A neighbor up at Bliss Landing recorded this encounter they had with an Orca one morning and I can’t even imagine what the whale is trying to communicate with this seemingly threatening behavior. I would have very likely required a change of pants. The two men in the boat were on their way to set some crab pots off of Savary Island. This is a crabbing location I am very familiar with and just finished pulling my own pots out of there less than two weeks ago.
I spend the bulk of my summers up in British Columbia at my family’s home in Bliss Landing. Bliss is on the inside passage of Vancouver Island, about one mile south of the entrance to Desolation Sound at Sarah Point. We can harvest clams, oysters, trap crab and prawns, and fish for multiple species of rockfish and salmon. During my last trip, from August 1st through the 10th I was loaned a 14 foot tinboat which was outfitted with a downrigger for trolling. When I have others in the boat we normally simply jig for salmon with Pt. Wilson Darts and Buzz Bombs, but when I am alone I troll for salmon. I caught the 13 lb Chinook salmon above with a green flasher and black & white Luhr Jensen “Cop Car” or “Cookies & Cream” spoon. There is an oyster farm in a small bay about one mile north from Bliss that is home to what I have called “Fred’s Hump”. The name comes from the owner of the farm who was once the caretaker at Bliss Landing. The “Hump” comes from an underwater rock formation that juts up from the sea floor on the southern side of the bay. It gets relatively shallow in the bay, ranging from 100 ft to 35 ft, and I have hooked salmon jigging there on multiple occasions. Last Friday I spent some time at the Hump throwing buzz bombs to gauge if there were any salmon lingering in the area. After an hour of casting and catching shaker salmon I hooked into something big which immediately spit the hook out as I was re-calibrating my drag (I was using my Temple Fork steelhead casting rod which only had 10lb test line on it). At about sunset, say maybe 8:30, I dropped the trolling gear in the water to 85 ft and almost immediately had a strike. I played the fish delicately on a new Islander mooching reel and landed the lunker after the second swipe of the net. It wasn’t the only salmon I landed this summer, but it was the first out of a tin boat by myself.
Jade and I had an amazing trip to my father’s summer-house in Bliss Landing BC. We were up there from June 16th through the 24th and were lucky enough to share time at the house with my Dad before he left on 20th, leaving us to our books and oysters. While he was there we spent many hours in his fishing boat setting crab pots that returned more crab then we were legally allowed to keep, prawn pots that held over a hundred, delicious spot prawns, and I also managed to reel in a nice size ling cod while we were trolling for salmon. The spot prawns were the big winner as far as I’m concerned. They are beautiful, medium size prawns that don’t require any de-veining as they spend their wild lives in some of the cleanest water in the world and taste like lobster. We saw Orca whales and Jade and I saw a young black bear scatter up a tree about ten feet from our golf cart (the preferred mode of transportation while on the property). I already miss the easygoing life we had for the short time we were there and hope to make it up again later this summer. I’ve posted most of our photos on my Wild Coasts Flickr.