South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: April 20th, 2014
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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing remains FAIR to GOOD with mostly smaller size fish and the odd bigger one to keep things exciting. Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week.
SOOKE – Salmon fishing has been FAIR with the best fishing near the Bluffs in 100 to 120 feet depths. The salmon were running up to 12 lbs in size but there are a few larger ones, both hatchery and wild stock. The springs are holding close to the bottom, so that's where you want to fish. 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. Halibut anglers were doing very well with mostly "chicken" size halibut, but there are some larger ones that are pushing the upper size limit. Most halibut anglers have been anchoring off the Sooke Bluffs or heading west towards Jordan River.
BECHER BAY– Salmon fishing was GOOD for winter springs. The largest hatchery fish of the week was a 25 lb spring caught at Whirl Bay. Fishing was also picking up near Aldridge Point and the Trap Shack for springs in the 10 – 25 lb size. There has been a lot of bait in the area and anglers have been catching the salmon at depths of 50 to 120 feet, depending on how deep the bait was running. More anglers are having good success fishing anchovies now. The best teaser heads for anchovies were Green Glow and the Bloody Nose. For flashers, the Purple Onion and the Green Jellyfish have been very good lately. Hootchies have been effective too, and Jay 79, Cloverleaf and Purple haze have been good color patterns. Artificial spoons such as Coho killers and G-Force spoons have been working well also. Quite a few halibut weighing up to 63 lbs were also brought back to the marina, mostly from the west Race Rocks area.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was NOT TOO BAD, especially at Whirl Bay. The springs are still mostly between 6 to 8 lbs in size, but there have been some bigger ones up to 25 lbs around as well. There are still winter springs being caught while trolling back and forth between the Deep Hole and the Yellow Can with the bait bouncing close to the bottom. Most of the action was coming on spoons trolled close to the bottom. Coho Killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Anchovies were also productive with Green Glow, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads being good choices in 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.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD on the weekend. Quite a few halibut were caught, and once again, several were caught while trolling near the bottom at 120' for salmon in Whirl Bay! 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 – Fishing has been VERY GOOD for winter springs at Constance Bank. Most anglers were getting fish and some were getting limits. The fish are still relatively small; less than 10 lbs in size, but there were several weighing into the teens there as well. Closer in, the salmon were running deeper, around 160 to 180 feet in depth. Most anglers fishing Victoria are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (yellowtail or green/glow). G-Force spoons in Outfitters or No Bananas colors have been killers too. 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. Seals continue to be a problem for anglers after salmon.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend. Constance Bank was the hot spot for most anglers. Anglers 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 FAIR for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. 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 this past week. Mike Furtado caught a 55.3 lb halibut to take over first place on our leader board. He caught the big fish on a hootchy/herring combination. 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 FAIR off Sidney this past week. Coal Island is still the hot spot for salmon with most boats getting fish there. 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 – Mike Furtado caught a 55.3 lb halibut to take over first place on our leader board. He caught the big fish on a hootchy/herring combination.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area as spring weather improves. However, most lakes are "turning over" so the fish is still fairly slow. A few steelhead are being caught in the Cowichan River but many of the fish are kelts.
8Th Annual Elk Lake "Take a Kid Fishing" Derby Results – April 12th
What a great Saturday! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our 8th annual ElkLake derby. There was great success out on the water with lots of fish being weighed in and the weather couldn't have treated us any better. All in all it was a great turn out and an awesome day to take you, a family member or a friend fishing. We would like to thank everyone who supports this derby. If we didn't have you guys there would be no derby. Each year all of our distributors surprise us with their generosity by donating a prize or two for this fantastic derby! The awesome thing about this derby is no matter what every kid takes home a prize, we value our youth in the fishing industry and they are what keeps this sport alive for the future.
With all the fish weighed in there could only be one first place for Trout and Bass.
Congratulations to Jeremy Thomassen for catching the largest Trout weighing in at 4lb 13oz caught early in the morning, he held his spot all the way through until the end. Nice Work!
This year we also had a prize for the junior's largest fish! The winner in this category went to Connor Warford weighing in a 1lb 8oz trout, a job well done Connor!
The moment everyone waits for is the GRAND DRAW PRIZE! We like keeping it to the last draw to get your blood flowing! This year's lucky winner was Gord Mitchell. Gord took home a 12ft Lowe Jon Boat with a 4HP Yamaha Motor. Gord was out fishing with his dad Rick and 8 year old son Jarren, they weren't as lucky on the water but getting drawn for the boat made up for it!
COWICHAN RIVER – The water level has been steadily dropping all week and its just over 1.3 meters near the lake and 1.15 meters near Duncan. There are steelhead in many areas, with most of the fish being kelts. 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 PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area.
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. John Redlick weighed in a 4 lb 10 oz rainbow trout that he caught trolling a 3" rainbow floating Rapala plug using his fly rod near Duncan. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.
BASS – Bass fishing is PICKING UP as water temperatures increase. At this time of year the bass are still near drop offs but some are moving in closer to shore. 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 PICKING UP at Elk Lake. Jeffrey Head pulled in 10 lb 4 oz and 5 lb 14 oz carp from Elk Lake on Friday.
Fish Tip of the Week
Get a jump on your fishing season by getting all your gear in order now, before you start fishing in earnest. Service your rods, reels, lures and downriggers so that you can get a jump on repairs and replacements before the stores get busy and the fish beckon. There will be some big spring sales soon and if you know what you need, you can really take advantage of them, buying what you need at bargain prices.