Fishing lures salvaged at Pacific Playgrounds recovered at low tide. Don Daniels Photo

Fishing lures salvaged at Pacific Playgrounds recovered at low tide. Don Daniels Photo

Recovering fishing lures and gear during the winter

By Don Daniels

We are entering the first week of December and for many, the salmon fishing has ended and the boat is pulled out of the water.

Locals are out hunting and the weather will change on a day-to-day basis. A few weeks back, we had the clouds giving us snow and thunder at the same time, then sunny the next day. We are still living in a world of restricted travel and social distancing in our day to day activities around Campbell River and the island. If you are not fishing or hunting, you might be doing a daily walk along the ocean or in the bush, exploring the many trails around us.

After the storms, it is quite possible to find odds and ends along the shoreline and a number of lures lost during the summer could float and get tangled on kelp and logs. Think of all the plastic and wood plugs that have been lost by anglers, and they could show up. I know a few guys have lost their favorite plug and for the most part it was a Lucky Louie and it’s gone. At times it could float up and someone could pick up a treasure.

Quadra Island could be a haven for finding plugs on low tide and a walk along the shoreline wearing waders could be a good way to get out, explore and find. In addition to maybe finding fishing treasures, you will find bottles, cans and other garbage that can float and get on shore.

Recently, I walked the low tide area at the Pacific Playgrounds and someone had picked out a number of lead jigs that were broken, nothing was usable. On lakes I have found plastic floats tangled up on the lily pads and at times a few plastic bags full of cheese bait.

One thing is for sure, downriggers are used by a majority of salmon anglers around Campbell River and cannonballs lost do not float, and neither do anchors! Once they are gone, there is no chance of getting them off the bottom. Fishing rods don’t float when dropped, and I know of a few guys who have borrowed a rod and reel and down it went to the depths of Discovery Passage.

This year there have been more people walking along river trails and sometimes anglers will leave a tackle box on the shore and when they come back it’s gone. One guy recently left two sets of fly rod combinations at the bridge by mistake and when he returned one hour later it was gone.

A vest is handy to wear and it’s not for looks; it will keep all your fishing tackle organized. There are enough pockets to keep your wallet, license and keys close at hand.

With colder weather the fly tyers will spend more time making up new fly patterns and since we are still in pandemic times, more time will be spent behind the vise. You can experiment with materials and don’t stress about using body material or dubbing you simply don’t have on hand. Many patterns that come out in magazines or online may call for a specific body material but you can substitute with something suitable. Your objective is to duplicate a pattern as much as possible and get it out fishing.

Campbell Riverfishing