Salmon Fishing in Haida Gwaii by Larry Lowman April 22, 2016 Salmon fishing from the lodge at Queen Charlotte Safaris is special. The first and utmost in importance is there are always salmon in the area during the lodge season. The lodge season can be from late May to early September. The big King or Chinook salmon are at the islands from April to early September. There are Coho or Silver salmon from the middle of July to November, and some years there are big schools of Pink and Chum salmon also. On the lodge boats, normally there are 4 anglers and a guide/captain. It is beat to let the guide select the type of gear. There are too many choices for terminal tackle when fishing for salmon. So it is much better and productive to let the guide pick the gear. The guides are there every day and know what was hot and what was not. Trolling is the method used, with flashers and depending on conditions and the preference of the fish as to what type of lures are used. Some is cut bait placed in a plastic holder and some are artificial spoons and plugs. The technical part of this operation is length of the leader from the flasher to the bait or plug and the depth to place the lures. This is where having a guide that knows the preference of the schools in the area currently is very valuable. It is interesting that not all schools of fish are interested in the same type of bait and lures. It usually depends on what they are currently feeding on in the area. This is pretty comfortable fishing. The guide puts out the line and sets it where it should be and the angler waits for the rod to start bouncing. The angler then sets the hook and starts reeling. In that area of Canada all salmon fishing hooks are required to be barbless. So keeping the line tight at all time is very important. The ratio of fish hooked to fish caught and in the boat is about 50%. A lot of fish get away. But not to worry; You will get enough bites to make sure you get fish in your take home box. We have had anglers that hooked and had to voluntarily release 30 or more fish in a day. The reason: Limits! You are allowed four salmon a day, two of which can be King salmon. Also you want to let the smaller ones go and keep the larger ones. This becomes a challenge at the end of the day when you have let a lot of 15 to 20 pound king salmon go and you have yet to keep one or two for that days fishing. Now it is called wishing and fishing. You also have to manage the amount of all the fish you catch because they all have daily and possession limits for your trip home. The limits in Canada are more liberal than many locations in Alaska and the Northwestern US. The limits change yearly. Your guides will help you keep track of your inventory on a daily and possession basis. A lot of our experience anglers that have fished all over Canada and Alaska tell us the salmon fishing in the islands of Haida Gwaii is better than any other place they have fished. It is not uncommon to have a 20 to 30 fish caught and released in one day by one angler when fishing from one of the QCS boats.