Something Fishy! (Part 2 of 2)

Every night we pulled into this beautiful cove where the water was calm and glassy. On one of the evenings we decided to take the row boat  ashore and go exploring. It was like the water in the cove was not the same as the ocean we just came from, it was even warm to swim in, or at least once you had adjusted.

Aside from hoards of horseflies and other flesh eating insects we found tons of purple starfish and weird vegetation like this little tree that grew on its own little island isolated from the the rest of the trees a few feet away.

When it comes time to fish you need the right tackle! I’m not sure what Capp’n Jack planned to catch with his cocksure lure, a mermaid perhaps? Regardless, you can’t fault him for being prepared for every occasion. You never know what you might catch at sea.

As a novice fisherman I always envisioned hook worms and half dead things around the end of a hook before casting in. However, this is not the case, you see it’s all in the anchor. We had this long narrow chrome anchors that are the same size and rough shape as a small fish and once you drop the line over the side of the boat you let it reel out till you hit ‘the bottom’ where you begin to ‘jig’ which is basically entails bouncing your anchor up and down off the bottom so that it resembles  a small shimmering fish darting up and down. Whatever the technique it works a treat because it not long before you have a rock fish, ling cod or one of these puppies, the creme de la creme, a halibut.

Unfortunately catching fish ultimately results in cleaning fish which means hacking away at the dead bugger to achieve a clean fillet (which later you get to eat, like weeks later). The first time you do this it’s quite the experience. Sometimes the fish isn’t quite dead yet and he’ll twitch violently while you begin to filet him/her, this is a stomach turning point. Sometimes they are dead and they twitch anyway as you hit the nerve along the spine with the fileting knife.After a while you get used to it and get a sense of satisfaction when you get a nice fillet with no bones and maximum meat off old fishy. The fish are still useful after you’ve removed the ‘good eatins’ and nothing really goes to waste. The carcasses and fish heads make great bait for the crab traps we lay out every evening.

Debbie Jones is one hell of a host, she not only put up with a handful of rum’ed up wanna be pirates (one mainly) but she also kept everyone’s belly’s full and coffee on the pot in the morning. That’s a top gal in my books. Unfortunately she was not too lucky on the rod end and caught lots of un-fishy things like an octopus, this starfish and a couple of arseholes which are anemone like creatures and the bottom that look….         ..well their name sums it up nicely.

The chap on the right is Chad’s dad Dave. Yes that David Jones as in Davey Jones, or at least after a few Tom ‘n Jerrys (that’s coke and sailor Jerry rum). Dave is a helluva chap, always tending to everyone, running around with the gaff hooking up everyone’s big fish and tossing your hook back out before you even have time to finish yer beer. Dave’s got everyone covered and you didn’t even need to ask. Top bloke!

After 4 evenings on the faithful Cantamara we tied up back at Port Ed and said good bye to the first load of folk to head back to Chad’s hometown of Kitwanga. Myself, Chad, his friend Wade and Capp’n Jack drove to Port Rupert to have a bite to eat see the town and of course sink a few cold ones (cos we hadn’t already had at least 12 a day plus whiskeys to finish off the evenings). Capp’n Jack treated us to dinner and drinks and offered to be the designated driver. Jack was as much of the character behind the wheel of a car as he is behind the wheel of a boat. He would say things like “You know what’s great about being 70? You don’t have to stop at traffic lights or stop streets and everyone just gives way and goes, ‘JEEZ! Look out for that old fella!’ Ahehehehe!” to which he proceeded to charge through a four-way stop turning left and snarled at the guy who had to skid to a halt to stop from hitting us. The funny thing is the guy threw his hand up in apology even though he had the right of way and now his tires were several millimeters smaller. I’ve never met anyone like Jack and might not again, they broke the mold when they made him.

We stayed that night, one last time on the boat cleaning up the leftovers (ie. beer) and were treated to one final epic sunset before heading back to Kitwanga. The sky was just on fire!

Chad spend most of his time fishing on the Skeena River when he’s home in Kitwanga and treated me to a lot of his secret fishing holes along the river. Most of the spots he took me too are spread apart and only accessible by foot or ATV (or four wheeler as some of you call ’em). Chad is cool calm and collected most of the time but get him on an ATV and he’s god to honest madman, I spent most of the time with my knees bracing tight and forearms burning as I held on to the back of the ATV as Chad took his ‘easy route’ around the place to all his fishing holes.

The last photo I have to share with you is of one of Debbie’s (Chad’s mum) cats. I had a hard time describing to people about how folks are up north aside from saying they don’t mince their words or talk too much but they are really nice. But on the last night Debbie shared a story with me about this fellow, his cat sibling and their dog. Forgive me for not remembering their names. Anyway, apparently every morning this little fellow and his cat sibling meet up to go for a walk. Chad’s property is huge and they go quite far to visit the old saw mill and a couple of their other favourite kitty litter spots. Keep in mind that their are lots of bears and dangerous wild things lurking around too. As a result Chad’s dog tags along for their walk and the three of them travel together roaming around the property. When one of the cats has to go off and do their thing (be a toilet thing or whatever) the dog sits and waits for them. Eventually they come back and they all head home together where they go about doing their own thing. In most settings this group of misfits wouldn’t get along but out in Kitwanga and up north they all look out for each other, maybe they don’t even like each other but they still roll as a posse. I felt the same way up there, not everyone was sure about having a city slicker on board but even crabby old Jack looked out for me and made me welcome on his cement steed. If more people were like the ones I might up north like Debbie and Dave (Chad’s parents) and the rest of the Cantamara crew the world might just be a habitable place!

Thanks so much to the Jones family to taking me along and looking out for me. Thanks to Jack for not tossing me to the sharks and thanks to Wade for showing me how to fish, gut and generally be a man when it comes to boating.

EDITORS NOTE – Debbie didn’t only catch octopi, starfish and arseholes, she also caught actual fish too. Sorry for the flub Deb, hopefully we haven’t tarnished your fishing reputation 😉



One Response to “Something Fishy! (Part 2 of 2)”
  1. Debbie Jones says:

    Enjoyed your blog Something Fishy very much Paul. By the way I do believe I did catch a actual fish or 2!
    And Kym caught the first fish of the trip, a nice big Yelloweye.

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