cycling, ethics, food, McCharles family, travel

Murdering Salmon & Halibut

I really like Salmon. Try to avoid thinking about how they are killed for my pleasure. 😐

But my Dad and brother have always been keen fishermen. I’ve joined them on charters a few times in Canada and Mexico.

Many times found reasons to avoid those trips in the past. I really fear sea sickness. 🤮

Since my Dad sold his boat, they’ve done two charters a year, most recently out of Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island.

As Pacific salmon numbers decline, it’s gotten increasingly more difficult.

June 2021 they decided to try a new guide in a new area. An interesting and entertaining character.

Captain PETE with my Uncle

We stayed in Port McNeill for 2 nights as Pete lives there. He made the final decision whether to fish out of Port Hardy or Port Alice.

Fishing had been better out of Hardy, so that was the final decision.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive from Parksville to McNeill. Another half hour to Hardy.

We headed north at 6am on the hottest day in thousands of years (at least).

I’ve been to the north of Vancouver Island a few times — but feel I don’t really know the remote, unique area. I’m planning for a couple of weeks bicycle touring. Some day.

It was an hour at full throttle to get to the open fishing area. Seas at the north tip of the island are dangerous. Weather often horrific.

Our day was dead calm, compared to normal.

My family likes to fish for salmon first. Switch to halibut next. We had our limit of 8 Chinook (Spring) salmon (2 / licence) by about 12:30pm.

I even caught fish. It was fun.

4 year old salmon

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Pete took us further out about 5 miles to a spot he calls his butthole. It’s a shallow, sandy bottom area.

We ended up catching 4 halibut. They were bigger and much more of a challenge to murder than salmon. The largest halibut required Pete to use his harpoon.

Cost for 4 was about $1600 including 2 nights hotel, charter, fuel.

We brought home well over $1600 worth of fish.

I’d go again. Did not get sea sick.

On return to town we found all restaurants closed. Power failure.

Happily our motel had a huge, noisy generator.

related – Canada has budgeted $647M over 5 years to try to save declining Pacific salmon.

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