There is a bit of a buzz around that this is shaping up to be a big year for big fish… could be true! We’re certainly seeing lots of promise in 2013 so far! With several fish in the fifties caught in June we had our first indication that it might be an exceptional season. Nate Schwartz’s 66 pounder on June 25th got us pretty excited and now we’ve seen our second over-60 this summer.
Neil Lassesen and Paul Bell were fishing self-guided in 200 feet of water off Shag Rock yesterday, doing pretty well on feeder Chinooks, when Neil’s rod dipped hard off the rigger at the 80 foot depth. Neil jumped to the rod and tightened up just as Paul’s rod tip came to life. Double header. Paul made short work of his fish which turned out to be a pink salmon but Neil wasn’t playing a pink! He was into a serious battle with a heavy fish which stayed down deep and had the Islander reel working hard. When the big salmon first showed on the surface they got a glimpse of the broad tail and they knew this was one of “those fish” that most anglers wait a lifetime for.
A moderate northwesterly sea added to the challenge but eventually the guys brought the salmon and the boat close enough together to let Paul slip the net under the gleaming chrome Chinook. Since they knew all along that this fish was going back they were prepared and quickly had it measured, photographed and back in the water. It took both men to support the huge salmon alongside the boat as it eventually regained its strength. When the strong kick of the tail told them it was ready, they watched in wonder as it swam away from the boat and returned on its journey to the spawning gravel of its home stream. The calculations determined that this salmon was around 63 pounds and had a girth of 32 inches! What a beautiful specimen and thanks guys for letting it go! Just so happens Neil was celebrating his birthday too so what a present to receive! Congratulations Neil on joining the very exclusive Kingfisher Club at Queen Charlotte Lodge!