|Captain Lock freezing his *** off in northern BC|
Yeah, I know – fishing, no big deal – but this was different. I was with a great bunch of guys in northern British Columbia at the top of the Haida Gwaii (former Queen Charlotte Islands) within view of the Alaska panhandle.
|Charter plane then a helicopter ride to the fishing camp|
Getting there was no mean feat, involving a charter plane from Vancouver to Masset BC, and then a helicopter ride to the camp.
The West Coast Fishing Club is a floating fish camp that could put any five-star resort to shame with amazing service, and gourmet meals. For three days we fished for salmon and halibut in a pristine wilderness surrounded by humpback whales, sea lions and bald eagles.
|Lots of Humpback Whales playing around the boat|
The fishing camp operates on a catch and release program using simple fish hooks, no barbs allowed. It makes for exciting times as salmon are fighters and frequently a big one will shake the hook loose just as it arrives at the boat! But usually the guides quickly net the fish, lift them slightly out of the water for weighing, snap a souvenir photo and then release the fish back to the freedom of the ocean.
|Lawrie - Salmon was shipped to his son in Vancouver|
For anyone who wishes to keep their catch, the strict limit is two salmon and one halibut per day. The accepted practice is that all large fish are immediately returned to the ocean, as soon as they have been weighed. One of the newest guides, fishing during his free time, caught an eighty-pound salmon that had to be released. The guides are not allowed to keep anything they catch, plus the fish was so big it was considered too important to remove from the gene-pool. The West Coast Fishing Camp takes a very responsible view of sustainability. Every year since they opened they have returned more hatchlings to the area than fish that have been caught.
|Richard Lock very good friend of Ron Brown|
But here’s the best part about the experience! This fishing tournament is in honour of Ron Brown a former Isla Mujeres resident. He and his wife Gwen contributed to a number of charities on the island. Still in his prime, Ron passed away in 2009. The event was created in celebration of Ron’s life.
The Reeling for Ronnie Fishing Tournament raises funds to pay for tuition and expenses for a select number of female students on Isla Mujeres who wish to attend university or college. Ron’s memory is also preserved in the minds of these young ladies. It just doesn’t get any better.
The only downside to participating in the event is I live in the tropics twelve months a year. My blood has thinned out – or whatever. Cold! Wow, I don’t think I have ever been this cold. The average daytime temperature was around 12C, (53F) dropping down further at night. I’m just not used to that anymore.
|The biggest fish for the day .....|
Everyone was supplied a survival suits by the fishing camp operators. We had to wear them when we were out in the boats, because the ocean temperature is so chilly the risk of hyperthermia was pretty high if we had experienced an unscheduled dunking. I had three layers of clothes on under my survival suit and my teeth were clacking together. I guess this means I won’t be moving back to Canada anytime soon.
Oh well, I will just have to tough it out in Paradise!
Thanks again guys, for the great time during the Reeling for Ronnie Fishing Tournament.
|Nice warm sunrise on Isla Mujeres June 2013|
Lynda and Lawrie