Off Shore Flats – What’s in Store?
The seas are flat and the sky is clear, typical Dundas Island weather for mid July. Coho are plentiful, and Chinook salmon are lurking around searching for herring.
The target species for this morning’s outing are: Salmon, Halibut and Lingcod. Music to my ears – I have the perfect place in mind. 10 miles and 25 minutes later we arrive. To anyone not familiar with the area, this spot may not seem like much at first glance. There is no land within half a mile, and it seems like a random spot in the middle of the ocean.
However, just beneath the surface the ocean is alive! Herring are thick from 40-110 feet, gulls are swirling, birds are diving, humpbacks are blowing, and the Sea lions sound like 198 snoring. With this much life in the area, how can one not enjoy this magical spot?
The underwater structure is what makes this area so unique and full of life. The depth comes up from 250 to 100 feet and an underwater hump is formed. Although you can catch fish all around the “hump”, by far the sweet spot is right on top (that’s what she said).
The current is weak and the seas are calm so we decide not to drop the anchor and instead drift. Our lines are barely in the water when the first fish strikes! It comes racing to the surface – a beautiful Coho doing cartwheels trying to shake itself free. While this is happening the portside road doubles over, the reel screaming out line. Double-header!!! Except this fish is staying down deeper and the headshakes are larger than those of a Coho. This can only mean one thing: Spring salmon! The Coho is released and we turn our attention to the feisty Chinook who cooperates and slides right into the net. The beautiful dime bright 15lber is retained and high fives are shared all around! What a great feeling.
The energy on the boat is high and everyone is rushing to get the lines back in the water in anticipation of pass #2 over the hump. Right away the deep rod buckles. My eyes light up and I yell “bow rod”!! Hopping out of his seat, my fishing partner sets the hook. The fish runs straight back down to the bottom. I am sceptical that this is a salmon – with not much movement it is looking more like a halibut bite. A halibut would be an excellent treat – especially on salmon gear. Sure enough the tug-of-war begins and what feels like a piece of plywood is dragged up from the bottom. The tasty halibut is brought into the boat with smiles all around.
This action continued for the rest of the morning with Coho, Chinook, Halibut and Lingcod being caught. Memories, sore arms and a locker full of fish were taken back to the dock. The beauty of this location and style of fishing is that you just never know what’s in store. Can the 2015 season come any sooner?