The end of the September long weekend and the conclusion of the Port Alberni Salmon Fest seems to signal the arrival of fall and for many of us that means moving on to other activities. As for me? I am back in Vancouver already immersed in basketball, volleyball and who knows what else when it comes to kids and P.E. classes. It’s great to see everyone at school and I love the enthusiasm of each student as they come through the doors of the school for the first time this year. I am, however, missing being on the water. I find myself checking the Bamfield web cam frequently, it’s cool to see what the weather is up to.
I am back to Harbourside for 4 days next week. This time, however, I am bringing 44 grade 10 students from my school here in Vancouver. We take over the lodge for the week. It’s an amazing opportunity to show these students the beauty and splendour of BC’s wild west coast. For many of these students they will see the west side of the Island for the very first time. There will also be a few that have just arrived in Canada and will never have even been on a BC Ferry.
The students will participate in a variety of activities including hiking, whale watching, and fishing. It’s so much fun for me to be able to share the beauty of Barkley Sound with such an eager group.
Now just a heads up, the lodge will indeed be full next week but Aussie John will still be manning the docks selling fuel (diesel and gas), ice, bait and tackle. So if you are up Bamfield way for a late season run at salmon fishing, by all means call in to Harbourside.
Ok so where are we at fishing wise. My last day on the water was Labour Day Monday. Having chatted with the Harbourside crew since I left it seems things are still fairly status quo. Last weekend was definitely slower than previous weeks. We fished Swale Rock and Harbour Entrance. My go to at this time of year has been Bon Chovy flashers (lime / yellow / greenish) and No Bananas flashers, paired with glow white bloody nose teaser heads. I also fished a herring aid teaser head last weekend, it was productive, as was the Amundsen Herring Aid spoons. I was running my gear at 31 and 34 feet off the downrigger. The bites weren’t rapid fire but they were consistent. We were into 8 to 10 springs each day we were out, landing 4 or more each trip. I didn’t touch a coho last weekend. A few were caught but not in any great numbers. I expect that to change within the next few days. A good solid run of 10 lb plus coho should be showing up any day now. When they do, hang on…They absolutely crush the gear on the initial take. So much fun! Try anchovies and or glow white hootchies. I fish a little deeper for our local coho. 50 to 65 feet on the down rigger is often the magic number. Perhaps one set up at 35 and one at 55 would be wise as to keep you in the spring hunt at the same time.
Fish have been caught consistently at the Wall all the way down to Assits. Brady’s Beach and Aguilar Point have also been quite productive, with some nice springs being caught just outside the Bamfield harbour entrance. Kirby and Flemming should be very good right now but for whatever reason they seem to be slow.
Whittlestone fired up yesterday, so it looks as though we might have another run moving in.
For the more adventurous, I would head over to the southside of the Broken Group and fish Harbour Entrance down to Swale Rock. This seems to be the where the most consistent fishing has been for the last week or so.
Halibut fishing is still worth your while if you can get out on a flat sea. As per usual, salmon bellies and extra large herring fished on spreader bars are the ticket. Get onto the bank and find humps that come up to 200 feet or so. Fish in 205 to 215 feet in and around the humps. Take some MacDeeps and L’iL Nibs with you and fish them off the back of your boat while waiting for the halis to strike. Try 10 to 30 pulls. The coho action off shore can be hot and what a blast to play such an amazing fish on light tackle while the boat is anchored or drifting.
I will have a last report of the season late next week. Don’t quit on it yet folks. It can still be a very good time of year to get into some fabulous fishing.
Until next time,