It’s sadly finally upon us – Englefield’s last trip of the 2019 season!
After a little not-so-user-friendly weather and a barometric pressure drop that slowed the fishing down a little, things have calmed, and fishing is on the upswing again!
As always, halibut fishing has been super solid, with guests retaining either their 2 smaller fish (90cm and under) or 1 larger fish (between 90cm and 126cm). Having such prolific food sources that consist of huge schools of herring and other baitfish means that our halibut are well fed, and these healthy, well-conditioned halibut make for some of the finest table fare around. Some MONSTER halibut have been encountered too of late, with internationally renowned Vancouver artist Ross Penhall and his daughter Sophie releasing a massive fish somewhere around the 250lb mark with the help of their guide Mandy Wesley. Fantastic to see these breathtaking giants thriving here in our waters with the help of great resource management ensuring that all these big fish are mandatorily released.
Guests are also taking home some nice lingcod in the 10-25lb range, while the bigger females over 25lbs are being released to keep propagating the species. Just yesterday Curtis Kish released a lingcod estimated at somewhere around 60lbs. Great release Curtis, and thank you for doing your part to look after these amazing fish! Such releases help sustain our thriving local lingcod population.
Our other rockfish species have also been encountered in abundance throughout the season. More common species like Black and Canary rockfish make up most of our anglers’ rockfish catch, but Quillbacks, China and Copper rockfish, as well as the more striking Tiger rockfish are all part of the plethora of bottom-dwelling jig munchers found in and around Englefield Bay and the Denham Shoals.
Chinook salmon are being encountered all along the shores of Moore Channel – from Denham Bay all the way in towards the lodge to Herbert Head. No-Name had a great bite yesterday afternoon with anglers both landing and releasing salmon up to 28lbs, and the Denham Shoals is holding chinooks at both the South and West pinnacles once again. At the end of our last trip angler Darcy Valovich, along with his fishing partner Terry Eckstein and guide Aaron Hans were fishing Denham Minor, a small tack on the eastern end of Denham Bay when Darcy hooked a large chinook. At the same time his Terry hooked another chinook that fought with the same intensity, but unfortunately broke the leader and gained its freedom. After a great battle, Darcy landed his fish – a stocky 33lb beauty! Well done Darcy!
Coho are still being encountered in patches, but as usual here at Englefield our guests remain focused on chasing the mighty chinook.
We’re expecting the good weather to continue until we say farewell to our final guests at the end of this trip, and by all indications the fishing will hold strong also. As I write, boats are hitting the dock for lunch and unloading their morning’s catch – looks great from here once again!
To those of you who have joined us this year, we hope that you have as many amazing memories as we do, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020! If you didn’t make it up this year, what are you waiting for? 2020 is booking up quickly, so make your plans today and come and enjoy all the spectacular experiences that Englefield Bay and Haida Gwaii have to offer.
Outside Operations Manager
The Lodge at Englefield Bay