Ebb & Flow Week 9 | August 8, 2019
August 8, 2019 | 2813 Views
Big News to Report…All 65 Pounds of It!
By Deepwater Don
Earlier this week guide Hanes Svub radioed Jordan Knight, lodge manager at The Outpost and told him in no uncertain terms to immediately bring his camera out to nearby Brock Island. When he and a couple of staff members got there less than five minutes later, they could see Hanes slowly driving towards the lee side of Brock. As they came alongside the guide boat, Hanes was preparing to tape the fish for an accurate measurement without causing harm to what turned out to be a large chinook salmon. A very large one.
The measurements were 46.75 inches long and 33.5 inches by girth, which when using standard calculation tables translates to approximately 65 pounds. After a few quick pictures before getting it back into the water for revival and a successful release, Richard Morgan took over first place in The West Coast Fishing Club for the largest chinook salmon for the 2019 season. Best of all, that fish is continuing to feed in the rich waters of Haida Gwaii in preparation for its soon-to-begin natal journey. Congratulations to both Richard and Hanes. Great work!
To provide context, the next biggest fish that I can recall in recent years was one measuring 61.5 pounds caught by Clubhouse guest Douglas Smith and guided by Bud Stafford in 2015. Interestingly, it was the first chinook salmon Douglas had ever caught, and the event occurred when his fishing partner insisted that he take the rod after the first strike of their trip.
Third largest was a 58 caught by another Clubhouse guest, David Bickford, guided by Brent Gallacher in 2016. Just days after that, North Island Lodge guide Pat Davies slipped the net under a 55-pound model for guest Gaby Mirza. And the other prize hog I recall was a 57 caught by Clubhouse guest Bob Nicholls guided by Korey Fletcher.
Interestingly, it’s not just in the latter half of the season when these ultra-hogs are caught. I distinctly remember a crowd of boats surrounding a North Island Lodge boat – might have been D.J. Shinduke, not sure – that was doing serious business with a chinook that think taped out at 53 pounds. Here’s the punchline – it was opening day of the season, in either late May or early June!
Of course, all of this begs the question: “What is the all-time record for The Club?” The answer is 74 pounds. The guide was Clubhouse veteran Bud Stafford and the guest was Dave Perry, who still holds the record to this day.
Back to the here and now, the fishing remains unchanged from last week, when I reluctantly used the word “awesome” to describe the non-stop action at all three lodges. Coho and chinook salmon remain abundant, with average weights for both species steadily moving up. Chinook in the mid to high twenties are almost routine occurrences, as are coho in the low to mid teens. Halibut? Same story, lots of turkeys for the taking.
At Langara Island, most of the twenty-something chinooks have been taken along the northern end of Graham Island from Seathe Point all the way to Cape Knox. Plenty of fish being caught off Cohoe Point as well (no surprise) with much of the bites happening during both slack tides (no surprise either). Coho are still stacked up out on the Highway between Langara Rocks and the lighthouse.
North Island Lodge guests Gerald Pool and Ryan Cooley led the charge for their congregation with matching 31-pounders. Surinder Pal Gaught gets the third star with a 29. Much the same story over at The Clubhouse with a 32 for Christian Levatte’s boat, an even 30 for Jinger Richardson and a 29 for Josef Schneider. Peter Larsen and Jason Bartusick were piano movers of the week after lifting Steinways (halibut) of 150 and 100 pounds respectively off the ocean floor west of Lacey. I am guessing those boys both slept well that night.
And with no rain for what seems like weeks now, everything continues to point to 2019 as a year to remember.
But there is still time to go, so if you plan to be up north in the time that remains, you know the rule friends…