August 3, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Halibut fishing has become more popular than ever at QCL and with good reason.  “Back in the day” most of our guests picked up a couple of random halibut while mooching for salmon and they were happy with that; not going offshore to jig for halibut meant more time for catching salmon!  With the introduction of GPS mapping of the fishing grounds many anglers have found their own favourite fishing holes and return to them year after year.  Releasing all of those big breeding females over 75-pounds has been a good thing too.  As a result, many QCL guests make fishing for halibut and lingcod a priority during their stay.

We know that there are some big fish out there; some really big fish.  It’s not unusual for us to see a number of halibut in excess of 100-pounds released every week.  And sometimes they are massive – over 6-feet in length.  Well last week, working with some largish tides, lodge guest Derek Benson and his father spent some time in a couple of boats with friends, fishing offshore in the hunt for a big halibut.  They tried out a few of our favourite waypoints but found their best luck over a hump 215 feet down.  There was a fair bit of excitement when they returned to the lodge and shared their many photos and videos of the results!

Derek tells the story pretty well!

“We pulled up to our GPS mark at “Hali-wood”, knowing we were in a good spot from the sizable halibut lost there the day before.  Dropping back down to the same spot, my Dad hooks up.  Thirty minutes later we are cheering over the 254 lb. halibut lying alongside of the boat.  I had laid my 7-foot rod down to her and it was 6” short of the tip.  After a quick release, I reset on the GPS mark and dropped the same jig back down.  The fight started as I was adjusting the Lowrance sounder with one hand and jigging the rod with my other.  After 15 minutes of not raising the halibut up an inch, I asked my Dad to get the boat in gear and start circling around her.  My plan was to get momentum on the halibut to help angle her up, rather than trying to lift her straight up, with the boat in neutral.  An hour later (and 30 corkscrews later!) we gasp in disbelief at the width and length of this fish.  Again I laid my 7-foot rod on top of the fish, and there was still nearly a foot of fish extending past the rod!  It then took another 30 minutes to unhook it and 3 more times to the surface.  I was using my Shimano Teramar rod and Shimano Talica 16 2-speed, a tuna setup but multi-purpose.  Measuring out to 94 ½ inches it converted to 474 lb. on the IPHC chart.  This was definitely the fish of a lifetime, and I’m happy to say, it was safely released.”

Congratulations to Derek and his crew on a great angling achievement!  Two years ago we recorded a fish for Bruce Severson and George Best that measured out to 90 inches in length for a score of 405 pounds and we doubted that we would ever see another fish in that league.  This one certainly is and we’ll be happy to add Derek’s 474-pounder to the QCL record book!  We’ve seen a lot of great fish up here and we’re always in awe of the quality of our fishery!  Every time a new record is set, we’re happy to celebrate it!

QCL halibut 474QCL Halibut recordQCL Halibut 474QCL halibut record 474QCL Halibut Record


June 17, 2017 Duane Foerter0

It’s another year in mid-June and it’s time again for Queen Charlotte Lodge’s annual Kingfisher Derby.

Anticipation and excitement among guests and guides was high for the shotgun start at Cape Naden. At 12 noon the horn went off and all participating boats raced to their favourite fishing spot between Cape Naden and Klashwun Point. Between my four guests from Quebec and myself we decided to fish Bird Rock One, a spot that doesn’t get hit hard and gets looked over by many. On the first pass we hit a shaker, a small feeder Chinook.  Over the first couple of hours the radio was fairly quiet, with only a few radio calls to the derby weigh boats. After a quick lunch break on the Driftwood the leading C&R fish was scored 28.9, a respectable leader for the early start of the 3-day trip.

With no boats at Bird Rock we went back and scraped the wall and worked the east bay. With an hour before the tide change Bird One was looking fishy and setting up really nice. After a few passes along the wall the outside rod went off, popped the clip and line started sizzling off of the reel. My guest Mathieu Savard was on the rod playing his first ever Chinook salmon and he was into a good one. Long screaming runs had the boys quiet as the concentration and focus was intense.  A lengthy battle ensued and after a 25-minute fight the big Chinook was in the bag.  After a brief discussion we entered the fish as a release, it scored 32.01, a solid fish to take the lead for Day One.  Shortly afterward a call to the weighmaster from another boat which scored 35.07 resulted in Mathieu’s fish getting bumped to second overall at the end of Friday.  Well done Mathieu, that was a fun ride to be a part of!

Best of luck to all derby participants over the rest of the trip…enjoy your time out there!  Keep your tip up, line tight and hang on for the ride.

Jeff ‘Smurf’


June 16, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Heading into one of the more exciting weekends of the summer, today we kicked off our 15th Annual Kingfisher Derby and it’s the biggest ever!  Sixty-four anglers are vying for $128000 in prize money.  This is a catch & release derby where all Chinook salmon entered are officially scored, revived and released by derby weighmasters.  The 3-day event concludes on Sunday at 7:00 pm when the prizes will be awarded for the three largest salmon released, plus daily winners and a single $10000 prize for the largest killed fish.  Stay tuned for the results!

The past few days have been consistent with last week’s fishery – lots of feisty feeder springs in the 130-foot line offshore and the occasional larger fish showing up in the mix.  The big fish this week was a stunning 36-pounder for first timer Trista B – a particularly good omen in this instance as Trista answered her boyfriend Andrew’s proposal with a resounding YES!  It’s truly a celebration Tyee!  Congratulations!

QCL salmon fishingQCL salmon fishing






Our halibut fishery continues to be especially rewarding, whether you’re seeking some perfect “chickens and turkeys” for the table or you love the challenge of finding “Wally” the barn door out there.  We’ve got it all in that department… the waters of Virago Sound provide lots of perfect structure for halibut and other groundfish.  Several big keepers kept the Bell Ringin’ each evening.  Joining the venerable 100-Pounder Club this week were Kevin C who managed to haul up a 110 and a 120-pound halibut!  Brad H released a 148, Mike N battled a 122 pounder to the top and David C called up some real grit to raise a monster alongside the boat that taped out to 76 inches in length for a calculated weight of 234 pounds!  It’s often amazing to go jigging because you just never know what you might hook up with down there.  Well done David and Congratulations to you and your guide Jeevan for such an awesome achievement!

Naden Harbour in Haida GwaII


August 19, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Rounding the dolphin I knew today was going to be a great day.  The sun was shining and the water was as calm as a lake, just the kind of day we dream about when we head out to go fishing.

60818242_wWe started the day fishing Bird 2. You could really cut the kelp hard in water conditions like today, and after a few passes by the west bay kelp bed we had our first Chinook on, and what a scrapper!  After a 5 minute fight it was in the net. A few more passes and a couple of pinks later we decided to go bottom fishing. It was slack tide so it was perfect time to jig up some lingcod and halibut. We went to the pinnacles off of Green Point where the bottom fishing has been spectacular, producing very good numbers of lingcod as well as some very large halibut. It wasn’t long before we had our first halibut on the line. Within an hour we had all 3 of our halibut and a lingcod in the boat… a perfect morning. Everyone was in great spirits going to the Driftwood at lunch. The day was filled with laughter, amazing weather, good fishing, good times with Reggie the eagle, sea lions, killer whales, and humpbacks.  I’m always looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings!

Randy “The Hitman” Zinck


August 16, 2016 Duane Foerter0

60814334_wAugust has proven to be a jackpot on the fishing grounds!  The arrival – maybe a little later than “normal” – of large numbers of salmon feeding on an abundance of baitfish just slightly offshore, has treated QCL anglers to more fantastic fishing.  While it’s still fishing, and not always “catching”, the opportunities out there are keeping guests pretty busy!  The makeup of this fishery includes all five species – with Chinook dominating, Coho and Pinks filling in, plus some random Chum and even Sockeye showing up!  Here’s hoping that they don’t move through to quickly!

60814039_wMeanwhile, back near the rocks and all the usual fishing holes, we’re still getting a good supply of Tyee-class Chinooks that keeps the party going at the Bell Ringer every night.  Twelve-year old Jake L was the rockstar last week with two 31-pounders and he released a massive Chinook that taped out to 67 pounds!  Congratulations Jake!  That’s our largest salmon so far this season!  These fish and a number of other nice Tyees were caught over at Cape Edenshaw, a most productive destination after a week of prolonged northwesterly winds pushed so much bait onto that shore!  Luke “Skywalker” and his guest Ron R found a nice 44-pounder over there, Bill G released a beauty that taped out to 43 lb., Kevin H sent back a 32 and his Dad Tom released a 37 just 2 hours before!

60814371_wBack on the west side of the grounds, Parker Point, Bird One and Cape Naden continued to produce big Chinook action on the weekend.  Several nice Tyees in the 30’s were taken and a number were released.  Conrad H was back up for the annual fishing derby with his brothers Willy and Gerhart, and they all got some very nice fish.  These guys always release their Tyees but for the first time, 60814378_wout of more than 200 Tyees caught over the years, they were unable to revive a nice 39-pounder.  We’re sure this salmon will be enjoyed by many friends and family this winter! Congrats!  Fishing with guide Kingsley, Emery B did manage to release his 39-pounder, caught out in 170 feet of water on a small 2 ½ inch spoon!  You just never know where the big ones are going to turn up!  Fantastic fishing guys!

The big salmon of the weekend was a stunning 44-pounder caught by Leanne R with guide Gaelan off Bird Rock.  The Tyee bell was ringing mightily on Saturday night when that one came to the scale.   However it may have been slightly overshadowed by the 20 clangs of the bell when James J showed up to declare his monster Halibut that was taped out to 203 pounds by his guide Matt Burr!  Not far behind was Willy H who released a 34 lb Chinook and a 185 lb. Halibut on the same day!  So many great memories shared up here at the Lodge!


August 12, 2016 Duane Foerter0

The northwest winds have subsided and have left us with an abundant supply of Chinook. The schools of herring have been moving inshore as well. With this the salmon have showed up in large numbers.  Deeper waters have been producing steady 14-25 pounder Chinook action as well as big Coho. The Chinook fishing these past 3 days has been unreal!

Tyee time for John!With the Northwest winds you will usually have an influx of baitfish and salmon being blown into Cape Edenshaw. Because of this, we decided to go there today. It is always a gamble going to Edenshaw as it’s a little far from our western fishing grounds and If the fishing is not good it is a long run back to our western grounds. This proved to be a successful morning at Edenshaw as several large Chinooks were hooked throughout the fleet.

C&R Tyee ChinookWe were doing laps by “Slab Rock” all morning, waiting for the Tyee bite. We had caught several fish in the high teens but were patiently waiting for the big one. It finally hit and the bite was so big the fish visibly moved the downrigger line as we heard a powerful “thud.”  It was on, and we quickly cleared our lines and chased after this beast. After a nice fight that took us offshore we landed a beautiful fish. What a battle! But it yielded a stunning 44 LB Chinook – ALRIGHT!  There were a couple other large catches within the area we were fishing as well.  What a day!

C&R ChinookTomorrow, I think we’ll be back to Cape Naden where the action has been consistent.  We want to fill up the Coho tags and the Coho bite has been consistent there.

It’s great to see the fish showing up in large numbers and I’m looking forward to getting out there tomorrow morning! There is going to be calm waters with plenty of fish being caught by everybody.



August 11, 2016 Duane Foerter0

The steady northwesterlies that we fished through last week have slackened off nicely and our guests are enjoying the bounty of the full fishing grounds once again!  We’ve discovered masses of salmon just slightly offshore from our “normal” fishing haunts along the rocky shoreline. Eager anglers are quick to move out a little further into water depths of 150 to 200 feet.  Tons of baitfish are attracting schools of both Chinook and Coho salmon to the grounds between the Mazzaredos and Bird 2.

It’s nice to see the Coho numbers up again after a bit of a slow period; typical catches are in the 8-11 pound class right now with some stunning 12-14 pounders in the mix.  While we are getting them in the upper reaches of the water column (where we expect to find them) anglers are also hooking up at depths from 45 – 75 feet!  (where we don’t expect them!)

Big Tyee at QCLThose “perfect for keeping,” 18-22 pound Chinooks are turning up in numbers as well in the offshore zone.  We’re generally getting them down 25-35 feet on anchovies, herring and spoons.  They don’t seem to be too fussy!  But the BIG fish are still found in the traditional spots around our favourite structure.  Cape Naden was the place to be for a number of anglers last week.

Big Tyees at QCLLong time QCL fan Tom R and his wife Sydney were fishing the Cape with Roger Baker when Tom hooked up with a big fish.  Tom’s version of the story is fantastic to hear but the short story was of a terrific 41 pounder in the boat!  Nice fish Tom, well done!

Aaron B boated a beautiful 43 pound Tyee, Axel K lit up the Bell Ringer with a 43 and out on the Driftwood Big Tyees at QCLPaul F put a 44 on the scale!  The ladies at the lodge were proving a force to be reckoned with as well.  Liz M was just beaming after she landed a striking 42 lb Chinook with her husband Phil and guide Isaiah Dahl.  Sheila B proudly displayed her chrome-bright 40-pounder alongside her husband Bruce and guide Coady Delesalle.  Fantastic catches all around!


August 9, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Catch & Release Tyee at QCLHard to believe it’s already August and the 2016 season is going strong!  Cape Naden continues to be a steady producer of Chinook and has shown to hold some Tyees on every trip.  Jeanne D, “fishing Grandma,” was absolutely thrilled to be back to QCL with her family but even more thrilled to have released a 34 lb Chinook on the first day. Well done Fishing Grandma!  Catch & Release Tyee at QCLThen on Tuesday she shared the thrill when her daughter-in-law Terry also released a 34 of her own!  Kudos to QCL guide Jackson Jane with his awesome C&R skills!  On the 99 with Robbie C, Bill M returned the fish of a lifetime to the water after landing an amazing 63 pound Tyee at Cape Naden on Tuesday.  That’s an incredible catch Bill!  And thanks for sending her back!  Congratulations!

63 pounder C&R Among a number of flashy Tyees caught last week were a pair of 37’s that were released as well – by Claude B and Chris L – Well done guys!  We’re seeing greater numbers of Chinooks overall these days and the average size has bumped up measurably too.  Several of those 40-plus beauties came to the boat last week with a number of them carefully turned back. Carson's 48 Pounder

On his first visit to QCL, 14-year-old Carson B tangled with a huge Chinook that gave him quite a tussle but he played it perfectly and his guide Ryan Winger was able to release it easily after taping it out to 48 pounds!  What a start to your salmon fishing habit Carson!  Great job!

C&R Chinook at QCLAlthough we’ve had moderate northwesterly winds for over a week now, many guests have been able to go out and haul up some great halibut catches. Last weekend Rob C released a huge, human-sized halibut that taped out to 210 lbs with the assistance of veteran QCL guide Oliver Massey.  His arms may still be tired from that one!  Myles and Reid F have been coming up to QCL before they could even walk but they teamed up to land their largest halibut last week, a chunky 101 pounder! Well done boys!  Dad’s proud!  Casey P released a 146 pounder, Alan D a 121, John F a 101 and Mike S turned back a 148-pound giant!  It’s sure exciting to see a huge halibut beside the boat but it’s even better if you’ve got a nice keeper in the box!  Fortunately there seems to be no shortage of nice chickens & turkeys in the 15 to 50 pound class!  Quite a few of the guides have been exploring new bottom fishing spots this season and it looks like it’s paying off!


August 2, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Late July, early August… favourite dates for many QCL anglers and they’ve been finding some stunning fish this week!  Moderate northwesterly winds bring blue skies and warmer temps and tend to drive the bait into the sheltered waters of Virago Sound.  And that’s where we are, ready for the salmon that follow the huge masses of needlefish and herring that fatten them up through the home stretch!

C&R TyeeC&R TyeeC&R Tyee

C&R TyeeChinook action has been best along the classic fishing points, with anglers trolling anchovy and herring baits down 35 – 45 feet to find them.  Cape Naden is a steady producer with Klashwun Point, Bird 2 and Parker Point doing just as well on most days.  Linda S was thrilled to return a fish of a lifetime to the water this week after landing a stunning Tyee that taped out to 44 pounds.  Guide Kingsley Brice carefully revived the big beauty off Klashwun Pt. and away she went!  Fantastic work Linda!

64 Pounder C&R64 Pounder C&R64 Pounder C&R

50 LB ChinookTerry H shared this experience with a 40-pounder on Monday when his guide Coady Delesalle sent back a big Chinook for him.  The Tyee bell has been ringing loud on many nights with some stellar catches coming back to the scale.  Ralph S weighed in a 50 lb. Chinook on Tuesday while Jamie R was unable to revive his huge chrome Tyee that came in at 52 lb..  Greg E was more successful releasing a 44 pounder at Klashwun Pt. with his guide Jordan Grames on Wednesday.

52 Pounder for Jamie52 lb ReleaseCatch & Release Trophy at QCL

Fishing without a guide this week, Kent H and his bud John W hooked up a monster Chinook in the busy water between Shag Rock and Klashwun.  After a 25-minute battle John scooped the massive salmon.  They quickly measured and released a contender for big fish of the season, a heavy shouldered Tyee that scored 64 pounds!  And what a beautiful fish it was!  Fantastic work guys!  Finishing the trip with another awesome release was Daryle A who connected with a bruiser off Bird Rock on Thursday, his guide Brett Clarke taping the trophy fish out to 52 pounds before releasing it into glassy calm water, all captured in 4K video!  Beautiful work gentlemen!  Congratulations!

Tomorrow… the halibut report!


July 26, 2016 Duane Foerter0

As we roll through the final days of July we’re seeing some big fish popping up in all the usual places.  Bird 2, Klashwun Point and Parker Point have turned out some stunning catches this week.  Doug R started off the trip on Friday with a nice 39-pounder while fishing with veteran guide Ran Rainville.  Augustin D had quite a battle with a 51 pounder up at Klashwun Point but got it to the boat with some expert boat handling by guide Brian Bowles.  And Kendall and Hans had a fantastic first day with the ultimate double – a 34 lb. Tyee and a 62 lb. halibut – while fishing with their guide Ryan Kelly!

Guests who choose to stay on the Driftwood may not have all the amenities of the Twin Creeks Spa and the Bell Ringer and Luke’s Limousine service, but they happily trade all that for something pretty special.  They get the whole fishing grounds to themselves after all the lodge boats have left the water.  There’s something magical about sitting in the glassy calm behind Bird 2; the eagles are harassing the gulls, bears often come down to the beach and the humpbacks love to cruise right alongside the ship, scooping up needlefish along the way.  But fishing the point and that tack along the wall inside B2 is some of the most productive water on the coast!  DW guests Brent S and Matt M confirmed that once again as they enjoyed a little after dinner fishing derby on Saturday night.  Matt hooked up with a big beauty sometime after 9:00 and played it to the boat with Driftwood guests viewing from the deck.  Brent got the whole thing on video and then assisted with the netting, measurement and the release.  The stunning Tyee Chinook scored out to 57.4 and swam away strongly after some revival time from Matt.  Beautiful job guys!  Congratulations Matt and welcome to the 50 Pounder Club!

Tyee Chinook at QCL51 pounder at QCL

Catch & Release TyeeDouble Treat at QCL

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