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Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Old 08-08-2007, 07:37 AM
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Default Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Paul Buske and I fished the northern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia from the 27th of July to the 3rd of August, and we followed that with four days of golf in the Ottawa region.

We stayed at Naden Lodge, they have a web site. They are a small operation that handles a max of 10 anglers at any one time. We were spoiled! We climbed on board to fish in the morning and at the end of the day they cleaned the fish and packaged it for travel. We were treated royally and the food was FANTASTIC . . . not a place to go to lose weight.

The fishing was a little tough by local standards . . . Paul's best was a 40 lb salmon and I my best was an 87 lb halibut . . . in all we brought home about 90 lbs of vacuum packed frozen fish, mostly halibut, and we will be receiving about 110 lbs of smoked and candied fish in a couple of months

In addition to what we kept, one of our guides was Heida and he took home over 250 lbs of halibut to bring to Elders and other community members . . . as well as a few salmon

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We flew from large commercial jet from Ottawa to Vancouver, 5 hours, and then took a smaller turbo prop aircraft to fly over the Rockies and bring us to Masset, about a 2 hour flight. Masset is a community of about 1,500 people spread out over many many square miles of beautiful country.



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Paul caught the first Chinook salmon of the trip. He is pictured with Dave, our guide. Only two anglers and one guide per boat.

This is a first class operation. For example the rain gear (red) is provided by the lodge as well as boots, heavy socks etc. They were great hosts.

The average highs while we were there was in the mid 50s, with the lows around the mid 40s . . . sun rise was around 5 AM and sun-set was closer to 10 PM



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From a corner of the deck at the lodge you can see the community marina where our boats were docked. The community has crab boats as well as some commercial salmon fishing boats. About 30% of the boats are small private boats used by the locals.



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We went to 'halibut flats' to try our luck. About 30 minutes in to the fishing I hooked a large fish. We had 5 ft rods with Penn GTI 330 reels, loaded with 100 lb spectra braid. The lure of choice was a large squid with a 2 lb lead weight and a piece of octopus the size of your fist.

We forgot to take pictures of the fight which lasted more than 20 minutes. The halibut made four or five runs, and had no problems putting a serious bend into the rod.

Our guide Kevin harpooned the halibut through the head. The harpoon head was connected to a 3 gallon size float and 25 ft of rope. The halibut broke my 100 lb test line as it headed for the bottom. The float returned to the surface about 3 to 4 minutes later.



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We brought the halibut next to the boat where we got our first really close look . . . the speculation about its size continued



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We finally boarded the halibut, with the help of our guide Kevin . . . we wondered wether the fish would hit the scales at 75 lbs or not . . . I was too tired after the fight to raise the halibut any higher



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The weight-in showed that the halibut weighed 87 lbs . . . lots of good eating there . . . the guides were incredible fish cleaners . . . it took less than 5 minutes to fully clean the fish

At 87 lbs our halibut was the biggest caught at the lodge so far this year . . . larger halibut are caught on the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands, about 75 to 100 miles from where we were.



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Our lodge is pictured here . . . max 10 guests



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Aluminum boats are common



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There were hundreds of eagles . . . they were every where



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Went for an early morning walk . . . a commercial salmon boat had run aground a couple of hours earlier



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The views were extraordinary



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25 to 30 pound halibut make good eating



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Yup, very good eating



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You have a better view of the tackle used. The halibut is holding about 1/2 lb of octopus in its mouth . . . we added small pieces of herring to the octopus, that seemed to really draw the halibut



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You have to put your back into it when halibut fishing



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Not every big bite produced a salmon or halibut . . . here is a skate that measured at least 5 ft across . . . back breaking work to get it to the surface . . . we caught 3 or 4 this size with most being much smaller



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A nice catch of halibut, most of which was shared with the Heida community



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A toast to a great day of fishing . . . some nights many toasts were made



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Sometimes I got to run the boat (when I needed a rest) . . . there is a lot of kelp in the area so you should always be watching your lines and downriggers to keep them clear of the kelp



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Less than 50 ft from shore and there was 50 ft of water . . . we tended to fish salmon within 1 mile of shore in 110 ft of water or less . . . halibut fishing was on the flats and 1 to 3 miles from shore in 65 to 120 ft of water, with deeper water reserved for the guests who are jerks ha ha ha ha



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I was not the only one who put his back into catching halibut . . . Paul caught the most halibut in the group



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A nice thick 30 plus pound halibut



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Paul with two salmon in the 20 lb range



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The last day of fishing was dedicated to finding Paul a large Chinook salmon . . . he pulled it off with four fish with one very nice one



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The secret is out . . . as we returned to the docks we saw the prototype for Bullshippers new catamaran fishing boat to be built in Mexico . . . while it is spacious inside it could be a little more streamline . . . hope that it comes in a colour besides blue




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Paul's big salmon weighed in at exactly 40 lbs . . . very very nice fish



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Paul ringing the TYEE bell for fish over 40 lbs . . . . the largest so far this year at the lodge was 45 lbs . . . nice fish Paul

Yup . . . a few toasts were made



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More eagles



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Some of the local boats












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I enjoyed the trip . . . Paul Buske of OBX fame caught some great fish . . . the guides were nice fellahs, we had five different guides during our 7 days of fishing . . . the food was fabulous . . . we were treated by the staff as friends . . . yup, I will be back in a couple of years

THANKS Naden Lodge and the owners Brian and Chris

Old 08-08-2007, 08:21 AM
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Default RE: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Great trip and great photos
Old 08-08-2007, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

VERY cool and memorable trip.... GREAT photos, I felt like I was there..... ONE question.... in the photos it "looks" like there was a HUGE tide swing from high to low, how much was it actually??????
Old 08-08-2007, 08:40 AM
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Bailey Boat - 8/8/2007 7:23 AM

VERY cool and memorable trip.... GREAT photos, I felt like I was there..... ONE question.... in the photos it "looks" like there was a HUGE tide swing from high to low, how much was it actually??????
The tides varied about 6 to 7 feet per day but over a month the range was about 15 ft from the very lowest to the very highest
Old 08-08-2007, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Awesome photos! THANKS for sharing!!
Old 08-08-2007, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Great photos. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

Suggestion. Get yourself some photo software. You'd be amazed at how brighter and sharper you can get those photos.
Old 08-08-2007, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Nice post. I appreciate you trying to credit me with that great looking catamaran, but a boat like that could only have been designed and built in Canada.
Old 08-08-2007, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Great Report and pics! Gorgeous up there.
Old 08-08-2007, 12:48 PM
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Menzies - 8/8/2007 9:03 AM

Great photos. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

Suggestion. Get yourself some photo software. You'd be amazed at how brighter and sharper you can get those photos.
Yup . . . you are right

The original pics are 2.5 to 3.5 megs each . . . microsoft's resize program kills the quality when you reduce the size . . . I have ordered some software which should help
Old 08-08-2007, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Wow,what a trip! Looks like you had calm seas too! Can't beat that...great shots!
Old 08-08-2007, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Life's pretty tough these days....Having to drag all those
monsters to the surface.......I feel for Ya, Gus.

Great pic's. Thanks for sharing.
Old 08-08-2007, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Very nice Gus looks alittle chily from the clothes??
Old 08-08-2007, 07:39 PM
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ubettcha13 - 8/8/2007 6:03 PM

Very nice Gus looks alittle chily from the clothes??
Between 45 and 55 degrees F . . . typical weather (rain) for the region
Old 08-08-2007, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Now that's what ya call some nice flatties! Thanks for sharing picts of your trip Gus
Old 08-08-2007, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

This:



To this:



Or play with it for a bit to make it after dusk:



And this:



To this



Can you send me the originals of the two eagles photos?
Old 08-08-2007, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Beautiful pictures Gus. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a good time was had by all.
Old 08-08-2007, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Gus,

Nice pics and commentary!


I hope to meet you in person at the OBX tournament, so we can stop this internet schrade.
Old 08-08-2007, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Halibut and Salmon Trip of a Life Time

Menzies

You should have received a whole flock of eagles by e-mail

I hope that a couple meet your standards
Old 08-08-2007, 10:27 PM
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Reel Boobs - 8/8/2007 8:42 PM

Gus,

Nice pics and commentary!


I hope to meet you in person at the OBX tournament, so we can stop this internet schrade.


Same here
Old 08-08-2007, 10:30 PM
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I only received one (Eagles #2) - maybe the others are slowers flyers.

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