As we roll into the 4th trip of the 2014 fishing season we’re thrilled by the promise of the weeks to come. It’s only the second week of June and we’ve already broken our lodge halibut record and inducted two new members to the 50 Pounder Club!
The Chinook fishing overall has been pretty typical with large numbers of aggressive feeder springs in the 12 to 20 pound class being found throughout the fishing grounds. The action is very steady with definite bites coming on from time to time around the slack tides. We love these early season feeder springs – they’re so strong and athletic – it’s like getting into a massive school of 20 pound coho!
In the mix however, we are finding enough of those Tyee-class Chinooks that keep you coming back for more! Last week Nick Ritchie doubled up on Tyees with a 36 pounder on Tuesday and a 32 on Thursday. Greg Vavra boated a stunning 43 pounder on the weekend while Shaun Thiessen returned to the dock with senior QCL guide Jeff Smirfitt and the first 50 pounder of the season – Congratulations Shaun! Mike Knievel followed on Tuesday with a 52 lb beauty, taken on a “Tiger Prawn” spoon and guided by Nick Mercer. It’s nice to see an early start for these legendary silver giants.
Speaking of giants, the halibut fishery here at QCL is quickly emerging as a force in itself. In recent years our guests and guides have discovered a whole new spectrum of halibut fishing and we’re seeing fantastic results. QCL guests take home lots of tasty halibut and these days they’re typically larger fish than in past years. Fish in the 40, 50 and 60 pound class are coming to the scale every trip and we’re releasing some real giants. Mike Pidlisecky boated a perfect 61 pounder last Tuesday and on Wednesday he released one that taped out to 148 pounds! On the weekend Trevor Putnam was fishing with QCL guide and sales rep Mark Kasumovich. They decided to drop a line in the trench just off the Mazzaredo Islands. In less than 90 feet of water they hooked onto a fish that dragged them up into even shallower waters where they pulled it alongside long enough to measure it out to 148 pounds before cutting the hook and watching it swim away! Great job guys!
The QCL record for halibut on the scale is 183 pounds, landed by Mike Sutherland back in 2000. Now that we’re releasing all halibut over about 75 pounds our guides are finding novel ways to measure them in the water. One such successful measurement revealed a new QCL Record Halibut last week when Chris Yates hauled up a giant female from the depths that measured out to 72 inches in length; a calculated weight of 197 pounds! That’s an amazing fish Chris and congratulations on your place in the QCL record books!