June 4, 2016 Duane Foerter0

We’ve just completed our first week of the new season and the atmosphere at the Bell Ringer has been anything but dull! From slinky lingcod to silver tails, many guests are arriving at the dock with a fish box full of oceanic goodies! Guests are being selective about the salmon they bring in, choosing to keep Chinook averaging 10-12 lbs, as well as a great variety of bottom-dwelling creatures including rockfish and some medium-sized halibut.  A great 6-pound Black Rockfish (Bomber) arrived at the dock yesterday – stay tuned to find out why this is an amazing catch!


Guests come to QCL because they want to fish, but the excitement doesn’t end when the fishing day is done! Bell Ringer chef Brad has been sizzling up some crispy appetizers for the onrush of arriving guests, who can be seen with a cold drink in hand, swapping fish stories (let’s be honest – we’ve all caught the biggest salmon in Haida Gwaii), and relaxing after a full day’s work. From the comfort of the heated patio, guests have been enjoying the scenic views of the harbour and its many inhabitants – mainly otters, seals, and eagles!

The Red Boot Team has been full of energy this week, excited to start the season off well and working hard to accommodate all guests’ personal and fishing needs! Have you tried Candied Salmon? Sablefish? Ask a Red Boot Team member (that’s me!) about how you can try Haida Gwaii seafood with “A Taste of B-Sea” – you’ve never had Albacore tuna this fresh!

There’s no doubt that the Bell Ringer has got all of your “apres peche” (after fishing) excitement and amenities, come and check out the fishiest Bar in Haida Gwaii for yourself! We can’t wait to see you here!

Jessica – Fish Services Supervisor


August 26, 2015 Duane Foerter0

A spectacular sunset yesterday added yet another superlative to the fantastic summer we’ve had up here at QCL. With only 9 fishing days left, we’re still pinching ourselves on how great this season has been!

IMG_1441-wUnusual northeasterly winds on Tuesday pulled everyone over to Cape Edenshaw where some large Chinooks were waiting. A number of Tyees were boated earlier in the morning at Parker Point and Bird One. Edenshaw didn’t disappoint during the few hours we spent over there, turning out several nice fish through lunchtime and the early afternoon. The big catch of the day went to Jim S, fishing with his wife and QCL guide Ryan Kelly, with beautiful Tyee that tipped the scales at just over 40 pounds.


On Monday John F landed a 41 pounder at Parker Point and Colton L chose to release a stunning big Chinook that taped out to 43 pounds. Add to that another 20 Tyees in the 30’s and it’s sure great to see this number of large salmon around in late August! Coho remain scattered and hard to find but we are finding some in the mix every day.

IMG_0443-wThe windy conditions of the past couple days have slackened right off to provide nice flat water today so the halibut hunt will begin in earnest. The quantity of flatties over 30 pounds has diminished somewhat but there is no shortage of those tasty “chickens” under 20! This summer we’ve seen a higher number of less common groundfish come to the dock – tasty additions to the fishbox like Pacific Cod and Silver-Grey Bocaccio. One sure thing about bottom-fishing, you never know what you’re going to pull up!

Looking ahead to the weekend we expect cloudy skies and moderate winds out of the south to southwest, meaning nice flat water over most of the fishing grounds. It’s likely that any sunshine will come in its liquid form! The fish like that! Tides are building this week to a change of over 16 feet on Saturday, coincident with the full moon on Saturday night.


June 27, 2015 Duane Foerter0

Hello Fish “Fin-atics”,

Have you ever wondered what the difference between yelloweye, black and quillback rockfish might be?

Well, they are all good eats, they do have that in common! These fish are normally found near rocky bottoms, so they can hide in the nooks and crannies of the ocean floor.

Yelloweye rockfish, also known (incorrectly) as red snapper, are the largest of the rockfish and can grow to 36 inches. These delicious fish can actually live up to 115 years old! You can identify these rockfish by the yellow coloring in their eye and their vibrant deep orange colour. We typically catch them only when fishing for halibut in water over 170 feet deep. Unfortunately the pressure change from reeling them in when caught causes their swim bladder to expand and they rarely survive release so be sure to add them to your catch.

Black rockfish (sometimes called sea bass or black bass) are the most popular rockfish we see at the scale. These little guys are found swimming in deep water but leave their habitat from the rocky bottoms to feed. The lifespan of these fish is around 50 years. They are dark neutral grey in color and are typically 12 to 16 inches long. They don’t get any bigger than 10 lbs. The firm white flesh of black rockfish is delicious any way it’s prepared and is especially good as sashimi!

Lastly, Quillback rockfish, these rockfish are named after their sharp, venomous quills or spines on the dorsal fin, so beware of that spikey spine! Though we rarely see them larger than 12 inches in length the small filets are delicious deep-fried!

These three rockfish may have different characteristics to pin-point the type of rockfish they might be, but they all have similar flesh; they have white, flaky meat with a delicate flavor. The best way to cook these fish would be to pan fry them or enjoy them as fish & chips!

Hope to catch you all at the scale,