Ah Sekiu, my favorite summer spot! This tiny little fishing town is located almost on the most northwestern point of our state where the Pacific Ocean meets the Straight of Juan de Fuca.
Memorial weekend is Sekiu’s opening for halibut and the summer fishing season. Mountain man and I try to spend as many summer weekends as possible up here with the goal of filling up our freezer with fish, and then some! The only reason this town exists is for fishing. It consists of several small motels, huge RV parks, one restaurant, and enough docks for the Pacific Northwest sport fishing armada. Seriously, weekend like this bring in hundreds of boats and thousands of fisher folk to this remote corner of our state.
Our trip began with bad news; about an hour into our 4 hour drive out, we get a call from MM’s dad telling us that there are no more sites available at our go to campground Van Ripers. We’ve never had this problem before. Of course typically someone in the family is able to come out early and get sites for everyone. This was devastating since this is the only campground MM’s family uses. We love Van Ripers!! Camping at one of the other places would just be wrong. For the next 50 miles I had my stink face on, driving myself crazy, wondering where we were going to sleep. That’s when our friends contacted us. They happened to have an extra site! What luck! We we’re all so happy to have dodged the bullet of sleeping behind a dumpster, on the side of the road, or god forbid, that other campground! We must have been the last people to show for memorial weekend at 10pm. I’ve never seen the town so full or with so many boats! With regulations getting tighter and fishing seasons getting shorter, it really shouldn’t have been such a surprise.
The next morning we awoke to the cacophony of sea lions barking on the dock. Apparently fishing season means free buffet for them. After cleaning and filleting the fish most fishers toss the carcass in the water. Between the birds and sea lions nothing goes to waste…. Hence fatty here:
Shortly after joining the fishing fleet, Bob, MM’s dad caught the first halibut.
Not a big one but a promising start. Sadly promises are made to be broken. The rest of the day saw little results. This happens, fishing can be somewhat of a gamble depending on what you’re fishing for. Halibut are fairly hit and miss.
The next day we began by checking out the “Mystery Butt Hole.”
Yes that’s how it’s entered in the fish finder. Yes we like our puns. This spot was discovered written on an old map in the glove box of the boat while MM was doing some maintenance. It was in his dad’s handwriting and simply said “Hali”. It was mysterious! Hence the mystery! We caught one little halibut here but otherwise it was quiet. By mid afternoon, we were very bored and annoyed with our lack of fish. Minds start to wander and that’s when MM’s dad said: “Ya know, in all the years I’ve been coming out here, I’ve never seen a whale.” Guess what happened not 20 minutes later….
This is about what we saw, heading straight for the boat! The fin was as tall as I was! We all breathlessly watched as that fin crested getting closer and closer. Not sure what to do if it got too close, we all warily stared at the water. Then we heard the spout come up near the front of the boat. As we spun around we saw several more dorsal fins breaking the surface at varying intervals and sizes. I’ve never seen an orca before! It was a hell of a consolation prize for such a fruitless fishing day.
Monday was not open for halibut, but it was open for rock fish and ling cod. We headed out to the shallow kelp beds near the harbor.
MM’s patience was obviously lacking when he turned to me 5 minutes into jigging and said “Well, Honey, I don’t think the rock fish are home today.” To which I snorted and replied “Guess again, dear. Fish on!” We caught 10 sea bass in the next two hours. Finally! It is so satisfying to have a bite on the end of your line!
So maybe we didn’t get what we were after. We didn’t go home empty handed. MM is frying up the sea bass as I speak! At any rate, it’s good to be back at Sekiu, it’s good to be fishing the Straight again!