Fishing the Pacific

Early breakfast planning session.


The next day our plan was to check our pots and then motor past Bamfield, outside of Barkley Sound, to try some bottom fishing in the Pacific Ocean.   The rain had stopped and we were hoping that weather conditions would be suitable at the mouth of the Sound, where it is characteristically rough.  

We made an early start and left Poett Nook at 6:30AM.  We emptied a decent catch of prawns from our overnight soak and then headed southwest.  About half way to Bamfield, the swells became significant and soon we were slowing our speed to minimize pounding as we topped a swell and dropped into the valley.  As we entered the Pacific, the swells were nearly as tall as the boat and we moved carefully south to an area about half a mile off the coast which was free of under water shoals.  

Almost immediately we started catching bottom fish, although some were too small to be legal.  Especially frustrating was the fact that we caught eight Ling Cod.  The legal size is 26 inches, and all of ours were an inch or two under, necessitating their return.  Doug hooked on to something big and fought it for half an hour without much effect, when it managed to release the hook.  

The swells were having their effect and eventually  we made our retreat to calmer water.  




The Pacific coastline, just around the point from Bamfield.

Pacific swells made for constant motion.


The many submerged shoals in this area have the deserved title, "hazards to navigation." 

The M.V. Frances Barkley, built in 1958, travels the length of the Alberni Inlet every day,

alternately serving Bamfield, at the south entrance to Barkley Sound, and Ucluelet at the north end of Barkley Sound. 

Back in Poett Nook.

Alex, filleting the catch.  



Ralph and I decided to drive the ten miles to the end of the gravel road and check out Bamfield.  It is a small community, established in the late 1800's for commercial fishing.  Now it is primarily a tourist destination, attracting sport fishermen, kayakers and hikers embarking on the West Coast Trail.  The Bamfield Marine Sciences Center attracts students who do on-site marine research in a variety of disciplines.  

An unusual aspect of Bamfield is that the community is divided by the Bamfield Inlet.  While the gravel road terminates at the eastern side of the community, the western side can only be reached by boat.  A small ferry takes tourists and residents across the to the western side, where they walk along a boardwalk to the various shops and residences.

The Bamfield inlet provides a quiet anchorage,

but it bisects the community into one half 

served by road and one half served by boat.

It is almost necessary to own a boat in Bamfield.

Many homes line the Bamfield Inlet, each with a dock.

Your's truly.


At least high ground is close by.

Bamfield Marine Sciences Center.


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Other Links:  

Poett Nook Marina:

Interactive Map of Poett Nook - expandable 

Interactive Map of Barkley Sound - expandable

Kayaking the Broken Islands of Barkley Sound:

Don's Home Page:

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