“Friday the 13th is NOT a lucky day for fish.” – Matt aka: Iron Noggin (our guide at http://www.castawaycharter.com/)
“Slayfest” that is what we are going to refer to this trip as, from now on. It was a complete and utterly ridiculous Slaying Festival of Salmon and Halibut. There are not enough words in my small brain available to explain the totally absurd, impossible, bizarre and ludicrous fishing that I just experienced.
Walking up to the dock to meet our guide, which was highly recommended to us by the owner of http://www.fishtactics.com/, we asked him if he knew that today was Friday the 13th? Matt looked at us with a straight face and said, “Friday the 13th is NOT a lucky day for fish.” and so it was.
On the run out to the offshore fishing grounds, he was warning us the fishing has been spotty, so we are going to try an area that his gut was telling him there was big fish. Well, we weren’t really expecting much else than a long day on the water because there were 4 of us on the boat and in my experience, getting a limit of springs for 4 guys is a tall order at the very very best of times. Matt drove us right by the entire sport fishing fleet and just kept on going until he was at the spot where his instincts led him to.
When we arrived in the spot in the middle of the ocean, Matt placed a home-painted spoon onto each rod, threw the spoon into the water to see how it spun and began the process of attaching the line to the downrigger with the spoon trailing on the surface about 15ft behind the boat when “SLAM” FiSH ON! He set the hook with the line in his hand, because the rod was still propped up against the side of the boat and handed the rod to us. We landed a beautiful hard fighting 15lb Spring.
Of course we kept the 1st fish of the day, that’s just common sense. Matt gets one side down, then starts putting down the other rod when SLAM fish ON. 22lb Spring.
90 minutes later we had landed 8 out of 10 Springs, largest one being 32lbs and the average weight being 25lbs. We fished for 90 minutes but the vast majority of that time was fighting world class sized Salmon. If we had fished for two more hours in that spot we might have caught 50 Springs. Matt had put us on a large school of Robertson Creek Salmon that were heavily feeding on Pilchards.
He had set-up our gear to perfectly imitate a wounded Pilchard, and the Salmon could not resist his home made spoons. Our boat was the first boat to leave the fishing grounds with our limits. We headed over to a spot where our guide informed us that we were not going to catch a lot of Halibut, but we were going to catch one or two big ones. Sure enough we landed 3 out 5, 50lbs, 40lbs and 30lbs. SLAYFEST! So ridiculous. Friday the 13th is NOT a lucky day for fish.
If you want the reel deal when fishing Ucluelet I can, without any reservations, recommend http://www.castawaycharter.com/ and ask to be guided by “Matt” the Iron Noggin. A little more about Matt is that he is a trained biologist and a commercial fisherman, and avid freshwater Steelheader. I swear this guy got 20 phone calls during the day from other guides in the area, asking him where he was and what he was using.
Anyhow, I can’t wait to drag my boat up there and give it a try with what I have learned. Next week we are supposed to head back up to Port Hardy to get into the Northern Coho that go by there at this time of the year. The Coho reports have been pretty dismal, but we are going to give it a try anyhow. Stay tuned!
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