SMITTY PLAYS A powerful 20-pound chinook with Fran Shire in the background.

SMITTY PLAYS A powerful 20-pound chinook with Fran Shire in the background.

Fishing friends treated like royalty on charter trip

Ralph and Smitty enjoy piscatorial adventure with Cod Father Charters

Over a lifetime of recreational angling my experience of fishing with a guide in a charter boat has been limited, to say the least. There is no significant reason for this except that I have spent most of my fishing time with other anglers or by myself.

Last month Smitty and I were invited to spend a couple of days fishing with Ken Jenkins, owner of Cod Father Charters in Port Hardy and some of his staff on a pre-season fishing trip. We have fished and hunted together for over 40 years and during that period our average age has increased to 90.

Many of our fishing trips over the last four decades have been on the waters at the north end of the Island, especially in the vicinity of Port Hardy. We have come to know and respect many of the guides and charter boat operators over these years and we suspect they have kept a watchful eye on those two old codgers who fished out of Smitty’s boat the Kingfisher.

One of the nice things that happened on this trip was when Mike Kelly of Tides and Tales Charters gave Harold and me two 8×10 inch photographs that he took of us while landing a halibut in the waters where he was fishing about two years ago. We say a sincere “thank-you” to Mike Kelly for giving us these thoughtful gifts.

Our special guided trip was above and beyond what normally happens in a charter boat and it was awesome. We were fishing out of Ken’s 28-foot Bertram that has a crew of two – himself and Lannie Burroughs his fishing assistant-deck hand. Also along on the first day was Bill Shire his head guide and his wife Fran of the Lipstick Story fame.

In truth it was a piscatorial event celebrating the coming open season with two old fishers who are longtime friends. Think of us as being special guests in one of the corporate boxes at a national playoff baseball, hockey or football event and you get some sense of the kind of treatment we were receiving.

Our task was to play fish after Lannie or Bill had set them up on the tackle. It soon became apparent Bill and Lannie were trying some new tackle and having a good-hearted competition to see what was working. The challenge for Smitty and I was to play the fish and bring them to the net, which is the normal routine of recreational fishing.

The picture with the column is of Smitty having an extended challenge from a 20-pound chinook that wanted nothing to do with the inexorable force that was guiding it toward the boat and waiting landing net.

Needless to say we caught some beautiful salmon, lingcod and halibut during our two-day adventure. When our daily catch was landed it was quickly taken to Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish processing plant where the fish were gutted, filleted, vacuum packed, flash frozen into meal size packages and packed in sea ice for us to take home. Needless to say Elaine and Dorie appreciated this aspect of our charter trip because when we normally come home from a trip there is much frantic work to process the catch for the freezers.

Charter boat fishing for anglers is an expensive activity that normally requires some careful budget planning of family recreational dollars. In reality it is no different than the planning that goes into the costs of attending a music concert, or major athletic event that requires travelling to Vancouver, Whistler, Victoria or Seattle.

The difference for us who live in the Comox Valley is that we live near the source of where the action is. To service the growing interest in recreational fishing we have a large number of charter boats – fish guiding operators who cater to our needs throughout Vancouver Island in such places as Port Hardy, Campbell River, Comox Valley, Deep Bay, Nootka Sound, Gold River, Tahsis, Winter Harbour, Port McNeill, Port Alberni and Bamfield.

An important message in this column is to suggest that if you happen to be a new resident to the Comox Valley, with a suppressed desire to do some saltwater fishing for salmon, the solutions are close at hand – check your budget and book a local charter boat.

 

Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

A 19-year-old man is in police custody following a recent violent robbery and assault in Comox . (File photo)
Arrest made in violent robbery and assault of Comox gas station employee

A 19-year old man is in police custody following a recent violent… Continue reading

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Fisheries and Oceans Canada fish-health audit at a farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The BC Salmon Farmers Association is asking Ottawa for renewed discussions with stakeholders and First Nations to allow for an equitable agreement on the government-ordered departure from the Discovery Islands. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
B.C. salmon farmers request more time to leave Discovery Islands

DFO’s current deadline will lead to the cull of 10.7-million young fish

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Average response times for critical “purple” and “red” calls were between nine and 10 minutes Feb. 19 in Metro Vancouver, with only less critical “yellow” calls receiving an average response time of 45 minutes. The longer than usual delay was due to a combination of factors, BC Emergency Health Services said. (APBC image)
After a night of one-hour waits for ambulances, union goes public with concerns

B.C. Ambulance Service says high-priority calls were still 10 minutes or less

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Contributed to Kamloops This Week)
B.C. teen in turtleneck, lace-edged dress sent home from school for ‘inappropriate’ outfit

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson was told the lace on the garment made it look like a slip dress

Seagulls and other marine birds packed the shoreline at Kye Bay in March (2020), as the herring roe provided a feast for the feathered community. Photo by Terry Farrell
MARS Moment: Herring spawn to produce increased marine life activity near shoreline

Jane Thomson Special to Black Press Wild times are coming to a… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) tries to get a shot past Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to visiting Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver falls to 8-13-2 on the NHL season

Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace’s 1st Indigenous councillor resigns citing ‘systemic and internalized racism,’ sexism

McCallum-Miller said in a Facebook post she felt unheard and unsupported by council

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31.	(Pixabay photo)
Pubs, restaurants to pay wholesale prices on liquor permanently in COVID-recovery

Pre-pandemic, restaurateurs and tourism operators paid full retail price on most liquor purchases

Most Read