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!
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 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.