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B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
A FISHING TRIP WITH REEL OBSESSIONS
Island Fisherman Magazine
by Larry E. Stefanyk
On 1 September 2007, I left Campbell River at 11:15 a.m. with my brother-in law, Don Ritter, and drove north on Highway 19. We arrived at the Zeballos, BC turnoff at 2:45 p.m., then it was a 45-minute trip into Zeballos, where we met Adrian O’Connor at the dock. Two anglers from Fort McMurray, Larry Smith and Noel Swanton, travelled with us to Pacific Safari, a two-story floating lodge located on the north side of Nootka Island in McBride Bay. Once there, we had a tour of Pacific Safari, which is run by John Murray and Donna Seymour, then enjoyed drinks and a dinner of ribs, fresh vegetables, potatoes, and a great desert.
As Pacific Safari was fully booked we went to Ceepeecee Lodge in Newton Cove to spend the night. We stayed in one of the original cabins, which was quite a treat in itself. Had a wee drop with Don and talked fishing until 11, then turned in.

We were up at 5:30, and then Adrian picked us up and we headed back to the lodge for a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. We finished in plenty of time to depart at 7 for the fishing grounds at Ferrer Point in Esperanza Inlet.
Adrian fishes with Shimano Convergence rods and Islander MR3 reels spooled with Berkley Big Game fluorescent green line. He said the best setup at that time was an anchovy in a Rhys Davis Anchovy Special, with Red/Chrome and Clear/Green Scale the two hot colours. He attaches a short length of wire to each teaser, which allows him to bend an anchovy’s tail for increased action.
The Clear/Green Scale was trailed behind an O’Ki Green and Gold Big Shooter Flasher; the Red/Chrome on its own, but with a similar “false flasher” about 10 feet behind the downrigger cable, so it was above and slightly ahead of the bait.

We started trolling at 40-50 feet, and within minutes the false flasher line popped off the downrigger. Don had first dibs, but quickly lost what would have been his first Chinook. The next take was mine — a 20-pound Chinook on the same setup. It was like fly fishing — just me and the fish, and that Chinook had more than enough backbone to make it a true tug of war.
With my fish safely in the net, a fresh anchovy was quickly back in the water. Don was soon back in business, and played a good-sized Chinook all the way to the boat like he had been doing it all his life. Once beside the boat, however, the Chinook went crazy — rolling and twisting wildly — and finally spit the hook.
My next fish was a 21-pound Chinook that fought so hard I thought it was much larger.

The Clear/Green Scale was trailed behind an O’Ki Green and Gold Big Shooter Flasher; the Red/Chrome on its own, but with a similar “false flasher” about 10 feet behind the downrigger cable, so it was above and slightly ahead of the bait.
We started trolling at 40-50 feet, and within minutes the false flasher line popped off the downrigger. Don had first dibs, but quickly lost what would have been his first Chinook. The next take was mine — a 20-pound Chinook on the same setup. It was like fly fishing — just me and the fish, and that Chinook had more than enough backbone to make it a true tug of war.
With my fish safely in the net, a fresh anchovy was quickly back in the water. Don was soon back in business, and played a good-sized Chinook all the way to the boat like he had been doing it all his life. Once beside the boat, however, the Chinook went crazy — rolling and twisting wildly — and finally spit the hook.
My next fish was a 21-pound Chinook that fought so hard I thought it was much larger.

We were up at 5:30, showered, had breakfast, and headed back to Ferrer, where we picked up two more Chinooks before striking out offshore for halibut. We quickly landed our limit of chicken halibut and, as the sea was starting to pick up, wisely headed back to Pacific Safari. After Adrian finished processing our morning’s catch, we said out goodbyes to the lodge staff and headed back to Zeballos.
Based on experience I can state that this was a typical experience when fishing with Adrian O’Connor, who I consider one of the best guides on the West Coast. He fishes out of a 27-foot Sea Ray with a 250 h.p. Suzuki Four Stroke outboard, has the beat of electronics, and uses some of the finest gear available. He guides out of Victoria for most of the winter, and then heads to Zeballos to fish Nootka Sound from May to September.
For more information on a trip with Reel Obsession Sport Fishing call 1-888-855-7335 or visit the www.reelobsession.ca

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