Well it had to happen at some point I suppose. We have had such a great start to the season with solid fishing here in Barkley Sound but things have slowed the past few days. There are still some fish around but you are going to have to persevere in order to get it done.
My last productive day was Tuesday of this week when we once again fished the reefs off of Seabird Rocks. Skinny Gs in Irish cream glow were the still the hot ticket. Fighting through many shakers and a now very aggressive seal we managed to box four nice spring salmon in the teens. Once again we had the gear at 29 and 27 feet.
We returned the next morning and fished through the ebb tide but spring. Salmon over 10 lbs were elusive to say the least. I have to admit though the amount of spring salmon around in the 2 to 4 lb range is very exciting. They are healthy, scrappy and built like footballs. It certainly bodes well for the next couple of years!
Now the good news, the weather offshore has been superb. Calm seas and soft tides have made the trip out to the Nose or our fave hali spots almost dreamy. And the hali fishing? Nothing short of phenomenal. We had two boats offshore last week for a hali trip. Aqualady with Captain Tom went of early in the morning with 5 excited guests and I made it an afternoon trip later that same day. Tom came back in around noonish with their limit including a 132 cm beauty that weighed in at 68 lbs. The rest of their fish ranged from 25 to 45 lbs. I got the gear down at 1:30 pm and things happened fast. We hit a good fish within the first few minutes that wrapped our other line. Despite a chaotic few minutes of scrambling to untangle gear and such we boated a beauty at 58 lbs. Ten minutes later the starboard rod went off and my guest Glen was battling what turned out to be a twin of Tom’s big fish, 132 cm and 70 lbs. Another amazing day offshore here in Barkley!
We have seen quite a few Hali’s come into the dock lately. Many in the 50 and 60 lb range. If battling a flatty is on your bucket list then make sure you have the right gear. We use 8 foot sturgeon rods, I am a big fan of the Shimano Technium. Great rod! Nice and bendy at the tip so you can really tell what’s happening down deep. That said any sturdy rod and reel spooled with at least 100 lb non stretch line will do the job. Spreader bars with two lb weights minimum if your drifting. One pound and and one and a half pound are usually fine if you are on your anchor. Salmon bellies have been really productive as of late. Extra large herring will work too. Look for the humps that come up on the bank and fish in and around them. For us the magic depth is between 200 and 215 feet deep. Make sure you have a good gaff and I would highly suggest a harpoon. A 55 lb hali can be a very angry and agitated creature when pulled out of the water and into the boat.
I have guest Marcus and Raquel this weekend so I’ll be out on the water this afternoon and all weekend. Call the lodge for any info you need. Aussie John, Brett and Joe will be around to help you out. I am back to the dock and can handle calls usually after 5:00 pm daily.
We just received a shipment of tackle including more Skinny Gs ( they are still the hottest lure going for us) and a varied assortment of other gear. Coffee is on and the gas dock has both boat gas and diesel. We have some rooms available in the lodge and also some charter days available too. Just call us at 250-728-3330 and we will be happy to help plan your Harbourside Barkley Sound Adventure.
Tight lines and full boxes…
Coach (aka Jonathan), Aussie John, Tom, Brett and Joe.