Most of my friends wouldn't have guessed that I actually enjoy fishing. Growing up, my family would often go and visit the many islands of the Philippines and surely one of those days, we would be woken up to go fishing. Fishing back home was very primitive though! I didn't get a chance to use proper gear. Often times it would just be an empty water bottle with string wrapped around it and a hook at the end. Just throw it in the water and somehow I get fish! But what I absolutely love about the experience of fishing is really being by the sea. My good friend Betti, who loves staring at the sky, get along with me very well because I love just looking out to the sea, listening to the waves crashing against the boat, basking in the vastness and greatness of God's creation.
Just this past summer, I got this wonderful opportunity of going fishing in Vancouver waters. While it's not a totally "roughing" out experience, it was still fun and I was able to catch some fish... and eat it afterwards! Yum!
We went to Steveston at around 8AM, and we were going to the fishing charter by Seabreeze Adventures.
What's great about going on a fishing trip that's already a package is that it comes along with all the equipment you need. You only really need to bring yourself as they will supply the fishing rods, the bait, and more. We did bring some snacks and a cooler to place the fish in after we caught them.
One thing that was quite unique with this experience was that this time, I had full gear to bring with me to document the experience, and C brought his GoPro HD Hero 2 to capture the moments when you're reeling in the fish!
Here are all the fishing rods ready for us!! Fishing charters are definitely great for groups of 7-9 people. The Seabreeze company also offers 12 passenger boats as well, just in case you're interested. A captain would also be in the boat navigating and assisting everyone with their fishing. Especially for total amateurs like me, who's never actually held a real fishing rod, it was just perfect!
It was definitely a perfect day for fishing. It was sunny, it wasn't too cold. I went in August, which is great for us, but not as great for the fish, crab or shrimp. According to the captain, they frequent the waters more in June. Mental note for next time!
First stop were the crab traps. The captain would reel in the crab traps and much to our surprise, there were a number of them in it! Yay!
Our captain was teaching us some of the rules. He brought this measuring stick to ensure that the crabs we would pick are the right size. A good number of them were too small and so we had to throw them back in the ocean. Let them grow a bit more!
I wasn't quite listening as I was intrigued by this dungeness crab trying to escape the trap... of our bellies!
Here is our friendly captain navigating the ship! After we took the crabs that met the standard, we put the traps back into the ocean, and headed for the shrimp / prawn traps.
While we travelled, I saw by the water and I just enjoyed watching the waves. I remember those many vacations sitting by the water, and at the end of the day I would only feel like I'm still in a boat. It was beautiful and relaxing. The motor was loud and so was the sea, so I sang worship songs out loud. Haha!
Alas! Our prawn traps weren't very successful. We only had a handful of spot prawns.. but they looked really good and yummy!
We let them settle down in a bucket for a little bit, and then we cleaned them multiple times. Look how pretty this one is posing!
And just because we wanted to try it sashimi style, the captain was nice enough to allow us to try it. He even brought out a little container of soy sauce and wasabi. We peeled the skin off the prawn (it was really sticky!), dipped it into the sauce and ate it in one go. AND IT WAS GOOD. Nothing like fresh out of the water prawns! :) Now I'm craving them. Of course there was a risk, but we took it anyway. Haha!
Into the steamer the crabs and the shrimp went! Also included in this charter was lunch. So the captain steamed the crabs and the prawns for us and we had it with bread.
You can't get it any fresher than that, fresh from the sea and straight into the steamer!
Then, we finally went fishing. We went on a couple of spots, but it was tough! We had lots of "incidents" where some of us would reel in someone else's hook, or get stuck on a rock. But it was fun! It was really tiring to reel in... I had no idea. All my life, I just grabbed on to the string with my bare hands and pulled it up!
It was getting harder and harder to take photos as the fish would come in succession. We caught a good number of rock cod and dog fish (which we threw back of course). We threw back a couple of rock cods as well as they were too small. Uncle caught a ling cod but it was two inches too short of the regulation. But we were determined!
We were nearing some of the islands near Vancouver Island when we saw these seals sunbathing on this sandbank! Seemed like they were having the time of their lives.
We hopped from one fishing spot to another. After an hour or two without much bites, it can get frustrating! I remember my first catch was this super spiny starfish that got stuck on my bait. It sort of crumbled away!!
Aunty caught this humongous rock cod!! It doesn't look impressed. Haha!
And just as I thought you couldn't get any bigger than that, I caught an even bigger rock cod! It was so big it was like half the size of me!!! Imagine me reeling this in. I wanted to give up!
Uncle had the biggest catch of all... the Ling Cod! Finally we caught one that met the standard. They were tossed into the container filled with water.
Before long, it was time to go home! The ride was still about 2 hours. Overall, it was a great experience and right after we cleaned the fish and went to a restaurant that would cook them for us.
I think going on a fishing charter is a great way to go fishing without all the hassles of planning a fishing trip, especially for people who don't know where are the good fishing spots! I really enjoyed the experience and I would do it again, but next time I'll try if we could get other fish! At the restaurant, I had rock cod 5 ways ... I was really tired of it afterwards! Note to self... never have the fish 5 ways! Two ways is enough! :)
After this incredible fishing experience, I can't wait to go to the water again. Really looking forward to hitting the sea again sometime soon. I miss it a lot even though I live so close to the water. Nothing beats being on the boat, with nothing around you but the sky and the sea. :)