Did I mention how much I hate standing in the rain in a seaway…fishing?

Messing around in boats has been our passion for almost 30 years. Corinne and I currently spend our summers cruising the Pacific Northwest in our American Tug 41, Ocean Mistress. We have a passion for finding new and remote anchorages. We love to explore.   

About 10 years ago we began adding other activities to our cruising agenda. We do a lot of hiking into the remote areas of British Columbia’s rainforest, and we add to our cruising larder with a little fishing.

We don’t fish for crab or prawns. We don’t collect oysters or dig for clams. Corinne and I are both scientists and spent many years investigating what these critters eat and filter out of the water around them. It’s a case of too much information on the impact of diffuse pollution on our environment!

We do like to catch and eat salmon and halibut. But the idea of standing outside in the rain in a rough seaway for hours holds no appeal for us. Endlessly adjusting tackle and searching for an elusive fish is boring in the extreme. I am not a fisherman!

We’ve been fortunate to receive two pieces of very good advice about salmon fishing – one about how to find the fish, the other about how to catch them. A fisheries manager explained how to find the fish: “Find out where everyone else is and fish there!” And a Haida chief told us that the best way to catch salmon was to “fish shallow and drink beer.” If you are in the right place this is excellent advice. Except for the part about drinking beer, these tips guide our catching practices.

My idea of salmon fishing is to find the spot where they are swimming through in large numbers and catch what I want in 30 minutes or less. Catching halibut is about finding the hole they are hiding in, then dragging a few up off the bottom.

This makes me a “catcherman.”

Good Days, Bad Days

A few summers ago we departed from our normal cruising plan in Alaska to collect some friends to go fishing. Our friends didn’t really want to go fishing – they wanted to go catching. Unfortunately, except for about 15 minutes on one day the salmon refused to cooperate. The result was a lot of fishing and very little catching. We were so disappointed that when we returned to Hoonah we hired a guide to go halibut catching.  

Our best day of salmon catching took place off Shark Rock in Salisbury Sound, north of Sitka. It happened just as it often does: once we found the spot where the King salmon were hanging out, we got our limit in about 10 minutes with two double hook-ups. We returned the next day but spent our time fishing in the rain in a rough seaway.

Did I mention how much I enjoy standing outside in the rain in a rough seaway?

My favourite times are when everyone else is fishing – and you are catching. This happened to us last year north of Desolation Sound. We had just left Pierre’s Resort and were heading out for a day of cruising. The weather was absolutely beautiful, the sun was making its first appearance after several days of absence, and the day was warming up. We noticed a group of small boats fishing outside Deep Cove, off Wells Passage, cruising back and forth in the typical trolling pattern. Once we got close to the bay, Corinne suggested we try to catch a salmon. We did not want to enter the scrum of small boats and elected to stay outside the bay.

About the time I got the second line in the water, I heard the starboard rod start shaking in its holder and the shriek of line running out. “Fish on,” I called and Corinne took the boat out of gear. For the next five minutes I worked to land the fish. As it got close to the back of the boat, Corinne netted it, while it rolled up into the net tangling the line, leader and flasher. Then the port rod started shaking.

Meanwhile, the boat drifted slowly into the bay and we were starting to get an audience. The other boats approached to see what was happening. Corinne started bringing in the second fish but I still couldn’t free the first one from the net. With no net, it was going to be very difficult to land the second fish. I donned a pair of big yellow rubber gloves and knelt on the swim step while Corinne brought the fish toward me. It was a one in a million catch – as the fish jumped to throw the hook I caught it in midair and managed to knock it and me through the transom door into the boat. Our audience was suitably impressed by our amateurish and very lucky landing method.

It took us a while to get things sorted out on the back of the boat, with two live and very large salmon now thrashing about in the cockpit. When we finally got ourselves sorted, we noticed that not only did we have an audience, but they were all working hard to be the next catcherman!


By Shawn Severn

Photo Captions:

1. Our good friend Robert Fenwick taught us how to be catchermen

2. In Robert’s world, "Some days are salmon and some days are mackerel!"

Cobourg Yacht Club - 2015 Sailing instructorsKatherine Stone

Like many other harbours on Lake Ontario, Cobourg has seen its fair share of changes. Screams used to be heard from kids piled into a toboggan on wheels that went hurtling down a wooden slide into the harbour. Above it all was the bustling din from the waterfront of ship’s whistles, train engines, foghorns and thundering coal cars. It is now a rather serene place for the locals and visitors to enjoy various watercraft. Fortunately, the beautiful beach that lines the waterfront is still a star attraction for the town.

Located 95 kilometres east of Toronto and 62 kilometres east of Oshawa on the north edge of Lake Ontario, United Empire Loyalists first starting arriving in the area as early as the 1780s. The first settlement in 1798 was called Buckville, later renamed Amherst, then called Hamilton (after the township) and also nicknamed Hardscrabble. It wasn’t until 1819 that they finally settled on the name of Cobourg, which was incorporated as a town in 1837. In the late 1820s large schooners with passengers and cargo had to anchor well off shore, as there was only a landing wharf. A group of Toronto businessmen formed the Cobourg Harbour Company which built the wooden Eastern Pier from tolls charged for the use of the harbour.

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DIY & How to

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Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

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CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. Our Virtual Show will continue to grow so visit frequently and check it out. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

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Beneteau Oceanis 30.1As boat builders clamber to create ever-bigger platforms for ever-more generous budgets, the entry-level cruiser has become an elusive animal. Sure, if you want to daysail, there are plenty of small open boats from which to choose, but if you want a freshly built pocket cruiser, you’re in for a long search. Enter French builder Groupe Beneteau, which identified this gap in the market and set about creating the Oceanis 30.1, an adorable little cruiser that resembles her larger siblings in all but length and price. With all she offers, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her a mini yacht.

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KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

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