South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: November 16th, 2015
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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was VERY SLOW again this past week. The weather has been a big factor and very few anglers were out fishing. A few decent winter springs have been caught, but most are below the minimum size for retention. The coho fishing is virtually done for the year. Halibut fishing was VERY GOOD for those targeting this species.
SOOKE – The salmon fishing was VERY SLOW this past week. There are lots of undersize springs off Sooke right now and few keepers. The 3.5-4" G-Force spoons, as well as hoochies, are the top choices for Sooke anglers. G-Force spoons in Outfitters, Irish Cream and No Bananas have been very popular. Hoochies in White Glow, Army Truck and Tiger Prawn have been catching their fair number of fish. The most popular flashers recently have been the Ok'i Betsey, the Gibbs Outfitter and the Madi.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was VERY SLOW for anglers in East Sooke. Anglers are now concentrating their effort s inside the bay. There were a few winter springs caught, just not too many and most are too small to keep. G-force spoons were the most productive lure. However, plastic baits have been popular as well, especially in UV and/or glow patterns. 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 and the Purple Onion have been good. Four halibut were brought into the marina on the weekend.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was SLOW this past week. Winter springs up to 7 lbs were being caught inside the bay. The anglers are fishing right on the bottom and often bouncing the downrigger balls on the bottom. There are a lot of shaker chinooks all around this area. 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 VERY GOOD this past week. 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 salmon was VERY SLOW along the waterfront but a bit better out at Constance and Border Banks. Winter springs up to 9 lbs were caught this week on the bank. There were also a lot of smaller ones on the bank. Anchovies, spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups. Chartreuse and Purple Haze have been the most popular colors for teaser heads. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and Glow white. Gibbs Skinny G in Irish Mist and Outfitters have been very effective in catching the winter springs. AP Needlefish and Coyote spoons in green, moon glow and silver colours have also been good. The Purple Onion and Bon Chovy flashers have been popular recently.
HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD 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. Some winter springs have been caught but very few coho have come from this area. 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. 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. Sixteen year old Walker Grant caught a 50 pound halibut in Haro Strait in 150 feet of water on extra large herring and octopus. 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 near Sidney. There is a lot of bait around Coal Island and Sidney Spit, so there should be some fish there. Most of the winter springs are short of the minimum size for retention. Most anglers are fishing using anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and Gold Nugget. Prawning has been quite slow in Saanich Inlet.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is FAIR on most lakes. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.
COWICHAN RIVER – Recent rains caused the river to blow out on the weekend. The water level at the lake is over 1.75 meters and it's over 1.4 meters near Duncan.
TROUT – Trout fishing was FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery is continuing the fall stocking program of catchable rainbow trout. On November 6th, Spectacle Lake received 277 catchable rainbow trout averaging 200 grams. On November 4th, Prospect Lake received 700 catchable rainbow trout, Durrance Lake received 1,900 catchable rainbow trout, Glen Lake received 500 catchable rainbow trout and Elk Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbow trout averaging 231 grams.
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.
BASS – Bass fishing is VERY SLOW. Soft plastics rigged Carolina style are working well and crank baits 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
Forget about using your flasher if you're using spoons, anchovies or herring as bait for winter springs. The water clarity is so good in the winter that the fish can spot your bait from much greater distances than in the other times of the year. If you want the attraction of a flasher, use a dummy flasher below your bait near the downrigger ball. Besides, it is so much more fun to play a fish without any flasher on the line.