Winter Harbour Report

Discussion in '2015 Saltwater Fishing Reports' started by 17 ft sea ranger, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Sangstercraft

    Sangstercraft Well-Known Member

    How's the halibut fishing in the fall?

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  2. fishyboy99

    fishyboy99 Active Member

    Hali fishing is still great, just have to be able to get offshore:) My last day was on Tuesday, picked up our 4 overs, 5 lings and 6 yelloweye, didn't try for any salmon at all, did see a few jumpers out there though. Water was 10-15knts where I was, but I had to contend with the strong tides, spent most of the time in the trough on anchor.

    Was a good year overall, weather cooperated for the most part, worked hard for the springs in the end, but everything else was great. Harbour was extremely slow for the government wharf, down at least 40-45% over last years numbers (if it wasn't for the VanIsle360, it would of been even worse), other wharves weren't as bad, but down probably 30-40% overall. Only had two sport boats on the dock on August long weekend, last summer we were rafting up.

    Take care and see you all in 2016 :)


  3. spring fever

    spring fever Well-Known Member

    Fishyboy 99-just curious-fishing was pretty decent with odd spells when warm water screwed things up a bit. Any thoughts on why the numbers were down so much??
  4. fishyboy99

    fishyboy99 Active Member

    Spring Fever,

    Numbers were down, both for salmon and fisher's in the harbour, especially in the later part of August. The warm water definitively changed the way the salmon behaved, we noticed it at the end of July when the the water went to 63 degrees Fahrenheit at the lighthouse, I think the salmon went deep, we were catching some in the 250-300' range on the riggers in August, long ways down. I believe the fish were there, we were just not able to catch them, more than likely sitting on the bottom and getting below the warm water. I was cleaning a spring in mid August, had a hake in the belly, first time I have seen that.

    Every year is different, just have to go with the flow I guess. As for BYOB fisher's, a few factors have happened in the last few years (it has been a steady decline for a while now), such as increased ferry costs, fuel costs, constant fishing all over the island (places like Nanaimo, Qualicum, Campbell River have had some great runs in the last few years) which stops the need to travel far - why travel to the end of the Island when you can fish in your back yard. Hate to bring up the halibut issue again, but is has had a definite impact on the area. As a lodge, I am doing fine, I had to adapt and change, but for the BYOB boaters, they don't need to come up to Winter Harbour to catch their small halibut, they can do that locally and have decided to stay closer to home. Most of the traditional boaters on the government wharf were from Campbell River south and the lower mainland - in for a couple of days, then back home again, these were the ones that were absent this season, long range guys came as usual, but the local BC people didn't show.

    Overall, the fishing was fine, just had to work hard for what you got, our boats traveled more than normal when chasing salmon, but that is the nature of the beast, some years we are sitting at the lighthouse for half the summer, while other years we are off of Topknot or down closer to Solander. I didn't fish as much as I normally do, only about 8 days on the water this year, spent most of my time in the lodge doing the management things, so I never did see you out at your usual anchorages:) Hope to see you back up there next summer, we will be opening the lodge first week of June or so.



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