So here we find ourselves at the middle of June and it finally feels like the fishing season has really got going. With a strong start on the opening weekend, we were pretty pumped for traditional June fishing, which sees strong numbers of “feeder Springs” in the 10 to 15-pound class mixed with enough 20-pound plus Chinooks to keep anglers on their toes.
However, a combination of cold, clear water (9-degrees C / 48-degrees F), meaning low volumes of basic foodchain blocks – algae, plankton, krill, needlefish – provided no good reason for salmon to be foraging inshore where we expect to find them! Even the birds and the whales were on the hunt for food that was in short supply. Add to that, the cooler than normal air temperatures on the mainland, meaning a late freshet from the interior to the coastal rivers, and we’re simply 2-3 weeks behind schedule this year!
QCL anglers have enjoyed great, reliable action for halibut and lingcod, with most picking up a couple of salmon in between. On Sunday the salmon migration seemed to really get started and we were finding noticeably more, and bigger, Chinooks in the area, along with a bunch of Chum and Coho in the mix. Since then, our current guests are seeing much more salmon action and there is a nice buzz on the dock again tonight! Kicking off Day 1 of the current trip, Lead Guide Jeff S got right down to business, with his parents in his boat for their first visit! Always one to rise to the challenge, Jeff and his folks returned to the Bell Ringer Monday night with a beautiful 30-pounder in the box! Congratulations to Doug and welcome to the Tyee Club at QCL! Nice calm water this week ensures that the weigh station will be busy every night with a healthy mix of halibut and lingcod along with the salmon.
We’re very fortunate that there always seem to be a number of giant halibut come to the boat each trip, even though all halibut over about 55-pounds are released. Last weekend, Meghan P, visiting all the way from Conception Bay, Newfoundland, lifted not one, but two impressive halibut from the depths! On Friday, her first one taped out to 76-inches in length or 176 pounds! And if that wasn’t enough, she went out on Sunday and pulled up another one half that size, at 56-inches for 83-pounds! It’s such a thrill to see a fish that size alongside your boat, but what a lot of work! The good news is that Meghan also managed to find a couple of nice keepers to take home to share her stories with friends and family! And for many of our guests, that’s the best part of the experience!