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Terry's Fishing Charters
Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
British Columbia Salmon Fishing Charter Service
Providers of guaranteed successful fishing charters, whale watching tours,
and custom marine charter tour packages in the
Prince Rupert area of British Columbia, Canada.
The Terry's Fishing Charter Experience - a Traveling Sportsman's Account
Wondering what to expect on your charter trip with Terry's Fishing Charters? The article reprinted below gives a first hand account of the author's experience on a fishing charter excursion with Terry's Fishing Charters.
Article appearing in Outdoor Edge Magazine
9902 – 150 Street
Copyright 2005 F.Noddin
reprinted with permission of the author
Excellent Salmon and Halibut Fishing North of Prince Rupert
There I was, fighting a halibut and eating halibut at the same time. The seas were calm, the sun was out and our guide, Terry Weaver, had just whipped up a fresh batch of halibut. A halibut caught only minutes earlier had been filleted, cooked in batter and now graced the back of the boat in the form of a bunch of tasty little nuggets. It was delicious. My fishing companion, Arnold Carlin, and I were beaming. “This is just too good,” I crowed. Lift, reel, pull, lift, reel, pause… munch on some halibut and back at it. In the crystal clear water I could see the mottled brown then white diamond shape of another halibut twisting and turning its way to the surface. With an expert touch, Terry brought the halibut aboard, a fine chicken and with that, we had plenty.
For the past hour we were getting bites nearly every drop and the fishing was spectacular. This is what it’s like fishing north of Prince Rupert. We had let several fish go and kept a couple of the nicer ones for the trip home. It was a great spot. Wanting to show us some more of the Canadian coast and have a chance at a bigger fish, Terry pulled anchor and we made our way north to the expansive McCulloch shoal several miles off the shores of Zayas Island, Canada’s most north westerly island.
“I’ve hit this spot several times and twice I’ve doubled with big halibut,” said Terry. “It doesn’t produce every time, but when they bite, they’re big.” Say no more, I was in and so was Arnold. We set up shop and rolled the dice then settled in, but this time it was not to be and the fish stayed hidden.
We had promised Sherri, who runs a floating lodge at Dundas Island that we’d be back for dinner so we picked up anchor and headed for home. As we motored back Terry asked if we wanted to come back out for the evening salmon bite. “Do we ever!” was our enthusiastic reply.
Dinner was fantastic, teriyaki chicken, scalloped potatoes, veggies, tossed salad, potato salad and all the fixings. It was a delicious home cooked meal. As good as it was, we couldn’t wait to get back in the boat with Terry and soon we were pulling out of Goose Bay and making our way to White Islands a short ten minutes away.
When it comes to salmon, it’s an all hands on deck sort of deal and Terry gets you involved right from the get go. He’ll show you how to run the downriggers, how to set up the bait and what depth to run the bait at. He also does something that I’ve never seen before or since, but it’s a great idea. He always, always has a second rig fully prepared for each rod. That way, when a fish is landed all that’s needed to be done is to unclip the first rig, clip in the second and in seconds you’re back down and fishing.
There’s a reason behind this. Salmon like to school and if you run into a school of big salmon, getting the bait back down and fishing quickly could mean the difference between landing one or two beautiful salmon to landing three or four. I’ve watched it happen.
On the boat that evening we had our lines down, maybe ten minutes and as Terry approached a point he said, “I almost always pick up fish here, so get ready.” “Fish on!” I heard from Arnold, then my rod went off. A double. We fought two beautiful cohos to the boat. Just as Terry had instructed, as they were netted he unclipped the original rig and we clipped on our second baits. In seconds we were letting the lines back down and - whack, whack! Another double! We fought these fish to the boat, one a beautiful coho, the other a bonus spring still hanging around in spite of it being late August. Four beautiful salmon in the boat in minutes. We rigged back up, did a turn and came right back in on the same tack and doubled up again, another two beautiful coho. With two salmon in the boat from earlier, we’d limited out for the day so all we could do was smile and make the run back in. You couldn’t have found a happier pair of anglers. Back at the dock the fish were filleted, put in heavy-duty transportable bags and covered in a bed of salt ice. Perfect.
With the long days Terry puts in, sleep comes fast. His 40-foot aluminum fishing machine, called Seal Cove sleeps three comfortably in the bow, another couple in a convertible bed and he has an option to sleep one more with a portable cot. There’s an honest to goodness flush toilet, along with a fridge, a sink with fresh water and portable burners to cook dinners. It has all the amenities
I talked with Terry at length about the fishing north of Prince Rupert. “It’s always good,” he said, adding, “with the big boat and the luxury to travel and fish over three or four days, I can always find fish. When it comes to weather, we use the multitude of islands to our advantage. We use the islands to block the wind, that’s what we do.”
Terry is a salmon/halibut specialist with fishing from May through early August being prime chinook time. Once August has taken hold, many of the southbound chinooks will have left the area and the waters fill to capacity with cohos. The halibut are always there and provide excellent fishing all season long.
You can tell that Terry loves to guide people onto the monstrous springs that swim these northerly waters and he talks passionately about their capture. His information, his spots, his details are very specific, “June 15th, first light, first bait, I’m always the first one on that point. We troll right along that shore,” he points out. He continues, “I put down a big herring on a slow roll, it has to be just so. The boat, the location, the speed and that depth all have to be perfect. I was there earlier this summer and wham, wham, wham, we lit up a triple header, all tyees with one in the forties and two in the thirties. Goose Bay, there’s not a better spot in the world for tyee, not north, not south, no where. Seventy pound fish are pulled off that shore every year.”
Terry’s an excellent fisherman, the product of 25 years fishing the Prince Rupert area. He knows all the spots, he knows where to go and how to catch them. He can always find fish for his clients but, if he can’t, which has never happened, the charter’s on Terry. “I deliberately named the outfit after myself,” Terry comments, “because it’s my reputation at stake each time I go out and I want every person to know that I’m out there to help them find and catch fish. I want everyone that comes fishing with me to have a quality experience.”
Nobody needed to convince Arnold or I about the quality of the experience. Arnold was tripping all over himself about the great time he was having. The salmon fishing was easy as was the halibut. We’d seen too many humpback whales to count with some coming up right beside the boat. Several pods of pacific white-sided porpoises played nearby and what about us? We were relaxing, doing a lot of smiling and soaking it all in.
The trip was flying by and Terry asked us if we wanted to catch a bunch of halibut or try for some bigger ones. Having had some truly amazing fishing already, we opted to roll the dice one more time and try for the big ones. Giving the flat calm seas we made the run south and set up over one of Terry’s favorite holes. “The waters rise out of the depths to 200 feet and we can usually pick up a good halibut or two,” he said. We dropped down our bait and were immediately into fish. Everything was going great. Under the flat calm day I felt the familiar tap, tap of an interested halibut. Levering the rod down into the water I pulled out all the slack and waited. The weight of the fish loaded up the line and I drove the rod high into the air with all my might. The deep bend showed the hooks had found home. It was a stubborn battle, with line coming slowly and the big fish running from time to time. Many minutes passed before we got a look at a beautiful large halibut. As it glided to the surface Arnold and I looked at each other with a big grin, then Terry had a look. I was guessing the fish would go forty, but when Terry looked he said that it’s likely fifty or sixty – easily the biggest halibut I ever caught. The fish was right at the threshold of whether he should gaff or harpoon it, but Terry figured the gaff would be the tool of choice. With an expert shot, he stuck the halibut and dragged it aboard to much commotion.
With this fish landed and more biting, Arnold got on the stick and picked up a good halibut and then stuck a real large fish that pulled and yanked him silly before spitting the hook. That was a huge fish, but we never saw it. “There are real big fish down there,” Terry said. “Just last week we pulled a 100 off this hole and the week before we had an amazing day were with picked up an 80, two 60’s, a 50, two 30’s and some smaller ones.”
We got a chance to weigh mine; it was 60 on the button – a truly amazing fish and it represents my biggest halibut to date. We wrapped up our halibut fishing in style and moved shoreward to pick up the remaining limit on our salmon. The salmon fishing is so good that catching a limit of them is just a formality, but a good formality at that. We limited out on our salmon quickly and with that the fishing was done and all that remained was a peaceful, fully satisfying boat ride home.
On the trip in I talked with Terry at length about his charter operation. In all, he runs three boats. Two forty footers, perfect for four people, but one can accommodate five. He has a much larger 57-foot boat that works well for groups of six to ten people. And if three and four day trips are not an option, Terry acts as a booking agent for 10 local guides who do day trips out of Prince Rupert. There’s an important distinction about local guides because, while there are many guides or charter operations in Prince Rupert, the local guides Terry refers to are the people who have lived in and have grown up fishing there. These are the people who know best where the bite will happen and when.
Next year Terry is adding a fly-in component to the fishing charter experience for those that want to fly into Sherri’s lodge. At the lodge a boat will be waiting to take you out to the best salmon fishing around, a mere five-minute ride from the dock. Should you choose to head out to the big waters to try for halibut, a larger boat will be arranged for your pick up and drop off.
All bookings through Terry are done on a very reasonable daily boat rate and include the boat, the tackle, sleeping accommodations on the boat, fish processing and all fishing time but does not include meals. There is the option of having meals prepared for you through Sherri at the lodge or you can go it yourself and bring your own food to be prepared on the boat. It’s your choice. Get a group of three or four together and it’s easy to put together an affordable three or four day package.
Terry has a passion for fishing and he’s good at what he does. Nearly everyone that comes out goes home with limits of halibut and salmon along with a multitude of stories of the ones they caught and the ones that got away. With Terry, you’re getting absolute mobility and a wealth of knowledge. In an ordinary trip it’s common to cover 140 or 150 miles by boat; but in the luxury of his 40 foot Seal Cove the trip is amazing and affords you the opportunity to live in and experience the ruggedness of the BC coast and all the Pacific has to offer.
Terry’s Fishing Charters
536 – 9th Avenue West
Prince Rupert, BC
PH: (250) 622-8737
PH: (866) 601-6086 toll free
For Information or to book your fishing charter: Contact Us Here
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