of room during the weeks ahead as we approach August. Give Aussie John a call and book some time here. It’s such a special place! Come in and see us for fuel, tackle and bait or come for a coffee. There is always room for another addition to all of our fish chatter. Till next time, Coach

July 10, 2018

Hi All
Fishing Barkley Sound and the surrounding offshore waters continues to be productive.
I finished up with the Morgan group on Sunday. We fished Seabird Island and Little Beale over three days including a day offshore hali hunting.
Seabird was good last week and into the weekend. As per usual I fished a tight troll in and around the kelp and reefs. At times we had just 29 feet of water under the boat. We trolled Bon Chovy skinny gs at 27 and 39 feet in the rigger. When the bite came on it was frantic. We managed 4 springs in the box on an afternoon fish and another 5 the next morning. A very strong south easterly blew us off the rocks and we returned to the sound to fish in the lea of the wind at Little Beale. We also found a great bite going on here. Dropping the gear to 37 and 35 feet seemed to be where the action was. Once again skinny gs were the ticket.
I’ve made two trips offshore in the past three days to hunt halis. On board with the Morgan group and then again with Jaime and his son Chris. Chris works in Beijing so two days on the ocean here in Bamfield were a welcome respite from the heat and crowds of the big city. We fished them humps out at 12 mile. Fishing was slow with the Morgans. We released one oversize and that was the only hit of the day. Jaime and Chris were a bit luckier. We had 5 hali hits, released one oversize and kept two lovely fish in the 35 lb range.
I’ve noticed that the salmon fishing has slowed some the past two days. This is not uncommon as migratory fish are constantly on the move. Slowed down is accurate, but certainly it hasn’t died off. It is still very productive. Little Beale and ocean side just out from Beale are producing quality fish. So has Pacheena and Keeha Beach. I haven’t been over to Austin and Cree for over a week and really haven’t heard much from there. It’s going to blow northwest the rest of this week so that will have to be my destination. I’ll have more info up later in the week for Cree, Austin and Meares.
On a more urgent matter. Please read the important announcements regarding the fin fish closures for Swiftsure and La Perouse Banks. While doing what we can to help the struggling orca populations is noble and well worth the effort, it seems to me the closures will have no effect whatsoever. Start with the elimination of the herring fishery and the whale of the west coast would respond in rapid positive fashion. The Sports Fishing industry drives salmon enhancement and is the major reason we can still enjoy the wonderful resource. I for one would be happy to pay a bit more for my salmon tag if I knew that those finds would go directly to enhance our salmon stocks.
Anyway, enough of my political pontificating. Read through the details posted to our website and respond accordingly. Let’s try and get things done people!
In the mean time, Harbourside chugs along. Please, by all means come by and say hi. We would love to pass along the latest in fishing news  with what and where it’s hot.
We have lots of gear in stock, fuel both diesel and marine gas, ice and snacks.
We’d love to see you.
Coach (Jonathan)

July 7 – Important Announcement regarding Proposed Finfish Closures – Please read and act before July 11

 

IMPORTANT DFO ANNOUNCEMENT:Southern Resident Killer Whale – Area Refuge Fishing Closure LaPerouse to Swiftsure
Peoplewho are actively involved in the management of sports fishing via advisory boards are calling on all anglers to respond to an invitation for input to DFO on revisions to the Critical Habitat Section of the Species at Risk (SARA) Recovery Strategy for Northern and Southern Killer Whales. Input must be provided by July 11, on a prescribed online comment form.As many of you know, this is a similar “consultation process” to what was used to arrive at the eventual implementation of a SRKW Refuge Area Recreational Fin Fish Closure in Areas 20, 18 and 29.   The current practice is to use Area Refuge Closures as opposed to implementing equally effective 400m bubble zone strategies. Going forward, one of the likely outcomes of expanding the critical habitat to include Swiftsure to LaPerouse Banks will result in similar Area Refuge Recreational Fin Fish closures (closed to all fishing). Once these are in place it is highly probable the closures become permanent.

Please review the map that sets out the area proposed to be set-aside as critical habitat.

My colleagues and I have reviewed the science associated with the SARA Recovery Strategy and have several concerns with assumptions and weak scientific facts being used to support the expansion of the Critical Habitat within the Recovery Strategy.   Please use these response points when you complete your online comment:

  • “B.C.’s tidal water recreational fishery, combined with the freshwater fishery, is the largest and most valuable in Canada, valued at $18 billion annually. DFO issues over 350,000 tidal licenses per year collecting $7.3 million in fees and the fishery employs around 8,400 British Columbian’s (as of 2012).”
  • Area SRKW Refuge Recreational Fin Fish Closures will cause significant socio-economic harm destroying jobs and economic spin off activities in small coastal communities like Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Bamfield, Port Renfrew, Sooke and Victoria.
  • Killer whales are only very rarely present on LaPerouse Bank, and there is no documented evidence from passive acoustic monitoring to clearly demonstrate this is actually critical habitat. DFO science is making an assumption that because areas of LaPerouse Bank are important areas for commercial and recreational Chinook fishing that they area similarly important to killer whales.
  • According to Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM), killer whales are only present on Swiftsure Bank 43% of monitored days between May to September – broad Area Refuge closures impact recreational fishing opportunity during significant periods where the whales are not present.
  • There is no comparative analysis that demonstrates the effectiveness of Area Closure vs. a mobile “bubble” strategy
  • More effort is required to scientifically determine if indeed there is any less benefit to be achieved using a “bubble” strategy which is less impactful – striking a balance between protection and economic activity 
  • In the past ______ years, I have fished areas of LaPerouse Bank, and observed killer whales only ____ times. (your observations are very important)
  • In the past ______years, I have fished areas of Swiftsure Bank, and observed killer whales only ____times. (your observations are very important)
  • Given these observations, there is little scientific data to support expanding the critical habitat areas, especially on LaPerouse Bank where killer whales are very rarely encountered and there is no scientific evidence to support DFO Science claims. 

Here’s DFO’s request for input – please take time to write in your input:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Parks Canada Agency (PCA) would like your feedback on the revised critical habitat section (section 7) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) draft Amended Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada.

Key points for discussion

  • The draft Amended Recovery Strategy updates the critical habitat for Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales based on new science advice
  • It identifies two additional areas of special importance as proposed critical habitat for Resident Killer Whales. These include:
    • Waters on the continental shelf off southwestern Vancouver Island, including Swiftsure and La Pérouse Banks (important for both Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales)
    • Waters of west Dixon Entrance, along the north coast of Graham Island from Langara to Rose Spit (important for Northern Resident Killer Whales)
  • The amendment also provides clarification of the functions, features and attributes for all critical habitat identified for Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales

How to provide input

The deadline for submitting comments on section 7 (critical habitat) of the draft Amended Recovery Strategy is July 11, 2018. Please note, feedback is only being sought on section 7 (pages 55 to 68); feedback on other sections will not be considered at this time. If you choose to submit comments, please use the online comment form.

After we have received your feedback and finalized the draft Amended Recovery Strategy, a proposed document will be posted to the SARA Public Registry for a 60-day public comment period. The Government of Canada will then have 30 days to incorporate comments before posting the final document on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Here is the Comment Form Link Address:

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/consultation/sara-lep/killerwhales-epaulards/discussion-eng.html

 

July 5, 2018

It’s early July and Barkley Sound has been very productive on the fishing front.
Spring salmon from various rivers to the south have been stopping along many of our traditional hot spots and feeding up on needle fish and immature herring. It’s been a very good start to the season.
Just finished up with my first group of the year. The Underhill brothers, along with family friend Gilbert, have been guests of mine for some years now. We fished hali last weekend and managed our limit. We fished the humps at 12 mile using spreader bars and extra large herring. 205 feet of water was magic as the bite came quickly and it wasn’t long before we had 4 nice flatties in board.
The next two days were salmon days. With a high pressure system bringing very strong norwesterlies, the best place for us was over in the Broken Group at Austin and Cree Islands. The winds were strong but it was fishable. We fished anchovies in a green teaser head 6′ behind a Guide Series green moon jelly flasher at 55′ on the down rigger. On the other side we fished a Bon Chovy Skinny G at 65′. We found the slot between Austin Island and the under water pinnacles the most productive. Lots of feed, needle fish mostly, were showing on the sounder with arches of feeding salmon below them. It was constant action, especially on the Skinny Gs. We had to wade through tons of feeders but by the end of the day we managed 8 nice spring from 9 to 16 lbs. Next morning we went back to the scene if the crime as the north west winds were forecasted to blow strong once again. We fished half a day and boxed 5 lovely fish, the largest tipped the scales at 18 lbs.
The north west blow ended a two days ago. I have two days off between guests. I was really looking forward to getting out on the water with my partner Makiko and exploring some old haunts which I hadn’t had time to get to. We motored down towards Seabird Island Rocks with Tom’s son in law, Brian in tow. Between the two boats we fished the reefs and kelp beds of Seabird. This maybe my favourite troll. It’s technical, it’s’ tight to the rocks and boy can it ever produce! Makiko and I trolled a Bon Chovy Skinny G at 30′ and a Herring Aid Skinny G at 27′. Within 10 minutes we had our first fish on. In 35 minutes we out 4 springs in the boat, including a double header and we were done for the day. All cookie cutters, teenagers between 15 and 18 lbs. Gorgeous fish. Feisty, acrobatic and just a whole ton of fun. Brian’s boat also did well. They had 8 springs to the boat and boxed 4. One lovely fish at 24 lbs. Brian’s fish all came on a blue / silver Skinny G.
All the fish we have cleaned over the last few days have been gorging on small needle fish. Small spoons have been the best imitator of the available feed. Definitely for us the Skinny Gs have been the ticket, but I would think any small 3.5′ spoons would be effective. Silver Horde’s Herring Aide and Irish Cream have also been working well.
Both Aussie John and Tom are around. The store is running full swing, gas dock is going strong so no excuse not to drop by. Harbouside would be happy to help make your Bamfield adventure just a little bit more special.
I have The Morgan group in next for the weekend. I’ll update you after the weekend on how it all goes.
Till then,
Coach (aka Jonathan).

June 30, 2018

Fishing Report Harbourside Lodge June 30 2018
Hi All.
What a pleasure it is to be back! It has been a long, wet winter and we are all excited about the upcoming summer. Reconnecting with friends, the excitement of making new ones and of course renewing our love of the water and all the things that make the west coast of the Island so special. This is what fuels us, this is why we continue the Harbourside Lodge chronicles.
During the winter I frequently visit our web site and the listed weather links. It’s intrigues me to see the weather buoy transmitting waves of over 7 meters at 10 second intervals. It also makes me very happy I am safe secure on dryland during our west coast winter storms! It’s interesting to note that these storms are critical to the health of the west coast marine environment. The massive waves breaking on the rocks stir up the shore line providing the much needed oxygenated water to support the amazing mass of life that makes up the west coast. All to our benefit…
It is now the end of June and many of us are eager and hotly anticipating early morning bites and reels singing. The tug is definitely the drug. Most of us have been exposed to the thrills of battling wild fish through uncle’s, dad’s and other various family members. For me? It was my Dad. Growing up in the prairies might not seem like the best place to learn the finer arts of angling but in actuality the pristine lakes of Canada’s north offer wonderful places to learn all about the water and the denizens of the deep. My dad gave me the opportunity to fall in love with the water. He is the reason I fish to this day. I lost my Dad a few months ago. He was 94 years old so it was time. That said, it still feels like a punch to the gut.
Relationships with loved ones can be complicated. They can be difficult and they can be stressful. My relationship with my Dad was all of these at times. We were very different people. In my life and in my work I find it imperative to find little nooks and crannies that one can connect to people with. One doesn’t need to have the pieces fit perfectly to build a connection. If we are that way we may miss so many wonderful opportunities to forge lasting bonds with others. Sometimes all it takes is one little thing. For my Dad and I? It was time on the water fishing.
For those precious hours we were unencumbered by difference. We were sheltered in same. We were the best of ourselves.
My love of the water was his gift. it was our time together. We could reminisce without fear and or guilt. it was ours…
Ok on to the good stuff!
Fishing has been solid in Barkley Sound. We were out this past Sunday and decided to venture around the corner to see what was happening at Seabird Island Rocks. We fished hard and tight to the kelp and reefs, trolling a glow white hootchie and a Bon Chovy skinny g. We managed 3 solid hook ups in about 3 hours of trolling time. Nothing however stuck. There were two other boats from Harbourside out with us and both boats managed a pair of nice springs, one of which was pushing 20 lbs. For our last hour out we put the trolling gear away and tucked into the kelp and jigged Macdeeps. Again we had a couple of salmon hook ups but nothing we could keep on. Had a blast with some ling cod, cabazon and greenlings.
I had some time to chat with guests on the docks over the weekend and it seems small spoons, hootchies and anchovies have been the most successful rigs that are producing fish.
In the Bamfield area, Austin and Cree have been good. The deeper water close to Kirby has also been producing. As per usual you will never be wasting your time fishing the Wall and Aguilar Point.
Halibut fishing has been solid when the weather allows off shore boating. At this time of year you may manage the odd hali inshore as well. Herring and salmon bellies on are the best producers.
The lodge and docks are in full swing so if you are in the area in July don’t forget to swing by for fuel, tackle, ice, bait and such.
Till then, flat seas and full boxes…
Coach… (aka Jonathan…)

June 19, 2018

Fishing Report Harbourside Lodge June 21 2018

There have been some good fish caught in the past week. A 28lb spring on the Wall at dusk three days ago had some smiles on the boat, as it was the first ever salmon caught by the guy on the rod.

There are plenty of feeder springs in the 5 to 15 lb range, as well as larger fish in some areas. Swale Rock and Austin & Cree are producing as well as the Wall, Aguilar Point and along Brady’s Beach, along with the deeper water close to Kirby and of course you can head offshore for some bigger spring and hali. One of our charters last week saw three good hali come in with the largest at 114cm. The hali were all caught on a mix of herring and salmon bellies.

A mixture of bait and hardware is the current choice. Small 3.5” spoons and Glow White hootchies and green splatter back hootchies seem to be working best.

Our store and fuel are up and running, and the weather has been really spectacular, so come to Bamfield and wet a line.