Sunday, 10 September 2017

Kermode Bear



Jack James was the manufacturer and retailer of Radiant Lures for decades. These were used in Saanich Inlet fishing, as well as other places, and more recently the company changed names to Super Tackle. Matt James, Jack’s son, retails the tackle on his site www.superflea.ca. I asked Jack about the spoons he once had that would glow for hours in the dark, as in a far longer time than other glow lures. 

He sent me home with a few packages of current plankton-sized and halibut-sized hootchies from Super Tackle. Once charged with a light, or even a small LED flashlight, they do indeed glow almost all night long. I put two packages on my bookshelf, and if I wake in the night, there they are glowing away. What this means is that the lures will indeed emit glow for as long as the lure is fishing at depth, not simply for five minutes, as older versions of glow used to do. You should pick some up for your winter fishing that is done at depth beyond the visible spectrum.

Here is an image of some of the Super Tackle hootchies, quite colourful:





Now, to deviate a bit from fishing, in this case Saanich Inlet, when I was sleuthing through the collectibles in Jack James house, there was a wonderful painting of a spirit bear and I took some images of it. It is quite large, perhaps 2 X 3 feet.

Here is what Jack had to say in a note to me when I asked about the painting:

“In 1942-43, during the war – I went to school, grade 7 and 8 at South Park School. Every day after school my best friend and I walked through Beacon Hill Park on the way to beach comb at our log fort in Torpedo Bay. On the way, we stopped at the Kermode Bear’s (Spirit Bear’s) cage and fed her an orange.

To get her to eat these oranges, in the beginning we rubbed our stomachs in a circular motion, to show the bear they were good to eat. After a number of times, this bear, when it saw us coming, would stand up at the cage bars and copy this motion. We had difficulty getting these war-rationed oranges from our parents.

I took pictures of this bear named Ursus Kermode, from Kermode Island, which was captured by a Mr. Kermode with a cub bear. The cub died in captivity in the late 1930s. I sent the picture I took with an old box camera and asked my son to do the new medium in art on his Gilcee (could be, Giclee, as I wasn’t sure of Jack’s hand writing) machine.

He put the picture in his machine and got some outdoor background work. He machine printed his new art medium work, and coloured it as you see. As the colouring paint is very expensive I paid him for it. This magnificent art work is done on Everlasting Canvas. It will last forever. 

I sell my son’s art works, and have sold dozens over the past few years! Matt sells art works on his website. I have a small framed one for sale for $100; however, the one you took the picture of is $5000. 

During our beach combing, the US navy and RCN practiced dropping depth charges off the Victoria waterfront. Many fish and other sea creatures floated up and we often took fish home to our surprised mothers. One day, I dragged a large octopus home – and got grounded for a few days!
Thanks for the reminder of this Spirit Bear. The Island it came from has been renamed..”

Here is the image of the beautiful processed painting:



Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Josephine


Back in the day, Jack James fished Saanich Inlet from his open wooden boat, The Josephine, which is pictured below with Jack and some finny friends in the 1970s. You will note how many more fish there were then, that have sadly not been maintained through habitat restoration by DFO.




Jack, started fishing with Josephine in the ‘50s. Here is what he had to say about Saanich Inlet fishing in its heyday: 

There were 2 major fishing derbies in Saanich Inlet... the Ladder Derby and the Solarium Derby. My brother, Dick and I ran the Solarium Derby which usually brought in $15,000 for the Solarium, which we donated. Most prizes were donated.1st prize that day was a $900, TV combination set, 2nd was a 14-foot clinker built boat, which I won with a 23 lb 8 oz spring salmon. 

As we were fishing out of a rotten old clinker which leaked like a sieve and was direct drive, when the starting gun went off, and because of no gears, we were over the line too soon and the officials turned us back over the line. The hot spots were Chesterfield Rock south side and Misery Bay on the north, however we had a depth gauge and there was a deep drop off just over the starting line. 

When passing over this deep hole, we both dropped our lines and I immediately hooked the seconded largest fish. I was using a Peetz cane rod and a 6-inch Peetz reel with 900-feet of Monel steel line. A new lure had just been produced called a Herring Magic. While brother Dick was using a strip teaser, I fished a whole herring at 140 feet--which did the trick. The locals renamed this hole Poose's Point as I fished there for 30 + years, mostly with mooched herring. As mooching was a bad word in the Inlet in those days, I always faked what I caught my many trophy winners on!! The fake name I used for many years was a Sidewinder.

The Josephine was donated by Woodward Stores on Douglas Street. They sold them for $400, and they were built by Cedar Boatworks in Vancouver. They are still in business in False Creek and I was told the 14 ft now sells for $2500.

My restored clinker has been given to my son and if he wishes to sell it, the price is $2900. It is advertised on line. No takers yet, but have had several offers. It comes complete with the original trailer and the 6th restored 5 horse power Briggs and Stratton!  Good luck. J.J. (nicknamed "Poose ")

PS My son Matthew has the rod and reel and lure that won the boat.

As noted, Jack and family still have the Josephine, and when I was over looking at all his memorabilia, I took a shot of him and her, as well as a whole bunch of other things. The boat is in exceptionally good shape for its age, or even for a new boat.





Fishermen may weather a bit, but not their boats (if kept in the garage, and filled to overflowing regularly with $$ - as we all know). 

And an original arm/jacket patch of the Victoria Saanich Inlet Angler’s Association:



Jack's home and garage are filled to overflowing with memorabilia that would take many peoples' lives to collect but have been put together in Jack's one lifetime. I believe these glass containers originally contained aftershave or perfume





And his collection of licence plates must be the biggest in the world.