Pilar Martinelli, from one of our lingcod fishing families, sends this report from their ongoing lingcod fishing trip this month. This month’s story depicts the journey of a school of Pomfret fish along the Klaskino Inlet.
Fishing is fishing. Day in, day out, there isn’t much variance outside the seas, winds, and weather. Some days there are more fish to be caught, but the duties, the hours, the routine is the same. Up at 5 to glaze fish, fishing before 7, done by 7, clean up, eat dinner, bed. Not too exciting for the most part – just hard work and monotony seen from the eyes of a rookie deckhand.
I find the excitement and the stories – animal sightings and sunsets exempt – mostly to be found on the days where foul weather keeps us from fishing, freeing us to explore the empty beaches of the West Coast. I love the days where we get to walk more than 30 steps on solid ground. It’s a much welcome break from the small quarters and constant motion of the boat.
One of our most recent trips to land, brought us to the Klaskino Inlet on the northern coast of West Vancouver Island. It was there, on one of the empty, sandy beaches, that we came across a doomed school of Pomfret fish, stuck in a rapidly draining tide pool. It was a sad sight to see these fish stressed and unable to take that great leap from puddle to open waters. At the rate that the water was seeping through the sand, their time was surely limited.
It was heartbreaking to watch them flutter about looking for an escape route. But it turns out, I wasn’t the only one to feel bad for this small school of fish. Surprisingly, the big, tough fishermen also were moved!
Now, these are the guys that take the lives of fish all day long and don’t seem to think twice of it. It’s their job. They work hard so the rest of us can eat. But rather than walk away from this dying school, they rallied to save them, first by carrying them one by one to the open ocean and then getting creative with an empty jug they spied on the beach to transport them all in one group. Operation Pomfret success! Tough as these two fishermen may look on the outside, they are truly softies at heart.
[email protected] - May 10, 2019