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April 17, 2019 Duane Foerter0

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, made his much anticipated 2019 Fisheries Plan public on April 16.

You may see headlines in the media that say that fishing in British Columbia is shut down. To set the record straight, that is not true. The fact of the matter is that our Department of Fisheries and Oceans is very concerned about the low return levels of Chinooks to the Fraser River. Conservation measures are being taken to protect Fraser River Chinooks. These measures include non-retention of Chinooks in certain southern areas of the province.

The fisheries on the north coast and in Haida Gwaii, adjacent to QCL, are not part of the area considered for these restrictions. We will start the season with normal salmon limits for Chinook – 2 Chinooks per day and 4 in possession. Total salmon limits will also be unaffected with 4 salmon permitted per day and 8 salmon in possession. We will also have no Commercial Fishery in our area. That is fantastic news.

Regarding non-salmon species, there are slight changes in the halibut regulations this season, which we think most anglers will see as positive.  This season anglers will have a choice:

Halibut possession limit is either of:

—- one (1) halibut measuring 90 cm to 126 cm in length (head-on), OR

—- two (2) halibut, each measuring under 90 cm in length (head-on)

—- The daily limit for halibut is one (1).

Limits for Lingcod and Rockfish remain unchanged from 2018.


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September 2, 2018 Duane Foerter0

What a wrap to the 2018 season! While it might have been a bit of a slow start (by our standards) to the season this year, the past month has been cracker jack! Good weather and tons of fish around has sent a lot of smiling faces home in recent weeks. It’s taking some getting used to but the offshore fishery has been incredible. We’re finding offshore trolling tacks that are producing great results at depths from 55 to 75 to 95 feet and deeper. This is producing reliable catches of gorgeous Coho to 16 pounds, quite a few hefty Chum in the mid-teens and Chinooks to 20 pounds. Halibut catches are virtually instantaneous when you touch bottom; but you do have to weed through somme chickens to find the turkeys! All good fun.

Giant Chinook salmon fishing at QCLOur inshore fishing for Chinook salmon requires a different approach but it’s no less rewarding. The Tyee catch has been pretty consistent this month with several beauties in the low to mid-thirties coming to the boat every trip. And, just to keep everyone on their toes, there have been enough huge Chinooks around to reward the most dedicated Tyee angler! And it’s surprising how it can happen! Last week, on the first drop of the trip with his guests Bill and son Robert, veteran QCL guide Derek “Demo” Poitras started out at Parker Point. The herring must have landed right on its nose but before they had the second line in the water Robert was onto a heavy fish! After a serious tug-o-war, Derek slipped the net beneath a huge chrome buck and it was high-fives all around. Giant Chinook salmon at QCLWasting no time they did a quick measurement and this “king of salmon” was back in the water and on its way again. Taped out to 47-pounds it was one of the largest fish of the season. Fantastic catch Robert! Well played and kudos to you for choosing to let him go!

QCL Chinook salmon fishingOn the next day Jason A was on board One-Fifteen with guide Lance Mercer. Cape Naden has been especially productive this summer and Lance had “that feeling” when they decided to drop in there first thing. It didn’t happen right away but after an hour of teasing an anchovy along the kelp they were rewarded with a big hit and a screaming reel. Jason worked the heavy fish masterfully and Lance was able to keep them out of the kelp. This big beauty taped out to 44 pounds and Jason never hesitated to send it back in hopes that it’ll return to its home stream! Congratulations guys and well done!


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August 24, 2018 Duane Foerter0

August fishing… oh boy!   It seems that everything really comes together by the time August rolls around.  Certainly the catch board would say so!  The inshore fishery, mainly focused on Chinooks, has turned out lots of beautiful big salmon every day.  Those brawny 20-something pounders are the backbone of the action but there always a few surprises lurking in the kelp!  The Tyee bell gets a workout every night with a couple big Chinooks caught and/or released.  Lately the median-sized Tyees have been in the low to mid 30’s with the occasional giant making an appearance.   Last week we were thrilled to see 3 of our largest salmon of the season caught – and released  – at 3 different locations.

Working a herring along the wall at Bird 2 has to be one of the most effective ways to find a Tyee anywhere on the west coast!  QCL guide Brett Towers was doing it right the other day, as the pressure was on!  He had his Dad on board with a couple of friends.  Making the turn along the kelp, deep in the bay, that herring worked its magic and Don was onto the fish of his dreams!  It took them on a bit of a hayride but in the end, Brett was able to get the net under it and lift it into the boat.  With a quick photo and a measurement, they had the silver giant back in the water.  Taped out to 47 pounds, it was the largest Chinook we’ve seen this season and cause for some serious celebration back at the Bell Ringer that night!  Fantastic work guys!  Well done Brett!

Catch & Release TyeeA couple of days later, Driftwood guest Stan T was over at Cape Edenshaw with his guide Mark Kasumovich when they also teased a big slab away from the shelter of the kelp.  Nice and vigourous when they got it in the net, Stan chose to send it back as well.  This one scored out to 45 pounds and was yet another proof of Edenshaw’s reputation for holding big fish under the right conditions.  Nice work guys and Congratulations to you Stan!   Not far away, on the very same day, Dave R was fishing Cape Naden on board 97 with guide Jackson Jane, when they connected with a big Tyee.  As Jackson reported in his post, it took the bait trolled on the back rod and gave them quite a workout before coming to the net.  David was quick to choose releasing this beauty and it swam off with strong strokes of its tail after measuring out to 46 pounds!  Amazing fish!

Catch & ReleaseWhen these Chinooks aren’t bleeding and are properly revived, the survival rate is apparently very good.  So it’s quite an extraordinary feeling to watch a big Tyee swim out of your grip and return to the depths.  We have always believed that big fish breed big fish, and while we fully respect the angler’s right to choose, we try to ensure that they make an informed choice.  Many anglers dream of having that opportunity and we support anything that can help to ensure those opportunities continue in the future.


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August 20, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Things are still going strong here at QCL, with a good assortment of fish spread across our fishing grounds. Daily catches have ranged from Coho, Chum and Chinook action offshore to the odd Tyee-class salmon being picked up at some of our well known inshore points. Our best success inshore has certainly come as a result of the “stick, stay, make it pay” method of fishing, in order to catch the random snap bites that take place throughout the day. Fortunately, we have also had the privilege of extremely calm waters over the past week, which always gives some of our hotspots a real “fishy” feeling.

C&R Chinook SalmonOn Thursday morning at Cape Naden that “fishy” feeling was certainly in the air. As we made our way onto the fishing grounds I overheard some radio chatter about a few fish already being picked up Bird 2. Yet as we cruised past Naden something told me I should probably stop in for at least a pass or two.

That pass or two turned into an hour and a half at Naden with no bites, yet all four of us on board were optimistic that something was going to happen. Finally, around 9:30am, the screaming sound from our back rod interrupted a peaceful morning on the water. My guest, Dave R grabbed the rod, with no hook set needed, as the fish already had the Islander reel sizzling. We immediately cleared our other two rods, as we knew we were in for a battle! After a long first run that seemed like it may not end, Dave was finally able to slowly work the fish to the boat for our first look. At that point it was pretty clear we had a Tyee on the line and off it went for another powerful run. After a lengthy tug-o-war with this large specimen, we were finally able to put it in the bag!  After some high fives and a few loud cheers, we brought the fish into the boat for a measurement and a few quick photos. This fish was then released to continue its migratory journey to its home river. This big silver beauty taped out to 46 pounds!  Congrats Dave!  Thanks for choosing to let it go!

QCL Bell RingerLater on at the Bell Ringer things were buzzing, as there was also a 45 caught and released at Cape Edenshaw that morning, along with a few more Tyees caught at various spots on our western fishing grounds. Things are shaping up well for a great end to yet another season in Haida Gwaii!

Tight lines and silver smiles!

Jacko


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August 7, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Last Saturday was one of those days when you talk yourself into going fishing. Breezy southeast conditions were predicted, the Driftwood was anchored at George Point and every boat would be trolling the shorelines around Cape Edenshaw. As the day wore on, boats would gradually make their exit and return to the lodge for some cocktails and a nice dinner. But often thats when the determined angler utters those magic wordsJust one more pass! 

Working the kelp line inside Piggy Bay late in the afternoon, Tim & Karen D, hosting their newlywed daughter and son-in-law, lined up the perfect tack at the perfect time and the stars aligned. The inside rod dipped and Derek was there on the double. The telltale power of a heavy fish had the crew frantically clearing all the gear while Derek held on for quite a ride! Avoiding the safety of the kelp, this salmon was headed for open water. 

Over the next 30 minutes they were gradually pulled about 500 metres offshore, away from the relative calm of the leeward shoreline. But patience and a deft touch on the gear eventually saw Tim ease the net beneath a big silver slab in the rock & roll seas. No blood and with lots of kick left in him, they chose to get a quick measurement and release this beautiful Tyee. Fishmaster Trevor Harris was alongside to witness the battle and take a few photos, then revive the big Chinook for a few minutes before it swam away with strong and steady strokes of its tail. 

Congratulations were in order! Scoring out to 44 pounds, Derek and family released one of those legendary fish, the one that every angler wants to catch. Hopefully good fortune will see this salmon find its natal stream and itll spawn successfully. Certainly there will be lots of anglers 4 or 5 years from now who will thank Derek for giving it the chance!


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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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August 1, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Painting the Canvas: a story of relativity

Never a bad day in Haida Gwaii, just some better than others. And while this will always remain true, it is a relative statement. The day and trip is what you make of it, just depends on what your mind set is. I am a firm believer that positive vibes yield positive results, what you define as positive is up to you.

As a guide I have the privilege of meeting and experiencing different people and things, and every trip is different. For some, it is a couple celebrating their anniversary, wanting to experience all the sights and sounds of Virago Sound. There is no need to necessarily target the sizzle of a large migratory Chinook salmon popping off the down rigger clip faster than you can you say “how you doing?”  Often the thrill of seeing a large Orca hunting, maybe the dreary bark of a large bull sea lion, even the aggressive deep water dive of an auklet will leave the most experience outdoorsmen in awe.

That being said, people flock from all corners of the world and country in search of a massive black-gummed salmonid. The feeling of coming around the corner of your favourite point and seeing a nice back eddy, then presenting your cut plug roll in just the right way and watching your rod get buried past the second eyelet will make even the most experienced angler salivate. Potentially forgetting to keep that tip up to let him run, Oh well, it’s all part of the fun when trying to hook and then subsequently land “Walter.”

For some it is hooking the fish of a lifetime; for others it’s taking in the sights and sounds of Haida Gwaii.  For most it is a balance of the two. At the end of the day whatever your muse, our job is to give and do our best to provide our guests with as much colour as possible to paint on the canvas which is their trip to Queen Charlotte Lodge in Haida Gwaii.  I look forward to painting further canvases in the future and trying to fulfill each guests dreams.

Signing out Sean “Mayo”


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July 27, 2018 Duane Foerter0

With a little over a month left in the season the memories of the good times are starting to build. Every morning that I wake up I am wondering how the day will unfold. Action has been found at all of the major points, and big fish are being caught on a daily basis. I am excited to get on the water tomorrow morning and see what will unfold, and to find the fish.

The other morning, we were off the dock at 8 AM and decided to head directly offshore. High slack tide was at 12 PM and the plan was to go catch our Coho, then be inshore for the tide change to target Chinook. On our way out we were cruising through the flat calm water and noticed tidal rip had formed off of Cape Naden. We decided to stop here and ride the tide line with the ebb current to shag rock. After about 20 minutes we had a couple Coho in the boat and released some smaller sized Chinook. Something then caught my eye as a killer whale spout blew off my port side. We decided to pull up our lines and watch the show. This was amazing just like we had chosen to fish the tide line a pod of resident killer whales were hunting along the rip searching for Chinook salmon.

After watching the whales cruising through the tide line and feeding on salmon we decided to head inshore and look for some Chinook. We planned to go to Green Point for the low slack and then do the “Haida drift” with the flood tide towards Bird 2. We dropped in close to our western boundary and rode the flood tide towards Green. Before hitting the point … BOOM!  A fish hit the ‘chovie and was off the clip screaming line. After a few big runs we landed the fish which ended up weighing 33 pounds.

I am looking forward to what the day will hold tomorrow. There has not been a 50 Lb Chinook caught yet this year, however I know within the next two weeks some lucky angler, or angler’s will have the opportunity to real in one of these unicorns.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the dock,

Skywalker

Salmon trolling at QCL Haida Gwaii


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July 24, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Family Tyee fishing trip!Northwesterly winds have definitely set the tone over this past week, directing the fishing effort to the sheltered shorelines south and east from Klashwun Point.  Fortunately we’re finding some pretty nice Chinooks while combing along the kelp beds and rocky points.  There have been opportunities to get offshore and pick up some Coho and Halibut as well, but some sizeable tide action can make that a challenge much of the time.  The odd twist is that we usually enjoy a pile of big blue sky with these winds but that’s been pretty spotty most days too!

Chinook salmon action at QCLThe Tyee bell was getting some action on most nights last week with several Chinooks and halibut tipping the scale over that magic 30 mark.  John R kicked the party off with a 30-pounder, repeating his Tyee Club appearance from last year.  Brian K added a 30 on Wednesday along with Jordan C who boated a 32 and Laurence H who’s 37-pounder was the big salmon of the day.  Matt C came close, however, with a 34 lb Tyee, but he seriously proved his skills with the 41 lb halibut that he weighed right after that! That’s a nice day on the water!

The winds let up nicely on Tuesday and the halibut fishers responded!  We saw lots of flatties on the dock with several perfect specimens ranging from 30 to 42 pounds.  Rob G missed the cutoff however with a big one that taped out to 86 pounds!

Tyee Chinook salmon at QCLThursday proved fruitful for salmon hunters with more Tyee catches recorded.  John P shared the thrill of the Tyee with his 2 sons, boating a stunning 31-pound Chinook.  Makenna C got the day off to a great start at Bird 2 when she caught & released a beauty that taped out to 36 pounds!  Fishing with his guide Trevor Harris, Clark H worked the shoreline religiously and was rewarded with two fine Tyee catches – at 31 and 33 pounds!  And off the outer face of Bird 2 at afternoon slack, veteran QCL anglers Carol H and her husband Andy connected with the big salmon of the week, a hefty Tyee that thrilled the Bell Ringer crowd at 42 pounds!  The average size is creeping up steadily for both Chinook and Coho salmon over the past couple of weeks, and we’re really pleased to see so many chunky Coho in the 10-12 pound range!  Let’s see what happens this week!


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