It’s good to be back! I hope everyone has had a great winter and I can only imagine how excited you all are to get back on the water. Barkley Sound is a magical place and if you are anything like me summer cannot come soon enough.
Breaking news for those of you who will be joining me on the water this summer! You will be welcomed aboard a new ride! As of February, Fishing With Coach Charters added a 2002 Gradywhite Gulftsream into the fold. We are now a little longer and considerably wider. The Boat aptly named, Charley Girl, has been up at Harbourside since the May long weekend. We have managed a few forays out into the Pacific with her and are very pleased with it’s performance so far. For those of you who often chat with me over the VHF and dial me up as Charley’s Angel, take note of our new handle, Charley Girl. Not a huge change I know. By the way the real Charley Girl, the 15 year old golden retriever who owns me and has accompanied me on all of my fishing adventures the past 15 years is still doing well. Noticeably slower but happy, content and enjoying life still. I doubt she will be out on the water as much this summer as in summers past but she will still be a presence at Harbourside.
Ok enough about me. What you really want to know is what is happening on the water! Are there fish around and how can I get into some?
I have only really been out twice so far. Last Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday afternoon I trekked over to Seabird Rocks to check out old haunts and see if there are any springs around.We fished a glow white squid imitation (squid spawn is happening now) 30 inches behind a glow green flasher between 27 and 44 feet on the downrigger. We have two solid swipes and misses, both of which pulled off the rigger clip. On the other side we fished a Bon Chovy Skinny G behind a Gibbs black glow flasher, also between 27 and 44 feet. We trolled mostly in depths between 33 and 60 feet. After about 2 hours we manages a hook up on the Skinny G and Makiko landed a gorgeous 18lb spring. First of the year and a terrific fish for the table! That was, however, our only fish of the day.
I have managed to chat with numerous other fisher folks up in Bamfield last weekend and I can summarize the early fishing as follows:
Beale, Edward King, Kirby, Meares, Austin, Cree, and the Wall have all had their moments. The fish have been a bit shallower for early season. Alot of folks were finding decent springs (8 to 18 lbs) at 40 – 65 feet. I would still keep a deep line near the bottom if I was fishing Kirby, Edward King and perhaps Beale. At Austin and Cree I’d likely go 50 and 65 feet. At Meares perhaps 65 – 90 feet. If you see bait stick with it as long as you can. Sooner or later the bite is likely to come on.
As for the hali front? They are around for sure. There are a few spots right n the sound which can produce early season. We, however, popped off shore to the banks last Sunday found a hump that came up to about 205 feet. Here we let down the anchor. We fished two lines with 2lb weights, spreader bars, salmon bellies and extra large herring. Inside of an hour we had 5 solid takes and put two nice fish into the boat. One was right near the limit at 125 cms and the other was a very fat 101 cm fish. It was a very productive morning.
We have had some nice springs caught by guests this week – a 32lb and 34lb came in last Wednesday, and some nice bottom fish. There have also been some nice coho landed.
We are very lucky here in Barkley Sound. Our regs haven’t really changed that much. Even the banks will be open to chinook retention starting July 15. I am very concerned about the charter operations here in Vancouver, east side Vancouver Island and those in the Juan de Fuca. It’s so tough when you have that much invested in boats and equipment and you get shut down. Hopefully there are plenty of hungry springs around after July 15th and these guys can get booked solid for the rest of the season.
As for all of us at Harbourside? We are open and going full bore. Tom and Aussie John and have been at the Lodge for weeks now getting everything ready.
The shop is open with tackle, bait and fuel. We still have some accommodation and moorage available, so book with Aussie John soon, as the later we get into the summer the busier the lodge will be. As I have mentioned many times in this blog, June and July can be fantastic fishing here in Bamfield. Less crowds, great weather and awesome fishing.
I am up for good come June 27. Hope to see you all soon!
Coach (aka Jonathan….)