Yes, I love to travel to new places to catch big fish. The whole angling experience is about more than just that, sure… but it’s the thrill of landing the Big One that’s kept me fishing my whole life.
In This Photo Essay You Will Discover:
- Where to Catch Big Fish
- My Personal Bests
- A Little More About Fishing
In his 17th century opus, The Compleat Angler, author Izaac Walton wrote: “Tis not all of fishing to fish.” I totally agree — but who am I kidding? Landing massive fish (whether for the BBQ or to be released gently) is what keeps me on the lookout for new places to wet a line.
Not only is fishing thrilling and fun, but it is a wonderful way to get up-close-and-personal with aquatic life. The best way to gain respect for and understanding of fish is to lay your hands on one. You will find a newfound appreciation for the resource and a greater desire to protect and conserve our waters.
I care deeply about the world’s fish — there is no better conservationist than the angler.
Of course, there is a deep, primal and satisfying feeling that comes from catching, landing and cooking a fish. You’ve fed yourself and your family in the most traditional of ways; homage to the heritage of hunters and gatherers from which we all descend.
Days spent outside are the best days, of that there is no doubt. Without further delay, I present you with a mere sample from my lifetime spent fishing — a Brag Board 35 years in the making:
A big, ugly chum salmon caught in Campbell River, BC — proof the town still deserves its “Salmon Capital of the World” title.
A gorgeous early-season chinook (that’s why they call them “springs”) caught in BC’s Haida Gwaii (Langara Island).
The biggest of the big — a six-foot-long white sturgeon, caught and released (of course) on British Columbia’s Fraser River.
A 12.5-pound bull trout caught and released on the Wigwam River, Fernie, British Columbia (Canada’s best drive-to freshwater fishing).
Ling! I love ling cod — I caught this monster-of-the-deep near Shearwater, BC.
A lake trout caught and released on Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. You could troll a cigarette butt and catch trophy fish on that lake…
This nearly found-pound Arctic grayling may have made the IGFA record book if I cared enough to jump through their hoops and enter it.
Arctic char, caught and released at Nunavut’s Tree River. Every single Arctic char is a trophy.
My second-biggest chinook salmon — 43 pounds, caught with the help of my now-fiance, in Rivers Inlet. (The marks on its tail were probably the result of a run-in with a sea lion.)
My largest coho — let’s call it 15 pounds, Rivers Inlet, BC.
The north Pacific Ocean’s tastiest fish — the yelloweye rockfish, also known as the red snapper. I jigged this one up from 300 feet beneath the surface.
Fishing the Haida Gwaii (Langara Island) with a big, mean chinook salmon.
A 20-something-pound chinook salmon from my second trip to BC’s Haida Gwaii.
Fly fishing trip to Northern Saskatchewan — a 45-inch pike, caught then carefully released to spawn the next generation of monsters.
My biggest-ever chinook — 46 pounds, caught near Masset, BC, when they still called this place “The Queen Charlotte Islands.”
This was the first chinook salmon I ever caught in the Haida Gwaii – known as “The Queen Charlotte Islands” at the time.
Twenty-seven kilometres offshore of Tofino, BC, with a chinook that appears larger than it actually is. Any guesses on weight?
My first fish from a fly-in lodge — Whale Channel Lodge, near Princess Royal Island, BC, circa 2004. (Scanned from a magazine article, also my first published fishing adventure story.)
My first “Big Ones” — a couple of chinook salmon weighing in around 20 pounds each, circa 1992.
My first steelhead (and the only one I’ve ever bonked, thank you). Hatchery doe, caught on Vancouver Island’s Big Qualicum River.
I’ve always loved catching bottomfish. I think I’m about four years old in this photo — Deep Bay, BC.
When it all started for me — a 1.5-pound flounder. I was three years old.