July is wrapping up and August is looming. The upcoming August Long Weekend signals the start of our August fishery and the return of our Robertson Creek springs! And to boot it is indeed a very special weekend as the annual Bamfield Fireman’s Derby kicks off Saturday July 30 ending Monday August 1st. If the derby is a first for you? Don’t miss out. It’s so much fun. Gordy from Breaker’s Marine and his crew do a stellar job of putting on this awesome event. Tons of prizes, hidden weights and of course cash for the top 3 places in the derby. Our very own Captain Tom had the walk off homer in the bottom of the 9th last year as he weighed in his winning fish at 11:45 am. Just 15 minutes before the 12 pm noon cut off for weigh in. Tom is gearing up to defend his title, as are many of us who are going to be in the hunt to dethrone him! It’s an awesome weekend and it’s such a great cause. We have tickets here at Harbourside and you can also get them at Breaker’s up past the east side dock.
Ok then…. On to the important stuff. How’s the fishing?
It’s been spotty for sure. There are some springs showing in the sound but it’s one of those “you gotta be there at the right time and the right place” to cash in. The usual haunts this time of year will produce but it so very much varies from day to day. Cree Island east down to Meare’s Bluff off of Effingham has produced some fish. Coho fishing off Meare’s Bluff has been quite consistent. Skinny gs and glow white hootchies have been very effective from 50 to 90’ on the riggers..
Again… springs have been hit and miss. Austin has produced some fish in the slot by the pinnacles. Setting your gear at 55’ and 65’ here is a good bet. Skinny gs work very well here as well. Skip the bait just yet. Too many shakers to deal with. It will be time to roll bait shortly. Perhaps into the first week of August. Kirby, Swale, Fleming aren’t lit up as of yet but still if you are there, have gear in the water between 30’ and 50’ then you stand a good chance to hit some decent fish. The far east side of Fleming just before Robber’s Pass (aka the “Meat Hole”) has had some very good early season moments. Very much worth a few rubs. I keep my gear shallow here. 30’ will suffice. Might be a good place to start rolling some bait this weekend here!
Little Beale and Whittlestone haven’t really turned on. Brady’s Beach, Scott’s Bay and the Wall are always worth putting in the time but it’s still a bit hit and miss. The big fish should start to show up any day now.
It seems the most productive spots are still on the edge of the Sound. Sail Rock, Cape Beale, Pachena have been good bets. A lot of the U.S hatchery fish have moved through but the Nitnat fish are just now starting to show. You can find spots where it is relatively shallow south of Beale where jigging for springs has been more effective than trolling. Nothing better than the feeling of pounding head shakes as a very annoyed spring salmon takes your jig. We have been having great success with MacDeeps and Lil Nib’s jigs. 90 gram sizes. Try it! It’s a blast! And you just might be listing your down riggers for sale on Craig’s List!
Off shore things are as per the norm. Springs and coho have been thick at the Bank. Not very many in the 20s but a great place to load up on springs from 10 to 15 lbs. Halibut fishing has been stupid good as it has all season so far. Anchoring is by far more effective. Spreader bars and salmon bellies are the ticket for enticing BC white gold! It’s been quite foggy the past week so good electronics are a must. Radar and GPS are necessities in order to get you to your spot and home safely. Hali spots are not that hard to find. Check your maps. Get on the banks and find humps that come up to 200’ to 220’. Anchor in and around or drift over them. I strictly use circle hooks as I love the way the always hook fish in the mouth and never gut hook them. Makes it much easier and less stress for the fish when releasing an oversize. We also tend to bycatch various other fish species. Skates, rock fish, dog fish, octopus etc… (we caught 6’ tope shark and a 7.5 ‘ blue shark last week, all released safely). Circle hooks tend to cause a lot less damage to the fish giving them a fighting chance at surviving a live release.
I hope wherever you are this summer you get a chance to get out on the waters here on the west coast. Whether it’s Bamfield or Haida Gwai these waters are still so rich with life. I feel blessed every time I get out.
Hope everyone has a wonderful August Long Weekend. Enjoy!