A story by David Boulding: If you want big fish in UPPER CAMPBELL LAKE, GO TO GEOFF CAMPBELL

Geoff is one of the 11 grandchildren of Wallace Baike and has fond memories of learning to fish with Wallace.

Wallace was one of the loggers involved in the effort to clear cut the valley for the hydro project he knows the bottom of the lake intimately because he was there for years before it was flooded. he spent years telling Geoff about the underwater landscape, where the hills, where the ponds , where the rivers and the valley features were located.

Wallace Bakie

Wallace Bakie

In the old days…1965 to 1985…..Wallace used long skinny shinny gangtrolls with worms and would take a boatload of grandchildren out for an evening. he always caught fish and if the kids were not quiet and suitably appreciative of the experience Wallace would swat the nearest kid and say…..”that is for all of you”

Geoff must have paid attention because not only has he become a big boat person, he now catches the big fish….some say the biggest trout in the lake.

Geoff finished his maritime training at the MARITIME ACADEMY, spent years in the COAST GUARD up and down the LABRADOR COAST before joining BC Ferries. He is now the captain of the Comox / Powell river ferry.

Geoff says to catch big fish use big lures, no worms. While his grandfather trolled at a sedate, almost glacial, pace Geoff moves quicker. Wallace would let out 100 feet of line with heavy weights. Geoff fishes about 8 to 10 feet deep and does not use worms !

He uses big spoon…3 inch, Atomic plugs, no bait, no weight.

Because Geoff know the contours of the lake bottom, he can troll faster than others…..and it pays…last night he brought me a gorgeous ….2…3 pound rainbow trout.  Sadly I was up too late for breakfast….after 8:10 am and Myrna had already eaten my fish. Disconsolate? Yes, mostly because Myrna said….”oh i did not know you liked fish”

huh…..who does not like fresh rainbow, cooked slowly in olive oil and served hot pan to plate

Memo to self: the early riser gets the fish!

Geoff says his faster troll is technique that works because once he finds one fish he can circle back and catch more in the same hole. The main lesson Geoff remembers is never take more than you need…or you can eat that day or next day.

His wife is a Newfie and the lessons of the depleted cod fishery were not lost on Geoff in his years out there in all kinds of east coast winter weather.

and…..if you want water stories…ask Geoff about the time when his COAST GUARD vessel was so heavily frost laden with frozen sea water, he worried in the heavy seas when the ship rolled the boat would not come back upright…ask him about some of the daring rescue missions he completed…..well… then…..you will have to go fishing with Geoff and chat while pulling in the big ones !