The days are getting longer in Sooke and the boats and the guides and the common fishermen are cracking off the rust and shaking out the down riggers. Halibut season opened this past weekend coast wide until further notice.
Fishing is like winding up a jack in the box, in one moment you are in a peaceful meditation listening to the music of the water and recounting old memories and then bang, grab the hook and the club it’s go time. Life can be like that in general. In one moment there is the comfort of routine and then suddenly the music stops.
The maximum length for halibut is 133cm. The daily limit for halibut is one (1). The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one (1) of which may be over 90cm. The area from which each halibut is caught and its length shall immediately be recorded on licence. The waters of Swiftsure Bank are closed to retention of all fin fish including hali.
Mark an area on your vessel’s hull at the water-line in the area where you would play your catch. Use these marks to determine the 90 cm or 133 cm size limit of your catch. A measuring device may also be fashioned from a piece of wooden dowel such as the handle on a deck broom. Mark the two size limits on the dowel and use this to measure your catch while it is still IN the water.
Reclaiming your identity when someone leaves is a challenge. In Japan, there is the Obon festival every July 15th where they send out candle lit paper lanterns to honour their departed loved ones. In western culture we get just one chance to “pay our respects,” if we are lucky. Some of us can bottle up the suppressed emotion that can manifest in addiction or detachment. So let the boys fish, and pretend the lines are their lantern, the mast is like the Bodhi tree that Buddha sat under when he became enlightened. But let’s face it, enlightenment seems a bit over-rated.
The catch is balance, if you spend too much time meditating or fishing then you might not have anyone to share those joys with. It’s like the guy who brings in the 100-pound halibut and then brags about it constantly, soon no one wants to hang out with him anymore. It’s like the obsession of self-discovery, great you found peace, which frankly seems a bit self-righteous, so enjoy the tree pose and I’m going to be over there living a perfectly happy imperfect life.
The moral imperative is simple, think about what and who you would miss the most and make time for them. If you can’t, then wrap yourself in a tapestry of their memories and their love will keep you warm on the water.