South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: November 5th, 2013
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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing is SLOWER in Juan de Fuca Strait. A few late run coho, small winter springs and chum salmon are being caught. Halibut fishing has been FAIR in most areas.
SOOKE – Salmon fishing is FAIR in Sooke. Some late run coho are being caught but not all that many. Anglers out in 400 to 500 feet of water were doing the best and catching them as deep as 120' feet. The best fishing near shore has been from Secretary Island to Otter Point. A fair number of chum salmon have been caught recently, especially while fishing close to the harbour entrance or in Sooke basin. The winter springs aer mostly small and under 5 lbs in size. The springs are deeper and close to the bottom. Anchovies are working well in green and UV teaser heads. Glow and UV Hoochies, Coho Killers and G-Force spoons are working well also. Use a flasher with lots of green if you are fishing for coho. Use a dodger and a purple or black squirt if you are after chums.
Halibut – Halibut fishing continues was FAIR. One lucky angler trolling for salmon by Possession Point nailed a 50 lb halibut this past week. 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.
BEECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was SLOWING DOWN in East Sooke. Anglers are still catching a few coho up to 12 lbs in size in the strait in 400 to 500 feet of water, but not too many. Winter spring fishing was fair for fish up to 8 lbs in size. The best fishing for springs was right in the bay between the flag pole and Aldridge Point, and over by the Bedford Islands. 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, Chartreuse/Green Chrome and the Bloody Nose. However, artificial lures such as UV squirts, coho killers, and G-Force spoons have been working great as well for both coho and chinooks! For flashers, use one with lots of green for coho and a glow one for the springs.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was SLOWER AGAIN this past week. Coho are making up most of the catches recently, with only a few winter springs being brought back in. The coho are out in 400 to 500 feet of water near the tide lines and close to the US border. The fish have been as deep as 120 feet on the downrigger. It has been fair for springs up to 8 lbs in size in Whirl Bay, near Church Rock and at the entrance to Pedder Bay. Most of the springs are close to the bottom. Anchovies were the most productive bait with Green Glow, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads. Squirts will work too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Purple Glow and Purple Haze. Coho killers and G-force spoons have been working well too!
Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR TO GOOD in the Race Rocks area. We've heard of several haibut between 45 to 60 lbs caught this past week. The 27 and 17 fathom banks and the reef off of William Head have been good. It's also been good in 300+ feet of water towards Constance Bank. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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 SLOW for winter springs on Constance Bank. Almost no fish were being caught there. Of the few that were caught, they were all less than 10 lbs in size. The coho seemed to have moved on from this area with the recent rains. Most anglers fishing Constance Bank are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (chrome or watermelon) or G-Force spoons. Closer in by the harbour, it was slower for springs and coho, but there were fish to be had. Brotchie Ledge to Clover Point has produced the best. 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 Gold, Chart Glow & Purple Onion.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was also SLOW this past week. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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 springs to be caught, but not too many and mostly smaller feeder size springs. 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. Even Anglers jigging have reported slower action. 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.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was a GOOD over the past week. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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 for keeper size winter springs. The most productive fishing has been in the Sidney Channel near the Powder wharf at southern James Island. There are lots of smaller springs around that are just below the minimum size for retention, so anglers are getting lots of action, just not lots of keepers. 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. Crabbing has been excellent.
OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. Bass fishing is SLOW as well. Carp fishing is SLOW. Anglers are reminded of the following:" The use of single barbless hooks is mandatory in all streams in Region 1;" All foul hooked (i.e.: hooked other than in the mouth) must be returned to the river immediately. ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1 as well.
COWICHAN RIVER – The trout fishing is EXCELLENT. There is more water in the river as the weir has been lowered and the water level near the lake is over 1 meter. There are rainbows and cutthroat trout, as well as resident brown trout that are very active feeding on salmon eggs. Egg patterns are the way to go now, and they are very effective when drifted behind a salmon redd. We've heard of anglers having 100 plus fish days on the river now. If you want to target browns, fish with minnow imitating streamers, muddlers, zonkers or wooly buggers. Remember it is fly fishing only between the trestle at Greendale road and the 70.2 mile trestle. ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1 as well.
TROUT – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area, especially with a ll the fish stocking that is happening right now. Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore. Chartreuse and Sunrise 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. If fishing with a down rigger for trout, try finding the thermocline, this is usually between 15 and 25 feet this time of year in the local lakes. The biggest trout have come from Langford Lake and Elk Lake. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.
BASS – Bass fishing is SLOWER. 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 - The simplest bait to prepare when time is an issue can be bought at your local grocery store. A few pieces of toast or bread rolls can sometimes be your best ticket to carp numbers. Bread balls are deadly. The preparation is simple and clean. Roll a small piece of bread into a ball, wet it with your saliva and onto the hook it goes. Use bread balls for surface feeders, as your bait has a tendency to float. A can of corn can provide a season of fun carping. They may seem to be unscented, but carp often find them irresistible. Thread several onto the hook so it is completely covered. If you want to make your own "Boilies", a cup of flour mixed with a cup of corn meal should be the basic ingredients of your. Whatever you add on top of this will depend on you, or the fish. Since scent is strong factor, the addition of a strong, yet new smell to your bait can often produce surprising result. Scents that are commonly used include strawberry, vanilla, peanut butter, corn, yam, and curry. Just like other fisheries, use what you have confidence in and be sure to switch if one becomes unproductive. The magical bait does not exist; experimentation is the recipe to success.
Fish Tip of the Week
Now is the time to go deep for Chinook salmon. The migrating fish have almost totally disappeared and the winter or feeder springs are starting to provide most of the action. So start bouncing your downrigger balls off of the bottom if you want to be in the strike zone. And with a little luck, you just might pick up a halibut too!