We’re almost a full week into the new season and things are ticking right along. Our crew has settled in and the 2023 summer is off to a perfect start.
Typical island weather has provided the full range of conditions, often all in one day! Beautiful sunshine, grey and wet, dramatic and flat… we’ve seen it all, but have had no big winds and very comfortable seas. The whole of the fishing grounds has been open and we’ve been exploring most of it!
Early season fishing has really been very good. While our guests and guides all have their favourite spots, this week we’ve focused a lot on Cape Edenshaw, Cape Naden and Bird Rock 2. There’s been a ton of bait around since mid-May with so many whales, eagles and seabirds gorging themselves continuously. It’s mostly needlefish and we’re finding plenty of feeder Chinook pushing that bait around and stirring things up. The tides have been moderate with only 5 to 9 foot swings so the bite tends to last longer when everything sets up.
Chinook salmon ranging from 12-18 pounds are most plentiful, though we’re seeing fish over 20 pounds every day and we’ve had the Tyee bell ringing a few times this week. Last weekend, Driftwood guest Todd M was fishing solo off Cape Naden and boated a beautiful 37-pounder. Sam and Alana G are fishing with QCL guide Seb this week and have 21, 26 and 31 pound Chinooks on their cards so far. Jose C boated a 27 and Matt F found a 29-pounder on Tuesday. On Wednesday John S joined the Tyee Club with a nice 30 lb Chinook, fishing with guide Jeff G. First thing Wednesday morning, Dan K was fishing off the point at Bird 2 and found a salmon that seriously tested his fishing skills before he managed to get the net under it. The big, bronze-coloured male was quickly taped out to 42-pounds, and Dan was mighty proud when he felt that big Tyee swim out of his grip with strong sweeps of its tail! It’s nice to see those amazing big fish continue their journey back to the river.
Halibut fishing in early season often requires a bit of guesswork! We generally find a lot of halibut move inshore in May to feed on needlefish and crab larvae but return to deeper haunts by mid-June. It’s quite common for QCL anglers to pick up their halibut limit while they’re trolling for salmon! In that mix we’ll see some larger fish and this week Arnold A boated a 30-pounder, Ron C kept a 31 while Drew B hooked a 36 and Glorija T boated a 46-pound halibut.
Prospects for the weekend trip are looking great with light winds out of the south and west with continuation of these really mixed up skies! Tide range will continue to grow through Saturday’s full moon and peak on Monday with a 17-foot swing. Hang on!