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August 2, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Now into the final third of the 2018 season, we’re thinking those northwesterly winds we were praising in late June can let up already!  We’ve had 2 weeks of steady northwesterlies now and are ready for a change!  Anglers and guides are looking forward to getting back offshore with easy access to the fantastic bottom-fishing and large schools of Coho passing through the area.  This week we’ve seen excellent Coho action with the larger-sized fish we expect in August.  Double-digit sizes are pretty common now with several fish in the low teens showing up.  Paul C, fishing with guide Max Peiffer, picked up this stunning 16-pound Northern while trolling at 37-feet in front of Bird 2. Fish like this one are always on the bucket list of any salmon enthusiast!

It’s been an excellent Coho season for us with large numbers being found in the offshore waters, generally down 30 to 60 feet and hitting anything from anchovy set-ups thru spoons and hoochies.  At the same time we’ve been quite successful throughout July finding considerable Chinook salmon in the same offshore areas, just deeper at 60 to 100 feet.  And occasionally we get a surprise, like the 42-pound Tyee landed by Driftwood guest John C last week, while trolling for Coho in 220-feet off Shag Rock!  It goes to show you have to be prepared for anything when fishing up here!

The weather is about to change for this weekend with winds shifting today around to southwest and then rising to southeast overnight.  They’re forecasting some fairly breezy conditions for Friday and Saturday so we’ll be spending some time over at Cape Edenshaw this weekend.  The upside is that those shorelines have seen very little fishing pressure with all the northwest so it could be very productive!  Look for an update on Sunday.  After the weekend it looks like we’ll enjoy a nice stretch of light variable winds right through the middle of the month!  We’ll be ready for them!


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July 2, 2018 Duane Foerter0

It’s salmon season!  Sure feels good!  A shift in the winds may have been just the ticket about two weeks back, when large amounts of bait started to appear in Virago Sound.  The food pyramid kicks into high gear and everybody gets to eat.

Fishing variety at QCL Haida GwaiiWhile we traditionally focus our salmon fishing efforts along the kelp beds and the rocks, we’re finding heavy traffic a bit offshore along the salmon highway!  In waters where we typically target lingcod and halibut, QCL anglers are trolling bait and finding steady action on several species of salmon.  Anchovies at 30-50 feet are productive on coho, chum and pink salmon while the Chinooks can be down a little deeper in the 70-100 foot zone.  And when you’re tired of trolling it’s so easy just to stop over a patch of structure down below and you’re into halibut and lingcod at depths of 150-250 feet.Chinook salmon at QCL Haida Gwaii

Offshore trolling is often productive but it’s not everybody’s favourite place to fish.  Thankfully the bays and rocks that we’re so familiar with – Cape Naden, Parker Point, Bird 2 and Klashwun Pt. to name a few –  are also holding bait and that’s where the lunkers prefer to hunt.  These prime spots are turning out some really nice fish lately for anglers with the patience and knowledge of the tides to find them at feeding time!  Herring, offered whole or in cut-plug form, is usually the bait of choice in here.

Chinook salmon fishing at QCL Haida GwaiiThis past week the Tyee Bell has been getting a regular workout with new members joining the ranks every night.  Maxime G weighed a nice 35-pounder only to be joined an hour later when his father Luc rolled in with a 32 lb. Tyee of his own!  Most of the Tyee-class fish we’re seeing currently are in the low to mid-30’s but there have been some bigger fish around.  Roger G found a stunning 40-pounder at Bird One, fishing with QCL guide Aaron Lomax and Jason H released one last week.  The first 50-pounder of the season could certainly show up any day!

Northwesterly winds are forecast to continue this week and we’re hoping for a nice spell of sunshine – 2 or 3 days anyway – and that’ll put a smile on everyone’s face around here for sure!  Stay tuned!


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September 2, 2017 Duane Foerter0

It’s crazy to think that another fishing season is almost in the books. With that being said, fishing is still going strong here at QCL. Although there is still the odd Chinook being picked up inshore, most boats are now spending the majority of the day working “the salmon highway” along the 300-foot contour line. This has resulted in very consistent Coho fishing on a daily basis and on some days the Chinook fishing has been just as good out there, resulting in action-packed fishing days. In that mix of consistent Coho fishing there has been some real lunkers, with several nice mid-teen Cohos hitting the dock last trip. This photo features a gorgeous 17-pounder caught by Arnot T.  Congratulations!  With the calm waters that we have continued to see lately, many nice halibut continue to be caught on a daily basis. All in all, guests, guides, and everyone else involved seem to be very happy with how things are going out on the water!

Today we had a new group of guests arrive for our final weekend trip of the season. Again, the offshore fishing was very productive, especially on the ebb tide. Although the Chinook were fewer in number out there today, a fair number of Chum salmon were caught. These powerful fish often provide an acrobatic and unpredictable fight that our guests really seem to enjoy. With the Coho fishing remaining strong today, there were certainly some real beauties around. The highlight of our day was when one of my guests hooked into a nice fish that took a couple of lengthy runs. I figured that we for sure had a nice Chinook on the line, but to our pleasant surprise it ended up being a large 15 lb Coho. What a fish and what a day!

Tight lines everyone!

“Wacko Jacko”


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August 25, 2017 Duane Foerter

QCL Coho SalmonLast week we were talking about “special combo” fishing and the great variety of fishing experienceLast week we were talking about “special combo” fishing and the great variety of fishing experiences there are to be had up here. Well this week we had a father & son angling team at the lodge that really took it to heart! Ronald and Dan R not only found the variety but, with the help of their QCL guide Jake Harrach, they found the quality as well!QCL Lingcod Fishing

Over the past 4 days they managed to catch the largest fish of the trip in each of 3 species and the 2nd largest in a 4th! On Tuesday Dan caught and released the big halibut of the trip, a big slab that taped out to 163 pounds. On Wednesday Ron boated a nice big lingcod that tipped the scale at 35 pounds which, in most weeks would be the big one! But he came second to a 50-pounder landed by Lino P! That’s only 6 pounds short of the lodge record! Congrats Lino! On the same day Ronald caught the largest Coho of the week, coming in at 16-pounds – a beautiful fish for sure! Then on Thursday, making that famous “just one more pass” at Cape Naden on the way in, Dan hooked up with a big Chinook that really put him to the test. After a twenty-minute tussle, Jake slipped the net beneath the chrome beauty and they knew there would be some more Bell-ringing back at the dock that night! At 39-pounds, this big Tyee would add to Dan’s record of success as the largest Chinook of the trip. Congratulations guys! That’s an amazing catch report! It’s a good thing you’re going home for the weekend to get some rest!QCL Tyee Salmon

The weekend forecast is for more southerly weather and calm seas (with a regular dose of liquid sunshine.) The inshore Chinook fishing has certainly picked up in the past week with the best action during the first and last hours of the day. Offshore the Coho catch remains strong and we’re seeing more of the larger Coho coming to the scale. Bottom fishing has been getting easier with the tidal range diminishing every day since Monday’s new moon. QCL anglers released 6 halibut over 100 pounds this trip and we’re still seeing nice 30-plus fish at the Bell Ringer every night. These are great days to be fishing at QCL!


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September 6, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Well, this morning we said goodbye to our last group of guests for the 2016 season.  It’s been a whirlwind for sure!  Our busiest season ever and it was fantastic!  Sure we had to work a little harder for the fish at times this summer but our guests and guides made the most of it.  At the end of the day there were lots of fish to go around.  On Sunday, our final fishing day was one for the books; greasy flat water with just a hint of breeze, bright overcast skies and fish catching opportunities all over the place.

QCL Lingcod catchThe bulk of the action recently has been offshore and we’ve enjoyed exploring the tidelines and contours in the 200 to 500-foot zone.  We’re finding loads of beautiful 10 – 15 pound Coho and the occasional Chinook out there, from the surface down 60 feet or so.  And while we’re out there, we get lots of little surprises like random feeding humpbacks popping up alongside the boat or pods of Dall’s Porpoise zipping around below.  We’re always discovering great underwater structure that harbours awesome lingcod, halibut and cod fishing opportunities.  We set a new record for the number halibut over 100 pounds this season and with a little help from some enthusiastic jig anglers we’ve established a very healthy lingcod fishery.  Even in this past week we saw halibut released scoring 102, 102, 115, 134, and 160 pounds with several nice ones in the 30 to 60 pound “keeper” class.

Coho fever at QCL!

Inshore fishing for Chinook salmon turned on nicely this weekend with some snap bites coming on with the morning tide changes at Cape Naden and Parker Point.  There weren’t a ton of them but certainly enough to get everybody interested, even a couple of nice Tyees in the mix!   Now we crunch the numbers and we’ll be back with a bit of a summary very soon!  Stay tuned.

Tyee Chinook at QCL


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July 12, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Friday afternoon left us with one of the most picturesque days that we have seen thus far. We experienced a flat calm day and sunny skies.  The bait swarmed our western fishing grounds and the fish followed suit. Klashwun Point was the center of most of the activity with many large Chinooks being caught within the area. The Coho arrived in large schools over the past 2 weeks, flooding our grounds with fish.  We have been fishing “Klash” the past couple of afternoon’s and the action has been steady.

When the Coho start coming into our grounds in numbers it marks a time of high activity. Coho salmon will spend their first year of life within specific rivers or streams along the West Coast. They will return to that same stream to spawn 3-4 years later. The Coho Salmon has even been transplanted into the freshwater great lakes of North America. The main features of the Coho are their white gums and acrobatic style of fighting when hooked. Unlike the Chinooks they have very little spotting on the lower lobes of their tails and are smaller in size. The average Coho that we have been seeing has been weighing 6-8 pounds but there are also 10 – 12 pounders mixed in there as well.  Boy do they hit hard!

Now all throughout the grounds the Coho are here and the guests can look forward to topping up their fish box with a Coho limit as well!

Skywalker

 


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