Outpost Update August 18 ~ “Tuna Time!!!”
August 18, 2014 | 4057 Views
What a summer! What a season! The guys have outdone themselves over and over again in the last couple weeks. Fishing slows down? No problem, the boys are right back on em the next day. Bored of catching Chinook Salmon? How about we go slay a few Albacore Tuna! I thought July had been epic, but after experiencing what August had in store, I might have to rethink my assessment! My first year at The Outpost was one of amazement and awesomeness. I thought I’d seen it all in 15 years of guiding at Langara, but only a short flight away from there, lies a totally different world. A world of true beauty which we humbly call our own for the summer months.
The strip between late July and August 10th saw our guests catch and release over a dozen Halibut over a 100 lbs, including 4 over 235 lbs and one behemoth estimated at 335 lbs! That monster of the depths was caught by James Heaton, with the help of Ben Russell, who was up here with an exclusive group headed by Steve Tatone and Dean MacKay. It measured 85 inches and took over an hour to reel up. Steve Tatone also caught a 255 lbs Hali and James Heaton proceeded to catch and release a smaller 235lbs version of his giant Halibut. Hali season kept on giving as Mike Stuart and Co. made it up on July 28th. The weather was outstanding and the bottom dwellers a plenty. Amongst the bounty of white meat hitting the dock, 5 Halis over a 100 lbs were caught and released with the biggest going to Bill Zielinski at 130 lbs. With 8 Tyees on board, spring Salmon averaging over 20 lbs and Halibut jumping in the boat, rounding the corner into August was a real success…Thank god Mike had a private plane set up so we could get all that fish south!!
The good times kept on coming into August, after a rough first day the Paul Bratney group along with the Dahlman group from Alberta lit it up down at shipwreck with the boys. Robert Garnier being lucky and skilled enough to bring in a 35 lbs beauty! Peter Jones released a 135 lbs Halibut and The Outpost staff, and setting, delivered memories to last a lifetime yet again!
On August 4th, Bob and Kathryn Stan joined us with their friend and family trip. It was a true pleasure for all the staff to see them again. Bob and Kathryn had a plan, hit the bottom the first day to get some of the Halis out of the way and then focus on Salmon. It worked out really well as nearly everybody got at least 1 Halibut. The next couple days were focused on Salmon with all dayers down to Hippa, Shipwreck and Freeman. The Stan group clearly knew what they were doing as the fish bins and freezers kept filling up! Jaquie Humphries released a 31 lbs, Kathy Bootle caught a 33 lbs spring but the derby was won on day 3 by Richard Morgan with a 35 lbs trophy Chinook. There was whispers of a Tuna outing as Bob and co. were reminiscing about a successful Outpost Tuna expedition 4 years ago. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. What did happen though was our second guest win of the season on the Krud table where Curtis Morgan took home the jacket in grand fashion.
The following trip was a small glitch in an otherwise epic season. With prospects of southerly gales on the horizon I implored my guests from Ledcor and Matcon Civil along with Ken and Jamie Willoughby to “load up” on the first day of the trip where Ken found a beauty 67 lbs Halibut. It was clearly the right choice as 40 knot winds held us hostage for the next 2 days. Jamie brought us hope on day 2 where he landed a 28 lbs Chinook in the bay, where he also had to tackle kelp, sideways rain and wind for hours to get that one. Way to go Jamie! The staff did what they could to entertain everyone and in the end our guests still went home with fish and stories of the tumultuous Haida Gwaii waters.
Last trip, I had the pleasure and great honor of welcoming my mom, Suzanne and my sister Catherine. They were joined by Dewey’s brother Joey and his friends and by Don Wells and his friends, Bernie and Josh Simpson and Rob Porrka. With the weather being friendlier, day 1, 2 and 3 were business as usual with everyone systematically filling up the dance card. Suzanne and Catherine fed a Lingcod to a blue shark and got great footage while Luke Ashton snuck a 31 lbs tyee in the box.
As day 4 approached rumors of Tuna fishing were intensifying. “They’re out there” they said, “the water is warm enough, they’re probably only 18 miles out!”. With the boys topping up their oil and gas, on a crisp blue sky August morning, the Tuna hunt was on. Our fleet zoomed in on them like sharks on an injured fish. It didn’t take long to hear that the boys had found some out there and by only 1h30, Don, Rob, Bernie and Josh were back in for a late lunch and coolers full of delicious Albacore Tuna! The excitement was palpable when they hit the dock as stories of triple and quadruple headers were exchanged.
Myles and Dewey were not far behind with even more Tuna on board. All and all, over 50 Tuna hit the dock on August 14th! The expedition was a success and turned a calculated gamble into a high reward situation. The action on the dock was just as frantic as out there once the guys started cleaning and processing all this bounty. It lasted well into the evening.
The current group, headed by Noordin Nanji and John Anderson, also mean business. Fun times are still rolling and fish are being played! Here is a nice shot from David Fugman releasing a 100+ Halibut.
2014 will be etched in my memory for years to come. Haida Gwaii is a truly unique and wild place. For most of the year its remote shores are battered by gale and storm force winds and barely accessible. But for a few weeks every year, some lucky and well informed anglers come try out their luck on the west coast and call The Outpost their home for a few days. The experience is enhanced tenfold by the highly dedicated staff that I have the pleasure to work with everyday. It has been an honor for me to work with such passionate and genuine people. I owe the success of this season to my staff and everybody in the office, for which exceeding expectations is second nature. Their dedication to perform is unparalleled. Thank you guys!
And to all the guests who joined us this year for the trip of a lifetime, thank you! We all look forward to seeing you guys again in the very near future to help you create even more vivid and lasting memories.
Over and out from The Outpost, Port Louis