Fishing Report August 2018
We are well into our season here at the Lodge hosting our 5th group. The fishing was strong to start, tapered off last week but they are back with a vengeance for this trip! The big news has been the sunny weather. We have seen hardly a drop of rain all summer & that makes for some great boating conditions & spectacular sunsets. Unfortunately, the wind can come up in the afternoons but there is always a calm place to fish nearby the Lodge in our protected waters. Most of the good fishing so far has been minutes away from the lodge at nearby spots such at The Wall, The Dome, Cranstown Point, Kevin’s Corner, Rough’s Bluff & newly named “Brent’s Bay” (just south of the Bluff). New guide Brent has been consistently slaying them there so we named this new spot after him! Calvert Island hasn’t really turned on yet but we are happy to have the good fishing right on our doorstep a short boat ride away. The largest Chinook/King salmon of the season so far was actually caught the day before we opened by dock host Declan & Guide Kevin at rarely fished Dempsey Point on the North side of the Inlet. It was a classic Rivers Inlet chrome bright 40 lb “tyee”, the stuff that legends are made of. The coho/silvers are starting to show up in numbers & are already pushing upwards of 12- 14lbs. There has also been some good halibut fishing & the largest halibut so far tipping the scales at 52 lbs. The hot spot for the halibut seems to alternate every day between Paddle Rocks & the Kidney Bean both of which are within 10 minutes from the Lodge. And we have seen a few Lingcod on the docks the largest weighing in at 28 lbs. The other point of note has been the whale watching with many stories from our guests of all sorts of whale sightings capped off with the grey whales & their spectacular aerial breeching shows! If you have not already booked your fishing trip with us this summer we still have a handful of spots left so contact us today to book your fishing adventure of a lifetime! 1-800-663-2644
A Halibut Tail
Many of our guests think that halibut fishing is simple & requires little training & skill but nothing could be further from the truth. Not saying that it is difficult by any means, but it does involve some acquired fishing & boating knowledge. Most importantly it requires perseverance. During your stay at the Sportsman’s Club we give many seminars to train you on the various aspects of fishing including one that specifically focuses on halibut. Unfortunately, not all the anglers leave the seminar with the skills to execute the mission effectively & there is a “learning curve” for sure. However, on our last trip 2 of our guests, the Ward brothers, did just that & were rewarded with a monster 52 lb halibut. Halibut fishing is not just about getting your bait to the bottom & bouncing around & hoping for the best. It is a precise series of boat maneuvering & rod work that keeps you on the spot & your gear fishing effectively. We try & fish for halibut on the slack tide when there is the least amount of current & it is easiest to keep your bait in contact with the bottom. However, even on the slack tide the wind & other ocean currents can keep the water moving & make it hard to keep the boat in position. Typically when you first start out fishing you first attempt to ONLY drop 1 line & the other angler stays on the helm of the boat with the engine in reverse trying to keep the line as straight up & down as possible. Unless the conditions are ideal often you can only get 1 rod down when halibut fishing. One guy drives the boat while the other angler jigs & lets out line & reels back up to actually feel the lead weight bouncing on the sand at all times without the line being too slack. The halibut are attracted to both the vibration & the scent of the bait. Eventually as you get comfortable with the technique & if the conditions allow, you can try & get the other rod down but it is better to fish 1 rod effectively for the best success. The other issue is that the best time to halibut fish is first thing in the morning & on the tide change but that is also the best time to salmon fish. So it is either “sacrifice” all or part of one of your mornings to halibut fish or go out in the afternoon when sometimes the conditions are not always ideal. Almost anywhere there is an ocean, & the sun is out, there is a sea breeze in the afternoon. This is caused by the hot air on the land-mass rising as it heats (Albedo Effect) sucking the cool air off the ocean. So on this particular afternoon that the Ward’s boated their monster halibut that was exactly what occurred. The guides led the fleet out to one of the nearby halibut spots Paddle Rocks only minutes from the Lodge. After a while bouncing around trying to fish effectively most of the guests got frustrated gave up & went back to salmon fishing. The Wards did not & persevered. And they remembered the most important part of the seminar which is that it is better to fish 1 rod effectively & keep it on the bottom than run 2 rods & end up in chaos. After almost 3 hrs of fishing & getting just a few nibbles the “big one” hit burying the rod tip into the water & screaming out line. They got this “barn door” up to the surface a few times & did as instructed & didn’t let the head break the water surface. Instead they allowed it to dive down a few more times & tire out more instead of bringing it up when it was “green” & risk violent thrashing that could cause it to get away. After almost a 30 minute fight they finally got this monster to the surface 1 more time & saw it was tiring & prepared to bring it aboard. We suggest that our guests gaff the big halibut & haul it over the gunwale. But for the in-experienced angler you can use the net even though with a halibut this size the survival of the net is unlikely. So the Wards did everything right, got this monster in the net (which it destroyed), onto the floor of the boat, aggressively subdued it & brought it back to the Lodge where it tipped the scales at a whopping 52 lbs. Way to go guys! Their patience & perseverance paid off handsomely.
"Our fishing trip was five years in the making. Work & my kids made it a little challenging to carve out the time. But finally, my dad & I were able to make it work. Celebrating his 65th birthday on the water, doing what he loves to do was the perfect way to celebrate. He never treats himself so this was extra special. What made it even better is that all of our expectations were exceeded! We got so lucky with the most beautiful weather. I booked a guide for our first afternoon to get us off on the right foot. Navigating the Inlet made us a little anxious but our guide showed us all the pointers needed so that we were able to be successful on our own the remaining days. I can’t begin to describe all the things we loved about this trip. From the perfect location to the accommodations, food, amazing staff, great boats & gear, the beauty of the area & yes, all the fish we brought home were beyond anything we could have imagined. My most favorite part of it all is that I got to experience it with my dad, my friend. We have memories that will last a lifetime. I love hearing him tell all his buddies how great it was. He won’t go again without me so his buddies are hoping I’ll make all their travel plans and make a trip happen for them, too!!"
K Wild, Bend, OR USA
Glazed Salmon Recipe
We are very lucky to have our team of Chefs Geoff & Jakob back in the kitchen this summer working their magic! And they have definitely “upped the game” in the salmon department with this fabulously simple but tasty grilled salmon recipe.
1 Cup Orange Juice
¼ Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Sliced Ginger
1 Bay Leaf
12 Pepper Corns
3 Star Anise (or Fennel Seed)
1 Clove Garlic
Combine all ingredients in a pot & simmer reducing them by 1/3.
Brush on salmon filets, grill for 3 minutes & then let rest for 3 minutes & serve.