August started pretty much exactly the same as July finished, the winds stayed strong on the West Coast in Esperanza and the battle to travel offshore to fish remained challenging. At the end of the day with a little creativity and hard work we still managed to fill the boat on every trip. The salmon were bountiful offshore in the 20 to 26 pound range and our halibut were caught in secret locations anywhere from 15 to 60 pounds in 300ft of water. As per usual the halibut‘s favourite meal were the salmon bellies of yesterday’s catch. Lots of scent and oil and a little glow down on the bottom lures them in for their final meal. We run electric Shimano Force Master 9000’s and the traditional winding reals for those who want the thrill of pulling up a beast from the bottom.
In early August we had the honour of fishing with 20 + humpback whales offshore on the salmon highway. They were feeding in groups and on solo missions as the bait was so abundant on the surface. I spent most of my attention trying to stay clear of the whales path while every 10 to 15 minutes landing another prize Chinook. It was a life-changing experience being so close to 20,000 pound mammals fully breaching out of the water. The strength and grace these animals have is hard to put into words. If you’re ever fishing with me, ask me to tell you the story about the assist we got from a humpback whale as we caught our last fish of the day. The winds still remained strong and typically would blow up in the afternoon, but we managed to get off shore one day for each group which proved to be bountiful. The days that we couldn’t travel 25 miles offshore we spent in areas that were producing closer to shore.
It was great to have close friends and family join me on the West Coast. Everyday spent fishing here is memorable, however to be able to laugh till your face hurts with the people you love is really the reason why I make the journey over here. “Full Halibut” lol
All good things must come to an end and it was time to pull the boat out of the water and make the trip home to Vancouver. With a traditional night spent in the beautiful town of Campbell river to break up the travel and to sleep in a bed that’s not below your steering wheel it’s always a nice feeling. Every time I leave Vancouver island I know deep down its only a matter of time until I call this my home….
On the inside waters of Vancouver Island, Department of fisheries has closed all fishing until September 1 for chinook salmon. This is typically prime time for all recreational fisherman to go out and enjoy the water with Van city backdrop glowing in the background. DOF has taken a significant political stance to close the fishery that is not based on science. The miss management of the fisheries goes back 50 years and here we are in 2020 dealing with reactionary measures that don’t take the complete ecosystem into affect. I could go on forever and rant on this topic, however I choose to keep these blog posts positive. I still had a couple groups of diehard catch and release fanatics that had some amazing days. September can’t come soon enough and I’m very excited for the chinook fishery and anticipate the creation of memories to continue.
Needless to say August was my favourite month of 2020 !!