Dwayne Mustard's Weekly Fishing Report (Aug 1st)

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - August 1, 2014

Pictured above: Suggested Sockeye Gear - Pink Hoochies & Flashers

They’re coming! The DFO announced that retention of sockeye for recreational anglers will happen today, Friday, August 1st. If the sockeye fishing is anything like it was during the epic run of 2010, you can expect some pretty wild and crazy fishing. During that year there was at one point a six mile long school of sockeye that extended from Brown’s Bay to Chatham Point and all the way across the passage to the Quadra Island side. You couldn’t get your second downrigger in the water before you had a strike. Quality problem.

But sockeye don’t just jump into your boat, you will need to tweak your technique in order to get them to bite. First of all, follow the three “S”s.

#1 Sparse: Your little pink hoochies should be sparse. Pull every second leg from them.

#2 Slow: Successful sockeye trollers move very slowly if they want to provoke strikes.

#3 Straight: No S turns for sockeye, just keep trolling along in a straight line.

Many anglers will also stack more than one rod on their downriggers, essentially turning themselves into mini commercial trollers. This is highly effective because sockeye like to feel like part of a school or they won’t bite. Being surrounded by flashers will make them comfortable and more likely to bite. For this reason, running a dummy flasher off of your downrigger ball is also a good bet.

And finally, get your canning supplies early, in 2010 nearest canning jars were located in Calgary.

Until next week,

Tight lines and keep on fishing,


Nice Night for a Bite

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - July 26, 2014


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,


Dwayne Mustard's Tyee Report (July 25th)

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - July 25, 2014

The 2014 Tyee Season is officially open! Once upon a time there were plenty of Tyee hooked in July but these days most rowers don’t start to get serious until they turn the page to August—which is just next week in case you forgot. But we can’t forget about 2005 when Paul Breukers caught the biggest fish of the season on July 29th. But many of the rowers like to go out and work the bugs out before August rolls around so if you enjoy watching the rowboats glide back and forth you will probably seen a few of them on most July evenings.

Meanwhile, weighmaster Bob Goodwin doesn’t have too much to do this time of year outside of chatting with the occasional guide or answering questions for the parade of visitors that wander into the clubhouse.

But once the big fish start getting hooked, Bob’s life switches into high gear and his day runs from first light to last. Every rower wants to have a close encounter with Bob because he is the one who determines whether your fish becomes a registered Tyee or not. When you bring your catch to the beach he is the one the puts the loop around its tail and weighs it, and even if it is over thirty pounds you aren’t in the clear yet. He then measures your rod to make sure that it is between 6 and 9 feet long. If you pass that test, you next must have your line tested. He wraps it around an ancient old pulley contraption and then ties the end to the official weight. He turns the handle and if your line doesn’t snap before the weight comes off the ground, you fail and your fish is disqualified.

If you pass all of these tests you get to ring the bell, once for each ten pounds of fish and Bob puts your official weight up on the big board, usually to a round of applause from those gathered around. Then people buy you a whole bunch of shooters and you have a story for the rest of your life.

Until tomorrow, keep on rowing