West Coast Fishing Club
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The Clubhouse Fishing Reports

2016 SNC Salmon Derby

June 6, 2016 | 662 Views

Day One – Monday May 30, 2016

Our guests got off to a smooth start on Monday morning. The moderate southeasterly winds that were forecasted proved to be only mildly uncomfortable for the big Whalers heading for Cohoe, Andrews and McPherson. Those who wanted to avoid the heavier sea conditions made the easy run out to Lacy where the waters were calm for most of the day. Compared to the last five years, the competitors had to work harder for their fish especially during the morning session. Gary West’s 27 pounder held the lead at lunch break. The afternoon shift proved to be much more productive and the last hour of fishing was the best since we arrived late Sunday afternoon.

The top three fish for Day One:
David Faulkner (28#), Gary West (27#) and Bob Matlock (25#). There were also a number of other notable fish today. Kevan Ross was trying to coax a big Chinook out of Bruin Bay and ended up with a 66# Halibut on Salmon gear. Great work, Kevan! It’s not often that we see Coho in May but we had several landed today including an eight pounder by Rich Steer and a nine pounder by Norm Pitcher. Exceptionally large Coho for this time of the year.

Barely a ripple on the water

* Barely a ripple on the water through Parry Pass

<em>* Boats racing out to the fishing grounds. No time to waste with a return trip on the line!

* Racing out to the fishing grounds. No time to waste with a return trip on the line!

Day Two – Tuesday May 31st

Monday night, all of the contestants were tucked into bed at a relatively early hour albeit with a noticeable feeling of anxiety in the air. The lodge notice board includes a marine weather forecast for the upcoming fishing day and for Tuesday, the meteorologists had issued a simple sentence which brings terror to the hearts of every fisher that regularly visits Haida Gwaii. GALE WARNING – SOUTHEAST WINDS, 20 to 30 knots. The angler’s equivalent of DEFCON 3.

Tuesday morning, from the Dining Room of The Clubhouse, I carefully scrutinized the panoramic view of northern shore of Graham Island, in search of some indication of the strength of the southeast winds. No whitecaps in Parry Pass – good. Only the slightest swaying of branches on the nearby treetops – even better. I stepped out onto the deck and was relieved to feel a breeze which was much less than I had expected. On the golf course, no more than one extra club. One of those rare circumstances when we are pleased that Environment Canada’s forecast was incorrect. I breathed a sigh of relief when two boats left the dock and turned left to Cohoe Point. If the water was too rough, they would return. They didn’t. The fishing gods were smiling on us today.

New day, new leader. Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, fishing productivity continued to improve today. In fact, we had more fish recorded on Tuesday than we did on Sunday and Monday combined. A very respectable showing of Chinook, Coho and Halibut. In fact, the three derby leading fish are all Tyee class – Anthony Delatolla 32#, Norm Pitcher 31.5# and Gary West 31#. Tomorrow, we will find out who will be our 2016 SNC Derby Champion. Every year so far, the winning fish has been recorded on the final day. Who will be inducted into the Order of the Black Hoodies? Stay tuned sports fans.

Norm Pitcher with son Ian posing with a 31.25lb Tyee

* Norm Pitcher with son Ian posing with a 31.25lb Tyee

CH Guide Jared netting getting one in the bag for Joe Sinclair & Joe Macdonald

* CH Guide Jared getting one in the bag for Joe Sinclair & Joe Macdonald

Blue sky over McPherson point.

*Blue sky over McPherson point.

Day 3 – Wednesday June 1st Final Results

The final day of the tournament started under another wind advisory, moderate to strong from the southwest. Lacy and the other popular stops on the west side of Langara Island would be difficult to fish with white caps on top of a three to four metre ground swell. No thanks. Fortunately, the leeward shore of Langara has always been the preferred destination, but today Mother Nature decided for us.

Several boats worked all of the areas between Langara Rocks and Pillar Rock during the morning session with very little to show for their efforts. It was looking like a good bet that Anthony Delatolla’s Tyee might just be good enough to hold on for the victory. Lunch break on the final day is always more about consuming time on strategic consultation than it is about enjoying your Clubhouse Burger. What’s your plan for the last five hours of battle? The westerly winds have not really died down much so Fish Bowl is probably as far west as you can go. The eastern shore of Graham Island from Gunia to Pillar and points south have not really produced much this week. By the process of elimination, the old stand by default choices are left on the table. Cohoe, Andrews, McPherson, No Name. Choke down the last few fresh cut fries and wash it down with your adult beverage of choice. It’s time for the final push. By 2:30pm, almost all of the entire population of Boston Whalers in Haida Gwaii had congregated off McPherson Point, most working the 200 foot contour. A pretty decent snap came on between 3:00 and 5:00 and most boats hooked up with a least a few fish each. But the radio chatter was noticeably devoid of the any news of a possible new fish that would contend for the lead. The last two hours were for saved for the Hail Mary play and despite a valiant effort by defending champion, Dave Rishel, his just-shy-of 30 Chinook would came up a few pounds short of a repeat victory. All of the Day Two leaders retained their positions at the closing bell. Here are the final results.

Largest Chinook of the day

  • Monday David Faulkner 27.60
  • Tuesday Anthony Delatolla 31.77
  • Wednesday Dave Rishel 29.26

Top Three Chinook

  1. First Place Anthony Delatolla with a 31.77lb Tyee – Prize: SNC Trip for Two

*Anthony unfortunately had to leave a day early so was unable to pose for a picture on awards night.

2. Second Place Norm Pitcher with a 31.25lb Tyee – Prize: Islander MR2LA Reel

2nd Place Norm Pitcher and his Islander Reel.

*2nd Place Norm Pitcher and his Islander Reel.

3. Third Place Gary West with a 31lb Tyee – Prize: $200 Gift Certificate

 Third place Gary West

* Third place Gary West with his gift certificates. 

The SNC Derby is all about have some fun and kicking off the fishing season in style. Our warmest thanks to Clubhouse Manager, Terry Cowan, for once again providing us with the ultimate Haida Gwaii experience. Congratulations and thanks to all of our tournament guests. We sincerely hope that we will have an opportunity to welcome you back next summer.

With that, I formally adjourn the Annual General Meeting of Loyal Order of the Black Hoodie and the 2016 SNC Derby. See you in 2017!

Randy Lee
Tournament Master

DON’T MISS OUT ON NEXT YEAR: Dates for the 2017 SNC Salmon Derby are May 28 to June 1. To secure your spots be sure to call us TODAY at 1-888-432-6666 or email us at info@westcoastfishingclub.com

There are 1 comments on this post:


  1. Don Wells says:

    Great report Randy! Sounds like a ton of fun once again at The Clubhouse.

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2017 Pricing & Packages

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  • WCFC All-Inclusive Fishing4 Days/3 Nights5 Days/4 Nights
  • Self Guided Package
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  • 2 guests per boat$4,960$5,270
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  • 22’ Boston Whaler boat & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,175$6,930
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