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South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: August 25th, 2015

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Saltwater

OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was GOOD but slower than last week. Lots of chinooks were being caught all throughout the area, with most of them weighing in the teens. The coho are starting to appear out in the deeper waters of the strait. The pink salmon fishingwas definitely slower and you had to work to find them. Halibut fishing was GOOD for those targeting this species.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. The pink salmon are still here and even though there were fewer of them this past week, if you worked for them you could get some. The springs were more abundant than the pinks and good catches came from all areas. Most of the springs were weighing between 10 to 20 lbs, but there were a few in the twenties and some in the 30+ size. The bigger springs are being caught in the 35 - 60 ft depths. Some hatchery and wild coho are also being caught, mostly out in the shipping lanes. Sockeye and wild coho still have o be released. Anchovies are the number one choice of bait for Sooke anglers. Teaser heads that have been performing well with anchovies and herring are Chartreuse, Green Glow Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. G-Force spoons in Outfitters, Irish Cream and No Bananas have been catching their fair number of fish. Coho Killers have been quite effective in catching pinks. The most popular flashers recently have been the Ok'i Betsey, the Gibbs Outfitter and the Madi.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD in East Sooke. There are a lot less pink salmon being caught and you had to work harder for them. The best pink fishing has been on the flood tide in the tide rips and tide lines out in the strait. The spring salmon fishing has picked up. The Trap shack area was good to anglers on over the week. The best fishing there has been in tight to shore in 100 feet of water or less and between 40 – 70 feet on the downrigger. Most springs were running from 10 to 20 lbs in size with the occasional 20+ lber being caught. Anchovies were the most productive bait for the springs and No Bananas and Halloween Candy were productive teaser heads. However, spoons and plastic baits have been popular due to anglers switching to artificial baits because of the amount of bait needed to weed through all of the pinks! The Glow/Green Stripe hootchy has been effective for springs this past week. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in the Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were effective. For flashers, the Lemon Lime, Super Betsey and the Purple Onion have been good.

Cheanuh Marina held their annual salmon derby this past weekend. First place went to Al Zaalberg for a 27.4 lb spring. Second place went to Shirley Lambrecht for a 24.4 lb spring. Third place went to John McHale with a 23.2 lb spring. There were 107 springs weighed in and 198 tickets sold for the derby.

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD this week. Pink salmon, some nice springs, a few hatchery coho and some catch and release wild coho and one 10 lb chum salmon were reported by Pedder Bay Marina. There were quite a few springs in the area, but no area was a real hot spot. All of the pink salmon has kept the rental boat fleet very busy and there are usually waits at peak times. Most of the pink action is now coming from out near the shipping lanes as the run is definitely slowing down, causing spotty fishing. A 37 lb spring was caught trolling at 50' on the Pedder Bay side of Bentinck Island. Kathryn Ramsay caught her first spring salmon, a 34 lb fish, at Church Rock on an anchovy. Most of the springs caught have been at that 50-55 foot depth. Anglers jigging in the bay were also catching springs using the 8 oz and 6 oz Gibbs/Delta Jumbo Anchovy jigging lure. Anchovy was the most productive bait when trolling for springs with Glow Green and Bloody Nose being top choices in teaser heads Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in the Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were effective Flashers that remain popular include Super Betsey, Lemon-Lime and Purple Onion.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week. Meredith Hope, of Texas, caught a 66 lb 131cm halibut on a Greenling head tipped with a fresh salmon belly in 285 feet of water in front of Pedder Bay. Anglers that were fishing were using mackerel, 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 – Fishing for springs was FAIR, both at Constance Bank and along the waterfront. It was slower than last week and not as many springs were caught by anglers. The springs were spread out from Harling Point to Albert Head, depending on the tide, and there were some pink salmon mixed in with the springs. Out at Constance Bank there were more pinks and feeder springs. Most of the springs were in the teens, but there were a couple over 20 lbs landed. .Anchovies, spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and pink squirts. Gibbs Coho Killers, Sitka needlefish and Coyote spoons in green, moon glow and silver colours have been very effective. The Lemon Lime flasher has been very effective recently. The Glow Green Splatter Back Coho Killer has been a very effective out on the bank.

The Esquimalt Anglers Association held their Annual Salmon derby this past Sunday. First place went to Be Tran for a 20.0 lb spring. Rick Carson came in second with a 17 lb 15 oz spring. Third place went to IAIN MacLeod for a 17lb 14 oz spring. There were 43 springs weighed in and 83 boats fishing in the derby.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend. Anglers report that the dogfish were less of a problem this past week. Most anglers that were fishing were using mackerel, 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 SLOW this past week. There were some springs caught but it was spotty most of the time. Most salmon were caught when fishing with lures right on the bottom (60-110 ft) on the Flats and by the Gap. The fish were hitting needlefish spoon and squirts. Anglers also caught fish jigging right on the bottom. G-force and Skinny G spoons in No Bananas and Outfitter colours worked just fine. Coho Killers in Gold Nugget and Green Splatterback have been pretty productive too. The best flasher has been the Gibbs Lemon Lime and the Bon Chovy.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend out in Haro Strait and off Discovery Island. Josh St. Gelais caught a 133 cm, 75lb Halibut in Haro Strait using fresh salmon bellies in 175 feet of water. Anglers that have been fishing are using mackerel, 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 PRETTY GOOD near Pender Island The pink salmon have been close to Pender Bluffs and most boats are getting fish there.. The springs are also showing up there in good numbers and they have been hitting Electric Chair hootchies trolled between 50 - 60 feet on the downrigger. Many anglers are fishing using anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads. Squirts have been out-producing hootchies and the hot patterns for springs now are Orange/Black/White, Purple Haze and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and Gold Nugget.

Notable Catches – Cheanuh Marina held their annual salmon derby this past weekend. First place went to Al Zaalberg for a 27.4 lb spring. Second place went to Shirley Lambrecht for a 24.4 lb spring. Third place went to John McHale with a 23.2 lb spring. Kathryn Ramsay caught her first spring salmon, a 34 lb fish, at Church Rock on an anchovy. Meredith Hope, of Texas, caught a 66 lb 131cm halibut on a Greenling head tipped with a fresh salmon belly in 285 feet of water in front of Pedder Bay. The Esquimalt Anglers Association held their Annual Salmon derby this past Sunday. First place went to Be Tran for a 20.0 lb spring. Rick Carson came in second with a 17 lb 15 oz spring. Third place went to IAIN MacLeod for a 17lb 14 oz spring. Josh St. Gelais caught a 133 cm, 75lb Halibut in Haro Strait using fresh salmon bellies in 175 feet of water.

Freshwater

OVERVIEW – Fishing is GOOD on most lakes as the water temperatures climb. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.

Please note that fishing is currently closed to ALL streams on Vancouver Island except Campbell, Qualicum and Quinsam Rivers. More information...

TROUT – Trout fishing was GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and right on the bottom. Orange Garlic and Pink Garlic have been good choices 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 rainbow, 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. Chris Findlow caught a 4 lb 5 oz rainbow trout at Elk Lake while fishing green Powerbait Eggs on the highway side of the lake.Chris is now #2 on the Trout Leaderboard.

BASS – Bass fishing is EXCELLENT. At this time of year most of the bass are in the shallows. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style work well and crank baits can work well too. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style "is also a good choice when fishing drop offs and docks. The most productive colors in 4" Yum baits are 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.

Fish Tip of the Week

When you see birds working a ball up, don't troll through the ball up and the birds. Feeding salmon are mostly outside of the ball up looking for the crippled bait fish that are falling away with the tide or swimming away from the ball up. You should fish to the side and below the bait and not disturb the birds that are on the top.