Halibut: the halibut fishing around Port Renfrew was as consistent as always. Swiftsure Bank continues to deliver the goods! What was aimed for and how the fishing was best depended on what was happening that week and what you were aiming for. Some days drifting the reef at Swiftsure worked best, with lots of action for “chicken-sized” halibut, while other days the best bet was anchoring, to sit and wait for the big slab. But every day offered good fishing, with regular halibut regularly caught from 20 to 50 pounds, and bigger.
Salmon: the salmon fishing last year varied from good to great. On the best days in late August, you couldn’t keep them off, our main problem being limiting out by mid-morning and what to do with the rest of the day — all in all, a good problem to have!
There were some memorable reel screaming chinook salmon runs and a few days where we slowed down and motor mooched with cut-plug herring. That is a fun way to catch salmon, as there’s no flasher to add drag to the line, just you and the fish. Also, the fish tend to stay closer to the boat — they fight just as hard, just in a different way. Some variety can go a long way, catching salmon differently than the usual trolling. We regularly saw 30-40 pounders caught in July and August.
There were some fun days chasing coho too, in Sept and early October. Nothing beats the fishing excitement of the energetic and acrobatic Northern coho. These are usually fished shallow with spoons and no flashers. When a coho hits, ZZZZIIIIINNNNNGGGGGG goes the reel, waking up everyone aboard pretty quick. Then the jumping and quick runs that make coho such a fun fighting salmon. There were lots of 15-16 pounders caught, and up to a very respectable 20 pounds or more.
Looking forward to next summer!