Early June on Dundas Island

Hello again, we are back to share some more of the goings on around beautiful Dundas Island.

Early June brought with it some wetter weather, but that didn’t dampen spirits as the Chinook fishing continued to heat up with more and more good-sized fish showing up as the days got longer. 

Freshie fishing continues to be consistent in the early hours of the morning, and we are starting to see more bait in our favourite spots with tons of signs of life in the water. As we all know – bait on the sounder is a good sign when looking for aggressive feeding Chinook.

There have also been great signs of Coho already this year.  In early June we were seeing the odd one jumping on top, slashing through bait balls, and the exciting but frustrating chasing of weights they are famous for.

With cooperative winds we have been to explore the west side of the Island and beyond.  These areas have been producing well all season for bottom dwellers, and with the first sign of a Coho run showing up offshore, some beautiful Coho have been making it back to the dock as well.

Trip 7 was a memorable one for many of us.  My parents, along with Jason and Robyn’s parents made it up to the Island for 5 days of great times on the water – a rare treat! It was great to be able to share our summer lives with the folks and help them understand what drives all of us to keep coming back every summer.  They were blown away with the scenery, wildlife, and of course the fishing.

I fulfilled a life long dream of mine by helping my mom with a belated Mothers’ day gift. With Herbie the Eagle watching from One-Pull, she battled and landed her first ever Tyee!  It was a surreal experience and I was glad to share it with my pops as well who taught me everything I know about fishing. 

Thank you to everyone who shares pictures and help make it possible for us to keep you in the loop!

Until next time,

Cheeks

They’re here!

Howdy Folks, with the first few trips of the season under our belts, I am stoked to give you an update of the goings on around Dundas.

The first trip brought back many familiar faces that were just as eager to get out there and roll some herring as all of us were, and on a 7-day trip you could feel the excitement on the dock to get out there and explore the opportunities.

The fresh herring were plentiful with many of them being what I would describe as “The Perfect Herring”: 5-7 inches and not a scale missing – the perfect weapon for hungry Chinook. The jigging was also very close to home, some mornings were spent getting bait right in front of the Lodge.

The first trip of the season, beginning May 24th, had some hot days on the water with a healthy number of chances for everyone, this allowed for some great catch and release fishing – throwing some beautiful fish back into the water to continue their journey to the rivers. This followed by some slower days, but it showed that if you stick it out on the water and are patient, you will be rewarded. The forecast was sunshine and low winds which allowed for some off-shore bottom fishing days, guests and guides had the opportunity to venture out and explore some farther flung fishing spots.

This pattern continued for the next few trips: some stellar fishing days followed by some tougher fought ones, but time spent of the water is a major factor of success, and when that bite comes, we have to be ready to capitalize on those opportunities.

Hats off to Mike who patiently waited for his bite and managed to stick a beautiful 35 pound Chinook with his good friend, Ray, and guide RBS.

Mike’s 1st Tyee!

After a slow day on the water, Guide Noel was so keen to get into some fish he and his guests skipped dinner and headed back out the wall – they made up for their tough day with three Chinook on the evening bite!

Overall the early season is showing great signs of a healthy run, with some of the elusive Tyees hitting the dock every trip and with this cold water the fight in these migratory fish is breath taking with big jumps and massive long runs giving us what we all love to hear:  screaming reels.

Along with these brutes is the first sign of early coho runs, these smaller fish still pack a punch and are a great tasting bonus to take home.  This is hopefully a sign of things to come for our fly fishing guests in August. 

Derby winner Chantel with her first Tyee!

One of the questions that we keep hearing is – what are the limits this season?  At the moment the retention limits for salmon are the same as in 2017. You are allowed eight salmon, of which 4 can be Chinook.  This means you are once again allowed to retain up to 2 chinook/day with 4 in possession.  The official management decision has not been released by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but all indications are that there will be no change in retention for the 2019 season.

If you’re interested in receiving the most current information on regulation changes, you can sign up for email notifications through the DFO website!  

Tight Lines and see you on Dundas soon!

Cheeks

The 2014 Fishing Report

Chinook Fishing

The Chinook fishing this season seemed to be a little slower than usual. It could also be characterized as inconsistent – with the large numbers of Chinooks only sticking around for a couple tide changes. This is unusual – we wait for the day they show up and then expect them to at least stick around for a few days, before waiting for the next wave.  This season the fish would show up in good numbers, we’d have a fantastic day of fishing, then the next day would come and we would again have to work to scrape up our limits.  That being said, if you decided to stick and stay, putting your time in at one of our many Chinook beats, it did pay off and it was only a matter of time before your mooching reel was screaming with a hot Chinook on the other end.  There seemed to be a greater number of Skeena bound tyees this year, so when you did get a spring on, the chances of it being a tyee or bigger were good.  You just never knew when it was going to happen next.

Struggling on Dundas our efforts began to shift to targeting off shore Chinooks, spending more and more time on the North end flats.  There were many days in July where the fishing could not have gotten any better – we were consistently getting into schools of feeding Chinook on the flats.  It was not uncommon to see aggressive Chinook chasing your bait right to the boat!

Bottom Fishing

Years of observation, exploration, and trial and error have gotten us to where we are now – we have the bottom fishing pretty dialled in.  Our early season spots remained productive with limits of halibut caught only moments from the Lodge.  As the season progressed our efforts moved.  The North end flats were absolutely on fire with good numbers of halibut and ling cod being caught on salmon gear in the shallows while combo fishing for Coho and Springs – a hot spot in late July.  The weather cooperated for most of August, allowing us to spend more time at some of our farther off-shore spots with great results.  We saw some super sized halibut caught and released, and a good number of turkeys.  At times the Halibut fishing was absolutely exhausting with bottom dwellers hopping on the moment the bait hit the bottom – this action would last for entire tide, leaving arms burning but still wanting more.

Herring Fishing

Herring or – Freshie – fishing this year was great! Most days it took only moments to load up with a cooler of Primeaus (#25) before heading to the Chinook grounds.  This year showed some amazing spectacles of nature – one morning millions of herring had large schools of krill trapped inches from the surface.  You could look over the gunnels of the boat and see the herring voraciously devouring these small creatures! It was incredible to watch – you could also just hold your jig outside the boat and watch it load up, seeing the herring climbing onto your empty hooks.