Dock Talk

Halibut and...Skate!?

Canadian Princess Resort - June 2, 2013

We have been enjoying the favourable weather in Ucluelet the last few days.  Anglers have been happily hauling in Halibut under clearing skies and cooperative seas.  We have enjoyed weighing in the Halibut Catch of the Day, and glad to see more of the flat fish on the scales.

Delores Fixzycz caught an impressive halibut that weighed 39lbs-01oz.  She was fishing with Skipper Harvey on the Salmon Princess out at South Bank when she reeled in this beautiful Halibut.

“I caught two fish and both put up a huge fight!” exclaimed Delores, an avid angler visiting Ucluelet from Vancouver.  “Lots of fish were caught on the boat this morning.”

The very next day Randy Ellingson caught a 23lbs-08oz Halibut off of the Long Beach Bank.  He was fishing with friends and traveled far across the prairies to fish off the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Randy is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and has been fishing for 40 years, mostly in fresh water in the Canadian Prairie Provinces.

“The most unusual thing I caught was a skate, but we threw it back in,” shared Randy. 

Skate fish are very unusual indeed.  They are a part of the ray family but are different than stingrays.  They share the same kind of shape: a flat diamond or kite shaped body with two ‘wings’.  Their tails are fleshy and without a spine or a stinger like their ray cousins. 

Skate live in almost any cold ocean in the Northern Hemisphere and off the southern coast of South America.  In most cases they live near the bottom of the ocean.  They’re sluggish and slowly cruise along the seabed looking for clams, snails or shrimp to eat.

They are fished and sold commercially for food overseas.  They are not a popular food-fish in North America, but are still heavily fished in other parts of the world.  According to an article in Wikipedia Greenpeace International has added several sub-species of skate to the seafood red list in an effort to protect them.

These two fishing trips also experienced the best of west coast wildlife while out on the water.  They observed bald eagles soaring over head, curious sea lions, harbour seals, adorable and playful porpoises, and even saw a few Gray whales.  See this amazing marine life for yourself on a Whale Watching tour with the Canadian Princess Resort.  We have boats leaving daily in both the mornings and the afternoons. 

Tight Lines!

Amy