- Unreel Charters
Nanaimo Fishing Charters Report 2017 Summary Part 1
Here's A long overdue wrap up of our 2017 Nanaimo fishing charter season. First off, I would like to thank everyone who booked a fishing charter with us over the last year! Our 2017 season had lots of great times on the water with many great guests from all over the world. At the peak of the season in July and August we were doing fishing charters every day and most days we were doing multiple trips per day. I will address the fishing, but first will talk about the weather as that was one of the biggest issues of the season. There were some tough times in the season doing Vancouver Island fishing charters, the summer was the windiest we have had in many many years. This led to an unprecedented number of charter cancellations in the peak of our season doing fishing charters Vancouver Island. With strong outflow winds in the Straight we were forced to cancel many fishing charters due to very rough sea conditions. We understand everyone is disappointed when we have to cancel trips, myself included and we did everything we could to reschedule bookings when the wind subsided. As always, if we have to cancel because of weather, your deposit is completely refunded. Safety on the water is our absolute top priority and unfortunately we are at the mercy of mother nature when it comes to any activity on the open ocean. I am aware of one or 2 other charter operators that were willing to go out on the water during almost gale force winds in boats smaller than ours. While that is there choice, I nor any of our guides would ever put anyone's safety on the line to make money on a charter. I highly recommend anyone looking to book a charter with any outfit, to ask about wind conditions and if at any point do they cancel a charter due to high winds? If they say they will go pretty much no matter what, you should look elsewhere as these operators are putting making money ahead of your safety and enjoyment. The worst example of this is as follows: During the windiest stretch of the summer, where we saw winds of 40+ km/h, daily for 6 days straight. These are just shy of gale force winds. For us, when the winds reach 30+ km/h we will not go out, as the seas can be 4+ feet of steep breaking waves at 30km/h and no one will be able to stand on the deck. And when i'm referring to wave height, i'm not talking about swells or rollers as some call them. We don't get those in the Straight where we fish. The waves we do get, are created strictly by wind and tide and are very steep and close together. We call this chop. Its not that our boat isn't capable of handling these seas, it will handle more than any person will, its that no one will enjoy being out in these conditions and most will get sea sick very quickly. During this stretch, I was down at the marina double tying my boat to the dock when I saw one of the other local charter operators getting his boat ready at the launch. His boat is much smaller than ours fyi. I thought maybe he was just testing something out on his boat until I saw a group of 4 people walking to his boat. 2 of these people were elderly and one was walking with a cane. I was completely stunned to see he was not only going out in these conditions, but was taking clients with obvious physical issues. I was about to walk over and ask if they knew what kind of seas they were about to go into, when another boat came in from refueling. He was also shocked to see this and asked the group if they knew how rough the seas would be? They said no, and that the guide/owner hadn't told them anything about the weather. When they were told it would be 6+ feet of breaking white caps, the group got off the boat and cancelled right away. This is a prime example of an owner/operator interested in one thing, making money no matter what the risk. In summary, if you book with another charter operator, please ask if there is a certain wind speed or wave height in which they won't go out if the weather is bad.
I will continue this wrap up with the fishing portion in the next post, I just thought this was the more important topic to cover from the last season. Some bit of good news tho, we are looking at moving up to an even bigger boat for the 2018 season or adding it as a second boat. This would allow guests more comfort in tough sea conditions. Stay tuned for the fishing charters fishing report of 2017 and what to expect in 2018!