South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: September 1st, 2014
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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing is PICKING UP in many areas as the fish are heading towards their home rivers. Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend.
PORT RENFREW – Fishing has been GOOD for springs out at Swiftsure Bank. The springs are very deep, from 120 to 220 feet on the downrigger. Most of the springs are cookie cutters and weigh10-20 lbs with an occasional fish in the high twenties. The top producers are spoons. Along the "beach" it's been hot and cold with some good days and some fruitless days.
SOOKE – Salmon fishing was SPOTTY this past week. There would be fish in one area one day, and the next day they would have moved on to another area. If you could locate the fish, you could catch a few. The most consistent spots were Sheringham Point, Muir Creek and Otter Point. The springs were mostly in the teens with the occasional larger fish. Sockeye and coho anglers were having some success out in the strait in 500 to 600 feet of water and near the US border. We heard that the boats out the farthest produced the most sockeye.. Choice of lures has stayed very similar to last week; Anchovies are working well with Blue Green Chrome and Bloody Nose teaser heads being good 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 Ok'i Super Betsey. Halibut anglers are having best success out west towards Jordan River and Sombrio Point.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing has been SPOTTY in East Sooke, very similar to last week. Some springs are being caught, with most fish weighing in the teens to low twenties. The best salmon fishing was near Beechey Head, Aldridge Point and the Trap Shack. Anglers have been catching springs between depths of 40 to 90 feet on the downrigger. There are a few coho and sockeye being caught, especially out farther into the strait, close to the US border. Most of the coho have been wild, unmarked fish. Most anglers are having their best results fishing anchovies. The most productive teaser heads for anchovies were the Blue Green Chrome and Bloody Nose. For flashers the Madi and the Purple Onion have been very good lately. Spoons such as G-Force in the smaller sizes have been working as well.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was SPOTTY both in the Pedder Bay and in Whirl Bay, just like last week. The springs are mostly between 8 to 20 lbs in size. Many of the springs are being caught between 100 to 120 feet on the downrigger at the mouth of Pedder Bay with a 27 lb spring being the largest. Anchovies were productive with Chrome Joanne, UV Green and Purple Haze teaser heads being top choices in teaser heads. Anglers are still getting some fish while trolling 3.5" spoons. Coho Killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Squirts are working too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Silver Betsey, Green/Silver Hot Spot and Purple Haze.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD over the weekend with fish up to 54 lbs weighed at the marina. We also heard that there weren't as many dogfish around. Anglers that were fishing 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 – Fishing has been HOT & COLD off Victoria. Monday and Friday saw good numbers of salmon being caught along the waterfront and Sunday wasn't too bad either. On the other days it was very slow with few fish taken for the large number of boats out fishing. Although some big springs up to 32+ lbs have been caught in close, most of the fish are in the low teens in size. The salmon seem to be passing through quickly and not stopping to feed. Some sockeye and coho salmon have been caught as well. Constance Bank was pretty quiet this past week. Anglers were finding few decent fish in the 9-15lb range. The better springs that were getting caught were close to the bottom and biting most frequently on the tide change. Most anglers fishing Constance are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (yellowtail or green/glow). G-Force spoons in Outfitters or No Bananas colors. 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. Closer in, anchovies are the best choice with green, Purple Haze or Bloody Nose popular choices. Good flashers have been the Green Onion and the HOT SPOT Silver Fever.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week out at Constance Bank in the 185 foot depths. Angler's that were going out were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait with octopus being the most productive bait this past weekend. 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 VERY SLOW for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. I can't honestly say if anyone caught any fish there, or even fished there, this past week. In prior weeks most anglers were trolling this past week with a few boats jigging and both were reporting slow fishing. 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 Electric Chair, 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. Kingsley Grant and Mike Fekette caught a 52lb (121cm) halibut and a 65lb (130cm) halibut one day. One was taken on salmon belly with a herring and the other on a Gibbs Mudraker jig in 420 feet of water. 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 week. Some springs and sockeye have been caught near Moresby Island, and Hambley Point has consistently produced springs. Many anglers are fishing for springs using anchovies in UV Green teaser heads. We've heard that the channel has a lot of smaller, undersize chinooks holding in the deeper water, but no good keepers. 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 Grant and Mike Fekette caught a 52lb (121cm) halibut and a 65lb (130cm) halibut one day this past week.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area due to the hot weather and warmer water temperatures. Remember that ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake. The lower reaches of the Cowichan River have been closed to all recreational uses until further notice.
COWICHAN RIVER – Water levels on the river are very, very low. The lower reaches of the Cowichan River have been closed to all recreational uses until further notice. The trout fishing in the mid and upper river is good to excellent, especially very early in the morning and late in the day, but it really stresses the fish to catch and release them now. There are rainbows as well as resident brown and cutthroat trout that are active in the top end right now. Bead head nymphs are the top producer there and our favorites are the Prince Nymphs, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ears and Pheasant tails. There are lots of insect hatches during the day now and the dry fly fishing can be excellent if you match the hatch.
TROUT – Trout fishing was GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. The total Island trout release this spring is 57,305 Fraser Valley strain rainbow trout.
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 usually come from Langford Lake and Elk Lake.
BASS – Bass fishing is GOOD. At this time of year the bass are shallow in the mornings and evenings.. There have been good reports of early morning fishing with spinner baits in Chartreuse, White and Black. 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 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. Surface lures have been producing well in the evenings and mornings. 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 GOOD at Elk Lake. Corn and carp Boilies have been the best bait recently.
Fish Tip of the Week
At this time of the year you have to pay particular attention to fishery openings and closures. It almost seems as if some areas are only open for salmon on a day-to-day basis. What is closed one day may be open the next, and vice versa. So the day before you go fishing, phone federal fisheries or visit their web site to find out what opportunities are available and avoid any unpleasant surprises.