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 requests@harboursidelodge.
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.
Coach (aka Jonathan)