QCL anglers combed the fishing grounds this week, taking advantage of beautifully calm waters and massive volumes of baitfish in the area. Depth sounders revealed dark clouds of large herring 90 feet deep and twice the size of football fields with schools of Coho and Chinook salmon mixed throughout. The huge amount of feed in the area perhaps didn’t help the fishing but certainly revealed the incredible health of the ecosystem! Salmon action was very solid for nice coho ranging 8-12 pounds, fishing off shore a bit, down 70-90 feet in 125 feet of water. While less plentiful, the bulk of Chinooks were generally shallower and sized 15-20 pounds. The big Tyees were hanging in closer to the kelp beds at Bird 2, Green Point and Parker Point. We saw a number of nice fish released this week with Caleb Smith turning back a 34 pounder and Ian Bryce a hefty fish that taped out to 37 pounds. Great work guys!
The big salmon story this trip, however, belongs to Texan angler Shawn Gosdin, fishing solo with his guide Jo Brakefield. These guys go back a ways, fishing together at a couple of other BC lodges before Jo joined the guide team at QCL this summer. They’ve always done pretty well but Jo had a hunch that they would do something special this week. That hunch came to fruition on Wednesday morning when they made their first pass around the point at Bird 2 and the inside rod dipped abruptly. Shawn took the rod and held on tight as a heavy fish pulled them out and away from the wall. Jo stayed on top of the action and steered the boat away from other anglers in the quiet water behind the rock. Shawn’s deft touch on the rod and some measured patience paid off with Jo carefully slipping the net beneath the huge silver salmon. They opted not to boat the fish and Jo did the measurements hanging head down in the net before finally removing it from the soft mesh. The giant Chinook came around pretty quickly while the guys held on and revived it. Taping out to 57 pounds, the photos definitely describe a massive trophy Chinook that is a new personal best for angler and guide alike! Our congratulations go out to Shawn and Jo for sharing a personal landmark in their fishing careers! Definitely one of those moments that neither will ever forget!