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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to trailer my 25ft Kingfisher from Tsawwassen to WCVI for a week fishing and touring.
I'm looking for some advice on when and where to go.
Im thinking Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfied? Sometime in August. 5200 lbs of boat behind a Tacoma rated for 6000lbs so bad roads are bad. Does that eliminate Bamfield? Got the wife with me and need her feal the thrill of the fish on. Will be staying on the boat so we need a good marina. The wife was thinking ECVI such as Campbell River. She's concerned about weather. The boat and I are less concerned. WCVI, where I can duck for cover if required, with good roads, a good ramp, good marina, fun town, salmon and halibut sounds about right. Anyone ever heard of that spot? If I stay inside such as Campbell River the weather is bound to be better for her, which is good for me, but can I plan on good fishing????
Thanks for your help.
 

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Launch at Port Alberni.Just one hill on the roasd from Nanaimo.Run out the canal and fish Barclay Sound,Bamfield,or Ucluelet.Lot's of good anchorages or stay at Poetts Nook,Bamfield,San Mateo Bay.
Dave
 

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If you want your marriage to survive a week on the boat with the wife you'll want somewhere with some amenities. Ucluelet would make a good base to moor, and if you could get the wife to drive the truck to Uki you would have a good way to be able to get around onshore. That way you could take her out for dinner in tofino as a diversion. Most women won't be happy fishing without something they're intested in doing on shore. Just a word to the wise.
 

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I have done the trip from Vancouver to Ukee 3 times with my Astro van and Arima boat behind - smaller towing vehicle and smaller boat than yours, but the ratio of towing capacity vs. weight towed is probably comparable.

Gotta admit I count my blessings each time I made it through - it is brutal!

Weight of boat and trailer is one thing, but I find that all the gear that is brought along for a week of fishing adds several hundred pounds, and don't forget you will most likely have added several hundred pounds of fish and ice for the trip back home too.

I agree with vetteman and thebigguy - launch in Port Alberni and cruise to Ukee.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys great info. Wise words BigGuy. Looks like Alberni is reaching the top of the list. My better half is saying that Desolation Sound is really pretty and Campbell River should be looked at. I like pretty, pretty good fishing, pretty cold beer. Is Desololation more than pretty to look at? Can anyone comment on the fishing up that way. If I were to stay inside I could cruise all the way. I'd cruise to the west coast as well but it wouldn't take much weather to to ruin a good thing. I'm thinking for the amount I'm paying for ferries I'd rather put it into fuel and enjoy the cruise.
 

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In Desolation itself you won't find the greatest fishing in my experience. Maybe better down towards Quadra area closer to CR. There are fish around but I found when I was up cruising there last year that the fishing was much better once you got up North of "Desolation", up towards Stuart and Sonora area. Now many people still do refer to that as "Desolation" but if you are talking about the "true" Desolation area around Pendrell Sound etc I don't think the fishing is all that hot. Work your way up towards the south end of Johnstone Strait would probably be a better bet. Now for scenery....Desolation and that whole area of the Discovery Islands is VERY scenic and I really like the area for cruising.

Not sure about over towards Cortes as most years I am up there we only tow a line when we get up to that area around Stuart Island. I think if you head up some of the inlets there can be decent fishing but I am no expert on that area at all.

Now having said that.....the fish headed for the rivers on the "inside" have to be coming down through somewhere.
 

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Just to add to that Silver Lining; when you are saying you could "cruise right up".....do you mean right from the Vancouver area?

If you were to go that route there is fishing to be had along the Sunshine Coast on your way up and you could definitely fish if you were looking at launching in Campbell River.

Depending on how far you want to run.........you could also trailer your boat up along the Sunshine Coast and drop it in the water in Sechelt or places north of there.....Powell River or even Lund.

Personally for me........if the trip was MORE about fishing it would be a no brainer to get to the WCVI. If it's for cruising, cold beer and fishing is second fiddle.......Desloation/Discovery area is well worth it.

How long are you looking to go for?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looks like we are going for up to 2 weeks. The trip is for fishing 1st, scenery and cruising 2nd. I,ve been dragging the wife out for weekend excustions a lot lately and the fishing results have been a liitle slow. I am thinking of launching at Campbell river but just love being on the water and can't help but look at cruising up from home. I know a little wind could take the fun out of it but for now that not the problem. The problem is the boat is just not getting it fair share of fish around here and I need a new coat of fish scales in all the nooks and cranies. So I guess it comes down to fishing odds between say Alberni area and Campbell River are. The wife is concerned about the kind of water we will be fishing in WCVI as she has heard of the prerequisite upchuck to join. If we go up Desolation way (which is probably a better 2 week trip) I need to focus on a particular place that I can work at fishing. I know if I try to fish all the way up I'll put in a couple of hours here and there and not put in the time that may be required. Pippen you say you can definitely fish Campbell River. How about halibut in that area? I don't need a lot just a little of everything would be a blast.
 

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Pippen you say you can definitely fish Campbell River. How about halibut in that area? I don't need a lot just a little of everything would be a blast.
For cruising.....just my opinion but it may not be the best on the WCVI for you. There will be fish in the inlet but the real good fishing is further out towards the coast from what I know. More than likely you will experience rougher water on the WCVI with bigger swells etc. I have never cruised out along the WCVI....more so head out for the fishing whether it's Tofino or Kyuquot. You definitely could try dropping a hook in some of the areas out around Ukie/Tofino/Bamfield or getting some moorage at one of the marinas. There is a place called Toquart Bay which is on your way out to the coast from Alberni which may be a spot to look into. I have never been but have heard of it and see the sign pointing your way in there on my many drives out to Tofino. As for various anchorages out towards Ukie/Barclay Sound you may want to send a message to Iron Noggin as that is his turf. There are "inside" waters up towards Tofino where you could drop an anchor and check out Tofino if you were wanting a bit of a break from the boat. Tofinoguy could likely help you a bit better up in that area as well........if you are looking for anchorages or moorage.

If cruising and keeping your wife happy is also a priority along with fishing it may be better to stick to the "inside". You may find it to be a bit more enjoyable for your wife with the scenery and TONS of great anchorages to drop a hook. There are fish around Campbell River and as you head north (or south) from there. Hali's are caught around CR but not in and great numbers; but there are some there.

A cool trip if you have 2 weeks would be maybe dropping your boat in at Campbell River and heading north into Desolation/Discovery Islands area. There are plenty of places to drop a hook and some marinas/destination spots you could go to. Dent Island which is on the south end of Stuart Island to the West of Big Bay is a nice place to visit if you wanted some amenities at the lodge there. They have cabins if you needed a break from the boat or you can just stay on your boat there, but definitely call ahead to make a booking for some space as it gets pretty busy. There is fishing up there as Dent Island does have boats and you are not far from Sonora Lodge as well. From there it may be worth heading up into Johnstone Strait for some fishing.....and maybe cruising into the Broughton Archipelago which is a beautfiul area. We used to just sit on the back of the boat jigging buzz bombs up there and catch springs and coho fairly easily.

If you do a search on here of Desolation Sound or Discovery Islands there was a thread about it last year. There are also a few good books about cruising that you could pick up too. Lots of good places to visit such as Pendrell Sound (diddly squat for fishing), Teakearne Arm (RCA), Octopus Islands etc and the list goes on and on and on. There are some areas up there though where you want to watch the tides as the water can get pretty snotty on a running tide between some of the islands.

Fishing 1rst........I would be going to WCVI.....for a combo of both, generally calmer easier seas you may be better on the inside.

Just tried doing a search for the thread I was thinking about and it "may" have been archived when the forum software changed over earlier this year.

You may have to scroll back through the pages and look through last summer's posts.....if they are even still on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A cool trip if you have 2 weeks would be maybe dropping your boat in at Campbell River and heading north into Desolation/Discovery Islands area. There are plenty of places to drop a hook and some marinas/destination spots you could go to. Dent Island which is on the south end of Stuart Island to the West of Big Bay is a nice place to visit if you wanted some amenities at the lodge there. They have cabins if you needed a break from the boat or you can just stay on your boat there, but definitely call ahead to make a booking for some space as it gets pretty busy. There is fishing up there as Dent Island does have boats and you are not far from Sonora Lodge as well. From there it may be worth heading up into Johnstone Strait for some fishing.....and maybe cruising into the Broughton Archipelago which is a beautfiul area. We used to just sit on the back of the boat jigging buzz bombs up there and catch springs and coho fairly easily.
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Pippen you should be Marine Travel Agent. Looks like you have just described a great trip plan. You make it sound so good we are sold. Do I owe you a commission?
All that left is to drive or cruise. Checked the ferries and they want $228.00 one way for 2 people truck and boat!! Whow. Throw in the truck gas and thats almost a full tank of gas in the boat and I can probably get there on a little over 1/2 tank. Of course with a typical n/w it could turn into 2 tanks. But hey ................. if these are worst of my problems things aren't so bad.
 

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Ha ha.....no service fee.....just bring back pictures AND post them!! ;)

You should check the price on the Ferry going up the Sunshine Coast route and launching in Powell River or Lund. Save you possibly having to battle those winds/seas on the way up the "Salish Sea". :p

Having said that....if you were to head out early you may make some good headway up before the winds blow up; provided they haven't been blowing through the night.

Take a look online and do some searching of anchorages. If you google "Broughton" and/or "Desolation Sound or Discovery Islands" you will find lots of resources.

There are lots of great places to see and anchor. One thing to bear in mind is some of the anchorages down in Desolation like Prideaux Haven, Pendrell Sound and possibly if you head up one of the inlets may be like parking lots of boats through August. Teakearne is a great place....awesome waterfall there and you can hike up above it and go for a "freshwater" soak in the lake there.

Depending on what you carry for fuel you may want to check availability up there. We always running up from Vancouver refuel in Lund and that generally carries us as far as we want to go. Because of that I have never looked too closely into where there are fuel docks up there. I can't recall if there is fuel in Refuge Cove or not, but I think there is? It's either there or Squirrel Cove that has the fuel dock....but Refuge is sticking out in my mind.

As I mentioned there are a few good cruising books to pick up and I would expect they have different fuel locations/stores if you need to resupply.


One other thing to take note of is the distance from Desolation/Discovery up to the Broughton. It's not a short run so be sure to take a look at your charts. Beautiful area though once you get up towards Stuart, Dent, Thrurlow etc.

As for Dent Island.....I think I screwed up in my directions as to where it is. It is to the west of Big Bay and Stuart.

Also as mentioned be cognisant or tides in some of the areas you will be running through. The water can be pretty rough and that was for us in a 35 footer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well we made the trip and it was perfect. Only managed to get 7 days away but crammed in what we could, 400 miles of cruising.
Left from Point Roberts Marina to Campbell River, 10-15 kt NW up to Nanaimo and then dead calm from Nanaimo to Campbell River. We didn’t encounter a breeze for the next 6 days. Flat seas everywhere. It was surreal.
We dropped a line around Comox, on the way up, where we saw a bunch of other boat fishing. In ½ hour we had a nice Coho and moved on. A nice way to start the trip. About 5 hours travel time not counting the fishing stop.
Stayed the night in April Point Marina with the hope of getting the neighborhood lowdown. Always exciting pulling into a new unknown marina, after the staff has gone home, in the dark at 10:00. But it all went well. I could have been a tender on the boats that surrounded us on the dock.
The next morning all the locals were chanting pink hootchy, pink hootchie. So we spend the day fishing pink hootchies around the area up to Browns Bay in search of Sockeyes. Nothing! Saw a few being brought in but spend all day playing with depth speed and leader length trying to find the secret combination. Never did find it.
After a night of beating myself up I decided to go back to basics, ignore the rumors and work the tackle box. Next day we went 20 miles north to increase the odds, up to Johnstone Strait. Cop car one side, white and black hootchie other side and the pink hootchie down the middle. In 15 minutes, bang, chinook on the cop car, then coho on cop car, then sockeye on hootchie (lost to net lessons) and sockeye on cop car, and another sockeye on hoochie. In 2 hours the days fishing was over and the pink hootchie again was skunked.
Five fish on board was declared enough as we still had to keep the 1st mate happy with some touring. Octopus Island, Hole in the wall, Waterfall at Teakerne Arm on West Rodonda Island and swimming in the lake that feads it, diving for oysters and mussels at Savory Island, and anchorage at Smugglers Cove all met our greatest expectations. I still managed to find some time to get a ling and green ling of Merry Island. You can still get live bait at Bucaneer Marina which makes cod fishing quick.
As for the wind on that 7th day; we had 20-25 knot SE from Secret Cove back. Waves at 3-6 ft. The wife was terrified so I had to pull into a private marina along the sunshine coast. Pretty exciting surfing a wave between the breakwaters into the marina. The folks at Port Staleshen Marina were very hospitable and moved a few boats around to make room for us on their emergency dock. I can't thank them enough for making us feel welcome. That was it for the 1st mate. She abandoned ship and took the ferry home from there. I waited a few hours for the wind to die and continued on. By the time I got to Richmond the seas had settled. So might as well try my luck at sands heads. No one to tell me otherwise. Oh yeah, pink hootchie territory again. Skunked again. What is it with these pink hootchies that I can’t get to work? All in all an awesome trip.
Thanks to the forum for your help.



 

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Thanks for the report and great pictures. Looks like you had a great trip. I've fished and traveled the same areas...doesn't get much better.
 

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Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. That's too bad about your first mate abandoning ship, on a Kingfisher too, one of the safest, sea worthy vessels money can buy! I guess it comes down to what each person is comfortable with when it comes to conditions. For the amount of time you were out you sure had awesome conditions and some fish to boot!


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Apparently, you have to pull half the legs off the hoochie for it to be effective (every 2nd one).

Never targeted sockeye in the ocean before, though - just what I've heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I,ve got ones with every 2nd leg off, every third off, legs cut 1/4" shorter, 19"- 22"- 24" leader, black hooks, red hooks, and silver hooks. The only thing I havn't tried is low tide which might just be the trick. This my first time trying for sockeye. So far the grilse and dogs are the only ones biting.
Next time ....... there is always next time.
 
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