Winter Harbour Tuna Run September 2018

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Smiley, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    ready to roll.JPG The summer of 2018 had flow past faster than any summer I could remember (but then again my memory isn't what it used to be! ). Nevertheless mid September was upon us and I had yet to get in a run for the long fins . Like all other the fisherman (and fisherwomen or is it fisherkind ? Do we need a ruling on that one Justin? ) that have been bitten by the tuna bug I had being watching and reading the various threads hoping to glean some intel and make a plan for a run.
    The tuna fishery is unique in the sense that it requires both planning and collaboration. Planning for a tuna run involves gathering wind weather and sea temp data. Collaboration between buddy boats facilitates both safety and the ability to cover a greater range while trying to find the fish. One of the funner aspects of the tuna fishery is the collaborative effort among like minded people to achieve a common goal.
    The word was out that both Whyknot and After-hours had gotten on to some fish a week earlier and the weather was looking for the weekend of Sept 14th. Phone calls were made and the plan was hatched to run out of Winter Harbour. Drive up on Friday fish Saturday drive home Sunday ( yes we have the tuna bug ).
    In the few days leading up to our Friday departure we connected with a few others that were also planning to make a run out of Winter Harbour... perfect the more the merrier for this fishery (got to findem before you can catchem). After Hours made a superhuman effort and drove from the interior to arrive in Nanaimo at 1000 am we loaded the boat and we were ready to roll
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
    bigdogeh, why knot, Burban and 8 others like this.
  2. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    Ice Stop.JPG The drive up required a quick stop in Campbell River to pick up the third member of our crew and of course ice ! lots of ice! ( fishermen are optimists! )
     
    Burban, After Hours IV and Canso like this.
  3. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    As I had mentioned earlier a few other boats had expressed interest in joining Whyknot and Smiley on our planned run. We met up with Brennan and his wife Alix just north of Campbell River. I had a good feeling about these people. Keen capable fishermen with a ton of experience in salmon and ground fish but new to tuna game... Their boat was new to them and yet to be named so After Hours quickly saddled them with "Green Horn" as a handle . We all laughed and Brennan &Alix were good sports about the temporary moniker! hwy meet & greet.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  4. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    The run up to Coal Harbour was uneventful ( perfect ) and we pulled into the float plane base to drop the boats in the water to run the inlet to Winter Harbour. As a public service announcement I will say be careful pulling into the ramp area. There is a small piece of rebar projecting out of some crumbling concrete that is barely visible. I got a flat on my trailer when I unknowing drove over the culprit (FAK!) Needless to say I will be bringing my cordless grinder to exact my revenge on my next trip if someone dosent beat me to it! After a little wait for a float plane to be cleared we were able to launch. Another key piece of information on this ramp is to time your drop/extraction with a decent tide ( low tides can be a problem ! Don't ask me how I know ). beaver.JPG
     
    bigdogeh, Olde School, Burban and 3 others like this.
  5. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    It always feels good to get the boat off the trailer and put the boat in its natural habitat. I have done the run from both Coal Harbour and Port Alice to Winter Harbour and would say that these waterways require an extra level of vigilance while underway at speed. There is active logging taking place and with the tidal swings logs and wood debris is a very real navigational hazard. Having your crew on lookout sure dosent hurt! Otherwise the run to Winter Harbour is beautiful ! Green Horn ran alongside in formation to Winter Harbour. greenhorn.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  6. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    winter.JPG Capts Meeting.JPG We arrived in Winter Harbour and pulled up to the dock that Whyknot is stationed at for the season. After introductions and hellos we pulled out the gear and readied the boat for the early start that the morning would bring. Once we were happy with our set ups a bite to eat and a beverage were in order. Whyknot and Smiley talked strategy and coordinates for the run... the anticipation was heavy!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    bigdogeh, Burban, aheny and 2 others like this.
  7. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    morning rollout.JPG The morning came quickly and we took a moment to brew some coffee and our group of three boats got underway by 545am. Nothing like idling out in the pitch black to get a little adrenaline going... between the adrenaline and the coffee it didn't take long to be wide awake and feel ready for the day ahead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    bigdogeh, Burban, aheny and 5 others like this.
  8. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    It wasn't long before light started bleed the night away and as it did we approached Caines Lighthouse. We would take at look at weather and terrafin one last time before heading offshore CAINES AM.JPG
     
    bigdogeh, Burban, aheny and 3 others like this.
  9. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    We had numbers from a few days ago that we agreed would be a good starting point. We headed southwest approximately 25 miles but the water temps never climbed enough for us to deploy our gear. Whyknot had taken a tack that was more westerly and broadcast the climbing temperatures he was experiencing to us over the comm. We adjusted our heading accordingly and experienced the same positive temperature increase. Then the call from Whyknot "Jumpers Jumpers " ! We also saw jumpers but on closer inspection they were Pacific White Side Dolphins. We took their presence as a positive sign and dropped the gear in and hoped for the best! deploy.JPG
     
    bigdogeh, Burban, aheny and 5 others like this.
  10. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    After a decent interval without a bite we picked up and proceeded further west and even a little northwest. Finally AfterHours battle cry.... TUNA TUNA TUNA and the fight was on! It wasn't the biggest tuna but it was a tuna (redefined the word Peanut) Shortly after on the radio Whyknot called "HOOK UP" ! Things were looking up! Peanut.JPG
     
    Burban, aheny, After Hours IV and 4 others like this.
  11. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    The day progressed and the water temp and conditions steadily improved . By this time a few other sportys were on frequency and were having some success on numbers that we fished a few years ago. We picked up and ran northwest stopping about 5 miles from Hook Ups position (Hook up is a sport boat ) We trolled in their direction and hit a double but only one stuck and it was a beauty! TUNA TUB.JPG
     
    Burban, aheny, After Hours IV and 3 others like this.
  12. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    When you head offshore for tuna you really begin to appreciate how big the little part of the ocean that you are fishing really is! By mid day we had Whyknot, Greenhorn, Hook Up , Hot Reels Island Dreamer as well as a couple of the commies working in and out of site of us. The call from Greenhorn that we all were waiting for crackled over the com Fish On Fish On ! Congrats from all the other boats were passed on to Greenhorn getting their first tuna! Well Done! Everyone worked their tacks and while no one loaded their boat we all were able to scratch up a fish here and there over the day.
    Working our tack we had a duck fly into our gear and get fouled up ( pun intended ). Poor little guy was not an olympic caliber swimmer or diver and was going to be an easy meal for a shark so we intervened with a rescue. A cute little fellow that we named Zuker! Seemed almost happy not to be swimming with the sharks. Zuker.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    bigdogeh, why knot, Burban and 7 others like this.
  13. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    blow.JPG bigbird.JPG View attachment 40517
    There was some dark wet weather toward Kyuquot but the whales didn't seem to mind.
    We continued to work the area as conditions were ideal... Hook Up said over the comm " I don't see a reason to leave ... conditions don't get much better" Everyone was working to find the fish even a frustrated Albatross took a run at our pattern behind the boat!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    bigdogeh, Burban, aheny and 6 others like this.
  14. sea envy

    sea envy Member

    Great thread smiley. Enjoyed the read. I would be very interested in joining your fleet next September for this trip. Let’s get in touch
     
    After Hours IV and Smiley like this.
  15. inlet hunter

    inlet hunter New Member

    Smiley you may recognize some of these pictures IMGP4471.jpeg IMGP4462.jpeg IMGP4467.jpeg IMG_4442.jpeg IMGP4473.jpeg IMGP4479.jpeg We were in Hot Reels 2470 Pursuit you may have a water water shot of us I would be interest in......
     
    bigdogeh, Burban, aheny and 3 others like this.
  16. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    Great pics inlet hunter! I guess more formal introductions over the comm on the grounds would have been beneficial. Maybe this shot? Hot Reels.JPG
     
  17. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    We were well past the halfway mark in the day when we had another hit on one of the port side rods. Its not hard to tell when its something other than a tuna. After a lacklustre fight we dragged a foul hooked Blue Shark up to the boat. None of the crew seemed particularly interested in managing the release of this fellow... its a long way to go and get help if it managed to give you a nip! Caution was exercised and we managed a clean release. blue.JPG
     
    bigdogeh, aheny and After Hours IV like this.
  18. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    There was more than sportys in the mix over the day. No big deal on a calm day with unlimited visibility. However on a foggy day or a day with weather and limited visibility its another story. I feel that unless you are equipped with radar you shouldn't really be doing these kinds of runs offshore. Simply put GPS doesn't tell you what traffic is in your tack or path. heavy.JPG commie.JPG
     
  19. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    running in.JPG We wrapped up our day capitalizing on four outta five hits! Even taking one off the diving board ! Most of the boats managed at least a couple fish. While its great to load the boat... it dosent always go the way you hope. I am confident in saying that it was only because of the concerted group effort that we managed to get any fish at all. Fishing for tuna is always a bit of a gamble... the effort and costs associated with a longer run are not always rewarded with a locker full of fish. However you can always count on a reward of an experience that differs from fishing the nearshore environment. Fishing tuna you will be immersed in different ecosystem that provides an experience that is unique to our coastal waters. Running in with Greenhorn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  20. Smiley

    Smiley Well-Known Member

    green horn sunset.JPG Whyknot and Smiley.jpg We agreed to take a stop in behind Caines on the way into Winter Harbour. Great way to end the day of fishing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018

Share This Page