Dock Talk

Dwayne Mustard's Fishing Season Wrap-Up

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - October 11, 2013

With April Point Resort already closed, and Painter's Lodge set to shut down for the winter, our 2013 fishing season is coming to an end. It's been an amazing year for fishing, and this week Dwayne lists off some of the highlights of one of our best seasons to date. Enjoy!

From my waterfront office I look out of the window and see the following things: maple trees on Quadra Island turning autumn orange, Canada geese practicing their V-formation flying, and the Painter’s Lodge dock nearly empty except for the last nine boats. Yes, it is the end of the season and time to look back on the salmon fishing of 2013.

Things started off with a bang with excellent Spring salmon fishing in, well, spring. May was very productive with most of the fishing activity centered around the Lighthouse and The Hump, although there was also some epic fishing at Sentry Shoals before its annual June 1st closure. There was plenty of herring to be found at the north end of the Straits of Georgia which meant that the salmon were content to hang around and feed.

Mid-June saw the biggest surprise of the year when the Coho salmon showed up in numbers that haven’t been seen in this area since mullets and acid wash jeans were in style. Wilby Shoals was practically infested with Coho and they could be caught on anything from hoochies to plugs and spoons or even bucktails. All of the guides are hoping that this is the beginning of a trend that continues well into the future. Late June saw the 21st annual Women’s Derby return to Painter’s Lodge for a weekend of furious fishing and serious fun. This year’s winner was Lonne Clark, who landed a 22.5 pound Chinook to take home the coveted Women’s Derby trophy.

Canada Day ushers in what many of the guides feel is the best month of the year for Chinook fishing and this July didn’t disappoint. Every tide saw fish hooked and limits were commonplace. Even the weather was kind as the usually gusty north-westerlies were unexpectedly calm. Coho fishing continued strong and the first of the pink salmon started to show up.

August saw the full on invasion of the pink salmon – there were so many of them around that the guides were limiting out their guests with spincasting rods! As the Chinook started to near their home river, the annual Tyee rowboat tournament kicked into full swing as people came from near and far to try to earn their place in the prestigious Tyee Club of British Columbia. Painter’s rowing guide Rick Janzen initiated new member Jim Busselle into the club with a 31 ½ pound Chinook caught on 20 pound test line. This year’s August Heat derby was won by David Zilch when his guide Matt Little hooked him into a 32.2 pound Chinook.

Even though the days were getting colder and shorter, September’s fishing continued to be productive as the monster return of pink salmon just didn’t want to quit. You never knew quite what to expect when you dropped your pink hoockie down as there were Chinook, Pink, Coho and Chum salmon waiting to intercept it. Even now there are significant numbers of Chum and Coho, so if you are headed out for some October fishing you stand an excellent chance of bringing some fish home.

And so, until next year,

Tight lines and keep on fishing,

Dwayne