Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 12 - Disappointment

Monday, July 19, 2010
We had a lazy day. Afer a late breakfast we went over to check the shrimp pots in Sidney Bay. It was terribly disappointing but we pulled up only ONE prawn per pot. WTF? Was it the bait? Was our location off? Or, was it because it was fished out. A friend of ours who lives in Port McNeill, BC said that during the winter months the commercial prawners hit many popular places hard. He said that he found many of his usual spots with poor hauls of prawns. Instead of hauling up 100's he was only pulling up 10-20 and occasionally none. So, I suspect the same thing here. I've noticed that each year coming here to Sidney Bay and setting prawn traps that the catch has been going down. Last year we only caught a dozen for each pull. But, a dozen is better than ONE.

I was truly perplexed. I scanned the charts hard looking for where I could set my shrimp pots in a place that might be more productive. Most of Loughborough Inlet is very deep - 600-800' deep. The deepest we can set prawn traps is in 300' of water. I found a spot on the NE side of Loughborough Inlet near some islands and where a small stream flows into the inlet. It goes from 10' to 300+' deep within 20-30 yards - my thought is that this is great for prawns. At least its worked for me before. We set both pots and then went to explore these small islands. Unfortunately I forgot to bring the camera. But then this was supposed to be a fishing trip not sightseeing.

We explored the islands, Hank especially enjoying some real land where he could roam a bit and do his business. The islands are unamed and are about half-way up Loughborough Inlet and enjoy a great view both up and down the inlet. I really wished I had brought the camera. The islands were quite boggy and you had to be careful where you stepped because you could step into a sink hole that was about 2-3' deep. At the bottom of these sink holes was water. Within a few minutes we were surrounded by hordes of mosquitoes. These little bastards probably thought this was incredible - fresh blood. So we rapidly exited the islands and went on our way. I gunned the Zipper quickly to out run a few of the flying blood suckers that ventured with us.

I noticed that there was a brisk breeze blowing up Loughborough Inlet, kicking up waves that were about 2' high. Motoring back to our boat was going to be a rough ride. We slowly idled our way down to Strachan Point wish is almost across from Beaver Inlet. I had the depth sounder going the whole time trying to see if there were some fish about. What startled me was that I didn't see ANY fish - nada, nothing, zero, zilch. No bait and no fish. This was disconcerting. A couple of years ago I saw plenty of fish, now nothing.

We raced across Loughborough Inlet to Beaver Inlet bouncing off of the waves. Hank tried to ride up on the bow but it was too rough. I slowed down at a reef at the entrance to Beaver Inlet and once again using the depth sounder scanned the water for signs of fish and baitfish. Again nothing.

We returned to the Independence and settled in for a lazy afternoon of reading books and relaxing. I made some of my Dragon Boat-oriental cracker-peanut mix and sipped a couple of beers. The wind continued to blow harder and harder until we were probably experiencing the same gales that were blowing in Johnstone Strait.

For supper I made a sausage and chicken gumbo (it was supposed to be a sausage & shrimp gumbo). It turned out real good. We then settled down for an evening of conversation.

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