Port Alberni British Columbia Salmon Festival

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Went again this year for the 43rd Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival with friends in British Columbia.  This is my 3rd year fishing in this large Labor Day weekend fishing Derby.  I took Hunter on his first major fishing trip and we had a blast.  Our hosts put together an amazing trip and provided top notch service on their fishing boats!  This is a trip of a lifetime and we had a wonderful time, fished with some excellent fishermen, and made some new friends.  We stayed at an amazing resort in Bamfield called Mills Landing, which I highly recommend!  They had very nice fish processing facilities and super friendly and knowledgeable hosts!

Hunter and I caught our bag limit of fish and was able to bring a good amount home for the freezer.  We had salmon for dinner the first night home and it is amazing!  Love the pink/orange look whenever we open the deep freezer!

The weather was great overall; one day was partly sunny and the swells were overall small; some days non-existent.  I’m prone to motion sickness (I can’t read my phone in the car) and at one point I caught up with a bit of nausea; Hunter had sea legs all the way home; but overall we did well in that department too!

We fished mostly with anchovies hooked up to a plastic head which allowed us to position the bait such that it “rolled” in the water.  The roll is important and needs to be nice and sexy for the big fish to have interest.  Then up the line was a plastic flasher/dodger which rotated in the water flashing sunlight in about 4 foot (or larger) circles in the water.  The line was clipped to a 10 pound downrigger attached to the side of the boat; and we fished anywhere from 65 to 25 feet under the surface.

First, the fish.  We caught anywhere from 5 to 10.5 pound Coho salmon, and small to 20 lb Chinook this year.  We caught numerous black bass fish that we didn’t know were on the line for a while; and since those were DOA we fed them to the eagles which was a lot of fun to see.

Click image for larger size.

Hunter and his big fish of the trip; this took a while for him to land...but worth it!  20 lb Chinook (Spring).

Dave's first Coho of the trip

Hunter's first fish, a 10 lb Coho

Steve and one of his fish.  He organized one hell of a fun trip! Thanks!

 

John taking care of tackle on his fishing boat!
John taking care of tackle on his fishing boat!
Fisherman during the Port Alberni Salmon Festival
Fisherman during the Port Alberni Salmon Festival

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Beach and cave on Fleming Island.
Beach and cave on Fleming Island.
Secret beach on Fleming Island.
Secret beach on Fleming Island.
Common view as we were fishing.
Common view as we were fishing.
Overcast day looking through a straight near Fleming Island.
Overcast day looking through a straight near Fleming Island.
You'd think they get a little bit of a breeze?
You’d think they get a little bit of a breeze?
Cool cottage!
Cool cottage!
Nice sunset from Red's Reef.
Nice sunset from Red’s Reef.
Another wonderful sunset in BC
Another wonderful sunset in BC
Great sunset over the Broken Islands.
Great sunset over the Broken Islands.

We had some sunny skies one afternoon, and some convection!

Over the Broken Islands
Over the Broken Islands
Eagles are part of the fun while the fishing is slow!
Eagles are part of the fun while the fishing is slow!

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Zeroed in on the prize.
Zeroed in on the prize.

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Eagles where everywhere, just look in the trees for a white dot.
Eagles where everywhere, just look in the trees for a white dot.
This eagle was perched above the main dock in Bamfield.
This eagle was perched above the main dock in Bamfield.
Landmark island from Kirby fishing area.
Landmark island from Kirby fishing area.

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Interesting "rainbow" feature from the airplane over Washington state.
Interesting “rainbow” feature from the airplane over Washington state.
Heart lake?
Love Lake?

 

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