Sometimes the fishing success of a day can boil down to the angler’s ability to capitalize on the smallest of windows. For us, this was no different. Our day started on the eastside, over at Cape Edenshaw. When we arrived just outside Piggie’s Bay, we were fortunate enough to be met by calm seas and the low sun showing promise of a warm afternoon. The report from the day before told stories of plentiful smaller Chinooks in this area, ranging from 8-12lbs on average; a perfect place to start the morning and get comfortable on the rods. We quickly had our first anchovy down and fishing at 35ft when, before we even had the chance to swing the second downrigger out, we had our first bite of the day. A brilliant battle resulted in some smiling faces, and the ultimate release of a healthy 10lbs Chinook. Our morning continued with similar sized fish every half an hour or so. A successful day, let alone a successful morning.
Our want for a warm burger pulled us across Virago Sound and towards Bird Rock 1. The Driftwood was peacefully anchored behind B1; my favorite spot on a strong flood tide. While we ate our lunch, a humpback whale moved into the other side of the rock, feeding, and rolling on what was suspected to be schools of bait fish being pushed in by the beginning of the tide change. With full stomachs we quickly made our way back into the boat and didn’t hesitate to have rods back in the water only a few feet off the bow of the Driftwood. It wasn’t long until we were into the action began. Chinooks could be seen like hungry tuna, splashing on the surface chasing balls of needlefish. The Humpback relentlessly circled the bay with an open mouth, gorging on all the bait that was helplessly being funneled into the bay by the flood tide. While we watched the ocean’s food chain come to life around us, the first rod went off. Moments later the second rod popped off the clip and the sound of the reel sent us diving for the rod. For the next 45 minutes we experienced one of the most phenomenal snap bites I’ve seen in my years of guiding. We fought double header after double header, pausing only long enough to rebait and sneak a peak at the show the Humpback was continuing to put on for us.
Just as fast as it began, the signs of the feeding frenzy quickly dissipated. The tide slowed, the birds flew back to shore, and the humpback slowly made its exit out of the bay. We finally had the opportunity to reflect on what we were just apart of.
Just another day in Haida Gwaii.
Guide Manager, Kyle Bell