Another great day to be on the water! Glass calm waters and blue skies! Many guides and guests are sporting goggle tans after a scorcher like today. Fishing has continued to be steady! The 109 had 3 Chinooks on board today in the low to mid 20″s and released many fish in the teens. The Coho have been spotty lately with the odd one mixed in with the springs.
Halibut fishing was stellar today, as there were smaller tidal swings, which made keeping the lines on the bottom a cakewalk. This led to many beauty flatties at the Bell Ringer this evening. There are also still Tyees being hooked and landed at many of our points. The hotspots lately have been Parker Point and Eagle Rock. Hopefully this beauty weather and steady fishing continues for the rest of the season!
A spectacular sunset yesterday added yet another superlative to the fantastic summer we’ve had up here at QCL. With only 9 fishing days left, we’re still pinching ourselves on how great this season has been!
Unusual northeasterly winds on Tuesday pulled everyone over to Cape Edenshaw where some large Chinooks were waiting. A number of Tyees were boated earlier in the morning at Parker Point and Bird One. Edenshaw didn’t disappoint during the few hours we spent over there, turning out several nice fish through lunchtime and the early afternoon. The big catch of the day went to Jim S, fishing with his wife and QCL guide Ryan Kelly, with beautiful Tyee that tipped the scales at just over 40 pounds.
On Monday John F landed a 41 pounder at Parker Point and Colton L chose to release a stunning big Chinook that taped out to 43 pounds. Add to that another 20 Tyees in the 30’s and it’s sure great to see this number of large salmon around in late August! Coho remain scattered and hard to find but we are finding some in the mix every day.
The windy conditions of the past couple days have slackened right off to provide nice flat water today so the halibut hunt will begin in earnest. The quantity of flatties over 30 pounds has diminished somewhat but there is no shortage of those tasty “chickens” under 20! This summer we’ve seen a higher number of less common groundfish come to the dock – tasty additions to the fishbox like Pacific Cod and Silver-Grey Bocaccio. One sure thing about bottom-fishing, you never know what you’re going to pull up!
Looking ahead to the weekend we expect cloudy skies and moderate winds out of the south to southwest, meaning nice flat water over most of the fishing grounds. It’s likely that any sunshine will come in its liquid form! The fish like that! Tides are building this week to a change of over 16 feet on Saturday, coincident with the full moon on Saturday night.
What a day to be on the water! Light winds have made running the kelp easy for the QCL fleet! Many nice Tyee class springs have been landed this weekend! Today the 109 ran the “stick and stay / make it pay” game plan. We ground the east corner of Parker for 12 hours non-stop. During the morning and into the early afternoon we had steady Chinook action with many 20+ lb. springs. Around 3 pm things slowed down for a while.
We stuck it out and it paid off as my guest Bob M watched his rod come off the clip. He reacted quickly and set the pins into this rocket. We all instantly knew this was a john dandy because it held deep, doing huge head shakes. After an awesome battle we put the fish in the bag. It was a beauty 35 lb. slab. Upon arriving back at the dock I saw many totes full of quality fish and many happy anglers.
Things are still rocking out there and it is shaping up to be a stellar finish to an unreal season!
East Bay, Parker Point. That seems to be the new hotspot on the grounds. The waters between Parker Point and Bird Rock One have produced consistently over the past few weeks. Rennie M, fishing with guide Jeff Smurfit, became the newest member of the QCL 50 Pounder Club last night, with a beautiful big Chinook that taped out to 55 pounds. Congratulations Rennie, and well done. Likewise Norm C, fishing with his guide Lance Mercer, joined the Club, boating a stunning 51 Tyee on the weekend. Great job guys!
For mid August, the Chinook fishing remains very steady, with typical periods of high and low activity. The Tyee bell is getting steady action and there’s lots of celebration down at the Bell Ringer every night. The Huber brothers continued their annual Tyee tournament with each releasing several Tyees during the weekend and Conrad regaining his title by releasing a 45 pounder on Saturday morning. The Coho Salmon remain a bit of a mystery, widely distributed throughout the grounds with no heavy concentrations of fish anywhere. We are getting Cohos but we’re not throwing very many back! It will be interesting to see if larger numbers of Coho show up in the remaining 2-½ weeks of the season.
Flat calm water on Sunday opened up plenty of opportunity for halibut anglers to get some nice fish to take home. We haven’t seen a lot of huge ones lately but Eric L released a 90 pounder on Sunday and Adam D came back to the Bell Ringer with a 132 cm “over” last night that weighed out at 65 pounds. Of course there are lots of nice “chickens” out there that are perfect-sized for the table!
While moderate west to northwesterly winds will continue through Friday the winds will shift on Saturday and Sunday to moderate southwesterly, leaving beautiful flat seas (typically with cloud and showers) for QCL anglers to explore!
Heading out onto the grounds today, I just had that feeling that it was going to be a spectacular day. Everything felt right. The sunrise was spectacular, my guests, a family of 3, were in such a great mood. The boys on the dock were just as excited as me to get out here and see what the day would bring them! I knew right away that we were heading to the east bay of Parker Point, the bay of pigs, as last night my guest lost one of the biggest fish I had ever seen there and he wanted to go back and see if he could get him back.
Not even 5 minutes after I put the rods in the water the fish exploded off the rigger, popping the clip and started peeling line. What a great start!!!! After a 10-minute fight we landed the beauty… 33 pounds! My guests were elated. After the excitement died down we were right in the middle of an amazing conversation when the reel starting screaming again! Again?? Could it be another Tyee? Half an hour and several strong runs later, we got the fish in the boat.
Another Tyee… coming in tonight at 33 pounds as well. What a day! The Chinook action was steady all day. (This place really is Disneyland.) I can’t wait to get out and see what tomorrow brings. Until then, tight lines!
Favourable August weather has been kind to guests and staff alike as we enjoy lots of nice flat water on the grounds and warm sunny afternoons back at the lodge! With less than 3 weeks remaining in the season the fishing remains stellar. The Tyee Club continues to grow daily with lots of enthusiastic bell-ringing going on at the dock each evening. Near shore fishing has been particularly productive with steady Chinook catches in tight at Parker Point, from Bird One around to Cape Naden and the Mazzaredo Islands.
Mark B, fishing with guide Andrew “Fuzz” Simpson became the newest member of the 50 Pounder Club with a stunning chrome fish that they picked up of the east corner at Parker. Mark’s salmon taped out to 56 pounds and all were thrilled to see it swim away from the boat to the safety of the surrounding kelp beds. Great job guys! Later in the day, boat mate Larry M released another beauty that measured to 40 pounds!
Down at the Mazzaredos veteran QCL angler Ken J played a big Tyee to the boat where his guide Ryan “Cap’n Crunch” Kelly carefully taped it out to 48 pounds before setting it free. Joe E released a nice 43 pounder on Wednesday and on Thursday long time lodge guest Grant W turned back a 40 and Brett M released a 44 at Parker Point. Wonderful catches guys! While dedicated veteran anglers enjoyed lots of success we had several youngsters doing particularly well off the topside at Eagle Rock. Josh L managed to land 3 Tyees on his first visit to the Lodge including 40 & 41 pounders! Jake L boated 30 & 31 pound Tyees and 8-year old Evan L landed 32 & 34 lb. Chinooks! Some serious fishing skills on display up there!
Fly rod-wielding anglers in search of hot and heavy Coho action had their work cut out for them this week. While most anglers are getting their share of nice chrome Coho to take home, they’re really scattered around the grounds and the large schools we’re accustomed to have not shown up inshore at least. It seems the Coho are running a little later as the average size is still 8-10 pounds and we usually find strong numbers of 10-12’s at this stage of the summer. By Thursday however, the fly-fishers had located the fish they were after and enjoyed success deep in the bays and even managed to land some “teener” Chinooks!
On the halibut grounds, it’s taking a little more effort to locate the size of fish that we’ve enjoyed all summer but they’re out there! Lots of teen-sized fish are coming to the scale along with a number of 30-plus. We’re still bumping into a few giants out there – Larry H landed two himself last week – at 104 and 234 pounds!
We continue to enjoy moderate winds though the combination of NW 15 and an afternoon ebb tide can make the water chop up nicely! The outlook for the next few days is for mainly west to northwest winds from 10 – 20 knots and some more sunshine!
Up close and personal… with 234 pounds of Halibut!
It’s safe to say that we’ve enjoyed outrageously good halibut fishing this year; we’ve recorded 50 fish over 100 pounds this summer alone! Out on the grounds with QCL guide Torsten Novak this week, Larry H got just a little more than he planned for! Already having hauled a big fish to the surface that taped to 104 pounds, Larry hooked up once again and suddenly had his hands full for another 45 minutes! When this fish came alongside they decided they would try to get a really accurate measurement and elected to pull the monster into the boat! (not recommended)
While it was pretty feisty at the surface, once it was sunny side up on the deck it tamed right down and allowed for a quick measure and some photos before the guys heaved the giant back into the water! With a huge smack of its tail it promptly scooted right down out of sight. At 76 inches in length this big momma should weigh about 234 pounds! It was quite an amazing experience for Larry and his brother and they have loads of photos and video to help share their big fish story about the one that DID get away! Well done!
As we fish well into the month of August, big Chinooks are a pretty constant presence on the fishing grounds! QCL anglers are doing very, very well. Parker Point, Cape Naden and the Mazzaredo Islands seem to be producing most consistently, perhaps because that’s where most people are fishing! We’re getting them on both sides of the tides and at depths ranging from 70 feet on the rigger to 8 pulls on the back rod! Herring and anchovies have been producing equally well and we have guides who only fish with spoons outfishing lots of others!
While we’re generally picking up beautiful 20-25 pound Chinooks and 8-10 lb coho for the fish box we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of really big fish in recent weeks and we’re pleased to say that most of these have been released. Those heavy giants over 40 pounds are really something special and we saw another 16 of them recorded this past week… plus 5 more over 50! Hawaiian teenager Julian K, up for the first time with his dad, was fishing with QCL guide Leon Shaw when Julian reeled in the fish of the week, a stunning big Chinook that taped out to 60 pounds before Leon carefully revived and released it! What a start to your Haida Gwaii fishing resume Julian!
Fishing with guide Alistair Bryce last week, Gavin P released 35 and 55 pounders and his buddy Jake G turned back a nice 42 pound Tyee! On Saturday Tony C released a hefty Chinook at Klashwun Point that measured to 54 pounds. And it was the fishing day of a lifetime for Dillon M, out with guide Tegan Baxter, who landed not one, but two fish over 50 pounds on the same day! About an hour after releasing a huge Chinook that taped out to 50 pounds, they hooked another, even larger fish. This one scored 55 pounds and placed Dillon in the record books as one of a select few to have done so well. Congratulations to all QCL anglers who have seen some of their fishing dreams come true!
The weekend weather forecast looks like light winds out of the west to northwest and mixed skies. Tides will be moderately large with swings of around 12 feet.
The weather on the fishing grounds has continued to be impressive, the winds have been minimal, and the seas have been flat. This calm water has given us all the opportunity to experience good fishing and witness impressive wildlife displays.
As I was driving out to the halibut grounds the other day, I noticed something odd in the tide line, and quickly came to realize that it was a Humboldt Squid. I turned the boat around and we got a better look at the dead creature; it was in good shape so we scooped it up with my net. This thing was huge!! We could barely fit it in the net. It took 2 of us to lift it into the boat. After analyzing the fascinating carcass we cut out the beak and tentacles, then discarded the rest back into the tide line. The tentacles worked awesome for halibut bait, and the beak will dry out and be a good keepsake.
The baitfish have continued to be plentiful, and the Humpbacks continue to cruise the inshore fishing grounds feeding. Lately, I have found myself following the whales around, as the Humpbacks follow the bait, there are usually fish in the area as well. The entire west bay of Bird Rock 2 up into Yatze bay was stacked full of bait today. This led a couple of our boats to experience some pretty consistent fishing and some good whale shows. There is now only one month left of this season, and me and my friends up here start to enjoy each day more and more as the count towards the end of another great season slowly comes to an end.