Fishing Retail Stores
Army & Navy
Vancouver, New West, Langley
Berry's Bait & Tackle
Richmond
First Light Fishing & Tackle
Burnaby
Fred's Custom Tackle
Chilliwack & Abbotsford
Hatch Match'r
Maple Ridge
Lodestar Outfitters
Langley
Mike's Reel Repair
Abbotsford
Pacific Angler
Vancouver
Sea-Run Fly & Tackle
Coquitlam

South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: March 16th, 2015

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We recommend the following saltwater fishing charters on Vancouver Island.

Saltwater

Vancouver Island halibut fishing

OVERVIEWS – Chinook fishing was FAIR and fish up to 27 pounds were caught this past week. Halibut fishing was FAIR to GOOD. The strong winds on the weekend did not help anglers, many of whom could not get out.

SOOKE – The fishing for winter springs was SLOW this past weekend. Most fish that were caught were taken in the afternoon. Choice of lures has stayed very similar to last week; Anchovies are working best with Green and Bloody Nose teaser heads being the best colors choices. G-Force spoons in Irish Cream and No Bananas have been catching their fair number of fish. The most popular flashers recently have been the Gibbs Madi, the Outfitter and the Jellyfish UV. Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend. Dog fish were a bit of a problem.

BECHER BAY– Salmon fishing was FAIR in East Sooke. Once again, most of the fish were caught either in Whirl Bay or off the east side of Becher Bay. The bite was best in the afternoon. Most fish were caught trolling in 130 feet to 160 of water. Anchovies were the most productive bait and Purple Haze and Green Glow were the most productive teaser heads. Spoons and plastic baits have also been working well. Spoons such as G-Force in the smaller sizes have been working as well, both in No Bananas or Glow/Green. Squirts are working too with Pistachio, Purple Haze and Glow white the best patterns. For flashers, the Madi and the Purple Onion have been very good lately.

PEDDER BAY – Chinook salmon fishing was FAIR and Whirl Bay was the best spot on the weekend. Dave LestocKay caught a 27 lb spring caught just before dusk on March 6th in Whirl Bay on anchovy in a Chrome green Rhys Davis teaser head. The fish are following the bait and you have to find the bait to get consistent results. Most of the keepers weighed from 6 to 11 lbs and were caught near the bottom in 140 feet of water. Anchovy were the most productive lure for springs with Green Chrome, Purple Haze and Bloody Nose being top choices in teaser heads. Trolling with 3" and 3.5" spoons have been effective for catching springs these past few weeks. Coho Killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Flashers that remain popular include the Madi and the Purple Onion.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week if you could get out in the weather. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

VICTORIA – Fishing for winter springs was FAIR off Victoria. Anglers have been catching chinooks up to 15 lbs close to shore and out at Constance Bank. During the week the bank produced springs ranging from 6 – 15 lbs. Although there were nice fish caught, seals remained a big problem this week. Esquimalt, Brotchie and Clover Point also produced fish this week. Anchovies have been working well in glow colors outside the harbour. Good choices in plastic baits are the Cloverleaf, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in green and glow colours have been very effective.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week if you could get out in the weather. Chris Row from Brockville, Ontario, had a great first fish of a lifetime catching and releasing a130lb, 160cm, halibut while fishing with Kingsley Grant. He used herring and salmon belly in 180 feet of water at Constance Bank for his big catch. Scott Anderson of Scottsdale Arizona snuck out on a charter while on his honeymoon here in Victoria and caught a nice 30 lb halibut as well as a 17 lb halibut and a 50 lb Skate to round out a beautiful day on the water in Victoria. Halibut were taken in 168 feet of water with whole extra large herring on quick strike rig. Halibut were biting at the changing tide and dog fish were a bit of an issue. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing remained SLOW for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. A few springs of to 10 lbs were being caught but anglers reported fewer fish on the flats. Anglers were using squirts, spoons, or tiny strip. The fish that were being caught trolling were caught on Coho Killer spoons and 3" to 4" G-Force & Gypsy spoons. Good squirts were the Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Green/silver or Green Jellyfish.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week if you could get out in the weather. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

SIDNEY- Salmon fishing was GOOD near Sidney this past weekend and two fishing derbies were held in this area this past weekend.

The Sidney Anglers' Association held their annual halibut derby and it was won by Chris Koscik with a 34.1 lb halibut caught near Mandarte Island while using Bullet Tuna for bait. Second place went to Richard Lake with a 26.2 lb halibut from D'Arcy Island area.

The Mill Bay Marina held their first Saanich Inlet Salmon Derby. The winning salmon weighed 19 lb 8 oz and was caught near Wain Rock. The next two largest salmon weighed 16 lbs and 14 lbs.

Salmon fishing has been good in the south end of the Channel, near the Powder Wharf and by Saanichton Spit. It's also been good in the Inlet and Richard Lake has caught 4 springs between 10 to 20.5 lbs there this past week. Many anglers are fishing using anchovies in UV Green teaser heads. Squirts have been out producing hootchies recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, J-79 and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and 50/50 colors. Crabbing has been excellent off Sidney Spit.

Notable Catches – Dave LestocKay caught a 27 lb spring caught just before dusk on March 6th in Whirl Bay on anchovy in a Chrome green Rhys Davis teaser head. Chris Row from Brockville, Ontario, had a great first fish of a lifetime catching and releasing a 130lb, 160cm, halibut while fishing with Kingsley Grant. Scott Anderson of Scottsdale Arizona snuck out on a charter while on his honeymoon here in Victoria and caught a nice 30 lb halibut as well as a 17 lb halibut and a 50 lb Skate to round out a beautiful day on the water in Victoria. The Sidney Anglers' Association held their annual halibut derby and it was won by Chris Koscik with a 34.1 lb halibut caught near Mandarte Island while using Bullet Tuna for bait. Second place went to Richard Lake with a 26.2 lb halibut from D'Arcy Island area. Richard Lake has also caught 4 springs between 10 to 20.5 lbs in Saanich Inlet this past week.

Freshwater

OVERVIEW – Fishing is FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area. The weather has gotten warmer so fishing is slowly improving. Although not many fish are being caught, some of those are big ones. Winter run steelhead has been GOOD. Remember that ALL wild trout (steelhead included) must be released on ALL streams in Region 1. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake. Only single barb less hooks are allowed for all fishing on island streams and rivers.

COWICHAN RIVER –The water level has gone up again over the weekend to around 1.1 meters. The steelhead fishing has been good and some nice fish were caught and released. The Riverbottom area has remained the best area to fish, but there are steelies in all parts of the river now. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin 'n Glo's, Corkies, Gooey Bobs, Jigs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Many anglers have been successful catching winter runs on flies recently but most anglers chose to use floats and gear. The trout fishing in the upper river is excellent. The rainbows, cutthroats and resident brown trout are actively feeding on salmon and steelhead eggs. Salmon egg imitations are the go to lures for trout.

TROUT – Trout fishing was FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has started their spring releases of catchable rainbow trout from the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery. On March 9th, Thetis Lake received 1,250 trout and Kemp, Matheson, Glen and Dougan Lakes each relieved 500 trout with an average size of 234 grams. On March 10th, Elk Lake received 1,850 catchable rainbows, Lookout Lake received 200 trout and Ida Anne Lake received 50 trout averaging 240 grams.

Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and right on the bottom. Yellow and Bubblegum have been good colours recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers have been doing well with Gibbs Gang Trolls and Gibbs Wedding Bands. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers in green or black and white patterns. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, Black with Silver Flake or Rainbow Pattern. The biggest trout usually come from Langford Lake and Elk Lake. Bryan Barter caught a 4.7 lb rainbow trout at Fuller Lake this past Sunday and takes over first place on our leader board.
BASS - Bass fishing is SLOW but is picking up as the weather becomes warmer. Fishing drop shot style is your best bet now. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style "are also a good choice when fishing drop offs and reefs, and have been most productive in 4" Yum bait colors Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Langford Lake, Shawnigan Lake, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver Lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary's Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing.

Notable Catches – Bryan Barter caught a 4.7 lb rainbow trout at Fuller Lake this past Sunday and takes over first place on our leader board.

Fish Tip of the Week

When fishing for trout with Power Bait use a small hook. You want to make sure the hook is completely covered by the bait, so that the trout will not feel anything unnatural when they gently mouth the bait.