Campbell River is known for fast changes in weather, and that affects fishermen on a daily, if not hourly, basis. In this week's Dock Talk, Dwayne Mustard discusses handling such conditions and where you can go to get up-to-date information.
Before their shift, every guide checks two things, the weather and the tides. They don’t check the weather because they want to know if they are going to get rained on, or if they are going to need their 50 spf sunscreen. They check the weather because they need to know what the wind is doing and how this will affect the water conditions. For this reason they check the marine weather website, weather.gc.ca/marine which will outline strong wind, gale and storm warnings. When they check the tides they go to tides.gc.ca. Both of these websites are run by the Government of Canada and are the most reliable source of information. If you can’t trust the government, who can you trust? (Insert “lol” if you would like).
Strong winds don’t automatically mean big waves. If the wind and the tide are both moving in the same direction the waves won’t usually stack up and the fishing should be possible until the tide changes direction. On top of this, an experienced guide will know which areas to avoid and which areas to target based solely on what the wind and tide are doing. Even if the water does get a little bit lumpy the fishing can still be very productive, you will probably just have to remain in your seat while you fight the fish. Strangely enough, the waves suddenly seem to disappear from your perception when you have a big fish on the line.
Of course, there are always times when the water just gets too unruly. Our guides are constantly in contact with each other and will head back to the docks when there is a concern for safety. They know where the line is drawn between safely fishing in rough water and when it is time to head home for a nice bowl of warm soup.
Until next time,