If salmon fishing is your thing, then Tofino, British Columbia and the Ospray Lodge & Charters is the place to go! This is fishing at its best. You get a guide who knows where the fish are, works hard to get them for you, and delivers the goods (subject to the fish cooperating, of course).
This was our second time at Ospray with my son, Steve, and my nephew, Richard (both avid fishermen) and me, the tag-along, although I do like dipping my fishing rod in the water now and then. We had set our objective of getting some halibut (go for them early so as to max out the daily limit of one-per-person first thing in the morning. In between the hallies would be ling cod (again, max out our daily limit of three-per-person) until we had maxed out the halibut amongst the three of us. We would then spend the rest of the day going after the chinooks (until we maxed out our daily limit of two-per-person, max catch of four each). If we caught some pinks and cohos, ........ well........... so much the better. Telling Shawn what our objectives were, he could then map out where we would be steaming to each morning.
***Day 1 (Thursday)***
we steamed out about 4-6 miles offshore going for the hallies. Lines were overboard by 07:20. First halibut up 07:40. Maxed out at 08:10! No ling cod in between. Off now for chinook. Downriggers overboard at 08:40. First bite at 08:50. First chinook lnded at 09:10 (14 lb); second chinook at 09:40 (15 lb); third chinook at 10:10 (12 lb); fourth chinook at 10:40 - well he spit the hook out just as we were going to land him. Wild chinook thrown back; Pink landed (4 lb); 10:55 coho (5lb); 11:20 chinook (17 lb); 11:55 small pink - released; 12:25 small spring (chinook) - released (we were going for the big ones). 13:05 fish spit the hook as it was being reeled in. And I haven't included the ones that bit but didn't bite. 13:30 - as the lines were being reeled in to steam to another site, a 15 lb chinook decided to bite the hook (he was added to the catch. Nothing further happened so we decided to call it a day.
***Day 2 (Friday)***
As Day 3 (Saturday) was going to be the start of the salmon fishing derby so we decided to go for salmon at the beginning of Day 2 so that we wouldn't be in the middle of a ton of boats on the Saturday. Lines overboard by 08:15. First coho in at 08:20; four-pound Spring in at 08:45 (released); 09:10 chinook (12 lb); chinook 19 lb; 10:00 two salmon on the two lines at the same time; 10:50 coho (15 lb); 11:20 spring (12 lb); 11:50 coho (8 lb); 12:30 coho (4lb); small fish after that. Back at dock by 15:00.
***Day 3 (Saturday)***
As we didn't want to be surrounded by boats in the salmon fishing derby, our objective was to get the hallies and ling cod first and spend the rest of the day maxing out our salmon limits. A nice fog enveloped the sea which meant the biting would be good. Swells were about 8'-10' at 5 second intervals. Lines overboard by 08:15. 08:15 halibut; 08:35 ling cod; 08:50 halibut; 09:20 ling cod; 10:50 halibut - maxed out on daily limit for halibut. Limit for ling cod maxed out at 11:30. We next steamed to the salmon grounds. 12:25 coho (4 lb); 12:50 spring (8 lb); chinook (ilb) coho (4lb); 13:15 spring (7lb) - maxed out on catch limit for chinook.
***What You Need In A Guide***
The key to a succesful fishing trip is the guide you engage. He's the one who will determine whether you have succes or not. He should have a good knowlege of the area - the fishing spots, the type of fish you catch at each place. He definitely should know how to handle a boat in ocean seas. This is not fishing beside a babbling brook. This is fishing on the Pacific where on the best day the waves (swells) are 6'-8' high at 5-second intervals. And this changes throughout the day. You can quickly be in the middle of a storm. Your guide should be able to read the signs. Not to minimize things but fishing regulations can be complex and complicated. Your guide should know the regs inside-out and backwards-and-forwards - daily catch limits, total catch limits, by zone, by time of year, and a whole lot more. Experience is definitely required. Shawn definitely has this and then some.
***Accomodations, Breakfast & Lunch***
Our major objective was fishing - salmon, halibut, and ling cod. However, accommodations are also an important aspect on a trip. Located in the middle of town on a quiet street, Ospray Lodge is centrally located. Amenities are a short walk away. A short drive gets you everything you don't have in the middle of town. Accommodations are plain but very comfortable. We all slept very well after a day out on the water. It was great to get out of our fishing gear, have a hot shower, catch a brief nap before heading out for dinner. All rooms are off of a large living room. If TV's your thing, you can pick up any mainland channel.
Breakfast is plentiful. For a day out on the water, you need a full stomach in the morning. Lunches in the lunch bag included sandwiches (2), fruit, biscuits, and an extra treat which varies from day-to-day (one day included smoked salmon!). For dinner, restaurants are close by. Pizza is delivered. Beer, wine, and spirits outlets are within walking distance. Fishing gear is plentiful.
All in all, a very successful trip. We returned with 3 large coolers choc-a-bloc full of fish. Probably one of the best fishing trips we have ever had. If fishing is your thing, then Tofino Ospray Lodge & Charters is the place to go!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Expect warm hospitality and modern clean rooms at our newly renovated 3 room lodge. Our convenient self check makes your arrival easy no matter what time it is! Our guests appreciate our convenient in-town location, within walking distance to all shopping and fabulous dining. Only a short 6 minute drive to Chesterman Beach. Posturpedic beds and affordable rates. ... more less
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