Leaving the dock this morning we all knew we were going to be in for some rough seas. We were having a northwest wind today and the waves were going to stack up pretty high. But the positive part about this direction of wind is it usually pushes in a new run of Chinook. How we fish this type of sea is what is called the Haida drift. We run up to Klashwun Point and turn the boat with the waves, then drift past all our major points of land. It is quite comfortable going with the waves and it is a very productive way of fishing.
By the time we got through most of the drift, we had 2 Coho in the box, released a few pinks, which were fun to play with, and had some great laughs. We cruised by Bird 1 and saw the huge bull sea lion and his female sitting on the edge. “Man, I sure hope he stays there” I thought to myself as I took some pictures of them.
As soon as we reached the west bay of Cape Naden we hooked our first big Chinook of the trip! What a screamer! Line was ripping off the reel! Now the awkward part of fighting a big fish in big waves is maneuvering the big Grady around to stay on top of the fish. The waves were crashing all around us, but it sure makes for a lot of fun! After a 15-minute fight, the fish was almost at the boat when my guest made me aware of the huge sea lion coming at the boat. “Oh no! I knew it!” I grabbed the net and told him we had to get this fish to the boat as fast as we could, he had to horse it. So much could go wrong doing this but we had no choice. Either lose it by pulling too hard or to the lion.
The big salmon surfaced just out of reach of the net and we finally saw how big it really was. This was without a doubt mid 30’s or more. It was so big we couldn’t get the fish to budge. I stretched out as far as I could and just started dipping the net under the head of the fish and was thinking “We got this!” Then there was a massive explosion of water beside the boat and the sea lion grabbed the fish! It was something right out of National Geographic. We stood there in absolute disbelief. After we took a few minutes to take in this experience, my guest spoke up and said regardless of how big it was, that was an incredible experience!!
What a day, filled with great times, fun memories! We had a few Chinook and a couple Coho in the box, a very exciting dolphin experience right beside the boat. We headed back to the barn so the guys could enjoy their evening with friends having an incredible dinner at the Charlotte House by our chef Mark, relax in the hot tub, and relive the day’s events like all fisherman do, talking about the big one that got away!
Until next time,
Randy “the Hitman” Zinck