South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: February 26th, 2014
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OVERVIEW – Cold and stormy weather continued through this past week and very few anglers were out fishing. Salmon fishing was GOOD but slower for those that did venture out and most of the fish are still relatively small. HALIBUT FISHING IS NOW OPEN!
SOOKE – Salmon fishing has been GOOD in Sooke, but a bit slower than last week. And the fish are still not too large. Also, not many anglers were out fishing due to the weather. The best fishing for winter springs had been from the harbor entrance to Otter Point in 100 to 120 feet depths. It was very good off the Trailer Park. The springs were running up into the teens in size. The springs are deep, holding close to the bottom. Anchovies are working well in Bloody Nose and UV teaser heads. Glow and UV hootchies and squirts, Coho Killers and G-Force spoons are working well also. The most popular flashers recently have been the Purple Onion, Green Jellyfish and others with both Glow and UV surfaces.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing has been GOOD for winter springs but few boats were out due to the poor weather. Most of the fish came from inside the bay and they were running form 6 to 8 lbs on average. For springs try 100'+ depths and fish close to the bottom. Many anglers are having good success fishing anchovies. The best teaser heads for anchovies were Green Glow and the Bloody Nose. However, artificial lures such as UV /glow squirts, coho killers, and G-Force spoons have been working well also. For flashers, the Purple Onion and the Green Jellyfish have been very good lately.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD but few boats were out due to the rotten weather. There had been a decent number of winter springs being caught near Church Rock and in Whirl Bay and that's where the fishing was the best, especially in the mornings. Most of the action happened close to the bottom. In the afternoons there was some activity in Pedder Bay in 90 to 120 feet of water and while trolling on a line from the Deep Hole to the Can Buoy. Anchovies were the most productive bait with Green Glow, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads. Squirts are working too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Purple Onion, Clear jelly UV and Purple Haze. Coho killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working well too!
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD prior to the bad weather. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. 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 – Just about no one was out fishing the waterfront this past week. Fishing had been GOOD for winter springs, both along the waterfront and at Constance Bank. Anglers were getting limit catches but most of the fish are small, under 5 lbs in size. It was common for a boat to land 20 springs or more in a morning of fishing while searching for a larger salmon. Most anglers fishing Victoria are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (chrome or green/glow). G-Force spoons in Outfitters or No Bananas colors have been killers. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Blow. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in all colours have been very effective. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Clear jelly UV or Green Jellyfish.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD in the bad weather. Kingsley and Walker Grant limited out on "chicken" halibut using Octopus with a strip of Salmon Belly and some "Butt Juice" in 170feet of water on the ebb tide. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. 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 was GOOD but slower for those trolling out on the flats. The fish weren't too big, under 10 lbs in size. The most popular method for catching springs is trolling near the bottom in 75 to 130 feet of water with squirts or spoons, Baitrix tiny strip, or small anchovy. The fish that were being caught were on Coho Killer spoons in Glow/Green, 3" to 4" G-Force & Gypsy spoons. Good squirts were the Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Clear jelly UV or Green Jellyfish.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD before the weather turned for the worst. Anglers are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. 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 SLOW off Sidney this past week. Moresby Island has a few fish near there now and there some around Arbutus Point and Moses Point as well. Coal Island should also be holding some fish. Many anglers have been fishing for springs using anchovies in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze and UV Green teaser heads. Squirts have been out producing hootchies recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and 50/50 colors.
Notable Catches – Kingsley and Walker Grant limited out on "chicken" halibut at Constance Bank.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area due to the cold, windy weather and the low water temperatures. A few steelhead are being caught in the Riverbottom area.
COWICHAN RIVER – The water level has been slowly receding over weekend. Presently, it is just overt 1.2 meters near the lake and near Duncan it is just under at 1.2 meters. There are steelhead in the Riverbottom section and the lower end near Duncan. The trout fishing in the upper river is excellent for brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout. The trout are actively feeding on salmon eggs. Egg patterns are the way to go now, and they are very effective when drifted behind an old salmon redd. If you're after steelhead, steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin 'n Glo's, Corkies, Gooey Bobs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Although many anglers are successful catching winter runs on flies, most anglers chose to use floats and gear. Remember that ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1.
TROUT – Trout fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area, especially with the cold weather that is happening right now. The Vancouver Island hatchery has released large brood stock rainbow trout into many lakes at the end of January. These fish weighed from 2 to 3½ lbs on average. Lookout Lake received 75, Dougan Lake got 30, Ida Anne and Fuller Lakes got 25 and Chemainus Lake got 54 of the large rainbows. Chris Hillier caught and released one of these brood stock rainbows, a 26" behemoth, at Lookout Lake.
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 a variety of lures. The Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers work well for larger fish too. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers with the police car one of the best and the black with silver glitter spots taking second place. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, Black with Silver Flake or Rainbow Pattern. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well; the jointed Rapalas have also been great for larger fish. Larger Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a size 6 hook tipped with a small 1-2″ piece of worm always produce fish. The biggest trout have come from Langford Lake and Elk Lake. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake. Ian Knowles came into the store and weighed in a 2 lb 14 lb rainbow trout that he caught at Lookout Lake on January 22th.
BASS – Bass fishing is VERY SLOW. At this time of year the bass move to deeper drop offs and are harder to find. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style work well and crank baits can work well too. Crank baits have been effective too when fished around 12 feet down with a fast retrieve. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style "is also a good choice when fishing drop offs and docks, most productive in 4" Yum bait colors Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Look for the fish suspended by drop offs close to shore along docks, branches, and any overhanging structure. 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.
CARP – Carp fishing is VERY SLOW now.
Notable Catches – Chris Hillier caught and released a 26" brood stock rainbow, at Lookout Lake. Jeffrey Head came into the store and weighed in a 2 lb 9oz rainbow trout that he caught at Lookout Lake on February 21st.
Fish Tip of the Week
Check you halibut gear! The season just opened for the year so it's the perfect time to inspect your rods, reels, line and lures and get ready for the new season. Replace worn rod guides, frayed lines, fix and/or oil up the reels and replace any leaders with nicks or scratches. And don't forget sharpening those hooks!