The Good Kind of Work: Salmon Fishing At The Work Channel

Fishing season looks a little different this year on the northwest coast of British Columbia. Trips have been delayed or cancelled, and the late May trip into the Work Channel was one of those casualties. Rather than dwell on the fact I’m sitting at home right now, rather than on a boat trolling for chinook, let’s rewind back to the last trip we took there, back in May of 2018.

Work channel. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

We had driven late into the night down a bumpy dirt road to get to the launch and had a less-than-comfortable sleep in our pickups before launching early the next morning. The waters were calm as we headed out to the fishing grounds. Loaded down with traps, ropes, coolers and sleeping gear, we threw the traps out and shuffled the rest of our things around so we could get right down to trolling.

Fishing there a few days after the Victoria Day long weekend was, dare I say it, peaceful. Instead of the menagerie of boats performing an intricate dance to avoid any collisions, it was just us, another boat that came with us, and the open water.

Trophy reel. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

It didn’t take long before our Trophy XL Tyee reels started screaming – one chinook, two chinook, three chinook, four! It was my first time using a mooching reel, and I’ve used nothing else since. What a rush it was to truly feel every bit of the fight; it wasn’t something I had expected, as stories of the old-style knuckle busters made me a little uneasy about switching over from my trusty Ambassador. Nevertheless, over the course of the day we hooked and landed three nice (and one smaller feeder) chinook.

Chinook. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

After spending the night at Victory Cove Seaside Cottages, we headed out for a second day of salmon fishing. Despite our good fortunes the day before, we knew better than to get our hopes up. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pouting a bit after my boyfriend reeled in two salmon within the first two hours of the day, but my turn was coming up after a couple more hours on the water. I completed the trip by catching my biggest chinook to date, which we estimated to be around 30 pounds of chrome.

Victory Cove. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

No good fishing story would be complete without the classic, “We didn’t have a scale to weigh the fish, but …” but that was the case for us. Aside from bringing in a personal best fish, it’s not all about catching the biggest fish. The thrill of fighting the feisty fish, spending time on the water with some of my favourite people, and the pride of seeing a well-stocked freezer for another year is a feeling that is irreplaceable.