As usual, February produced lots of Bull Trout, and fatty’s to boot. Most trips out we averaged 5 – 8 fish per day. The last couple of weeks though the numbers have been going up.
Case in point, was last weekend when Clint and Ed brought the boys up from Red Deer. Thursday we head out on the water, and put the downriggers at 77ft. and 53ft, and a Bill Norman and a fly on top. I get 3 lines out when the downrigger at double hockey sticks starts to bounce, and it really never stopped bouncing the rest of the day. We hooked 14 fish that day. A couple of fish at 53ft., and I was doing a tight turn at the end of the day, and the Bart Simpson fly was on the inside turn not even moving when a 12lb bull hit it. A great day. Would day two be as productive?
Yup!! But this time the downrigger at 53ft was the busiest all day. We hooked around a dozen bulls, and Hanks boat did around 14. Another great day!
Day three we head out thinking we had it all figured out. This was going to be easy right? Wrong!
The weather had changed, and we had strong winds from the south blowing in a different weather system. The downriggers went dead, but we did manage to catch a few on the surface. All in all a great trip though with lots of fish caught over the three day period. I’ve also never heard so many jokes being told in a 72hr. period. Must be a record or something. Just wish I could remember some.
Time to start booking spring rainbow trips. Last years primetime was April 25 to mid June. Also Bamfield salmon and halibut trips are over half booked, so drop me a line to get your prime time dates.
A couple of weeks ago my 9 year old son Kolton had a day off school, so we decided to go scouting for the day together. We phoned up two of his buddies Josh and Diego, and they were in, so we head off the next morning to see what we can scrounge up. I wanted to try some new lures and colors, so this would be a good oppurtunity.
We hit the water about 9:00am, and I start to set out the lines, and of course the boys decided to start eating the lunch. The lines are out, but the fish aren’t interested. The boys keep their spirits high by ingesting high amounts of sugar, and whatever is in Doritos, and by 11:00am I can basically turn off the trolling motor because they are vibrating so much the boat is moving under their power.
Finally at around noon the bite turns on, and Josh who had quickly volunteered to go first is cranking in a nice Bull Trout. He did awesome with lots of cheering from the peanut gallery behind him, and we net a nice plump 5 lber. Well the boat goes wild with high fives all around, and even a couple of hugs. Out comes more sugar to celebrate.
I get the lines back out, and within 15 minutes I yell fish on and it’s Diego’s turn. He hangs on and starts cranking. We can tell this is a bigger fish, and sure enough we eventually net a 7lber. The peanut gallery goes wild with this fish flopping on the floor. More high fives and hugs, and a round of sugar and Dorito’s for everyone!!
Now it’s Kolton’s turn. He was gracious enough to let his friends go first, so I hoped he would get a chance to catch a fish. I put a time limit to head home at about 3:00pm as we still had a 1 hour trip to get home, and with these guys higher than a kite on sugar, I needed off the boat soon.
At about 2:30 the line releases off the planer board, and Kolton has his fish. He struggles away for 5 minutes or so, and finally he tames a 8.5 lb Bull Trout. THE BOAT GOES WILD. Another round of sugar.
They all decide this is awesome and that we’re going to fish till well past dark. I on the other hand have another plan, and I suggest that we should go home and show their mom’s what we got for supper.
What a great day. What I really enjoyed watching was how they all rooted for each other, and congratulated each other on a job well done.
Since then I’ve been out on a few charters, and we’re getting excellent numbers of Bulls. Most now have recovered from the spawn last fall, and are really putting on some weight. The weather has really warmed up, and the snow has backed off, so lets get out fishing and beat the winter blues!!!
After Bob and Carl came up to shoot the show, I had a couple of days off, and then a couple of days of ok fishing with fish up to 8lbs. Then Dave and Kim came up for the day.
We had a beautifull sunny day out, and a south wind, but not too much had happened by 1:00pm. We had three small trout to the boat, which we had released, but at 1:30 the board on the planer line tore off screaming. Dave jumps up and grabs the rod, and the battle is on. I mark the spot with the GPS to give us an exact location.
The fish is a big male, and puts on a spectacular fight! About 15 minutes later we net the 16lber.
After we get the lines back out, and take some pictures of Dave, I turn the boat around, zoom in to the spot with the GPS, and head straight back to the spot where we caught the fish. I’ve been doing this more and more over the years, as big fish will hold in a certain area together, usually because there is food there.
Sure enough we get back on top of the spot, and Kim’s line starts to peel line! Another awesome battle, and eventually she brings in another male close to 16 lbs. Two big trout within 30 minutes of each other – a great day!
On New Years day we entered the Gill and Gift derby on Kootenay Lake. There is money for the biggest Dolly, and for the biggest Trout. We decided to put all our eggs in one basket and just go north for the biggest Dolly.
There was a strong south wind, but we found a point to troll behind to help break the wind. In the first hour we lost a big one, then not a bite for about two hours. Then the wind backed off a little, and it started to snow, and the bite turned on. We had two dollies in the boat within 20 minutes – one was 29 1/4 inches, and the other was 29 1/8 inches.
We fished till 3:00pm, and got one more small fish, then started to pound our way back home aginst the 4 ft. waves. Back at the dock at the 5:00pm weigh in time there was no trout, and Sandy’s 29 1/4 inch dolly won the biggest dolly prize. Sometimes putting all your eggs in one basket does pay off!
January and February are excellent months for dollies. Quantity of rainbows may go down, but the biggest trout of the year are usually caught at this time.
Also starting to book now for Bamfield salmon and halibut charters. Need to get these dates booked early, as accommodations in Bamfield are very limited. Will be another excellent year out there.