Pacific Ocean Adventure Off Vancouver Island

Photos from a trip to Vancouver Island

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The Pacific off Vancouver Island has teemed with salmon all summer long in recent years. Another banner season this year persuaded me to hightail it up there for a few days of early August action, fishing with old friend (well, he's not that old) Capt. Josh Temple (primetimeadv.com) from his 24-foot Grady-White cuddy. I was glad I did, as these photos suggest. See more photos and read the entire account in the Sport Fishing magazine feature next spring. Photo: Light-tackle angler Danny Munoz of Johnson City, New York, rinses off a chrome-bright coho salmon bound for the fish box. His new Smoke spinner from Quantum with 10-pound braid did the job.
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Danny Munoz rinses off a chrome-bright coho salmon bound for the fish box. His new Smoke spinner from Quantum with 10-pound braid did the job.
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Munoz pauses with his big, fat coho for a quick pic. Notice the lack of an adipose fin. That means it was clipped in the hatchery of its birth, distinguishing it from its wild brethren — making it (unlike wild fish) legal to keep.
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A fundamental tool for most salmon anglers, this Scotty downrigger keeps two (stacked) lines running at depths where salmon are feeding.
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A fine Chinook comes aboard, this one for Rachel Olander. Note that it does have its adipose fin, but no worries: It’s a Chinook (king), ergo legal. Those spots on its tail are a dead giveaway.
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Canadians call Chinook under 30 pounds “springs.” When they get to 30+, they’re “tyee” which is also synonymous with “trophy.” This one, caught by Paul Sherman of Anacortes, Washington, was just a couple pounds short of tyee status.
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Canadians call Chinook under 30 pounds “springs.” When they get to 30+, they’re “tyee” which is also synonymous with “trophy.” This one, caught by Paul Sherman of Anacortes, Washington, was just a couple pounds short of tyee status.
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While this almost looks like some nasty critter that grabbed a hook, in fact it’s the long arm of the octopus. Temple frequently hooks octopi off Tofino, the type of octopus known to be the world’s largest, upwards of eight feet across (tentacle to tentacle), giving him a good supply of halibut baits like this.unknown
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Here’s the entire rig, with the octopus connected via braid leader (halibut are anything but leader shy) to a spreader. An 8-ounce ball offers sufficient weight when currents aren’t too strong.unknown
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And, bingo! Temple hauls a good halibut over the gunwale for Kari Sherman of Anchorage, Alaska, as brother Macks looks on.
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Shortly thereafter, Macks lands his own.
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He uses the fireman’s carry to take the big flattie to the fish box.
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Tucked into one of countless arms and inlets that make up sprawling Clayoquot Sound, the small fishing and touristy village of Tofino offers fishing charters and marine services.
courtesy wikipedia, 800px-vancouver_clayoquot_sound_de.jpg
Clayoquot SoundCourtesy of Wikipedia
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While this brown rubber squid holds little obvious appeal, for coho (as shown) and Chinook, it was da bomb — getting more action than any other offering, including spoons and bait (herring), during my days out. Note the hook, barbless by law.unknown
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One for the table makes Kari Sherman a happy angler with another spring (Chinook) salmon. Note the tightly bowed 10-foot salmon/mooching rod in downrigger.
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Amelia Fay of Durham, North Carolina, is clearly proud of her first salmon. Temple lends an assist in holding the fish, nearly as long as 5-year-old Amelia is tall. Tofino makes a fine family destination to fish and do so much more. (You'll find more info at hellobc.com.)unknown
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Besides squid (Hoochies), spoons as well as salmon plugs are popular among anglers off Vancouver Island.
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Though by no stretch a salmon plug per se, this Sebile deep-diving lure became a deadly weapon in the hands of Rob Sherman of Los Angeles. The globe-trotting angler used a Penn Conquer with light braid to fish the lure.
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Lingcod are a no-brainer for Temple’s anglers if they want to drop jigs and tails just about anywhere there’s structure. Deborah Olander of St. Paul, Minnesota, caught this eating-sized ling on a typically grey morning. (Much larger females tend to be more coarse and their fecundity makes releasing them the smart thing.)
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Rob Sherman found this cabezon (largest of the sculpins) to be a handful; for their size, they put up a notably stubborn fight.
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Cecilia Peck, also of Los Angeles, jigs up a feisty black rockfish. The common midwater species strikes all lures aggressively and offers fine action on light line.
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The potential for double and occasionally triple hook-ups requires anglers to stay alert; as quickly as a rod bounces in the holder, the angler needs to reel down, yank the line free of the clip and either reel or, if it’s a big Chinook, let it run!
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Even I caught fish — if you count this ratfish, one of stranger-looking varmints in these waters. Taxonomically between sharks/rays and bony fish, ratfish spend their time over soft, muddy bottoms. Rather like me, odd but harmless (as long as you don’t jam a digit down on that long dorsal spine).
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Okay, I admit that ratfish weren’t the only species I caught. Some nice Chinook kept me busy, also.
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At the end of the day, literally, the view from our Ocean Village cabin shows beach walkers enjoying the tranquility of MacKenzie Beach.unknown