Painter's Lodge - Campbell River, British Columbia, V9W 4S5, Canada
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Campbell River has a number of popular fishing spots, but we're not the only place that sees overcrowding and has to adjust. Head Guide, Dwayne Mustard, explains how-to tackle the busier season and getting into the mix without stepping on any toes.... or downriggers!

"As the first day of summer nears, June 20th for anyone wondering, we are seeing an increased number of boats out fishing. Some of these boats have more experienced operators than others, and I am often approached by some of the newbies who feel intimidated on the water. Lines occasionally get crossed, flashers get tangled and downrigger balls get lost. Tempers flare and words get exchanged and who really needs that when you are just out trying to relax and have some fun catching fish. So the rookies often stay outside of the pack when they know that they could catch more fish if they got over top of the hotspot. As every hockey player knows, you need to go to the net if you want to be a goal scorer. So how do you get to the front of the net without getting clocked by a Duncan Keith elbow?
Here are two tips for fishing in a crowd:

#1 – Go with the flow. Know which way the tide is flowing and go with it. Trying to fish against the tide will leave you dodging one head on collision after the other.
#2 Double down. Most arguments happen when one boat drifts across another boats tack and this happens most often when people are dropping their gear down. Have both down riggers set up and ready to drop one after the other. Dropping one side down and then setting up the other side will see the boat dragged in the direction of the single downrigger and altercations are bound to follow.
And finally, bring a friend so that one person can steer the boat while the other sets the gear. This also means that you will have somebody to take your picture when you land your big fish.

Until next week, tight lines and keep on fishin’


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Recent big catches:

22.5 lb. Chinook: Franz Hoehl

18.5 lb. Chinook: Lauren Holland

15.5 lb. Chinook: Rachel Holland

Even with rain and mild wind, those who choose to go out are being rewarded with fresh fish for the freezer. Chinook are coming in between 13-20 lbs. and Lingcod keep action on the rods for the in between moments. Smiling faces on the dock are a sure sign that the vigilance in less-than-ideal conditions is always worthwhile!

Great job everyone, keep it up!