West Coast Vancouver Island Report

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by IronNoggin, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    HiYa!!
    Just returned from four terrific days off the West Coast of the Island. We (dad, a buddy from Utah and myself) accompanied Ernie Ross (Ross SwimmerTails) aboard his 48 foot troller the “Royal Quest” for this foray. A better sportfishing platform for our unpredictable West Coast waters can not be had! This vessel is extremely comfortable, and when coupled with Ernie’s nearly forty years of experience in these waters, provides the optimum opportunity to tag “the big one”. (Note: Mr. Ross does sports-charters off the west coast when not engaged in commercial fishing activities – for more on this E-me if interested and I’ll pass you along to him - didn't mean to spam, just inform, so no more here) While the weather was somewhat dicey for smaller craft, we anchored out each night and enjoyed first light / last light fishing each day.Fishing was excellent!!! Overall, just over one hundred springs were battled to the boat, ranging in size from ten to forty pounds (most released of course), nearly fifty halibut encountered however that “barn door” eluded us as our biggest was only fifty-two pounds. Incidental catches included numerous coho – unusually large for this time of year as they averaged eight pounds plus (several over 12!!), several types of rockfish and of course the dreaded dogfish were found nearly everywhere. Carefully selected, our take-home included limits of springs, and one shy of the limit for hali’s – a virtual seafood feast for the crew’s families over the next while. Although this is but one boat’s report, what we encountered in each area is probably representative of what was present and can be expected in each for the next little while. Below, I’ve listed each spot we swam the gear, and results thereof. South Bank: Loads and loads of coho made it tricky to get the gear down to the floor where we expected the springs to be hanging out. Hooked dozens of these aerial artists, which provided great action on our light gear. This bank was loaded with needlefish (as usual), and when we could get past the coho caught the attention of numerous springs. Black-mouths ranged from eight to fifteen pounds for us on South Bank, although we heard of a few over 20 being boated by others. Hottest: straight glow needlefish, green/glow belly needlefish, and four inch blue/green swimmertail – all in the mud. No halibut showed, so we moved on in search of larger springs and flatties.
    Big Bank (La Perouse): One word - Awesome!! Herring and squid were found in decent numbers out on the largest of the banks, which in turn attracted good numbers of springs and hali’s. Only three coho were encountered over the day and a half paddling around this area, which allowed the gear to search out our target species much more effectively. Springs came consistently four to five hours each morning and eve, ranging from fifteen to forty pounds. Springs best at the “shallow spot” and just to the SW of the “bottleneck”. Hali’s picked up the slack in the afternoons, and intermittently when springs were active – these were all taken trolling, and all but one on the trip came from this bank – shallow spot and just outside were best. Hottest: standard hootchies in army truck (glow belly w/tinsel insert), green scale back w/ glow belly, four inch swimmertail in blues (new version with dots one side and tinsel mylar), green scaled coyote, and any of the glow squid imitations, again, all in the mud. VERY tired arms and hands at the end of this from battling numerous big boys of both target species. One drag failure on a thirty-four lb’er spring – reel retired. Limits nearly full, we headed back towards Ucy and the last of the banks we checked out.
    Lighthouse Bank: Dropped the gear inside from the “Deep Hole” and swam gear for a few hours. Again, numerous coho made for fast action, but only a few shaker springs. The Hali hole just off the deep hole got bottom bounced with spreaders for two or three hours - produced numerous hook-ups – but alas, all dogfish (to eight feet). Abandoned this technique and trolled the outside of deep hole. Massive schools of immature needlefish encountered throughout this bank – most three inches in length, as well as schools (?) of spawning squid. Caught fifteen springs in short order in this last locale, most between fifteen and twenty, and one chicken of twenty pounds. Finale came with a double header on thirty pound black-mouths, which battled ferociously for over half an hour. Boated both to finish off, and ran back to Ucy to culminate the trip. Hottest: Straight glow needlefish, swimmertail in blue/green (four inch) and the squid imitation. Coyotes OK in green scale on white background.
    My poor old Chev groaned under the weight of transporting our catch back to Port Alberni. All in all a GREAT trip, fantastic ride and camaraderie, and very cooperative fish. Now about my aching back and arms…. better living through chemistry called for!
    Other Fronts: Fished Alberni Canal yesterday am – landed 16 sox to ten pounds in three hours. Unusually large sox appearing in the catch, with one seiner landing a verified 18 pounder (perhaps a new record for the Inlet??)!! Bodes well for the returning springs and coho this year (as does the average size of the latter on the banks just now). Sox continue to be HOT with the right (ultralight) gear – outfishing nearly all the hootchie boats!
    Interesting bycatch: yesterday a 32 lb spring was taken on a sockeye hootchie near Nahmint, and two days ago a 38 lb’er captured on same gear at Coleman Creek. Man, early and large!! Might have to run a heavier rod down below with a coyote soon! Watch out if one tagged on the ten pound test trout rods!
    One of the boys checked Wya Point on spec last week – limited on 30 lb springs with largest 39!!! This traditional hotspot will close (1/2 mile all round) in early August, but might be a good place to swim gear in the interim.
    Big Bank produced a 42, a 38 and 37 lb’er (springs) to a buddy just before we got there, so the giants ARE starting to appear. Expect these to heat up substantially in the next while.
    Fishing on the “Real” West Coast is certainly living up to it’s well deserved reputation, and getting better each day that passes. Get out there if you can and enjoy one of the best in many years!! Hope to see you out there!! Just keep in mind – it’s big water that needs preparation – larger boats with COMPLETE electronics (we saw fog one day that had the radar working overtime), radios and safety gear will ensure a trouble free trip.
    Heading out soon to check on Fraser sox swimming by the Isle on the way to the big river– letcha know…… ;)
    If it’s true that each day spent fishing is a day not deducted from one’s lifespan, I’m doing my best to become immortal this year!
    Cheers, tight lines and silver smiles!!

    <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>
     
  2. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    What a great fishing report! Refreshing to see people discussing fishing instead of the usual slagging nonsense that has all but demolished this board.

    I do one - sometimes two - west coast trips a year. Ususally end up in Kyuquout sound or Nootka Island area. What you describe is what west coast fishing is all about - big fish, lots of bait, endless coho, plentiful hali, superb bottom fishing, sore arms and often big seas. Oh, and heavy coolers! :)<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

    Last year we caught so many hali that we went catch and release hali fishing just for fun. What a challenge trying to remove a hook from an ornery 25 pound hali thrashing around with murder in his eyes! Gotta keep the fingers away from the teeth or you might end up with a couple of shredded digits.

    Enjoy the salmon barbeques!

    Eat more prawns! Bonk them salmon! Filet them snappers!
     
  3. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    What a great fishing report! Refreshing to see people discussing fishing instead of the usual slagging nonsense that has all but demolished this board.

    I do one - sometimes two - west coast trips a year. Ususally end up in Kyuquout sound or Nootka Island area. What you describe is what west coast fishing is all about - big fish, lots of bait, endless coho, plentiful hali, superb bottom fishing, sore arms and often big seas. Oh, and heavy coolers! :)<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

    Last year we caught so many hali that we went catch and release hali fishing just for fun. What a challenge trying to remove a hook from an ornery 25 pound hali thrashing around with murder in his eyes! Gotta keep the fingers away from the teeth or you might end up with a couple of shredded digits.

    Enjoy the salmon barbeques!

    Eat more prawns! Bonk them salmon! Filet them snappers!
     
  4. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    What a great fishing report! Refreshing to see people discussing fishing instead of the usual slagging nonsense that has all but demolished this board.

    I do one - sometimes two - west coast trips a year. Ususally end up in Kyuquout sound or Nootka Island area. What you describe is what west coast fishing is all about - big fish, lots of bait, endless coho, plentiful hali, superb bottom fishing, sore arms and often big seas. Oh, and heavy coolers! :)<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

    Last year we caught so many hali that we went catch and release hali fishing just for fun. What a challenge trying to remove a hook from an ornery 25 pound hali thrashing around with murder in his eyes! Gotta keep the fingers away from the teeth or you might end up with a couple of shredded digits.

    Enjoy the salmon barbeques!

    Eat more prawns! Bonk them salmon! Filet them snappers!
     
  5. Roe Bags

    Roe Bags Active Member

    Bamfield is Hot!!! Hooked up with the Grappler Cove Boyz and pounded Widdlestone and Beal, real good for this early!!!...Made it offshore yest and absolutly hammered springs, nooks and hallies at the ranch!!.
     
  6. Roe Bags

    Roe Bags Active Member

    Bamfield is Hot!!! Hooked up with the Grappler Cove Boyz and pounded Widdlestone and Beal, real good for this early!!!...Made it offshore yest and absolutly hammered springs, nooks and hallies at the ranch!!.
     
  7. Roe Bags

    Roe Bags Active Member

    Bamfield is Hot!!! Hooked up with the Grappler Cove Boyz and pounded Widdlestone and Beal, real good for this early!!!...Made it offshore yest and absolutly hammered springs, nooks and hallies at the ranch!!.
     
  8. Salavee

    Salavee Guest

    Great report Ironhead. My being 800 miles from the "Ranch" doesn't help matters at the moment. Please e-mail me regarding the Royal Quest as I wish to contact him.

    Thanks
    Gord
    cryo@istar.ca

    Salavee
     
  9. Salavee

    Salavee Guest

    Great report Ironhead. My being 800 miles from the "Ranch" doesn't help matters at the moment. Please e-mail me regarding the Royal Quest as I wish to contact him.

    Thanks
    Gord
    cryo@istar.ca

    Salavee
     
  10. Salavee

    Salavee Guest

    Great report Ironhead. My being 800 miles from the "Ranch" doesn't help matters at the moment. Please e-mail me regarding the Royal Quest as I wish to contact him.

    Thanks
    Gord
    cryo@istar.ca

    Salavee
     

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