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.

June 5th 2017

June is here and the fishing is starting to pick up in the Barkley Sound region. Local areas that have been producing are The Wall, Whistle Buoy, Kirby, Sanford, Diplock, Meares, Austin & Cree.

Fish are being caught anywhere from 32 feet to 140 feet and deeper so I recommend hunting for the bait then adjusting from there. I have caught all my fish in the last week on either 3.5-inch Irish Cream spoon, 3.5-inch Cop Car spoon, Army Truck hootchie or a Purple Haze hootchie.

This isn’t from a lack of trying numerous different combinations and almost always having an anchovy rig running on one line. Matching the flasher colour to the lure/hootchie/teaser head is something I always do and the past week has been no different.

Currently one must find the bait to find the fish and mostly the fish being caught have been between 5 to 15 pounds. Even these smaller fish can pop the clip and take off a pile of line producing that most loved sound and provide anyone on the rod with some entertainment.

Happy hunting and best of luck out there. Brett

June 1st 2017

Fishing Report May 30 2017

Hi All

Both the weather and the fishing has seen some significant improvements over the past few weeks. Summer is just around the corner and Bamfield is beginning to hum.

Aussie John has landed and is sorting out all that needs sorting in preparation for all of you. We now have the lodge up and running and are ready to welcome folks to the wild west coast and all that Bamfield has to offer.

Ok let’s get to the good stuff. What is happening on the water? We are seeing very typical early spring and summer fishing. Spring salmon have been showing up in all of the usual haunts. We are now seeing some mature salmon mixed in with the feeder springs that call the western reaches of Barkley Sound home. When this starts to happen it can be confusing as to what depths to ply your gear. Typically for feeder springs we like to bounce our cannon balls along the bottom at depths pushing 200 feet but with larger mature fish arriving, it pays to keep some gear shallow where they like to hang.

My favorite place to fish at this time of year allows your gear to target fish without trolling to deep. Effingham is a beautiful spot to fish, stays in the lee of summer nor’westerlies and allows you to fish your gear relatively shallow through the water column. I very much enjoy the tactical troll at the west end of Effingham towards Austin and Cree Islands. Drop your gear to 55’ and 65’ and troll through the pinnacles tight to Austin and Cree. At 65’ your gear may bounce the bottom as you pick your way through, but for the most part you are looking at around 90’ of water under your boat. Watch your sounder closely as the rocky pinnacles just south and east of Austin come up very quickly. The pass through fishes well on either the flood or the ebb tide as the flow will push bait fish into the pass where the feeding springs lie in ambush.


My first time fishing this area I picked up 4 beautiful springs in 30 minutes and pretty much ordained myself as Skipper of the Year. The very next day I returned ready to box another 4 springs. Within the same time period of 30 minutes I managed to lose 3 cannon balls on the pinnacle ledges and limped back to Harbourside a much more humble fisherman. If you haven’t given this area a try, stop in at our gas dock and ask Johno or myself to show you where on the map one should fish. Chart your course on your GPS and watch your sounder closely. Once you have a couple of slug trails recorded on your GPS, you should be good to go. This area often picks up at the tide change so don’t pull up your gear until at least an hour after slack water. In early June and July, I fish an anchovy off one rigger and then a purple 3.5’ spoon on a 6’ leader behind a purple uv haze flasher. Last year I actually began fishing the purple spoon off both riggers as they far out fished the anchovy. Towards the end of July and into early August it seems anchovies begin to take over but early summer spoons rule!

Other areas that hold fish this time of year are really the same ones we fish late into August. We just fish a little bit deeper in early summer. The Wall has been productive when bait is showing. Both sides of Flemming have been very good. Typically we really only fish the north side of Flemming but the Bamfield side has been quite productive this spring. Aguilar Point all the way west to Cape Beale has produced fish, as has Kirby Point and Edward King.

Offshore fish have started migrating down the Banks and are now feeding at various hot spots along along the coast. Big Bank and the Rat’s Nose have started to turn on and if the weather and waves are good it can be a very rewarding troll.

Spoons and hootchies are the order of the day off shore. I like glow white hootchies and spoons with glow green and white. These are deadly off shore combos. Spread your gear out depth wise until you have dialed it in. I typically start at 90’ on one rigger and 130’ on the other one. Then it’s just a matter of playing from there.

Hali fishing is what it is, and that means if you are in the Barkley Sound area it’s time to get your flatty on! These tasty denizens of the deep are active and eager to chow down in early spring and summer.  As many of our readers know, I love to fish halibut off the banks south west of Barkley Sound between 10 and 14 miles out.  I am looking for gradual rounded pinnacles that come up just a bit off the banks. In short, get on the banks in about 225’ of water. Now search for a hump that comes up from 185’ to about 215’. If you are outfitted for it, drop your anchor and set your lines out on the bottom. If you don’t have an anchor system you can back troll and or drift over the hump. Once you past 215’ I’d pull your gear and then backtrack and drift once again. If you are drifting, you will want 2lb to 3lb weights on your spreader bars. If you are anchoring up I like to stagger my weights. I’ll drop 1lb weights out the back of the boat and 1.5lb out the sides. This keeps a nice spread and reduces the chances of tangling up gear.

We pretty much stick to spreader bars, salmon bellies and or extra-large herring when hali fishing. Salmon bellies are much more resilient in the water and stay on the hook much longer. Herring are easily picked off and are tasty tidbits for dogfish so that sometimes can be a big pain. That’s said? Hali just love herring so I tend to make sure I have at least one rod rigged with herring on each trip. It’s often worth the hassle.

Circle hooks are also a good way to go when hali fishing.

Circle hooks eliminate gut hooked fish. They will always hook fish in the corner of the mouth. Once a circle hook is in, it’s locked down. A fish will not shake it if the line stays tight. If a fisherman gets a chance to tangle with an oversize fish (133cm for a legally caught halibut) a circle hook will allow the fisherman to release the fish with little more than an annoying pull in the side of the mouth. Even a large fish released with a clipped line and the hook left in will be able to fend quite nicely as the hook erodes away reasonably quickly.

The draw back for circle hooks is the “take”. You can’t rear back and set the hook. Leave the drag loose enough so you can pull line with your bare hand. When a hali hooks up, let it take line. When the first run slows, gently tighten the drag and reel. When you feel head shakes and weight, you are hooked up! Then let the fun begin.

Once again should you be a hali novice or are new to the area I’d be happy to chart some hot spots for you.

Come look us up Harbourside’s gas dock and tackle store. The gas dock and store will be up and running come the first week of June. All the gear we carry in the shop is the same gear our guides use on a daily basis. We won’t be selling you gear that we ourselves wouldn’t use with guests in our own charter boats.

We are booking fast but still have some spots left for charter dates, lodging and boat moorage. By the way if you have never fished Bamfield in July you have been missing out. The weather is spectacular, it’s uncrowded and the fishing can be superb!

Coffee is on and we are looking forward to seeing old friends and welcoming new ones to the Harbourside experience.

Till then, tight lines and full boxes…

Coach (aka Jonathan…)


April 21, 2017

Fishing Report April 21, 2017

Hi All

Welcome to the 2017 version of the Harbourside Lodge Chronicles.

It has been a very cool and wet winter that has transitioned directly into our spring. As I am writing this though, the sun is actually shining and thoughts of Bamfield summers where glints of light reflect radiantly off chrome bars of salmon are making me twitch just a little bit. It is almost upon us.

Fishing in the area is still spotty. There are, however, fish to be had. And just like wearing a very comfortable pair of slippers, it’s good to know that our usual haunts are still producing some very nice fish.

Early season salmon fishing in Barclay Sound is all about finding bait and keeping gear close to the bottom. Places like the Wall, Kirby, Flemming and Austin / Cree / Mears are worthwhile spots to drop the gear and find some early season springs. There has been some great new gear that has come on the market and is perfect for the early season salmon fishery that Bamfield offers.

Try a variety of the new glow and moonjelly flashers such as the Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, or the Yellow / Green Kinetic. Top spoons such as the new Pescas in glow green with blue or black trim. Irish Cream, Homeland Security are terrific down deep and off shore.

I can’t give up my favorite, purple haze flasher with a 3.5 or 4 inch purple spoon. This rig was absolute money for us last season. Troll these outfits at 2.5 to 3 mph for best results. Bait is always effective though when trolling deep it is so hard to detect little bites and nips. Spoons and hootchies give you a much better chance of keeping your gear in the water.

Early season halibut is really prime time for flatties. Spring sees a more consistent bite with the likely hood of bigger fish than later on in the summer. That said if this fishery is anything like it has been over the past few years we can expect a strong halibut fishery deep into September. All the usual spots will produce. As many readers know I love to fish the humps off shore between 10 and 14 miles off. Check your charts and locate your boat in and around humps that come up on the bank between 190 and 215 feet. An anchor system definitely will put you at an advantage but drifting and back trolling can still be effective. We mix things up between salmon bellies and extra-large herring. Somedays the bellies knock them dead and some days it’s all about the herring. Octopus can also be very effective and certainly stays on the hooks solidly.

We are so very much looking forward to see all of our regulars this summer as well as welcoming newcomers to the Harbourside experience. Aussie John and Tom will have things up and running for opening early June. I will be up to the lodge by mid June. At this point we are already filling up prime spots, that said we do have accommodations still available in prime time. It would be prudent to book now. Tom has added another Grady to the fleet so we have more options for charters and larger groups. All booking enquiries can be made through Aussie John via email at john@harboursidelodge.com

Until then we will keep you posted on all things fishy here in Barclay Sound.

Coach… (aka Jonathan…)

Sept 1, 2016

Hi All

It’s almost sad as we are nearing the end of our season. That said the last part of August and early September are as good as it get’s here in Barkley Sound
Let’s get to it then!
All of the local hot spots are now producing. From Beale down to Yankee Bay has all been good. Flemming and Kirby have had their “going off ” moments. Go to where you feel confident, drop your gear and wait for mayhem!
For that to happen though you have to present the right gear at the right depths and the right speed. First I would roll anchovies in purple haze or bloody nose teaser heads 6′ behind your favourite flashers. I like to match my flashers with my teaser heads but I am a bit of a fashion guru when it comes to that. Hootchies, especially in white are still taking springs and the coho luv ‘em! Trolling some plastic keeps gear in the water as the coho especially have been notorious for slamming gear but not hooking up. Hootchies allow you to keep your gear in the water when that happens, and that’s a good thing. Spoons have still been effective too, especially in the 3.5 inch range.
Depths are still shallow. At Beale (and their have been some very big fish hooked there but the Beale Seal has stolen many a tyee lately!) I’ve been trolling at 38′ and 33′. Flemming and the Wall I’ve been running my gear at 27′ and 33′. Down towards Danvers and Poet Nook I run a little bit deeper at 45′ and 50′.
Keep a relatively quick troll at 2.6 to 2.8 even 3 miles per hour speed over ground. Troll with the tide as much as you can as the fish usually have the snouts pointing into the current and are more apt to see your gear coming at them.
Off shore is still a good bet for numbers but big fish are more likely to be in the sound. Big Bank, the Nose, 12 mile are all producing at times, that is if the seas are calm enough to get out. We haven’t been offshore much for salmon but are still having our best season ever with halibut. Captain Tom has been out 4 times in the last week and limited on halis each time including a gorgeous 6′ blue shark he caught and released on Sunday the 28th. 12 miles to 14 miles from Beale on humps that come up to 200 feet have so very productive. Extra large herring and salmon bellies fished on spreader bars will put you on the flat fish.
The long weekend is almost upon us and that means the Port Alberni Salmon Fest starts Saturday the 3rd and runs till 4:00 pm on Labour Day Monday. First prize for largest salmon is 15k with 5k going to daily winners. 2nd and 3rd place daily winners are taking home 2k and 1k. At only $40 per rod entry it’s a fun deal. You never know with each hit if this could be a derby winning fish. Someone is going to be a winner, might as well be you (hopefully me though!)!
We still have some moorage and a few spots for accommodations left this weekend and into early September. Call now and book as you have to get in on the most exciting fishing time of the year. It will all be over way too soon!
Stop and say hi. Coffee is on. The tackle store is stocked with gear and bait and we will be around for the best weekend of the year!
Coach (aka Jonathan) Aussie John and Tom…

Aug 23, 2016

Hi Again

Fishing finally continues to be solid here in Barkley Sound. For those of us that have been grinding it out all summer it is a refreshing change to have some multiple fish days with good sized springs and coho, and to boot it’s all been close to home.
Different guides and fisherman may share completely different info but here is the skinny as I have seen it.
The fish are running somewhat deeper than I normally fish. Typically at this time of year I am 25′ to 35′ on the down rigger. The past week I have been 40′ to 50′. Anchovies in uv purple haze and bloody nose heads have been effective for springs if you like to roll bait. However, glow white hootchies behind green flashers have also been very effective for springs and killer for coho. I have been running bait one side and a hootchie on the other.
All the usual spots have had good fish days. Swale is still producing and Kirby and Flemming have been good at times. Sandford and Satellite Channel have had some great coho days with the odd spring thrown in. Yankee Bay and Danvers down toward Poet Nook have also been very solid for springs and coho. The Wall always produces at times and is never a waste of time.
Speaking of coho, they been such quality fish this year. Many in the teens and all seem to averaging over 10 lbs. We will often just troll out of the Bamfield Harbour across Trevor Channel towards Wizard and Satellite Channel running white hootchies and 45′ and 50 ‘. When they hit they just smack it so hard. It is awesome! Try it first thing in the morning and fill your box then hit the tide changes for your springs.
Hali fishing is still very productive. Unfortunately the seas have been very big and we have had limited windows in which to target them. I last got out on Friday the 19th and we managed two nice flatties before the wind blew up and chased us home. Same old same old if you get a chance to get out there. Fish the humps between 12 and 14 mile. Spreader bars with salmon bellies and or extra large herring have been our “go tos”.
As per usual the store on the float is well stocked with gear, bait, snacks and such. Aussie John is managing the gas docks serving up both diesel and boat gas.
Coffee is always on so we hope you stop in and say hi.
Till then.
Coach, (Jonathan), Aussie John and Tom…

Aug 16, 2016

Hi All
This is it! We are now in prime time and Barkley Sound is showing us her finest! Fishing has been very solid. We just finished up 4 days with the Ludemann group. 8 guys and three boats. We started last Friday at Beale where things had been hot. It wasn’t. We had a tough day Friday, guides Tom and and Joe managed some quality fish but I was 0 for. Yikes! My purple uv spoon was no longer popping off (sigh…). We changed things up a bit and fished the rest of the three days at Swale Rock and Harbour Entrance. We found fish running a bit deeper than we usually fish, 35′ to 55′ on the down rigger. White hootchies fished behind green flashers were the order of the day. Joe knocked them dead with anchovies in bloody nose teaser heads. We got into some very nice quality springs but added bonus has been the coho fishing. Gorgeous fish between and 10 and 14 lbs just smacked the gear. Tom limited his group out Sunday with 10 coho for five guests all over 10 lbs!
We are still waiting for Kirby and Flemming to go off. They have had moments but not anything really consistent. There has been great coho action off of Sandford. Again pretty much same depths, 35′ to 50 ‘. The Wall is producing as she should. It’s never a waste of time there and such an easy troll.
Offshore has been difficult as the seas, once again, have been high. They are up over 2 meters today and they are calling for 3 meters and more as the week progresses. Hopefully it begins to settle down as hali hunts have had to wait and they might have to wait more yet. It’s such a shame as the hali fishing continues to be great. Once again for us it’s all been about sitting on the humps that come up on the bank between 12 and 14 miles out from Beale. Anchoring out is such an effective way to fish as most often the fish eventually they come to you. If you do not have an effective anchoring system, drifting can still produce. Pick your tides so you can effectively drift with your gear as straight up and down as possible. Salmon bellies and extra large herring are still our best set ups. Fish them off spreader bars. Dog fish are around but usually we only have to wade through a few before the halibut come knocking.
It’s certainly getting busier here at Harbourside. Please call re: moorage, accommodations  and charters as we will do our best to fit you in. As per usual the gas dock is a busy place. Lots of ” dock talk” about the best fishing hot spots and gear that’s working great. Coffee is always on at the shop and we are well stocked with tackle and such. Hope to see you soon!
Coach ( Jonathan), Aussie John and Tom…

Aug 10, 2016

Hi All
I just finished up three days with Mike from Vernon and his buddy Cory from Langley, both ardent and talented anglers. We fished the inside reaches of Cape Beale (Little Beale to the locals). Running our gear at 27 and 33 feet was the magic depths for us. We ran anchovies fished in uv purple haze bullet roll heads behind uv purple flashers on one side and continued running our uv purple haze 3.5 inch spoons behind matching flashers on the other side. Both combos were very successful. I continue to be amazed at the success I am still having with this small purple spoon. Cory bagged a beautiful 33 lb tyee on Monday afternoon on the spoon at 27 feet. We were fishing tight to structure. Most of our hits came at the eastern edge of Little Beale directly across from Spike Rock. It’s an easy landmark to get one’s bearings as it rises like a spike or dagger 20 feet off the shore. It has been a crowded fishery especially in the mornings but afternoon tide changes saw a small handful of boats making for a much less stressful troll. We also spent a day offshore hali hunting and once again were rewarded with some beautiful flatties. It took a while for the bite to turn on but the humps between and 12 and 14 miles out continued to deliver. We picked up 3 halis, 40, 28 and 20. Two on extra large herring and the larger fish on salmon bellies. All fished off spreader bars. What a great summer it has been for hali fishing!
I spent yesterday on dock duty, which I actually enjoy. It’s great getting to chat with fisherman and hearing what’s happening on the water. This is the first week I have really felt that our fishery is back to normal. Yesterday, Tuesday August 9, fish were coming in from Flemming, Edward King, Beale and of course the local standby , the Wall. We saw some great springs but also some lovely coho in the 10 to 12 lb range.
Offshore salmon fishing still has it’s mediocre days. Fish tend to be somewhat smaller out there though it seems boats are getting their limits now. Fish deeper than inshore. Start at 90 and maybe 130 feet then go from there. Boats are also fishing right on the bottom and doing well. Glow white hootchies and spoons that light up down deep are the order of the day. Pulling plugs is working well now too. I like the tomic 602′s and 530′s in 6 inches. Fish them way back off your ball, 50 pulls (yeah I know but I’m not kidding!). Troll quick at 3.5 miles per hour. The plugs will cover tons of water whipping back and forth. Wait for the hit and hang on, the springs like to smash them hard. It’s such a blast to fish this way without flashers.
We are receiving a new order of fishing gear tomorrow so we will be well stocked for the mid August run. If you haven’t tried them yet come by and pick up one of the uv purple haze King Fisher spoons by Silver Horde. You’ll be glad you did!
Lots of bait in stock, salt ice, drink ice and of course fuel both gas and diesel.
It’s happening now folks, this is the time of year we dream about come late January. Don’t miss out on the fun.
Get out here soon. We’ll leave the light on for you…
Coach (aka Jonathan, Aussie John and Tom…

Aug 6, 2016

Well it seems the doom and gloom maybe lifting a bit. If, of course, we are talking fish reports.
Yes it has been a difficult season so far. My previous blogs certainly reflect that and it seems reports from other various coastal areas are eerily similar. Has it been an ecological disaster ( ok perhaps a but dramatic)? Here are what I suppose really are rumours. Based on some DFO reports apparently the big herd of Columbians ( of which many stop in an around Barkley Sound to fatten up for their continued journey south) are hanging out 50 miles off shore. Along with them are whales, dolphins and tuna after masses of pilchards ( sardines ). Pilchards are an amazing nutrient dense food source for all manner of sea life including, of course, spring salmon. So it seems the fish have not disappeared but have taken a detour that has left us in the lurch so to speak. As I stated earlier this is more rumour than confirmed fact. It does seem to make sense though. The good news is now we are into August, our fish, which have to travel though Barkley Sound, should be on the way.
Ok here’s the skinny as of Saturday August 6. Best bet at this point is fishing Cape Beale and the shoreline exposed to the offshore. Once again the depths on your downrigger haven’t changed, 25 to 35 feet is deep enough. We are continuing to have success with purple on purple. Anchovies in uv purple teaser heads fished 6 to 7 feet behind uv purple flashers has been our ” go to ” number. Many guys are using green teasers and flashers, bloody nose teasers and blue / white glow. Fish them at 2.5 to 3 miles per hour speed over ground and you will be in the hunt. Kingfisher by Silver Horde uv purple spoons in the 3.5 inch are still producing surprisingly well. Keep your gear in the water an hour or so before and after tide change. Only move after then. The bite comes on usually fast and furious and dies very quickly. Give yourself the best chance possible. Use the gear we have talked about at the depths mentioned above. If you aren’t hooking up it’s not your gear. Stay the course. You number will come up.
Offshore is still very sporadic. The usual fish guarantee at the Big Bank, Rat’s Nose and other  off shore locales has not been ” money ” by any means. We are starting to see a trend to more consistent catches though. It looks like we are going in the right direction.
Halibut fishing may have slowed some but since it had been on fire most of the summer it stands to reason that it would have to slow down at least a bit. That said, good gear, the right location and persistence leads to punching your hali card almost every time. The humps located between 12 mile and 14 mile have been very good and still are. Extra large herring and salmon bellies continue to be your best bet for bait. Our very own Captain Tom has limited out each and every time aboard Aqualady this summer. So if you are thinking about an upcoming hali charter, just sayin…
As per usual the store is pumping our a nice bubbly red that goes great with fishing boats. We have bait, ice, tackle and lots of laughs down at the store. By all means stop in for a coffee and a chinwag.
Till then,
Coach ( Jonathan ), Aussie John and Tom…