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September 27, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

There is something special about bringing your fish home from your first class fishing trip, cooking it and sharing those memories while creating new ones. Though this is one of our favourite ways to hold onto a summer adventure, we also know that it can be easy to move through your delicious catch and for those moments where you’re in need of West Coast seafood there is our Taste of B-Sea program.

QCL has sourced the finest quality fish and shellfish available – all caught right here in British Columbia. These products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods. Perfect for hosting during the upcoming holiday season, or to tide you over until your next QCL visit!

All the favourites are on hand – Albacore Tuna loins, Lingcod and Halibut portions, Sablefish (smoked & regular) as well as Spot Prawns and Dungeness Crab. Pick a few, or try a sample pack!

Check out our ready to ship menu below, and place your order to keep your freezer stocked. To order, contact our team | 1-800-688-8959

Keep in mind for 2024 that products can be taken home direct from the airport,upon your return from the Lodge.


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September 6, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

“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 31, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

As the Northwest winds start to settle down this week, the fishing continues to thrive.

With the odd kelp line rolling through being our biggest obstacle, the inshore Chinook fishing has been consistent, and with Coho still being caught at most points. Keeping your hooks in the water, as much as possible, has been key around the kelp beds at slack tides, while hog-hunting for the big one. Most anglers don’t need to travel far to get bites but weeding through the Pink salmon looking for Chinook continues to keep all anglers busy!

The slow moving flood tides give anglers plenty of opportunity to get out bottom fishing for longer periods, allowing most guests to get all of their halibut done in one trip offshore.

Outlook for the week – Overall we’re expecting light W to NW winds, mixed skies with sunny period with some of the largest tidal range of the year over the Tuesday full moon (.4 to 18.7ft).

With July in the rearview, the excitement continues to build as step into August. Here’s to incredible fishing and unforgettable memories!

Lead Guide, Chris Manning

 

 


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July 31, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

While we are known for our access to some of the most sought-after salmon fishing grounds in the world, what QCL offers doesn’t stop there. Our fishing grounds are also home to rich bottom fish populations, offering our guests a multitude of fishing adventures all within one day.

In order to grasp the appeal to our bottom fishing grounds, you need to first know what makes bottom fishing “good”.

When targeting bottom fish – Halibut, Lingcod and Rockfish for example – anglers use topographical charts of the ocean floor to predict where fish are likely to live. These charts illustrate plateaus, troughs, and pinnacles (underwater mountains); which are what we refer to as structures. These structures are prime living locations for a variety of the bottom fish we target at QCL.

Our Fishing Grounds sit on the edge of an underwater shelf. At the edge of the shelf, depths drop rapidly from roughly 350ft to depths that plummet well below 700ft. This creates a concentration of bottom fish that venture onto the shelf for easier access to food sources and in turn, allow us the opportunity to fish these large numbers of fish. Additionally, this shelf allows for plentiful fishing without needing to travel extended distances or out into the open ocean; often the case when searching for good structure. Our grounds offer the ability to catch bottom fish from as close as the shoreline to a few miles offshore. Due to this, we often see Halibut and Lingcod being a bycatch when targeting salmon in shallow waters close to shore.

The structure of our fishing grounds also creates the unique ability to specifically target different bottom fish. For example, Lingcod are often found living amongst large rock formations and pinnacles, but Halibut are known to frequent large sand plateaus where they can easily camouflage themselves. Both locations offer ample opportunity to cross paths with both species but on our grounds, there are areas which support both types of bottom structure which results in precise targeting of each species.

An added benefit of our fishing grounds is that we have seen a steady increase in food sources such as herring and squid. They congregate around the underwater landmarks that Halibut, Lingcod and others are often found. Where there’s food, there’s always something around to eat it!

Behind each angler is a knowledge and passion for the sport they are partaking in, and we hope that with this knowledge your passion is ignited for your upcoming trip to QCL.

 


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July 27, 2023 Tayler Fuerst0

Every day fishing in Haida Gwaii is a totally new adventure!

We were off the dock at 7am. The wind was blowing from the northwest and the tide was ebbing. On the way out we encountered some 6-7′ waves but by the time we dropped in on the west bay of Bird Rock 1 all was good as we drifted with the waves.

Running a black gold inline flasher with a green hootchie on the port side… A green inline flasher with a spoon on the starboard… 3 Coho were in the boat by the time we drifted to the east bay of Cape Naden. As we rounded the the point, the port side the rod took a serious dip and the reel started to scream out line! 10 minutes later we had a beautiful 21lb Chinook salmon in the net! We rounded out the day with 3 more Coho and 1 more Chinook salmon. It was a fantastic day on the water.

Guide, Clint Lundie

 


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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