Fishing Reports 2020

Fishing Report Sept 8, 2020

Hi All

Well, just like that it ends… 2020 is in the books for Coach. Charliegirl is out of the water, on the hard and waiting to be out to bed for the winter. As I left the Bamfield Harbour mouth in brilliant sunshine and flat seas it hardly seemed right to be calling it quits. I am now back in Van City and attempting to bring some normality back to students and their Covid-19 educational world. Not sure which job is harder, that or trying to catch spring salmon the past few days! It seems both are challenging me for sure!
We wrapped up derby weekend at Harbourside this weekend. So appreciative of the Alberni Valley Tyee Club for taking the responsibilities of the Derby on. Such great tradition. Hopefully we can return to normal festivities next year on Labour Day!
As for the fishing? Well it was slow for us for sure. We skipped a salmon day on Saturday as the waters were so calm offshore and we headed out for one last day of flatty fishing. We had three Harbourside boats out at 12 mile and with Captain Tom leading the way we eventually all limited out. The halis wanted herring this day. We had refusals on salmon bellies but they eagerly hit herring and herring like jigs. Once again we anchored up on the banks at a hump that comes up to 200 feet or so. Fishing in and around the hump in 212 to 220 feet of water was the ticket. We love to jig coho while we hali fish and we tried but they were scarce. Typically this time of year the coho are thick offshore, but alas not on Saturday.
Sunday we fished hard for springs. We trolled a good 8 hours at Little Beale and managed some nice takes but only managed to boat one spring at about 15 lbs. Not exactly a derby threat. I did see some fish taken so there were some around. Not exactly what it should be for this time of year however. The coho situation almost seems dire. They are indeed hard to find. Hopefully they are still to make their way in. I, however, am long gone so I have missed them. If you are out and about Bamfield way over the next few weeks. Please, by all means, let us know if the coho show up. I am so very much hoping they do!
The lodge is still up and running for another week and a bit and then we will shut her down for the winter. For me? I am now looking forward to donning my waders and having some fun fly casting for coho, chum and the occasional spring in various Lower Mainland Rivers.
I am also already thinking about next year. And so can you.  Email Aussie John for charters, accommodations and moorage at 
Many of our guests have already re-booked so don’t wait. Get your spot booked soon.
In the meantime and in between time, stay safe, stay calm, be kind, and go catch a fish.
Thanks everyone for an amazing Harbourside 2020!

Fishing Report Aug 31, 2020

Hi All

Gosh it seems that the the summer has just flown by. I arrived for good on the 24th of June and it’s the 31st of August and things will be all wrapped up within the next two weeks. The good news is that there will be some fabulous fishing to be had as we close the 2020 season.
For those of you that have followed my blog over the last few years, you might recall a tale told of a group that comes annually towards the end of August. DJ, Brian, Bill and Steven (and Roxy, can’t forget about her…). All great guys! A total blast to fish with and enjoy a great meal with a glass of vino or two. But Steven is special. And that’s not taking anything away from DJ, Bill or Brian. Steven is blind and Roxy is his guide dog. She is amazing. Both of them spent 10 hours a day out on the boat with us. We would share with Steven what was happening on the water, what wildlife was passing by and such. Each morning Steve would be down at the dock waiting for me and wanting to know what he could do to help out. Roxy was on duty until Steve let her off leash in the boat and then… she was just a dog. So eager to see the fish when we had one on the line. Roxy got very involved when a fish came on board. Sniffing, licking, and attempting a retrieve of a flapping spring salmon. It was all so perfect in a way. Kind of ordinary really. And that is why Steven is so special – 10 minutes after you meet him he is just that, an ordinary guy. You completely forget he’s completely blind. It’s not an excuse for him, it’s not a handicap, it just doesn’t get in the way of him living. And that my friends is very cool. That’s what makes Steven (and Roxy ) special. Kudos to DJ, Brian and Bill too. They also treat Steve just like he’s just one of them. Good friends all spending great times on the water. I am thankful just to be a part…
Ok now to fishing…
We are now in the peak of the Barkley Sound run of spring salmon and we are hoping that the bulk of our coho are not far behind. Fishing has been steady and productive for those willing to put in the time and fish through the tides. There have certainly been some spots that are producing better numbers than others but all the usual places that typically hold fish will eventually produce. Some, however, seem better than others.
The Lodge just finished up with the Pace Processing group. Many thanks to Sean Darrah and family for all the great food and great times Pace brings to the lodge each year.
We had 6 boats out each day. We all went out and about in the Sound searching for hungry springs. Keeping in contact with each boat gave us the opportunity to hone in on productive spots. Over the course of the four days between Friday August 28 through to Monday the 31st, Little Beale turned out to be the hot spot. I fished there with Jason Darrah and his wife Michelle. We fished black uv flashers with anchovies in bloody nose chrome teaser heads six and a half feet back at 30′ to 34′ on the down riggers. This set up definitely was the most productive for us. We were 2 for 6 on our first afternoon out, 3 for 8 on Saturday and three for 8 again on Sunday to punch their possession tags. Unfortunately we did not touch a coho. One of our Guides, Joe was out fishing over in the Broken Group at Harbour Entrance and he managed to boat 3 or more coho each trip he was over there. He found the coho somewhat deeper than the springs at 45 to 55 ‘. Kirby and Swale have been unusually quiet for this time of year. They could both turn on in the course of one tide however so they shouldn’t be overlooked. The Wall all the way down to Danvers has also been quite productive. This is a great alternative in nasty weather or for those with smaller boats. You gotta love Bamfield, it may be the only place on the west side of the Island where Grandpa can putz around in his 14 foot car topper and his 9.9 hp engine and stand as good a chance to catch a Tyee as anyone of us in our Gradys!
As we wind up the summer and move into the Labour Day weekend the Port Alberni Salmon Festival looms. It won’t be quite the same with covid protocols. The weigh in area and sights and sounds of the Derby site will be much more subdued. The derby, however, will go on. Get your tickets at Gone Fishin and Breakers in Port Alberni. That said, I’ve decided it’s my turn so I’m gonna win the whole thing this weekend. Just sayin….
We only have a couple more weeks of the season at Harbourside. Here’s hoping the runs stays strong through the middle of September. Contact Aussie John at for bookings re: accommodations, moorage and charters.
Until then…Be kind, be safe, be calm and go catch a fish!

Fishing Report August 24, 2020

Hi All,

Well a week can sure change things up! Sometimes the emotional roller coaster of the fishing season reminds me of my teenage years at a school dance. You want to ask her to dance so badly but will she say yes or shoot you down in flames…A week ago I was as frustrated as ever. It was hard work scratching up a fish. This week? They are here and in force!
We had a massive rain storm last Thursday and Friday. Perhaps that was the catalyst, the proverbial calling card that brought them in. Regardless, come Friday morning and afternoon things started to light up.
We started at the wall as the winds were howling in the morning and anywhere else would have been awful tough to hold a tack. We were into 4 decent fish within the first couple of hours but couldn’t seal the deal. The weather started to break and in the early afternoon we braved the rolling twisting seas at Little Beale. Trolling bloody nose chrome and bloody nose glow teaser heads behind black and lime green uv flashers at 36 and 33 feet respectively the bite was on. We were into 7 springs at the afternoon tide change and 6 gorgeous wild coho. Keeping 4 springs and two coho for my guests rounded out the afternoon. There were a small number of boats braving the seas with us and they all hooked up as well.
We fished the next morning at Little Beale with the same success. We had to call it early as my guests were due to leave at noon. I had the afternoon off and of course I went fishing. My partner Makiko was able to spend the last 10 days with me and we don’t often get the chance to get out on the boat together. She loves jigging with MacDeeps and was excited about a ling cod trip down to Seabird Island. How could I refuse.
It was sunny skies and sparkling seas as we rounded Cape Beale. Still a bit of a roll from the last remnants of the previous storm but manageable. We were fortunate enough to boat two lovely lings while we played with the sea lions and all the other wildlife at Seabird. This is such a special place. So much life.
On the way back we were treated to an amazing orca show. Breaches, tail slaps, spy hops. It was stunning. To be able to share that with my girl was the highlight of my summer so far.
So…yes the fishing is still good two days later. The Wall all the way down to Danvers has been very good. Little Beale and Whittlestone have been outstanding. Bait is still the go to but I know skinny gs and glow white hootchies have been producing as well.
Swale will be a good bet this week especially if it blows northwest. Keep your gear between 28 and 40 feet and troll at 2.5 to 2.8 mph. Great to see coho numbers improving as well!
Hali fishing is still good providing the seas are calm enough to get out. Salmon bellies and extra large herring are your best bets. Anywhere on the bank all the way out to the Rat’s Nose has been productive. Humps that come up on the Bank to 200 feet are money. Anchoring is still the best way to go but folks are hooking up drifting as well.
August is flying by. It’s time to get out here and experience this amazing resource.
Go spend some time on the boat with someone you love. Nothing better…
Until then,

Fishing Report Aug 18, 2020

Hi All
Well this is it! During the winter we dream of mid August arriving in Barkley Sound. And now… it’s here. Light winds, calm seas, large hungry beastmode chinook and hordes of acrobatic coho. Ahh… we are indeed living the dream. Except… Someone forgot to let the fish know that it’s now mid August and indeed they should be here in force.
It has been a tough go indeed folks. There are fish around but you have to scratch and dig to bust your butt for a couple of hits and maybe a fish or two in an 8 hour troll. Doom? gloom? a biological marine disaster? Ok maybe not just yet but I am wondering what’s happening. I know many very experienced fisherman and guides that are blanking on trips out and around the sound the past 4 or 5 days or so. Now it is migrational fishing and I get that they don’t all arrive at once and there will be dribs and drabs as waves go through but… this is prime time. It has to turn on. The thing is that it always does. Maybe it’s going to happen later this year and continue well into the fall. I just don’t know, but I do know that I’ll still get up for the expected early morning bite. I’ll fish the tides all the way through and I’ll keep staring intently at both my g loomis rods and waiting for that glorious tug that fuels my passion for this wonderful sport.
So if you are here or on your way here soon what should you expect, where should you fish and what gear should you use?
My most consistent days have been spent at Swale Rock. I have been rolling 5 1/4  sized anchovies. For me, (and it’s been a clear leader of the pack), a chrome bloody nose teaser head fished 6 and a half feet behind a black UV flasher at 39 feet. The last 4 days I haven’t hooked up on any other rig. Others have I know, but for me it’s been crazy how much more effective this chrome rig has been. Glow white bloody nose, glow green and herring aid should all be effective right now. Bait though, for sure, is definitely the way to go at this juncture of the season.
I have had the odd good bite at Kirby but nothing consistent. Little Beale and Whittlesone were solid a week or so ago but it’s suddenly like someone turned off the tap.
Offshore salmon fishing is still productive. Lots of coho all over the banks. Springs are a bit tougher to get at with all the coho but fishing plugs at 3 mph down deep, 150 feet on your downrigger will give you a chance at some larger fish.
Halibut fishing is still fantastic! It’s been an amazing hali season. Take advantage of it while you can. Troll them up off the banks or anchor near a hump that comes up to 200 feet or so. Extra large herring and salmon bellies on spreader bars are still the most effective way to tag into some B.C. white gold.
Just wanted to send a quick shout out to Steady Eddy and the Boys. Thanks for all the intel on the VHF.  Love your new boat but I am not sure Steady Eddy is going to stick. Your old handle Gong Show is still somewhat more representative.
As for all of our Harbourside regulars, we thank you so much for being patient with us as we struggle through this covid-19 summer. It has been difficult for all of us but somehow we have managed to make it work so far.
For all of your accommodation, moorage and chartering needs please email Aussie John at
In the meantime I am going to keep my gear wet and keep believing that those g loomis rods are going to violently pop off the downrigger. And then folks it’s going to be on!

Fishing Report Aug 10, 2020

Hi All

Fishing has definitely taken a turn for the better here in Barkley Sound. It seems our local fish have arrived and it appears that August should turn out to be just what we expect August to be.
I just finished up with the Ludemann group. Jeff and son Patrick along with family friend Graeme. Three great guys to spend time on the water with. It was so much fun laughing together sharing the Bamfield experience with them.
Day one we fished the early morning bite at Kirby. We trolled anchovies in chrome and glow white bloody nose teaser heads six and a half feet behind lime green glow and and black glow flashers. We kept a tight tack to the rocks at Kirby running the gear at 33′ and 35′. We went two for six at Kirby between 6:00 am and 10ish. We came in for a quick dry off from the rain, grabbed a hot coffee and headed back out to Little Beale. Once again we kept our troll tight to the rocks and the gear shallow at 33 and 36′. The afternoon bite was good to us and we put 4 beauties in the box. The strikes were violent and ripped off the downrigger clips. It was a fun afternoon.
Day two was supposed to be an offshore day for halibut and coho but the winds and waves were a bit much for everyone’s comfort level and we decided to stay inshore and salmon fish again. We started the day at Little Beale and things continued as we left them the day before. We put three in the box before 10 am. It wasn’t fire cracker hot by any means but it was steady and each fish was over 20lbs. We used the same set ups as the day before. It seemed that the chrome bloody nose out fished the glow white in the morning while the glow white took afternoon honours.
We headed to Swale in the afternoon. I also like to keep my troll tight to the rocks at Swale. I tend to fish a little bit deeper at Swale but still kept the gear fairly shallow at 36 and 39′. We picked up three more gorgeous springs which punched the boy’s dance cards and limited them out for springs.
Offshore was just not in the cards as the waves were averaging well over two meters at La Perouse Bank. We decided to go on a ling cod hunt instead. We braved the waves around Cape Beale and headed south to Sea Bird Rocks. We fished the back side of Sea Bird (south side of the rocks towards Renfrew). The water here is 25 to 40′ deep. We fished MacDeep jigs and the boys had a blast playing black rock fish one after another. And as expected we hooked into the odd ling and put two beautiful lings in the boat before it was time to head back to the lodge as the boys had an afternoon ferry to catch.
As for advice for those of you coming out Bamfield way? It’s time to roll bait. Yes glow white hootchies and various spoons (skinny gs for sure) will work but by the far the most productive rigs would be anchovies in various teaser heads on a minimum 6′ leader. I run mine as long as 7 ‘. Glow white bloody nose, chrome bloody nose, glow green, purple haze and herring aid teaser heads are your best bets. I tend to fish shallow this time of year. Usually in the mid thirties. I know some folks fish deeper and have success (especially at Swale Rock). I just feel more comfortable under 40’.
All the local spots seem to be fishing reasonably well. From Beale to Whittlestone maybe the most productive at the moment but Kirby down to Flemming has also had moments and will just continue to get better as we roll deeper into August. I haven’t head a lot from the Wall just yet but I know that’s going to turn on very soon as well.
My biggest concern is the lack of coho in the sound. I haven’t touched one for over three weeks. I heard of the odd one being caught the past couple of days but it should be a stronger run happening now. Remember the regs have changed here in the Sound. One wild and one hatchery is the new deal inside the surf line in area 23.
Offshore has slowed a bit. The masses of coho have thinned out some (hopefully some our on the way into the Sound!) but there are still springs and coho to be had on flat days. Hali fishing has not let up. It’s been a wonderful summer for flatty fishing. Choose a good weather day. Go out to the any of the humps that come out on the Bank. Fish salmon bellies, extra large herring and or paddle tail jigs. I have had great success with jigs as of late. They have outfished bait for me. It is also a lot of fun feeling the hali hit your jig while the rod is in your hands!
Lastly a reminder that Harbourside Lodge is running in a limited capacity this summer as we continue the covid 19 fight. Aussie John is handling all bookings for moorage, accommodation and charters. Email him at
He will get back to you as soon as possible.
In the meantime I will be out on the water doing what I love best. Hope some of our paths cross as we pull into prime time for Barkley Sound.
Till then…
Coach (aka Jonathan)

Fishing Report Aug 5, 2020

Hi All

It’s been a while since my last update. No I didn’t quit fishing (even though at times I felt I should…), nor did I up and move to another lodge and area. I did, however, take a few days off and made my way to Tofino for a bit of a break. And yes… fishing was equally tough further north. However people, enough doom and gloom. It seems we have turned the corner and fishing has definitely picked up.
The last four or five days we have started to see our Somass fish start to show and folks some of them are very big! I fully expect the fishing to be as we expect in early August or even better.
I just finished up with the Morgan group. On day one we fished Kirby on the early morning bite. Ten minutes in we had a violent take and Brendan jumped on the rod. The big spring took an anchovy in a bloody nose teaser head behind a glow green flasher at 33 feet on the rigger. The first run was a beauty and I was concerned I needed to chase it. It stopped and thrashed some on the surface and it was then I saw the tail and knew we were into a good fish. Ten minutes later we netted what turned out to be my first Tyee of the season at 32 lbs. Super fish to start the trip!
We hooked into another decent fish an hour later. Brendan’s wife Andrea was on the rod and did a great job getting the fish to the boat. Unfortunately the Captain blew it! I didn’t lift the down rigger high enough out of the water and sure enough the fish wrapped around the ball and broke us off. Operator error! I should know better. It did, however, spur me on with even more energy to get Andrea a big spring!
We moved on to Swale for the afternoon bite and hooked into another beauty. Alas we lost that one too and it began to start a disturbing trend.
The next day we headed to Seabird Island to see if we could scare up some ling cod. We managed to boat one but everyone had a blast playing black rockfish. They are eager to bite and provide a good tug. Just the therapy for a group wanting to have some light line fun.
After playing at Seabird we headed back into the Sound for the high tide change bite. We stopped into Little Beale and set the gear with anchovies at 33 and 35 feet.
Over the course of the next two and a half hours we had 9 fish on and 7 to the back of the boat. We only boated two which albeit was somewhat frustrating but this was just the way it was. The fish were large, aggressive and not willing to come to the boat. It was, however, so good to see a real bite on with quality fish.
The last few days we have seen fish taken at Beale, Swale, Austin and Cree. It seems to be that running bait is now the ticket. I am a shallow guy, as in how I like to fish. I keep my gear basically between 30 and 40 feet. I know others go deeper, 50 – 65 on the riggers. I just like to go shallower and it seems to work for me.
White bloody nose teaser heads and chrome bloody nose teaser heads have been working the best for us. Keep your leaders on the long side, 6 to 7 feet minimum.
Offshore has been very productive. Hali fishing has been nothing short of spectacular and the coho offshore have been ridiculous. It’s almost impossible to touch a spring while fishing offshore as ravenous coho attack your gear before you can get it down to fish. When this happens people don’t fight it. Go with it. Get out your buzz bombs, MacDeeps or whatever jig you like. Drift. I typically get my guests to go anywhere from 5 to 20 pulls. That’s all you need. You will love it. So much fun. Yesterday while hali fishing we caught and released dozens of gorgeous coho including limiting out on our hatchery fish. I got my flyrod out and landed half a dozen. Just had a blast!
As for hali fishing? Salmon bellies and herring on spreader bars have been effective. I have also had great luck using an Amundsen 14oz paddle tail jig in glow green. It’s been crazy effective for halibut.
Our bubble slots are full this weekend. That means we have crews bubbled in both suites, our upstairs rooms, and the bunkhouse. The docks are also full with self contained boaters. It should be a busy yet productive weekend. We may have room for late bookers going forward. Email Aussie John at Johno will get back to asap.
In the meantime and in between time, keep your bait salted, your lines shallow and your passion for this amazing place flourishing…
Coach… (aka Jonathan)

Fishing Report July 24, 2020

Hi All

Do you ever wish it was 5pm and going home time, or it’s Friday and the weekend, or your summer holidays? Keep doing that on a regular basis and you wind up wishing your life away. I am kind of doing that now I think. I am wishing for July to pass and with the onset of August our local fish will finally show.  And you know I shouldn’t! The fish will arrive soon enough. I get it it’s been a hard slog trying to find some willing springs to play with but in the meantime you just gotta enjoy everything else around you.
For instance, I’ve had days this summer with very few fish in the box but… we had marvelous whale encounters, we’ve seen whole families of sea otters taking up residence in the sound, huge pods of Doll’s porpoises racing across the surface slashing at bait. And the least of it? Bamfield and Barkley Sound in the bright sunshine looking every bit the precious jewels that they are. Yup fishing has been tough but taking stock of this place and the wonderful people I get to share it with is a blessing all unto itself. I am a lucky man and July can just keep dragging on. August will come and so will our fish.
In the meantime, how does one make the best of it until then? Well the good news is we have seen signs of things picking up in the last day or two. My go to spots at this time would be Beale and Cree. Skinny gs on Irish Cream and Bon Chovy have been my best bets but anchovies are starting to be productive as well. Fish are generally in the 40 to 60 foot range although I like running some gear at 35 feet when I run through the reefs at Cree.
Coho seem to be soaring by us offshore and not cruising into the Sound to feed.
When hali fishing on the banks I am seeing plenty of coho. We use buzz bombs and MacDeeps while waiting for hali takes and just have a blast!
Frankly it is easy to see why the coho are staying off shore as the Sound is rather bereft of bait. That is the answer to our fish woes as far as I can see. There is very little bait showing. I’ve seen the most bait at Cree amidst the reefs on the south of Cree Island.
Halibut fishing has been very consistent. I’ve had some crazy good luck fishing Mudrakers while on the anchor. I was out with a crew yesterday and had salmon bellies and extra-large herring on spreader bars on the bottom. Of the four halis we put on board 3 we jigged up on the Mudraker. Give it a try, it might work for you too.
Harbourside is certainly different this year as we bubble our groups and socially distance from each other (I think the springs are socially distancing from us too!). We seem to be making it work though. All of our guests have been very cognizant of the times and are taking care to be safe as possible.
Please contact Aussie John for all moorage, accommodation and chartering enquiries, he’ll get back to you asap. Email:  “”

So keep staying safe, be kind and stop wishing for August! We are going to enjoy the heck out of July first ( oh and maybe catch a fish or two in the meantime…)


Fishing Report July 18, 2020

Hi All

Well the fishing season here in Barkley Sound has had a bit of a rough start. It had been hard work scratching up the odd spring and coho during the first two weeks of July. I’ve spent a number of 10 – 12 hour days on the water and only managed to bring home a couple of quality fish. That said, the past two days we saw some very respectable fishing across the Sound. Hopefully this is a harbinger of good things to come.
So if you are making your way to Bamfield in the next few days, make sure you have the following tackle in your arsenal.
Irish Cream and Bon Chovy Skinny Gs have been our best go to. Try and change out the hooks,  as I continually have had problems with them opening up on larger fish which can be very frustrating! I have found that Amundsen is making some spoons similar to the skinny g series. They are much better quality both in finish and in their hooks. I am very impressed with them. Bait is still a solid choice. I personally like using the glow blood and bones teaser heads. Glow white hootchies are also a good bet. We are still catching fish stuffed with squid from the local squid spawn.
Then inshore areas we have found most productive have been Austin, Cree, and Mears Bluff. Kirby down to Ohiat has also produced fish. Our most productive depths have been 35 feet in and around the reefs at Cree. 50 to 60 feet when fishing the slot at Austin and 40 to 55 feet while fishing Kirby Point and area. Beale and Whittlestone have given up some fish but both have been spotty.
Off shore is now open for chinook retention. I have not been as of yet but I have heard solid reports from the Rat’s Nose at Big Bank.
Halibut fishing has been very solid although strong offshore winds have hindered some from braving the seas. Extra large herring have been very productive if you are willing to weed through the dog fish. We actually had some good results using a 16 ounce mudraker. We were anchored and had rods down with salmon bellies and put down the jig to add some movement. The jig outfished both the herring and the bellies.
As most folks in B.C. are doing, we are trying to cope with the threat of covid 19 as best we can here at Harbourside Lodge. Yes we are open, albeit in a limited status.
Booking moorage, accommodation and charters is best done through emailing Aussie John at He will get back to you promptly.
While travel worldwide may not be on our foreseeable radar, staying here in beautiful B.C. maybe better than anywhere else in the world right now.
Barkley Sound and Bamfield are jewels situated on the west coast of the Island. What better time to explore your own backyard.
Hope to see you soon.
Take care and stay safe,

Fishing Report July 5, 2020

Hi All

Fishing in Barkley Sound has been spotty at best the past week to ten days. I will be the first to admit it’s been a struggle for both springs and coho. As sparse as things have been, the good news is that there are some big fish around, they just have been few and far between.
I fished with Jeff and Scott from the Lower Mainland last week. We fished hard for springs for three days and managed one day offshore before the big blow made it too difficult to get outside.
We fished Austin and Cree as it was blowing hard northwest. It’s nice protected water over at the Broken Group when it blows northwest. We ran our gear at 50′ and 60′ dragging irish cream and bon chovy skinny gs 6′ behind glow green flashers. We weeded through lots of shakers but big solid fish were hard to come by. Our best morning was at Swale. We marked lots of bait and arches but the bite was never really on. We had two great fish to the boat, both 20lbs plus, but could not seal the deal. Frustrating for sure for when you got a decent hit and you couldn’t take advantage you knew it was a long time before the next chance came along.
Offshore hali fishing has been very solid. Both Jeff and Scott went home with some gorgeous B.C. white gold. We took a hali each ranging from 27 to 38 lbs.
I’ve just finished up with guests Michael and Rob. Michael hails from Kelowna and Rob makes his home in Whiterock. Salmon fishing for both continued to be tough for these two as well. We fished hard during a southeasterly blow last Friday. We only had two solid fish on all day. Both took off hard and peeled line but we could not take advantage and we were blanked for the day. We dragged skinny gs again along with glow white hootchies. We fished Kirby for the early morning bite then Little Beale for late morning and the afternoon.
Saturday we headed over to Austin and Cree and finally had some luck. The bon chovy skinny g was the money shot for us. We landed 3 decent springs at between ten and 15 lbs and lost 2 other fish that seemed to be much bigger.
Sunday was our offshore day. Light winds made for a smooth ride out to 12 mile. We anchored up in 210′ of water and put down salmon bellies, salmon heads and an extra large herring. The herring was the ticket as we landed 3 halis. One small chicken and 25lber and beautiful fish at 125 cms that weighed in at 58lbs.
We finished the day fishing for springs at Austin and Cree for the high tide change but came up empty.
So here is the deal. Yes it’s been tough fishing for springs for sure, but we know that can change on single tide. Migratory fish come in waves. Some days they are in thick and others nowhere to be seen. What’s a guy to do? Stick to what we know best.  Small spoons, glowwhite hootchies, and 5 1/4 inch bait (go small at this time of year!), all are effective early in the season. I tend to fish a little bit deeper this time of year. At Kirby and Little Beale I start at 38 – 55′. At Austin and Cree I’ll go 50 – 60′. Fish through the tide changes before you move. Patience and hope go a long way. It will get better I promise. In the meantime, put in your time. Gear out of the water never catches the fish.
As for Harbourside? We are up and running in a limited capacity. We are keeping groups bubbled. Our self contained suites are a great option!
Contact Aussie John at for more info.
Until then I’ll stand by and hopefully have a more positive report later this week.

Fishing Report June 24,2020

Hi All

As we all are aware, it’s been a very strange start to 2020. First off I hope all of you are well and safe along with all of your families and loved ones. I am happy to report that our Harbourside crew seem to have pulled through the pandemic thus far unscathed and eager to be back on the water.
We are indeed open in a limited capacity. We are set up to handle as many as four separate bubble groups. This means we could have four different groups staying at the lodge at the same time. They would have access to their own cooking facilities, washrooms and sleeping arrangements. None of the groups would need to mix or be in any close contact with each other. We can also handle boats with folks staying on the dock as long as they too have their own cooking, washroom and sleeping facilities. These facilities would all have to be on board.
Social distancing requirements will be expected at all times. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be mandatory of all guests. It will be a different Harbourside experience for sure but no reason it shouldn’t be a memorable season despite the Covid-19 setbacks.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of our upcoming summer is that our very own Aussie John will not be joining us in person. Johno will still be very much involved with the lodge. Please direct all of your accommodation and moorage inquiries to him by email ( He will be sure to get back to you promptly.
Ok now for the good stuff! What’s been going on with the fishing? Well things are shaping up and Barkley Sound is coming into it’s own. There are fish around and we can certainly help you with some early season tips and forecasts.
Keep in mind three things that are happening in the area right now. The annual solstice squid spawn, the massive balls of immature herring prevalent all over the sound and a plethora of one and two year shakers. So with that in mind?
Small spoons such as wee gees, coyote killers and my personal fav the skinny g, should be absolute go tos! I would also suggest hootchies, glow white and the flash fly variety in glow and uv as very effective. Spoons should be fished six feet behind your fav flasher and hootchies chin to forefinger. Depths can vary. Last weekend we found fish from 35 to 65 feet on the riggers. We fished Kirby Point at 37 and 55 feet and over at Austin and Cree we fished 55 and 65 feet. Mears, Austin and Cree are very reliable this time of year. Make sure you fish the tide change straight through. I find it very tidal reliant over there. Great place to fish comfortably and safely when it blows hard northwest as well!
Little Beale has produced, as has Whittlestone . The squid spawn has been heavy on the southwest side of the Sound.  Don’t forget about the Wall. It may not be as sexy but it can sure produce under the right conditions!
Halibut fishing is prime time right now! This is often the best time of the year to put some white gold in your freezer. Get out to the bank if the sea state allows. Find humps that come up to 190 – 210 and fish in and around them. I am big on anchoring but if you aren’t set up for it, drifting with spreader bars and salmon bellies are a fav way to go for most halibut fisherman. Squid and extra large herring can also be very enticing to flatties.
I have been up to the lodge for two weekends so far this month. I am finishing school this week then will be up for the remainder of the summer as of June 25th. Please feel free to email or phone the lodge should you have any questions regarding our operations or re: up to date fishing info. Happy to oblige.
In the meantime and in between time, let’s go with a Dr. Bonnie Henry quote, be kind, be calm and be safe.