Ebb & Flow Week 9: July 29, 2015
July 29, 2015 | 4702 Views
TUNA & A 61.5 POUND TYEE!!
That’s right, they’re back, and less than an hour’s run on a calm day west of The Outpost. About three weeks early, I am thinking, based on my experiences on August 20 of last year when I was part of a four-boat flotilla that grabbed over 50 of the gnarly little beasts in a morning that none of us will ever forget. Note that these are Albacore friends, not the bigger variety popularized on TV. They are essentially torpedoes with scales – incredibly fast-swimming fish of 15-25 pounds, caught on hoochies trolled on the surface at high speed using four Halibut rods per boat. Naturally this means that the guide is often put into play as all four rods frequently go off at the same moment once a school is encountered. Madness, but quite possibly the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Looking back on that trip, I would say without hesitation it was the best I have ever had. We were told on arrival that the Tuna were within striking distance of Port Louis and that Thursday, the last full day of our trip, looked like it would offer calm seas and favourable enough weather to break out offshore. Turns out the all-star Outpost guides were bang-on with their intel on the fish and weather predictions. Thursday was ideal and the result was that eight of us wrapped up a trip that had already been spectacular for Salmon and Halibut fishing. Changing it up for Tuna on the final day was far beyond anything we had ever imagined, as was the sashimi that was artfully prepared for us at dinner that night.
(Note friends that the Albacore Tuna off Port Louis are found in blue water that plunges to over a mile in depth, which is where my fishing partners on the day came up with the dubious Deepwater handle. My high school chum Bluewater Bernard will no doubt recall same as he reads this.)
And while the success last week of four anglers and two boats on the high seas west of Port Louis still does not confirm that The Outpost can promise Tuna fishing in the final weeks of summer every year, it’s looking more and more promising, especially now that the boys are honing their skills and knowledge. Not entirely sure when it all began, but I think it was 2011 that the Panz brothers (guides Mike and Myles) led the first successful foray out west. Come to think of it, I believe I recently saw some rare Short Notice Club offers to The Outpost if anybody wants to give it a whirl in August.
Ahhh, August – the “Golden Weeks” as West Coast Fishing Club Director Brian Grange calls the days and weeks ahead. This period, according to Brian and other knowledgeable folk, is when the greatest concentration of large fish is typically found both at Langara Island and the Port Louis area. The evidence to support that theory continues to accumulate, as each of the past four trips have seen new size records. As of today, the record for 2015 belongs to Clubhouse guest Douglas Smith, whose 61.5 pound prize hog from last weekend was the first Salmon he has ever caught! Some guys have all the luck. Good job on the release of this beauty Douglas, and kudos to veteran Clubhouse guide Bud Stafford for finding such a memorable fish for a first-time guest.
Other recent notable catches by Clubhouse guests include a 42 by John Jenkins; 40’s for both Arden St. Andre and Steve Wisnewski, a 36 for Mark Zivot, 31’s for Tim Quan and Brad Mullinax, and a 30 for Dewayne Rabon. All of the larger fish among this list were released, so thanks for that folks. Lots of Tyees have been taken of late by the gang over at North Island Lodge too. Andrew Pavicich topped the most recent race with a 41 guided by Kauri. Guide Patrick made it a memorable visit for his parents Duncan and Cindy Davies, finding a 34 for dad and a 30 for mom. Sadly, the crowds of self-guided interlopers (sea-lions) remain in abundance and frequently help themselves to a hooked Salmon. Guides are now helping guests learn the art of free-spooling, which gives a hooked fish a chance to outswim a sea-lion. Naturally, the barbless hooks frequently slip out during such a maneuver, but better to lose a fish unharmed than to mammals that consume up to five per-cent of their body weight daily in various forms of sea critters.
There continues to be plenty of fish in the waters around Port Louis too. In fact, they are often greater in number than at Langara Island but with perhaps fewer in the upper range of Tyee-sized fish. Randy Hansen put The Outpost on the board with a nice 31 last week. Hippa Island has been producing well for guests of The Outpost, who have reportedly caught scads of fish from the mid-20’s to low 30’s down that way. Halibut lovers have rejoiced on these waters all season long, with almost all guests taking home perfect turkey-sized slabs in the 130-centimetre, 50-60 pound range. Interestingly, I strolled past a seafood counter last week and roughly calculated that the filets from such a fish would set a shopper back close to a thousand bucks in after-tax Canadian dollars (my wife says I have a terrible habit of “commoditizing” everything, but it mildly amuses friends when I tell them that I “picked up a couple of 300’s this morning,” referring to the approximate dollar-amount equivalent of filets from a mid-20’s sized Chinook Salmon).
Not much more to report, except that I’m back to counting sleeps. Just 25 more to go before this year’s Fishing For Kids Tournament, which goes August 23-26 up at The Clubhouse. It will be the tenth annual for this amazing event, which as Canada’s most prestigious and benevolent sport fishing tournament has raised almost six million dollars for BC Children’s charities, and most recently for the Canucks Autism Network (CAN). It will also be the 10th year that former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell teams up in a tournament boat with defending FFK champion Bruce Langereis. Bruce’s 42 caught in the final minutes of last year’s tournament sealed victory for the Delta Group president and long-time Club friend, along with a cheque for $200,000 that he handed back to CAN in a classy gesture that has become the norm for tournament victors over the years. This is going to be some fun. Watch for daily reports when the action gets under way.
That’s it for now friends. Until next week, stay safe and well.