Home
Regions
Washington
Oregon
British Columbia
Alaska
Great Lakes

Education

2010 Salmon University Seminar

Faculty
Online lessons
Classroom courses
SU Seminar Pictures

Bumper Knot Illustration

Steelhead University


Salmon U Trips

2010 Queen Charlotte Islands with Oak Bay Info

2010 Nushagak Trip Blog

2009 Queen Charlotte Islands with Oak Bay (Article)

2008 Queen Charlotte Islands with Oak Bay (Article)

2009 Nushagak River (Article)

Photo Page

Recipes

Smoked Salmon Recipe #1
Smoked Salmon Recipe #2
NorthWest Salmon Candy

Nushagak Candied Salmon

Canned Salmon

Halibut with Leek

Shrimp Recipes

Crab Recipes

Charlie's Pickled Salmon

Gary Larsons Smoked Salmon Brine

Updates

Handy Blackmouth Tips
Saltwater Chum Fishing
Chinook - Timing is Everything
Welcome to Pinkatropolis
Washington Coast Halibut
Shrimping 101
Boating Halibut
Heavy Metal Halibut
2009 Clam Season
Downrigger Tips
Six Tricks for Fall Coho
Buzz Bombing Techniques
New! How to fillet halibut
Rudnick's Halibut Fishing
How to rig cutplug herring
How to smoke salmon
Smoked salmon recipe #1
Ilwaco & the ocean
Barkley Sound, BC
Deep trolling for Chinook
How to brine herring
How to fillet salmon
Reel Maintenance

New Salmon Scenter™
Fishing reports
Win FREE tackle!!


 

Team Salmon University visits the Queen Charlottes

July 15th, 2010 brought one of my most anticipated trips of the year, the 2010 Salmon University/Oak Bay Marine Group fishing trip to Langara Island.

We've been having incredibly nice weather in the Seattle area, but as with anywhere, you just don't know what to expect from Mother Nature. And oh, she was in a bad mood this year. Wind would be our enemy for the length of our trip and it would bring us out of the norm and cause us to try areas not yet proved. But would it be worth it? Absolutely!

With the wind howling at around 20mph and gusts up to 30, the entire West Side of the Island was closed down. This blew our plan out of the water, which we had stuck to religiously the last two years.

Our plan?

Day 1: Fish the West side for Halibut, Lingcod and Yelloweye.
Day 2: Fish the East side in the morning for Salmon - switch to the West side for the afternoon for bottomfish
Day 3: Same as Day 2
Day 4: Fish the East side to punch out for salmon, then either catch and release the rest of the morning or fill our tags with whatever bottomfish we might not have.

So we fish the East side starting at around 2:00PM and the fishing is dead! Not a bite for us although we did see a couple salmon caught. Around 6:00PM we decide to drop down to the bottom for 1 hours, then we'd go in for New York Steak and Crab dinner before recouping for the morning. Good decision as we came up with a 29lb Halibut, and two lingcod - the largest being 39lbs. We also hooked a few rockfish, which we returned to the ocean.

Day 2 we were back on plan trying to get the early morning bite for salmon. A slow start but there were fish around. Then a little twitch, and another but not a takedown. I feed the mooched cut plug herring to whatever was curious below and then my line stops like it's on bottom. Wait, I'm down 54ft in 200ft of water - guess what - fish on! I set the hook and proceed to have a wonderful battle with a 23lb Chinook. Man is there anything better than such a subtle Chinook bite that you know it's there, but you must have patience or you'll rip the hooks right out of it's mouth. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Then the bad news came - they West side is closed again! The winds picked up and so we're stuck on the East side for the day. But, not a problem, the salmon are in and we did get a few nice bottomfish the day before.

By noon we have 7 of 8 fish punched (3 Chinook and 4 Coho). We've let a few smaller fish go but felt confident we'd punch our last fish later that day, but for now we'd try and get some white meat. We fished Andrews Point, which is traditionally salmon grounds, but we didn't have the luxury of heading to the GPS points we knew were money. Not much luck except for a few rockfish and the wind was letting down. So with the permission of the Fish Master we got the go ahead to fish the West Side. Some pretty big swells but no wind, at least for the moment. As we dropped down it wasn't but 30 seconds and we were both hooked up with a halibut. 225ft down was a breeze compared to the 500 - 700ft we usually drop at Westport. But as they hit the deck the winds picked up and we were asked to come back to the other side. If the winds died down again we knew our spot was still good, but that was a big "IF" which unfortunately for us would not come this trip.

We hit a few more lings off Andrews and a couple Yelloweye, and then it was back to Salmon. Wow, fish are really starting to show and everyone is hooked up with quality Coho. We waited until we got a 13lb Coho then went in to join everyone for dinner, will it be rack of lamb, planked salmon or chicken prosciutto.

Day 3 we started out quickly again with two Chinook and then doubles of Coho. They're really in now and all boats are hooked up. The first hour was non-stop and then the wind hit us hard even on the East side. We tucked in and continued to hook up with Coho but releasing fish so we still had room to fish the afternoon for salmon plus leave at least one Chinook unpunched in case we get into the big ones the next day.

Since the West Side was not an option because of the weather, we decided to go to the Chicken Ranch for a while. Here is traditionally instant fish on and this year was no exception. One after another we dropped, reeled up and released sub 10lb halis. We finally decided on a 15lb fish that filled our halibut tags.

Back to Coho Point this time and the bite was on. Everyone was hooking up with Coho and an occasional Chinook. We timed it so our last salmon of the day we'd punch and be back to the mother ship by 8:00 dinner with 4 Chinook and 2 Coho. Prime Rib with Tiger Prawns or Seafood Pasta tonight.

Last day and we're pumped. The water at both Coho and Andrews point is actually completely flat! To top it off we have a sunrise. As we dropped down our cut plug herring to 30 feet our rod tips were already twitchin. Chinook salmon on the hunt!!! Again this is where patience came in because there were no absolute takes, we had to "feed" them the herring and wait until they decided it was time to swallow it. And just like that one of the best Chinook feeding frenzies I've been fortunate to be apart of! Can you say a TRIPLE HEADER, with only 2 fishermen! We were fishing 3 rods (which is legal in Canada) and all three had a Chinook on. Wow-wee!

We only had 2 salmon left to completely punch out (one of which could be a Chinook) so only one of the Chinook came on board. The third one was also a long line release but what the heck, we did have three on at once. We were only fishing 50 yards off shore in 80 ft of water and it was smoking hot. There were six boats that quickly joined us in the heart of the slot and we were all hooked up. This lasted for over an hour and we hooked up every time we passed a certain point. Our normal path would have been mile long but since we pinpointed the biting point, it turned into a 100-yard dash.

Apparently a humpback whale wanted to join us on the action - what a spoil sport. The whale bullied his way in and the salmon spread out. Talk about killing a bite. We still had a couple hours before needing to return to the boat so we went out into deeper water to find our last Coho.

We found a few but not what we were looking for. We then moved in close to Coho Point and dropped down. Fish on! And a double. Oops, long line release on the first one so I grab the net for the other. An unforeseen wave hits us and I take a spill landing IN the dry box. We're laughing as I can't get out of the box and the second fish gets off. Still laughing, my rod doubles over (remember we're fishing three rods) and I'm not going to miss this one. I get out of the box and set the hook. WOW, biggest Coho for us of the trip.

We still had an hour left so we hit newly named Reiner Flats for some bottomfish. One of the Salmon U guests, Reiner Grumman named this stretch after he and his brother caught a 70lb and a 36lb halibut off this spot, which we've never seen another boat fish before. We didn't get the big fish but did manage an 18lb ling and a bunch of China Rockfish.

In a year where salmon runs are down all around, we got into them good. Although bottomfishing wasn't like it is on the West side, everyone still managed some nice white meat for the freezer and some good size fish were caught as well. Even with Mother Nature showing her ugly self this trip it proved to be very rewarding.

 

Terry Wiest
Salmon University