It’s no surprise that our guides are fairly busy guys these days, so I was ecstatic when I had the opportunity to go out for the “night bite” last night with one of our awesome guides, Conor Stookes. No pressure taking the marketing gal out, hey? “You better make the fishing look good!” I joked. He was up for the challenge. When we first left it was looking like the sky might open up, but luckily the hump (one of the more popular fishing spots) is in a rain shadow, so it’s as if the clouds actually veer around your boat. The rain gods truly are on an angler’s side in Campbell River.
Things started off a little quiet on the rods, which meant a good opportunity to soak up some knowledge from my expert guide. Conor talked about when to use a hootchie versus a plug, how to fish Sockeye compared to Chinook, how a flasher can help you in more ways than one, and much more. And shortly after when we got our first strike, it was time for him to help me with my reeling technique (still a beginner, I’ll admit). We thought this one might be a big one, but you know what they say: Never judge a fish by its fight. I maintained the reel and run pattern— which is a great workout by the way—when BAM! The second rod got a hit. And seriously, who doesn’t love a double header? We worked both fish towards the boat, with Conor’s netted first. His was a nice 9 pounds— the perfect size to barbeque. And well mine, it started to show its size as it came closer to the boat. It was a beautiful 21.5 pounds. We were pretty satisfied after only being out on the water for about half an hour. Anything else would be a bonus.
After another hour or so we had another bite. Conor started out with the rod, and way off in the distance we could see a big Chinook, or a “hog,” as Conor calls it, jumping repeatedly into the air. He could tell after a minute that something was a bit strange with this one, and as he passed me the rod, we could see that it was indeed foul-hooked, or hooked in its side instead of the mouth. This would make for a tough fight. We decided it would be a joint effort, and we also knew that with a mere layer of salmon skin keeping it on the hook, we would likely lose it at any moment. But didn’t I tell you we had luck on our side that day? After a few close calls, Conor managed to net it and get it into the boat. This one looked close to the same size as the first, and ended up a healthy 18.3 pounds. Not a bad haul, for just over an hour!
After a couple of releases, including a grey cod and a dogfish, we decided to call it a night. After all, we probably had more salmon than I could even eat in a year. Though with this job I’ll probably have to step it up.
I look forward to sharing my next fishing experience with you!
Until next time,