The Clubhouse Report – Feb 15, 2011
February 15, 2011 | 1900 Views
I thought I would check in with some fishy talk and catch everyone up on what is happening here on the west coast. Here in Victoria spring is showing, and although blustery at times the temperature is nice and gardens are coming back to life.
I just received word our halibut season is the same show as last year, with a one fish a day two possession limit, so this should keep us happy with bottom program. The season will open March 1 so at least we know what is going on and the the guests that enjoy this fishery can count on some tasty white fillets to add to my favourite, north coast spring salmon. The springs taste so much better when you catch them away from the straits, the fish have more fat reserves and this fat is what gives the chinook it,s fantastic flavour.
The winter fishing here in Victoria has been very good, this is a deep fishery, using downriggers and bouncing canonballs along the bottom. Multiple hook-ups are exciting and although the fish average 8 to 10 lbs. They are scrappy and awesome on the table. I have seen fish this month close to twenty lbs, so things look good for the chinook fishing this year. The Columbia River system is again expecting a very large run, close to last seasons big return, and this always seems to pump lots of fish Langara way early in the season. Looking at my postings from the last couple of seasons I see that June fishery and even late May is alive again and lots of fish in the high teens and low twenties flood in around Cohoe Point, making for fast fishing and steady activity. There are always a few monsters in the mix, what we believe to be Skeena fish, not that uncommon to hear of a few over fifties in the mix.
At this point I am expecting a similar troll fishery, starting up mid to late June, but things have worked out fine with this as there is a ribbon boundary of one nautical mile around Langara and the top of Graham Island. This keeps us out of the way, and we get to fish the prime rocks and kelp beds in the shallow water where we can target larger fish.
The returning salmon this past season proved to be stronger , with some runs on our local streams here having a bit of a rebound. The chum salmon up and down the coast were weaker in most cases and little commercial opportunity presented itself for a fishery. Most seemed okay with that as a crazy large run of Sockeye returned to the Fraser river, largest run in a hundred years. This kept all fisherman busy and some trollers telling me they had their biggest seasons since the early eighties. This run was not predicted and just goes to show, a lot of variables are at play in this game, water temps, food supplies, harvest effort, river blowouts from floods, all keeps us guessing at times.
I guess we will all be standing by soon for the first fishing reports out of Panama. I have not had the opportunity to get down there yet but I am getting reports from some of the guys who have been playing down there. Todd from over at North Island had a look off Cabo for a few days and tells me I am missing out, he grabbed some very nice yellow fin and walked me through his hook up, convinced bait was the way to go. The boys are starting to get into the gear, and after talking with Todd I have Kenny Tsang over at Nikka hooking me up with some Avet reels and finally a fighting belt and harness, might be a nicer way to grab our halibut up at Langara. Lots to learn for sure, spending lots of time reading the Sport Fishing Magazine. Lots of fishing info on Panama , sounds like a great adventure, and no South Easterlies ha ha. Everyone I talk too that fishes down that way and gets into the tuna just rave about the fishery, some of which can be had on casting gear, sounds like a blast.
Well I am personally just wrapping up some diving, I have been busy with my urchin harvesting and in the next month will be out doing some research work for fisheries, following the herring spawn in Georgia Strait and up into the Central Coast. I will have a good grasp on the herring fishery, lots of herring mean lots of salmon. As we get into spring we should have lots of new information here on what is happening up at Langara and the season that is fast approaching. I am looking forward to the new reports from down south, stand by and check back soon,
Mike Tonnesen, Head Guide, Clubhouse