Salmon fishing has been tough lately. No doubt about it, gotta tell the truth. It’s been a real struggle out there for folks wanting to tussle with mature spring salmon here in Bamfield. Our usual haunts have not produced and we have been in search mode for the first few weeks of July. Even the reliable off shore banks such as the Rat’s Nose, Turtle Head and South Bank have been spotty at best. The last 7 days have seen some fish move in but not to where we usually find them. Kirby, Austin and Cree, the Wall, Whittlestone and Beale have all been very slow, Beale perhaps being most productive. We have been fishing Seabird Island Rocks the past week and have managed to scrape up a few quality fish. The bite has been sporadic but worth the time put in. Purple is still the hot colour. Kingfisher silver Horde 3.5 inch spoons have by far been the best producers. Fish tight to the rocks and kelp keeping a sharp eye on your gps and sounder. We have been most successful at 27 feet on the down rigger.
Things can change with the next tide so we are hoping that our season starts to go off very soon.
Ok that’s the bad news. Let’s talk about the good stuff. Halibut fishing has been the best I have seen it in 20 years. It’s been fast and furious with some quality fish taken every trip. Salmon bellies ( if you are luck enough to have them) and extra large herring rigged with spreader bars have been the ticket. I am a big proponent of circle hooks as they really only ever hook the fish in the corner of the mouth. This prevents gut hooking and has allowed us to release larger oversize halibut without harm. We have had to release 6 oversize (133 cm and up) fish so far this season each of which were well over 100 pounds. Very important to not damage the breeding stock of these amazing fish.
Aussie John has the store all stocked with the best of what you need for a productive day on the water. Fuel, ice and bait are all readily available. I’ve been on the water every day but am always around in the evenings if you want to stop in for advice on gear and current hot spots.
Hope to see you all soon,
Coach (aka Jonathan), Tom and Aussie John.