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Port Renfrew fishing trip report: August 10th

A report of a Port Renfrew fishing trip, August 10th

** First Swiftsure Bank fishing mission in the new-to-me boat (18’ Campion)

** arrive 9 pm at Port Renfrew Marina. Along the way see a 27’ Whaler flipped on its side on the steep switchback west of Sombrio. Trailer was pushing the truck downhill, 4 wheel slide on wet pavement. Then it slid sideways, rolled once or twice. Driver felt lucky it turned sideways, rather than landing on his truck and maybe killing him. Woah, reality check…this is serious business.

** motor out in the gloom at 5:15. Straight to Logan Creek, get a 22lb Spring.

** Head out to the “chicken ranch”, south-west corner of Swiftsure Bank. Fairly bumpy from windchop in night and a residual windswell, can only do 15kts. Peasoup fog, 100 foot visibility, freighter foghorns…quite eerie. Once out there, 20 or so boats around.

** Backtroll for halibut as well as jig buzzbombs for coho. No hali bites, and aren’t seeing anyone nearby get any. Catch some decent sized coho though, half wild, half hatchery. Really fun playing them shallow, jumping all over the place.

** Pull up the gear and think about going elsewhere, decide to first troll for coho and see what the rest of the pack is doing. Get to another spot 100m away, everyone around is playing halis. We drop the gear too, bing bing bing, 3 or 4 in 20 minutes, limit an hour or so later. By this time, fog has cleared, swell subsided, it is glassy calm and hot. Best weather I can imagine for west coast Vancouver Island. We are getting into a “it doesn’t get any better” day.

** Deep troll along the Swiftsure boundary, get a bunch more small feeder springs, medium coho, and what I believe to be a couple of pinks (or extra slimy springs?)

** Amazing whale show a few hundred metres west, with humpbacks breaching over and over, every 20 seconds or so for 10 minutes, then disappeared. Also saw grey whales by Carmanah on the way in.

** Drop the gear at Logan on the way home, get into a 28 lb Spring. Great fight.

** Back in the San Juan Bay, crab trap full of 20 or so, but all female or undersized.

** Back to Port Renfrew Marina after 14 hours on the water. Home at 10:30, 2 more hours of butchering and packing. TIRED and very very satisfied. Epic day!

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