June 29, 2013 Duane Foerter0

The Canada Day weekend trip at QCL kicked off with a bang tonight as the really big fish started arriving at the Bell Ringer! Darris McDaniel, fishing a herring at Bird Rock with Brian Clive, weighed in a beautifully proportioned Chinook that tipped the scale at 51.2 pounds.

Senior guide Cole Adams was fishing Cape Naden with long-time guests Henry and Gerda Gusse when Henry hooked onto what would be his biggest catch yet at QCL. After a 40 minute battle Henry’s trophy salmon weighed in at 53 pounds at the Bell Ringer scale.

Melissa Letwin arrived at the dock this evening after a great day fishing with senior guide Jeff Smirfitt. The action for them was particularly good at lunch hour today when Melissa hooked up to a heavy fish at Klashwun Point. No stranger to playing strong-fighting big Chinooks, Melissa handled the rod like a pro and brought the big Tyee to the boat. When she finally put it on the scale at day’s end the big chrome salmon weighed 56 pounds.

More photos to come!
What a fantastic start to to the 2013 season, exceptional weather much of the time and awesome fishing all the time!

June 26, 2013 Elyse Hebert0

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Click the link below to see video footage of today’s big fish! Official weigh-in was 66.2 lb; Congratulations to QCL guests Nathaniel Schwartz and Joe Slotemaker!

Fishing an anchovy/flasher combination down 40 feet just off the kelp forest at Yatze Bay, Nate and Joe hooked up with the fish of a lifetime! “For the first few minutes I thought I had a halibut!” said Nate Schwartz, telling his story of the big one that didn’t get away! (That could be because QCL guests have been catching a lot of nice halibut in close to the kelp this month as they feed on abundant needlefish in the area.) “But when it started to move and come closer to the surface we could see the silver flash and then I knew we had a big salmon on the line!” Nate managed to hold the powerful fish out and away from the safety of the kelp as it sounded. After a 30 minute tug of war Joe faced the daunting task of getting this giant into the net. But the two buds, fishing on their own without a guide, had their system down and successfully slipped the net around the 34 inch girth of the massive salmon. They called Fishmaster Matt Burr over to do some measurements and quickly estimated the size to be close to 70 pounds! Upon arrival back at the QCL dock to much fanfare and many curious onlookers, the big beauty was finally recorded at 66.2 pounds to become the largest salmon so far in the 2013 season which is shaping up to be a classic! That’s a great fish lads – Congratulations!

June 25, 2013 Elyse Hebert0

The big news from the weekend was a continuation of recent trips, delivering calm ocean conditions and plenty of fish and wildlife. The healthy and diverse ecosystem continues to support some fantastic fishing in our waters, which is evident by the huge smiles on our guests and their full boxes of fish.

The dock bell continues to ring loud and clear, and on this past three day weekend trip we heard it thirteen times! David Lefevre scored the biggest Chinook of the trip, at a weight of 41lbs. A close second was Blake Langford, with his 38lb Chinook; and both of these prime animals were released to swim another day. Blake Langford bagged a second tyee of 34lbs, while Darcy Hansen and Brent Lipinski also netted a pair of tyees each. Steve Mansell, Joseph Pacione, John Lepinski, Brodie Fraser and Bill Rockney also took their turns at the bell to the applause of guests and staff alike at the Bell Ringer.

The Coho fishery is now apparently in full swing, and we have been seeing some nice sized fish to boot.  Many of our anglers went home with their 8 salmon possession limit, topping up their catch with Coho salmon, which typically arrive a little later in the season.  This unseasonably early showing of great numbers of coho is another positive sign of things to come this summer!

Halibut continues to make up most of our ground fish catch. Of note was a healthy 44lb specimen taken by Steven Philips, who received a silver halibut pin for his prize. Congratulations Steven!

June has proven to be a month full of amazing fishing, adventure and fun; a big thank you goes out all of our guests and staff for a wonderful start to the season!


June 20, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Light winds and calm seas have continued this week, with exceptionally favorable conditions experienced by QCL anglers. The theme for this week has been dominated by the large runs of Chinook salmon stopping in on all of the regular spots, with consistent catches had by our guests all across the fishing grounds, from Cape Edenshaw to the East and Green Point to the West.  These constant pushes of fish are being held against the Northern Graham Island shoreline by massive numbers of schooling baitfish, which when viewed on our depth sounders are often covering the entire water column!  More and more Coho salmon are also showing up on each tide, taking advantage of our extremely rich waters as they gorge themselves on the incredible abundance of needlefish and herring.

In on the feeding frenzy, the sea mammals that frequent our shoreline are providing photo opportunities for all of our guests.  Humpback whales can be seen scooping up balls of needlefish and are holding tight to the kelp beds, often within a stone’s throw of our boats as they tack along the shoreline. Large groups of Orcas have also been passing through on a regular basis while hunting for sea lions, confirming their status at the top of the food chain. Gray whales have also been sighted this week, as they get in on the action, while black bears searching the shoreline for food are almost a daily occurrence and provide a momentary distraction from the singing Islander reels.

The fishing has been absolutely spectacular, with guests and guides alike complaining that they can only get one rod set before a salmon hits and starts peeling off line – a great “problem” to have! More and more large specimens have been showing up, and everyone is excited about the possibility of a record breaking fish this year. As of yesterday afternoon, just 3 days into our current trip, we have witnessed some majestic Chinook salmon hitting the dock. A big QCL hand goes out to Wayne Cherney, who rang the bell five times in celebration of his 51lb Chinook salmon; way to go Wayne!  More hands were employed in this honor, with Jerry McCaffrey, Mark Atchison, Maria Hansma, Sevy Olson and Brad Black all having a turn at the bell to celebrate their Tyee-class Chinook salmon.  Also on the list and worth considerable mention, are Shane Bondy and Paul Irving, who elected to release their 35lb and 36lb Tyees, respectively. It’s always nice to see those big fish swim away from the boat, and we hope they make their way back to their natal streams to spawn.

Halibut fishing has been great as usual, with so many fish still holding in shallow water that we continue to see incidental catches while targeting Salmon. A steady catch of “chicken” size halibut, along with the odd larger fish, are being caught in depths from 60’ to 180’, so you don’t have to venture far to add these tasty fish to your box.

With the steady runs of Salmon, abundance of ocean life and calm seas of 1m or less expected to hold through this weekend, our next trip looks very promising.


June 18, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Absolutely stunning weather and phenomenal fishing were hallmarks of the 11th Annual Kingfisher Derby, held at QCL this weekend.  Thirty-five anglers competed for over $70000 in prize money.  This derby is largely built around Catch & Release fishing for Chinook salmon, facilitated by the use of derby marshals who are standing by on the fishing grounds to exchange the netted fish for an empty net.  They then use standard length & girth measurements to establish a score for each entry before carefully reviving and releasing the fish.

After 3 days, diligently working the waters between Cape Naden and Klashwun Point, the final results were revealed at the awards banquet Sunday night. Tony Reid came away the big winner this year with the top 2 fish, netting him $40K for first prize plus $13K for the second largest salmon of the derby. Kudos to senior QCL guide Cole Adams who kept them on the action for the duration of the weekend, registering the big fish which scored 37.45 and the second which scored 35.60.  The third place fish, which scored 35.60 was landed by Bill Hendriks at Bird 2 with guide Derek Poitras.  An interesting twist in the derby structure is an $8000 prize for the largest killed fish, this time to another QCL veteran, John Satterberg, and fishing partner Wally Remmer.  John’s fish scored 34.17 to claim the prize.

Congratulations all around to all participants and thanks for helping to make the 11th Annual Derby a resounding success.


June 12, 2013 Duane Foerter0

The Tyee Bell was ringing loud and clear this weekend as several lucky QCL anglers found some big salmon in the healthy mix of ocean bright Chinooks.  It’s just the second week of the season but the fishing has been red hot.  The combination of excellent water conditions and hundreds of tons of baitfish in the rich waters of Virago Sound create the ideal environment for schools of migrating salmon.  Chinooks comprise the vast majority of salmon we see in early June, with many anglers enjoying 30-fish days catching 15 to 20 pound feeders.  These early fish are bursting with energy and will definitely test your skills!  

But swimming with them in the mix are always a percentage of larger fish and those can be quite a surprise!  We saw several nice Tyee-class fish in the 30’s over the weekend with a few in the 40’s.  Daniel Ruddy kicked off his fishing trip in a big way, weighing a beautiful 42 pounder on Friday night.  Joe Wedge elected to release a nice pair of Tyees – 30 & 31 pounds – on Friday and Rob Schmela, fishing with buddy Steve Rule, released a stunning big Chinook that taped out to 41 pounds.  They repeated on Saturday with 2 fish in the 30’s and a 40 pounder released at Bird 2.  Well done guys!  

Speaking of releasing giants, we saw two awesome halibut go back this weekend as well; Jon Black released a 62 inch length halibut on Friday (calculated weight = 120 lb) and Shane Radcliffe hauled up a 60 incher (calculated weight = 110 lb) on Sunday.  Nice to see those big breeding females go back!  Good work! 

Sunday brought a change in the weather and the start of a week of northwesterly breezes on the fishing grounds. Yves Gascon boated an awesome Tyee that taped out to 39 pounds and Kevin Onishenko released a 42 pounder. The biggest halibut on the dock Sunday also weighed 42 pounds for angler Leonard Radcliffe.  Just perfect! 

Looking ahead, the weather this week continues to come from the northwest with moderate winds of 10 to 20 knots; morning cloud giving way to big sunny skies in the afternoon.  The tides peaked out on the weekend so the moderating tidal changes will tend to prolong the bite throughout the lengthy 15 hour fishing days! Game on!


June 5, 2013 Duane Foerter0

We’re happy to report that the 2013 fishing season has started off with a bang and it’s looking better every day! 

The fishing grounds are filled with life as we’re literally surrounded by a flurry of feeding birds, mammals and fish.  Angling alongside dozens of eagles and numerous humpback whales feeding close to shore, QCL guests are definitely feeling the Haida Gwaii magic. The humpbacks are a great indicator as to what’s happening on the grounds as they forage for the same baitfish that the salmon are currently feeding on. They have also been giving us many thrilling shows as they torpedo around, feeding, slapping their pectoral fins and their tail flukes on the surface of the water.  

Tuesday afternoon a large pod of Orcas traversed the fishing grounds out west around Klashwun Point, Eagle Rock, and Green Point. They were certainly hunting, a fantastic sight to see, but they have headed west again, leaving our fishing grounds free for us to fish without competition! 

While our guide team has been out testing the waters  for the past week with great success, the first guest fishing day yielded our first Tyees of the season. Katty Chaichian-Bateman hooked and landed a thirty-three pound Chinook Tuesday morning while fishing with her husband Rob. They were fishing at Parker Point where most of our larger fish have been hooked recently. We love it when the ladies come up and catch the fish of a lifetime! Katty has been challenging for a Tyee for seven years and is absolutely thrilled at having caught her first. Congratulations on joining the club!   Chris Cavelti also joined the ranks with a nice 31 pounder.  We are seeing good numbers of fish in the twenty’s among the many 16 to 20 pounders in all areas of our fishing grounds. With each tide change we have seen more and more new runs of fish showing up, with some larger fish being boated. 

But the big ones are definitely out here! We’re pleased to say that we have recorded our first 50 pounder of the year!  Making the rounds Tuesday in the Fishmaster boat, Rob Clough, guided by Matt Burr, caught and released a beautiful chrome-bright trophy right off the wall at Bird Rock II just before lunch!  Careful measurements scored the fish at 53 pounds before it was gently released to continue on its journey.  Well done boys! What a great omen to start the new season!

Looking ahead to the weekend, the weather is calling for moderate southerly winds through Friday / Saturday before swinging to moderate northwest late Sunday.  Tide changes are peaking at a 14 foot change as well so we’re looking forward to a fantastic weekend ahead!