Experiences vary... no two days are the same...
Two of our non-English speaking Austrian guests were "talking" to another boat about the size of their catch. Of course they couldn't really speak to each other but the two Austrian brothers knew how to get the message across . . . they stood side by side, arms around the other's waist and outstretched their other arms showing that the fish they caught was approximately 10 feet long. Everyone got a good laugh about that without a word spoken. Fish stories are universal.
The "Trophy fish"
Dan was out fishing with John Petersen, a world-class fly fisherman from New Zealand, when Dan hooked a monster. The big fish hit like an express train and began peeling every inch of line off the reel with its first powerful run. John began bringing up the other gear. Dan said "don't bother, it is not a fish, it is a porpoise or a seal". John, however, didn't listen. He powered up the boat and chased the fish so that Dan could start to retrieve the line. After a twenty-five minute battle they saw a dorsal fin and tail fin about100 feet off the starboard side of the boat. They knew instantly that the fish was over 50 pounds. Dan was using a light mooching rod and 20 pound test line. The beast took a second and a third powerful run before it tired itself out. Happily, they successfully landed the fish. The following days newspaper headlines read "Islands largest Chinook netted by local angler". Dan proudly keeps a copy on board for all to read.
Believe it or not
Dan was out fishing with Ray from Victoria. A fish hit Ray's line and in his excitement, or nervousness the rod was either let go or pulled from his hand. Feeling badly Ray promised to replace the gear. Now, somewhere under the surface of the ocean, there was a fish towing a spoon, a flasher, a rod, a reel and 80 feet of line.
Half an hour later they had another hit. As the fish was brought closer to the boat they noticed the action on the rod was a little strange and the reason became quickly apparent. The hook had snagged the top eye of the rod lost 30 minutes prior... the gear was retrieved intact... fish and all... believe it or not. On his way home, Ray bought a lottery ticket.
The halibut/salmon break off
Dan was fishing with extremely light gear... a trout rod and 12 pound test line in about 40 feet of water when he hooked into what appeared to be a 35 - 40 pound spring (King). Dan's fishing partner Brandon decided to bring his gear up in case the salmon wanted to run and they needed to chase it. Eventually Dan brought the monster to within 10 ft of the boat, but it would come no further. It wouldn't move. While the fish was sulking a halibut came up from the bottom to check it out. Brandon dropped his hook back into the water and the halibut hit the herring without hesitation. The salmon and halibut took off in opposite directions leaving the two fishermen standing back to back with their line screaming off their reels. Both fish broke off to be caught another day.
A fish tail
While fishing with Mike MacLean, Dan hooked what appeared to be another massive fish. In fact, it was harder to bring in than anything he had ever experienced . . . but definitely a fish . . . a big fish. After 30 minutes of great exercise, Dan netted a 10 pound Coho, a great fish by any standards but Dan thought it was at least four times the weight. As it turned out, the big Coho "smacked" the bait with its tail and it snagged itself. A fish hooked in the tail or belly does not tire out easily and can swim hard and long.
Tommy and friends from Maui wanted to take home some halibut so Dan dropped a Lucky Jig down 276 feet to the bottom. Ten minutes in, Tommy said "I'm snagged on bottom". Dan took the rod, gave the line a guitar 'twang' and handed it back to Tommy. The giant halibut took off for the orient and Tommy asked "Where's he going, Danny?" to which Dan replied "anywhere he wants to, Tommy". The huge fish needed to be speared and dragged home behind the boat. Great memories.
Fishing with whales
With a family from Alberta on board, Dan and Marion encountered a massive male killer whale. Now everyone knows you can't catch fish with a whale anywhere in the vicinity. Instinctively the fish flee the area. The big whale came to within 50 ft of the boat so out came the cameras resulting in several amazing shots. All four lines were left down during this episode and during the photo-op all four lines went off. All four fish were landed... even papa, who was just along for the ride, got involved. The fish must have thought the safest place to be was in the boat.
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