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May 14, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

We’re only a few weeks away from another season of first class fishing! Which means that soon enough you’ll be bringing your catch home to enjoy while sharing stories of your time on the water.

Prepare your Halibut with this Signature Series recipe before your trip, or after. Our chef’s have crafted this to enjoy at any point of the year, with your favourite side dishes.

Materials

  • 4x 170g Halibut Fillets
  • 2g Garlic Powder
  • 2g Paprika
  • 4g Salt
  • 1g Ground Black Pepper
  • 30ml Neutral Cooking Oil
  • 225g Butter
  • 1x Medium Lemon, cut in half

Method

  1. Mix spices together and use to season halibut fillets
  2. In large saute pan place halibut fillets down and sear both sides until both are golden brown, cook 2-4 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove fish from pan once ready, add butter into the hot pan and melt.
  4. Simmer butter for 1-2 minutes and then add juice of lemon.
  5. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes while stirring often.
  6. Plate the fish alongside your preferred sides and drizzle lemon butter over top of the Halibut.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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March 13, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Our Back of House team has prepared another QCL Signatures Series dish for you to prepare at home! Whether you are enjoying with guests or family, this Chili Crab will enhance any dinner.

Materials

  • Dungeness Crab, broken down | 4
  • Shallots | 3
  • Ginger | 3-ince piece
  • Red Chilis | 3
  • Ketchup | 30ml
  • Shrimp Paste | 5ml
  • Cooking Oil | 30ml
  • Chicken Stock | 360ml
  • Rice Wine Vinegar | 30ml
  • Sweet Chili Sauce | 120g
  • Green Onion, chopped | 1
  • Butter | 50g
  • Soy Sauce | 30ml
  • Palm Sugar | 30ml

Method

  1. In a food processor, add shallots, ginger, red chillies, garlic, ketchup, and shrimp paste. Pulse until it combined, forming a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat, add the chilli paste and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the crab pieces into the wok and stir until they are fully coated. Allow the crab to absorb the flavours and colouring until it begins to turn red/orange in colour.
  4. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and palm sugar, then stir until combined. The crab should be fully orange by now. Place a lid on top, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the crab legs and head, plating on a shallow dish.
  6. Add butter and green onion to the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the sauce on top of the plated crab, garnishing with cilantro.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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February 26, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

QCL is a paradise for anglers however, there is so much more to QCL than what is underwater. The next time you’re at the Lodge take a moment to look beyond the tides and take in the unique beauty Haida Gwaii offers above water.

A secret known only to those who are looking for it, the area is home to incredible bird-watching opportunities. With unique species hiding amongst the forest’s edge, shorelines, rugged coastlines and diving down below the tides.

A few of our favourites to keep a lookout for are:

  1. Eagle

Holding a special place here in Haida Gwaii, the Eagle is one of the most recognizable soaring through the sky and hanging out at low tide.

Powerful and beautiful birds of prey, you’ll find upon reaching maturity these birds are dark brown with a white head and tail. Featuring a beak, feet and irises that are all yellow in colour, with highly developed talons to pierce their prey. Known as opportunistic feeders, these birds can be found wherever they can find something to eat – Whether that is along the shoreline or diving into bait balls.

 

  1. Raven

Also, culturally significant to the Haida people, the Common Raven is an all-black passerine bird that has co-existed with humans for thousands of years. This species is among the smartest animals in the world and is highly regarded among mythology.

The Ravens found in Haida Gwaii are some of the biggest globally, due to the colder weather.  The iridescent plumage and dark brown irises that they feature are among a few of the distinguishable features. Look for these birds in trees along the coastline while out on the water.

 

  1. Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Don’t let the name deceive you, this beautiful bird is a part of the Woodpecker species that regularly drill holes in bark to find food. Your best bet at sneaking a peek at the vibrant red head and breast is to head into the lush, old growth forest. Most often spotted near ground level, you’ll see them feeding on insects tucked away into the bark of Spruce and Hemlock trees.

 

  1. Varied Thrush

A beautiful songbird that features a large, rounded head and a straight bill, and will most often be found amongst the trees. The male thrushes are dark blue-gray and rich burnt-orange with a soot black breastband and an orange line over their eyes., while females feature the same, but muted colouring. These beautifully coloured birds are mixed among the humid evergreens along the Pacific Coast.

 

  1. Black Turnstone

A small and short shorebird, the Black Turnstone can be found along the rocky outcrops forming our little piece of fishing paradise. Identified by the dark black and brown colouring with a white belly and bold patterns only visible in flight, the mature adult’s individual white stripes on each wing, with a mostly white tail.

 

  1. Rhinoceros Auklet

A favourite at QCL, so much so that we named one of our freight boats after it – the Auklet.

A seabird that is closely related to the puffin. Getting its name from the horned bill, this bird can be distinguished among the crowd through its cloudy gray colour, two white facial plumes and the thick orange-yellow bill.

An aquatic bird at heart, keep your eyes peeled while on the water as they are often in large flocks, swimming underwater as they chase prey.

 

  1. Tufted Puffin

Not as commonly seen but certainly a sight to behold if you do, the Tufted Puffin is one of two Pacific Puffin species. Sometimes called the Crested Puffin, this pelagic seabird is thriving with interesting facts – One of is that they nest mostly in deep burrows as it digs into cliff edges, they can get more than 1.5 meters deep.

Identify this bird by their long, pale yellow head plumes and intense red bill that offset the white face and black body. As they spend most of their lives on the open ocean, far from shore, Virago Sound is a perfect viewing spot.

 

  1. Black Oystercatcher

Camouflaged by their dark bodies, and only noticeable by their red orange bills and eyes, and pale pink feet, the Black Oystercatcher goes after marine organisms that are left unprotected when the shore is visible.

Another species with interesting facts – the Black Oystercatcher was first described as being “blood-footed” due to the pink colour of its feet.

 

9.  Harlequin Duck

Another beautifully coloured bird worth looking out for during your time on the fishing grounds is the Harlequin Duck, a small sea duck that boasts many names. With striking plumage, the males are easily identifiable boasting a slate blue body, a white facial crescent, spot chestnut crown patching/flanks and bold white strips. Females are brown with similar telltale facial markings as the male.

Like most ducks, they dive for aquatic invertebrates along the turbulent coastal waters. Keep a look out during the tide changes and wavy days as they favour white water.

 

10. Belted Kingfisher

Featured in our original logo, in 1991, the Belted Kingfisher holds a special place in not only our history but our hearts.

Blue-gray with a white band around the neck and under belly, the Kingfisher sports a large head with a shaggy crest. Females have a rusty band on their bellies, unlike the pure white and blue gray of males. Spending majority of their time perching along the edges of nearby water sources, these birds will hunt for small fish by hovering over the water and diving with their thick, pointed bill.

Around the Lodge, you can spot them when walking the trails and sometimes, they will perch amongst the trees on property. And if you look hard, you might even see a guest sporting a cap with the vintage logo.

These are only a few of the many birds that frequent Naden Harbour and Virago Sound. During your time at QCL, we encourage you to look beyond the tides, towards the skies to see how many you can identify.

Save this for reference and keep an eye out for what other adventures are yours for the taking while you experience fishing first class.


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September 6, 2023 Tayler Fuerst2

“And when we hear the call of the geese in the harbour, we know that it’s time to wrap it up for another season…”  That time has come!  We sent off our final group of guests yesterday, followed by a large portion of our crew.  Wow!  Is it ever a different place when they’re not here!

Our 33rd season at QCL was pretty epic.  We were able to welcome back quite a number of guests who’ve missed us over the past 4 years, as well as many newcomers who wanted to know what this place was all about. Our core group of QCL guests, whom we’re very fortunate to see almost every summer, were thrilled with many of the tweaks, both large and small, that we implemented this year.

Certainly, our new Coho Class of boats had to be a highlight for many, combining great functionality and performance with lots of comforts and convenience – for both guided and self-guided anglers.  New menu features and hospitality treats balanced out the program when our guests returned to the lodge at the end of the day.

Conversations among the guide team this past week were consistently positive about the fishing.  Huge volumes of feeding Chinook and Coho were present through the first half of the summer, and as the number of migratory salmon increased, the Tyee Bell was ringing more frequently every trip.  In short, it was busy on the boats!  Bottom fishing for halibut, lingcod and rockfish always balances out the fishing experience and provides a tasty variety of filets to enjoy at home.

But we have to say, at the end of every trip, and at the end of every season, what our guests always go out of their way to speak with us about, is essentially the QCL Experience.  That’s the very special combination of this amazing place and what people are able to do here, fully enveloped in the enthusiasm of our wonderful staff and the hospitality that they provide. That’s what puts a smile on everyone’s face up here.  We’re very thankful for the efforts of each of our team members and the continued support of our awesome guests.

We can’t wait to get back up here again next season and see you all again!

 


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August 26, 2023 Bre Guolo0

With the sun gleaming over Naden Harbour, guests and guides start the day keen on finding Chinook and Coho salmon. With these northwest winds, the fish and bait have been pushed into Cape Naden and the Mazarredo Islands – Where most of our fleet has been tacking hard on each tide putting guests into action. Guides have been running hearing and anchovy to entice the fish in to their gear.

Today for Boat 99, the sun was shining and though the wind had died down the swells were strong; forcing us to start our morning at the top of Cape Naden. with the flooding tide we had no issues running a cut plug on one side and a whole herring on the other, 23-39 ft on the rigger and 8 pulls on the back rod.

10 minutes into our first tack at Naden our deep rod goes off!  My guest Tyson jumped up and ran to the rod not knowing what to expect! 25 minutes later we landed a beautiful Chinook salmon, tapped out to 42 pounds! Tyson made the decision to release this Tyee. Thanks for letting this big one go!

It was a team effort –  From pulling gear to holding the net. Guests Lyndon and David, also onboard, played a large role in successfully getting this fish to the boat. This is how memories are made!

Tight lines and don’t forget to keep your tip up,

Guide, Karly Skakun

 


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August 20, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

My best luck so far, these past couple of trips, has been at Cape Naden fishing quite shallow. My most consistent action with Chinook salmon has come from running a cut-plug herring at 19 feet, tight in the pocket, during and soon after high tide. Otherwise,  fishing deep offshore near the Little Peanut and the Pinnacles at about 150 feet on the downrigger, with KingKandys and whole herring, has been producing. Coho are in similar areas, to that of where Chinooks are being caught, just up a little higher.

Over the last few days the offshore program has seen an increase in productivity, with many boats heading that way!

We have some wind in the forecast this trip, so dress for the weather and bring extra layers to keep on hand. Additionally, we will be experiencing some strong tides so keep your eyes out for debris in the water!

Guide, Eric Roundhill


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August 17, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

Ah yes… it’s August!   Later starts, but still long days on the water; the warm summer weather has us in t-shirts as much as in fleece.  Some morning fog is typical, adding lots of atmosphere, as boats quietly tack around the fishing points; the sounds of voices seem amplified when you can’t see the speaker. Commonly, a feeding Humpback will pop up in the middle of it all, blowing a breath that smells slightly fishy, yet strangely sweet. These are memories that stick with you.

These days we’re spending as much time offshore as we are in along the kelp beds.  Large schools of migrating Coho salmon are gorging on needlefish as they move in from the open sea on their way to the rivers.  We’re finding them just away from the shoreline in water depths of 120 to 250 feet and are catching them consistently from the surface down to 90-feet or more.  Spoons and hoochies, trolled with the help of flashers, are extremely effective on these fish and anglers can put a few in the box in short order.  The 5-6 pounders we were seeing inshore in June are now 8-12 pounds and growing every day.  There’s lots of excitement in the boats while these Coho are around!

Larger Chinooks, on their way to a river somewhere, tend to move inshore to lurk among the kelp and rocks.  It seems the early bird anglers enjoy the best success with these, working their favourite points and bays around Parker, Naden and Klashwun on the turn of the first tide. Cape Naden is an especially popular hangout, for both salmon and anglers, though for obviously different reasons. As the tide flows around this particular head of shoreline, the currents create conditions perfect for hungry salmon to get out and feed on the swirling schools of baitfish.

QCL guests are getting those perfect-sized Chinooks in the 16 to 26 pound class these days, finding them either inshore along the structure or offshore down deeper.  Lots of Coho out there ensure anglers are never bored while searching for the fish they want!  Fortunately, our halibut and lingcod fishery is very reliable so pulling up a couple of “white” fish is always part of the plan.  We can retain the halibut possession limit in a single day now, so that makes it easy to get the job done on a single visit offshore.

With only a few weeks left in the summer season, we’re already seeing changes out there.  Many of the seabirds are losing their breeding plumage and look different. The juvenile eagles are now joining their parents in the hunt for food which is pretty entertaining to watch!  Northern resident Orcas are passing through regularly and many of the Humpbacks have come back in from offshore to top up on all the needlefish hatched out this summer.  It’s certainly a time of plenty and we’re constantly amazed at how productive this very special place can be!  You need to experience it at least once!

Fishmaster, Duane Foerter

 

 


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August 10, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

It’s a foggy morning in Naden Harbour. New guests have been anxiously waiting for the fog to clear, while old guests are reluctantly waiting to return to the busy world from their time in paradise. Finally, the fog lifts and the helicopters fly in one by one. The dock becomes a busy and excited place as guides greet their new guests and one by one, the boats all leave the dock for an afternoon of fishing.

I’ve got four guests who are keen on salmon fishing. After checking the tides and weather forecast, I decide to take them to my favourite salmon fishing point, Cape Naden, which is often productive on the ebb which coincides with this afternoon’s tide.

Cape Naden looks picturesque today – The tide is high, the whole kelp bed is visible and the current is ebbing as the water curls around the rocks heading west. The water is clear of debris and only a few boats are fishing the point. As we roll in and drop lines we see a boat or two catching fish every pass. As the afternoon goes on we catch a small Chinook, however we have yet to catch any fish worth keeping. Our patience is being tested as we make another inside pass that yields no results.

This time, we go a little further past the last eastern rock on the cape and as we make our turn, boom, the outside rod with and anchovy starts bouncing. My guest immediately spring into action popping the rod out of the holder and off the downrigger clip. It’s a nice Chinook that starts running and so the rest of us begin clearing rods. First comes the back rod which is taken out of the water and stowed up front. Next, I reposition the boat so that the Chinook is off to the side. Then, I go to clear the other downrigger rod, I pull it out of the rod holder, pop it off the release clip and begin to reel. All of a sudden I feel a grab! I set the hook and hand it over to my guest – We’re doubled up! Although this first fish was a nice Chinook, the second one is clearly bigger and starts peeling line in the opposite direction of the first fish. After a couple minutes of chaos we successfully netted a 21 pounder. The second fish was still way off in the distance making wake at the surface and peeling line. The mood was tense as this second fish dragged us offshore. After circling the fish and tiring it out we finally coaxed it into the net. It was a 37lbs Chinook! Celebrations are in order and it’s time to cap a successful first day of the trip at the Bell Ringer. We follow many other excited guests back to the Lodge where we tell stories of our day, take pictures of our catch and enjoy some “Fishmaster Ceasar’s”.

Guide, Gerritt Dunstee

 


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July 20, 2023 Bre Guolo0

If the 2023 fishing season will be remembered for any one particular thing, it’s very likely to be the shear abundance of fish!  From the early masses of needlefish we’ve encountered inshore since May and the dense schools of herring now over the pinnacles and halibut grounds, it’s no wonder there are so many salmon around!  Throughout the first half of the season we’ve been awash in feeding Chinook and Coho.  These early fish have been smaller than the migratory version we’re more accustomed to, but they’ve more than made up for it with their aggressive nature and persistent hunger for whatever we put in front of them!  Translation… our guests haven’t been sitting down much!

Now that we’ve passed the mid-point of the season, we’re seeing more of what we expect in July, with strong numbers of beautiful, chunky, 20-something Chinooks and those summer Coho are getting up into the 10 pound-plus class.  The Tyee Bell is tolling every evening at the Bell Ringer in celebration of memorable catches… for larger salmon, halibut and lingcod.

Another observation is the interest that our guests are showing in all things ocean and fishery related.  Whether it’s speculation on why so many “feeders” are inshore this summer, to questions about kelp beds and sea urchins, or the difference between resident and transient orcas… there’s a new level of awareness in the air.  And it’s a good thing… we all have a role to play in protecting the health of the oceans and marine life and it starts with being interested.  There’s much to learn and to understand and it’s exciting to share all of this with our guests who come to enjoy the QCL Experience every summer!

Duane Foerter


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July 16, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

The fishing industry is subject to constant changes in regulations aimed at preserving fish populations and ensuring sustainable practices. Fishing lodges play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance between anglers’ interests and environmental conservation. This article examines how a fishing lodge effectively handles fishing regulation changes, ensuring compliance, guest satisfaction, and long-term sustainability.

To effectively manage fishing regulation changes, a fishing lodge must stay well-informed. This involves establishing strong communication channels with regulatory authorities, such as fish and wildlife departments, and actively participating in industry associations. Regularly monitoring legislative updates, attending workshops, and engaging in discussions with other lodge operators help ensure QCL remains up-to-date on current and impending regulations.

QCL educates our guests about fishing regulations to foster responsible angling practices. Upon arrival, guests are provided with detailed information about local fishing rules, catch limits, size restrictions, and any recent regulatory changes. Lodge staff are knowledgeable about these regulations to answer guests’ questions accurately and help them understand the importance of adhering to the guidelines.

Establishing a cooperative relationship with regulatory authorities is crucial for our industry. By actively engaging with these entities, we can contribute to the decision-making process and provide valuable insights based on our experience in the field. Open lines of communication facilitate understanding of the lodge’s perspective and allow for our concerns to be addressed when regulations are being formulated or modified.

QCL can play a significant role in promoting catch and release practices to support sustainable fishing. By educating anglers about the benefits of releasing certain fish species, especially those in decline, the lodge can help reduce pressure on vulnerable populations. Implementing policies that incentivize catch and release, such as recognition programs and rewards for anglers who release fish, help us to encourage guests to participate willingly.

To ensure compliance with fishing regulations, QCL has implemented monitoring systems. By employing experienced guides and staff members familiar with local rules, we can monitor angling activities on the water, including catch numbers and sizes. By regularly reporting this information to regulatory authorities, the lodge can contribute to the assessment of fish populations and assist in the evaluation of the effectiveness of existing regulations.

Fishing lodges must maintain a high degree of adaptability and flexibility in response to fishing regulation changes. This involves regularly reviewing internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with updated rules. Lodge management is prepared to modify fishing programs, adjust catch limits, or introduce new practices as required. Maintaining open communication with guests about any changes and explaining the reasons behind them helps foster understanding and cooperation.

Navigating fishing regulation changes can be a complex task. By staying informed, educating our guests, collaborating with regulatory authorities, encouraging catch and release, implementing monitoring systems, remaining adaptable, and engaging in conservation initiatives, we can effectively handle regulatory changes. This approach ensures the sustainable enjoyment of fishing for guests, the conservation of fish populations, and the overall success of our operation in the long run. By balancing the interests of anglers and environmental conservation, QCL can serve as responsible custodians of the marine resources.

As a note to all of our guests, we appreciate your assistance and understanding when it comes to maintaining all DFO regulations. Together, we can ensure continuity for all of us that love the adventure that is ocean fishing! Should you at any point have any questions, please reach out to our team and we will give you the most up to date information.