Author: douganddeb

Holy Halibut Fishing

fishing charter prince rupert

Joined by our son Mike and his friend Paul we set out for a short three day excursion from Prince Rupert in search of those early hard fighting Chinook and some feisty Halibut. Sunny skies and calm waters awaited us in Chatham sound as we excited the harbour and made our way to the Moffat islands. The first evening of this Prince Rupert Fishing Charter saw a some chicken halibut but no chinook.We anchored up for a feast of fresh crab and to feed our favorite Eagles. The next morning we pulled our traps to find a bucket of fresh prawns and then eagerly set our salmon gear in anticipation of the first strike. Bang off went the clip and Mike landed a beauty 20lb spring after a great fight. From that point on the day was busy with several that got away and three nice springs in the boat. Off for a little halibut fishing and what entertainment we had. After releasing a few chickens Paul hooked into a whopper and the fight was on. Up and back down several times until we finally got the beast within spear range. After determining it was indeed a keeper at just under 133cm we planted the spear. Away went the halibut and reaching the end of the poly rope there was a snap and she just kept going. Paul hung on for dear life as the fish bolted to the bottom. Half inch poly rope snapped like a string. Paul worked the fish back to the top and using a second spear we finally got it aboard. 70 lbs and the best fight in memory, nice job Paul! Little did we know that the best was yet to come. The final morning saw us land two more nice springs and then with room for a few more hali’s we made one more stop on the way home. All quiet until the Captains decided to check his bait. 20 feet from the surface the rod bent and the reel sang as a monster  hali followed the bait to the surface and took the hook just below the boat. As the line spooled out the first mate (Deb) also hooked up and her reel screamed as well. Double header both bending rods and spooling line, yahoo. After great fights the Captain landed a 70lber and Deb put a beauty 50 in the boat. Show not over yet as Paul hooked into a solid fish and off we went again. This time a 60 lber.  What a day!  Back to port and we sent Mike and Paul back to Alberta to spread the word. Great job guys, fun trip, can’t wait to get back out.





Up the Portland Canal

With a few days off before the season begins we had the opportunity to join our friends aboard Miller Time II for a trip up the Portland Canal towards Stewart. In search of some early springs we were accompanied by a gorgeous day as we headed up the canal to a place less travelled. The Canal stretches 80 miles into the interior and defines the border between BC and Alaska. Towering mountains, glistening glaciers, truly a special place on our coast. Joined at our anchorage by Barry;s brother Ed from Stewart we had some great experienced guides to show us how it is done in the Canal.

 The salmon did not disappoint and we were quickly onto a number of beautiful springs. I got to land a tyee and our host Barry did as well. Deb hooked some great fighters in the teens and we enjoyed fresh spring salmon on the cedar plank for dinner. With prawns as big as beer cans, plentiful Dungeness and the place to our selves we are so lucky to live and experience this beautiful coast. Back to Rupert after an awesome experience we thank our hosts aboard Miller Time II and set our sites on the first fishing charter out of Prince Rupert.

Bears of the Khutzeymateen

Beautiful sunny skies and smooth seas accompanied us into our summer port. It felt great to back on the north coast, time to reacquaint with our many friends and gear up for the fishing charter season. Early reports showed good results and fish were already coming in with the early birds. Can’t wait to get out there!!  With a week to retrieve our car from the south coast we had some time to sharpen hooks and take a trip with our friends at Adventure Tours who invited us for a trip to the famous Khutzeymateen Grizzly bear reserve. What a day we had. We strongly recommend a trip aboard their beautiful Catamaran the Inside Passage for an experience of a lifetime.



  As a bit of an amateur photographer it was like going to Disney land for me. Great Bear viewing and a whale show from the Humpbacks of work channel made it a spectacular day all around. Thanks to the other Doug and Deb of Prince Rupert for an awesome day!!!

Douglas Channel

Always fun to explore some new ground and our camp trip out of Kitimat gave us just the chance to do that. Arriving under sunny skies at MK marina in Kitimat we were met by our friend Doug Davis of West Coast Launch who was working in the area. We got the royal tour of Kitimat compliments of Doug and his wife’s Debbie’s Dad, Werner, who is a long time resident of Kitimat and a retired Alcan employee. The area is a buzz with the prospect of new LNG plants and upgrades to the existing smelter. Definitely has the feel of boom town about to happen. We can only hope that the increased development and marine traffic will leave this beautiful part of our coast unblemished. A one day turnaround and we were off with our crew for Hawksberry Island.

The weather turned a little moist but winds remained light and while  our crew slugged away in the woods, Deb slaved in the galley,  while the captain diligently hunted crabs.  Mission accomplished by both crew and clients and the week flew by ending on a sunny note. Thanks to our forestry crew for a good fishing charter and with the promise of future work we left Kitimat for our summer home in Prince Rupert.

April 17th, Northward Bound for Season 9 aboard the Thunder 1.

Sunny skies and smooth seas greeted us on our way north to Kitimat. With just Deb and I aboard this year we did not have much time to dawdle as we were scheduled out of Kitimat with a Forestry Company for survey work in the Douglas Channel. Day 4 saw us leave Allison Harbour and strike out across Cape Caution. Inspite of it’s reputation, long slow swells were all that greeted us and we were soon in the protected waters of Fitz Hugh Sound. With the open water behind us we had some time to enjoy the scenery and catch a few snapper and fresh crab. A refreshing dip at Bishop Bay Hotsprings and a chance to update our passage on the wall for the ninth year and then it was off to Kitimat.

2014 Casting off for another great season!

The winter flew by for the crew of the Thunder 1 and we are ready to operate our fishing charters out of Prince Rupert for 2014. After a late season that saw us working up until November we made our winter port of Victoria on November 13th. A couple of weeks to settle in and visit family and off to Mexico for some sunshine and a rest after a busy year. The winter flew by after that and it seemed we were off to our trade shows before we new it. Red Deer and Edmonton were our two shows for the 2015 season. Both were successful and by the time the dust settle in Edmonton we were sold out for the coming summer. A great mix of new and old guests will be aboard for the upcoming year and it promises to be an excellent fishing season on the north coast.

After the shows we were off to Maple Bay for the spring refit and inspection by Transport Canada. All went well and with new paint and a few upgrades in and out we positioned in Comox and prepared for our trip north.

Welcome aboard to the Canadian Coast Guard

October and we find ourselves still busy on the north coast. This time we welcomed aboard the Coast Guard as they hired out the Thunder 1 and Crew to help with some work while the rest of the fleet was busy with other tasks. Our crew of Geoff and Terry, Aids to Navigation Technicians from Victoria joined us in Prince Rupert for a busy 8 days of evaluating and inspecting aids to navigation in the Principe Channel and Douglas Channel areas.

During the week with the help of our deckhand Don the crew scrambled up rocks and slippery banks to make sure the current lights were working properly and to evaluate new sites where aids could be added to make our coast line safer. It was a busy week and we covered over 360 nm before returning to Prince Rupert. Great to have experienced mariners aboard and we were glad to have participated in the project. As a bonus we were invited by Captain Reid of the Coast Guard ship Bartlet for a tour. Hope we can do some work for the Coast Guard in the future but in any event we made some new friends to share a story and a glass of wine in Victoria this winter. Up next it is the Ministry of Forests for a week of work in Baker Inlet.

So you think your tough.

We set off from Prince Rupert with our forestry crew for Work Channel. Not your typically image of big burly loggers these lumberjacks were all gals, five of them young, pretty and fit. With their task to plot and evaluate forest stands in the Work Channel area they would disappear into the bush headed straight up hill and return at the end of the day for a well deserved rest. I am not sure whether you have walked much in the steep, slippery, dense forests that line our west coast shores but it is no job for the weak of heart. Throw in some heavy rain, lots of deadfalls, rushing creeks, not to mention the odd bear and you have a job that would challenge the hardiest of us. We did our part to get them back to the boat each day and feed them a warm meal aboard the Thunder 1. After five days we definitely had a new respect for their job. Well done!! We were treated to an awesome whale show by the humpbacks as we left Work Channel and headed back to Prince Rupert for our next adventure, this one with the Coast Guard.

Wrapping up the Fishing Season

Hard to believe the summer is over. As we come to an end of our 2013 fishing season it was time for Deb and I to break out our custom fly rods, compliments of our friends Larry and Vicki and have one last go at those big hard fighting Northern Coho. All I can say is Yahoooo! What a rush that is to hook up a 17 lb Coho on a 9ft. custom made 10 weight fly rod with and Islander MR 3. To give the fish their do, lots earned their freedom but some nice ones made the boat after spectacular fights. A perfect way to end the fishing season. As we put the rods away it is not the end of the charter season for the crew of the Thunder 1 and we set our sights on providing camp boat services for both the forestry and following that a mission for the Canadian Coast Guard. Looks like we will be on the north coast for a while yet.


It just doesn’t get any better!

Launching into the second week of September we set course joined by new guests David and his wife Colleen. With salmon fishing on their bucket list we hoped that even if they checked it off they would put it back on for another time. Who would believe that the hottest day on the water would come on September 7th. Well believe it, what a smoker, sunny flat seas and warm temps add some outstanding salmon and halibut fishing and who could ask for anything more. Big Coho, 12 to 15 lbs kept Colleen and Dave busy as both rods jumped and zinged in the sunlight. Halibut fishing was great and Colleen needed help from Dave on several occasions as her arms started to give out fighting the flatties. The whales also put on a spectacular show in Work Channel just to add some icing to the cake. Great to have you aboard Dave and Colleen, enjoy your fish and looking forward to having you and your sons aboard next year. With a few days off before our next fishing charter Deb and I might just have to break out those 10 wt fly rods and hook up a few of those Coho for ourselves.


Bougher Power

September long weekend always marks the closing of yet another great summer on the north coast. The town gets a little quieter, the dock is not so busy, and the days a little shorter. This year brought summer like weather and the return of our perennial guests Jason, his Dad David ( aka The Salmon Slayer) accompanied by friend  Curtis and his father in law Ted. If the summer was winding down no one told the Salmon as the fishing was fast and furious. Big hard fighting Coho that jumped, ripped off line and banged some knuckles. Add some whales, great halibut fishing and you wonder why things are slowing down as the fishing was awesome. Great to have you back Jason always a laugh or two shared on the back deck, looking forward to seeing you again next  year, keep your tip up, face the fish, let him run, don’t horse him, and most important have some fun!!!


Happy Birthday George!!

Once again boarding the Thunder for more trips than we can remember we were joined by George, Russ, Ed, and son in-laws Ray (alias Rod) , Scott and Kenny.
No strangers to west coast fishing after more than 23 years their enthusiasm is a fresh as if they had come on their first trip. Moving to the mainland side we dropped the lines on the first morning to be greeted by some great northern Coho fishing with fish reaching 12 lbs.  The forecast south east  wind never showed and we enjoyed flat seas and great fishing. The whales danced around us but we hardly had time to watch as the lines were constantly snapping and fish on rang out time after time. Yes a few did get away but we definitely had our share. Saving the halibut fishing for the last day we set up and got on the fish right away. Probably one of the best fights of the year was Russ when he hooked a 45 lb halibut by the tail and it peeled off line for the better part of an hour. A great late season trip demonstrating how good the fishing is in the Rupert area right into late August and September. Can’t wait to get back out there again, hope the see the boys again next year, will that make 24 or 25?

Rosemary and the Whales of Work Channel

A bit of a change from the usual routine as we set out with Rosemary , her niece Nora and nephew

Chris. Nora and Chris had travelled all the way from France to visit their aunt and join us on the Thunder to explore the beautiful north coast of BC. For Rosemary this was just one adventure in a life that has been full of more adventures than many of us will ever see or experience. Born in India near the mountains of Nepal she has travelled the world and done several west coast adventure tours. We were hoping we could make this a memorable one for her. Despite a deluge as we boarded up the sun broke through leaving the harbour and just to spite the forecast we enjoyed awesome weather once again. Starting with some wonderful eagle viewing we went on to find scores of humpback whales and what a show they put on for us. Bubble net feeding, breaching, waving their tail flukes we enjoyed some of the most spectacular whale shows anywhere in the world. Just so we didn’t get to rusty we did drop the lines and in no time flat scored some nice northern Coho and enjoyed some great halibut action. Thanks Rosemary for joining us, we hope that we added one more memorable adventure to you life.

The Clean up Crew

Welcome aboard first time guests Gerry, Bryan, Bruce, Randy and of course Ian. Owners of the Dry Cleaners in Slave Lake you will have to excuse the pun when I say that these guys took the fish to the cleaners. The fog that had enveloped us on the previous trips disappeared and in its place we had a few showers but calm seas and fantastic fishing. As the group honed their skills the fish tally rose and by the last day those Coho were no match for the Allarie clean up crew.

Halibut fishing was once again a three ring circus if you could find the right spot, and of course we found it for our guys. With all the rods bouncing at once  we kept the nice ones and released lots to grow a little for next year. Topped off with some great whale shows the fellas said it was one of the best fishing trips of their lives. Thanks guys we thought it was pretty awesome as well. Hope to see you back soon!!

A fish for your Birthday

Once again demonstrating that age is only a number, and not one to get in the way of fishing my Uncle Gerry and Aunt Betty joined us with their daughter Tricia and husband Dirk to celebrate Tricias Birthday. Notice how I did not mention a number Trish. Pretty cool birthday present as we poked out of the fog and onto the fishing grounds. Photographers as well. we had some pretty impressive equipment aboard to capture the events and I can’t wait to get some back when they have had time to sift through them. Each morning brought some pretty thick fog but each day brought some petty awesome fishing and with the rods jumping no one noticed the fog. The sun battled through and each day gave way to smooth seas and nice sunsets. The eagles and whales all graced us with visits and provided some cool photo ops. Maybe the best show was the eagle who dived into the water and swam his big salmon to shore as it was too big to fly with. A rare event to witness in the wild. Nice to see family aboard and great to catch them some fish as well. Safe travels to all we will catch up in Victoria this fall.

Those gals can Fish!!!

Thanks to some pretty slick sales work by our daughter Kyla, we welcomed Julia her roommate at UVic, who convinced her dad, Doug, who convinced his sister Judy, who brought her husband Hewitt. Nice work Kyla. What a great group and what awesome fishing we had. Julia had never caught a fish, salmon or otherwise in her life, but we put a quick end to that. In fact by the end of the trip I’m not sure she could remember how many she caught. Much the same for all the group as the Prince Rupert fishing charter was electric and the halibut fishing was Chaos!! The outstanding weather continued in the Rupert area and while we did have some morning fog the afternoons always gave way to blue sky. Treated to one of the most awesome sunsets we have ever had we hope that they all enjoyed the trip as much as we did. And yes Doug, we will let Kyla come back on next years trip.