Fishing Report August 12 2023

Hi Everyone
My last couple of reports have been very similar, and nothing has really changed. Fishing Barkley Sound remains outstanding, stunning, ridiculous, stupid good, just add your own superlative…

And I am worried. What did you say? Yes, I am worried. It’s been so good that it has to end, it’s got to come down. This just can’t last, right? Today is the first day I haven’t been on the water in weeks. Maybe today it won’t happen, maybe today the silver ghosts of Barkley Sound become elusive once again. But then… maybe not? It might just keep on coming! Old timers I chat with are saying they haven’t seen fishing like this in 50 years. We have been truly blessed. And! It’s mid August and I haven’t had to fish bait once. Actually I tried it once last week during a bit of a lull. It was down only 10 minutes before we had a fish on. However it was the spoon on the other downrigger that went off, not the bait. I switched the bait out with another spoon and we kept on hooking up.

I just finished up with Nat, Franko and Donnie. Four straight days of laughter, incredible food and absolute chaos on the water. Nat and Franko are the owners and proprietors of the iconic Nat’s New York Pizza on West Broadway in Vancouver. Their Italian heritage and love of good food kept us in good eats for four days! Not sure we have any better entertainment than this crew all summer. What a privilege to spend time with these guys on and off the water.

Fishing was, as I have previously stated, over the top good while they were here at Harbourside. We fished Little Beale, (the inside tack just before Cape Beale). I ran an Amundson Bon Chovy colored 4 inch spoon (skinny g knock off) behind a green guide series flasher with a 7 foot leader. The fish seem to be a little bit deeper so this set-up was very productive at 52 feet. On the other side I ran an Irish Cream Amundson spoon behind a chartreuse flasher at 42 feet. Both set-ups were equally effective for springs and coho. The springs averaged about 15 lbs with a few mid twenties in between.

I like fishing structure , so my tack was tight to the rocks and kelp beds. Lots of bait has been showing so stick with the bait and the bite will come on.

Now, I have been solely fishing Beale as it’s been very good but there are reports of the same all over the Sound. Kirby, Flemming, Swale and Effingham have all produced.

Skinny G spoons , glow white hoochies as well as bait have been the best bets. I tell people this all the time: fish what works for you. If you are fishing with confidence? Chances are your bait, spoon or hoochie will be in the water when the bite comes on. If you are constantly changing gear and traveling to another place, you might be missing the best bite of the day.

On another note we have a group of guys staying at Harbourside who are all fishing out of small tinnies with small outboards. Most of them fishing solo, and might I say fishing very well! These guys are pulling plugs and naked spoons and hooking up regularly. I’ve fished solo in my Grady and that’s hard enough. A 14 foot tinnie is challenging indeed!

Good on these guys! It’s why the charm of Bamfield is so appealing. There are not many places on the west side of the Island where Grandpa can put in his roof topper with a 9.9 outboard and stand as good a chance to land big springs as I do in my Grady. Gawd I just love this place!

Hali fishing has picked up. All the usual haunts have produced. Anchor up if you can. Spreader bars and salmon bellies have been very productive.

We have been having a blast jigging coho on light gear as we wait for the hali bite to come on. Any jig will do. I especially like John Noble’s Lil Nibs in the 2.5 ounce. Any colour combo will work.

Oh and before I sign off, we have been catching sable fish offshore in 300 feet of water. These might be one of the best table fare fish I have ever had. We use our hali gear with spreader bars and 24 ounce weights. I replace my tuna cord leaders and circle hooks with 40 lb fluorocarbon leaders and treble hooks. Bait them with a small 1 inch by 1 inch piece of salmon belly and take them down to the bottom. The takes are just a tap tap and the reeling up is a pain in the a.. but is it ever worth it!. Fillet them out and marinate them in miso paste and sake. After an hour or so pan fry them in a heavy cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and butter. Omg… so good… You gotta try them!

Anyway…I have a busy day of laundry, boat detailing, gear tying and what not ( hmmm… or maybe I’ll go fishing solo later today?)

Please stop by Harbourside for salt ice, tackle, bait and by all means say hi or come to ask what are the latest happenings in the Sound.

In the meantime and in between time, I am out,
Coach, aka Jonathan…