West Coast Fishing Club
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The Clubhouse Fishing Reports

The Clubhouse Report: August 6, 2011

August 6, 2011 | 1329 Views

A large Hippa, seven tyees, flat seas and sunshine….yes Golden Week is now becoming Golden Weeks…what an early August we are having here at the Clubhouse.

Today is the second full day of fishing on the current trip and although fishing has dropped off a bit, these large chinook, tyees and yes Hippas continue to trickle through the top of Graham Island. We all headed to the same spot this am, Gunia Point, where there were huge whalers and lodge skiffs strewn down the tack right into Boulder Bay. I was fishing with Edgar Cormier and Tom Holloran, both seasoned veterans who have fished in the big show for years, Tom himself grabbing a 56 and releasing it in my skiff in the nineties when releasing huge fish was considered new age. We trolled slowly down the tack, shallow with the cable in fifty feet of water. Nice purple and gold dummy flasher working, cut plug about ten feet behind set up five feet above the flasher. Nothing for the first hour, tacked into boulder, but returned back off the triangle in the little bay where so many monsters have been hit. Our port rod buckled, line screaming, a no brainer! This fish ran for open water, hmm could it be a Hippa? I raced around the boat, clearing lines and obstacles, fire up the main and got on it. Yes a bit of yelling, arm waving, and we were clear of skiffs. Always on the lookout for lions too. We were on this fish some time, Edgar expertly worked the fish to the boat, yes a nice fish, a 32 lber, tyee! I poured over the fish searching for yellow dots, yes, one dime sized yellow dot on the belly, must be a relative of a Hippa. Edgar was so happy, Tom yelped, a great morning underway.

The morning saw some decent springs in the mid twenties, the coho now smaller, our large school has vamoosed from the area. Coho now are 8 lbs…where did they go? This is fairly normal, the last two weeks of July is Coho time! We headed in for lunch and a rest at noon, the 32 being the largest I saw at our dock.

After lunch we again headed for the show, my goodness, looked like a parking lot. I was traveling out through Parry Pass and Korey was asking for cameras…wow, his first rod in and he hooked a HIPPA. Korey was fishing a single guest, Luc Cormier, son of Edgar. I drove right up to Korey’s boat, he was drifting off Doug, or Douglas Rock, rod buckled, big smirk on Korey’s face, Luc concentrating. They do not have fish like this  in Montreal I was thinking, and what a great job angling Luc, well done. We dropped our lines and grabbed a typical Screamer fish, 16 lbs, and quickly released it, then ran back to Koreys boat, the fish was in the Hippaquarium, yes, a monster 49 BY 31…taped out to 59 lbs. I grabbed some pics, and as Korey was releasing her, I yelled, any yellow dots? Korey wrestled the monster back into his arms and did a full pat down, then muttered one yellow dot, under the pectoral fin on the belly…the coveted yellow dotter!

Not a minute later I heard another call for a camera, what the heck, Dunne zooming around in a Predator, half on step chasing a Hippa. Yes another great fish reeled in by Wesley Eubanks, a 45 lber! It is a slab fest at Gunia, the boats poured in. I was starting to panic, would I have a shot at a Hippa? I left the picture work to Brent Gallager , so thanks Brent. We will be sure Brian Grange gets the copies ha-ha.

As suddenly as they were there the Hippas vanished and slower fishing ensued. Where did they go? I am sure on the ebb they will return tomorrow, thanks to all our guests and all anglers here at Langara for releasing these fish. I can’t see any reason a guide or guest would want to bonk one of these beautiful creatures, and most true anglers and sportsman are on our side. I learned this years ago from Rick Grange , one of the original pioneers of releasing big fish. Back in the day we killed anything we caught, thinking back to Rivers Inlet where I met and guided Rick in the early eighties. Back then Rick had it sorted out, and by the time we started fishing Langara in the late eighties, all our big fish were being returned when most anglers thought we were crazy. Lots of our early guests such as Peter Dixon were on the program, we used to tag these fish for DFO as part of a mortality study. We found these fish are strong and most make it home after release. I also found a hundred percent die when you bonk them, so release is a great way to go. We have to put these big fish back so this fishery continues, and for the most part we are all aboard, everyone wins, WINNING!

So it is the Gunia show now, Lacy died, the east side dead to us all, Shag dead, why are these fish in the pass? Well, needlefish…that is why, and for the next two weeks if you are looking for us, you will find us between Boulder and the REEF!  Fishing shallow with riggers, mooching eight ounces, we have it covered. The show is on, the Hippas are here, and game on here at Langara. Nowhere else on this coast do we see consistent fish like this over a long four month season. This is a special place, ask any guide who has worked here, or any guest who frequents these waters, this area is the super bowl of fishing on the pacific, and right now it is primetime for Hippas!

Goodnight from the Clubhouse,

Mike Tonnesen, Head Guide, Screamer

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