South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: January 16th, 2015
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OVERVIEWS – Winter chinook fishing has been GOOD and fish up to 24.3 lbs were caught this past week. Weather continued to be a problem though, and not too many anglers were out fishing. Halibut fishing is CLOSED
SOOKE – The fishing for winter springs was FAIR this past weekend. Not too boats went out due to the weather but some nice springs up to 15 lbs were caught anyway. Most boats were fishing from the harbour entrance and over by the Sooke Bluffs. Choice of lures has stayed very similar to last week; Anchovies are working well with Green 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 Jellyfish UV. Halibut fishing was slow this past weekend.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD in East Sooke. Over the weekend, chinooks as large as 12 lbs were brought in at Cheanuh marina. Most of the fish were caught either in Whirl Bay, off the Bedfords or from inside Becher Bay not far form the marina. The flag pole that was a known landmark has been removed, but if you remember where it used to be, well the fish are in front of that spot. Most fish were caught trolling near the bottom in 110 -140 feet of water. The most productive teaser heads for anchovies were the Bloody Nose and the Purple Haze. That said, spoons and plastic baits have also been working well. Spoons such as G-Force in the smaller sizes have been working as well, both in Cop Car or Glow/Green. Squirts are working too with Pistachio, Purple Haze and Glow white the best patterns. For flashers, the Madi and the Purple Onion have been very good lately.
PEDDER BAY – Chinook salmon fishing was GOOD in Whirl Bay and near the Can Buoy at the entrance to the bay. Most of the keepers weighed from 8 to 10 lbs. Anchovies were the most productive lure for springs with Purple Haze and Bloody Nose teaser heads being top choices in teaser heads. Anglers are also getting springs while trolling 3" to 3.5" spoons. Coho Killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Squirts are working too with Pistachio, Purple Haze and Glow white the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Purple Onion, Green/Silver Hot Spot and Jellyfish UV.
Halibut – Halibut fishing is CLOSED.
VICTORIA – Fishing for winter springs was GOOD off Victoria. Mark Parker brought in a 24.3 lb spring from off the waterfront on Tuesday, the first fish on our ladder board this year. Anglers have been catching chinooks both close into shore and out at Constance Bank. However, the bank has been more consistent when the currents aren't too strong. The bait is being pushed around by the tides and the salmon are following the bait. Most of the fish were less than 10 lbs in size this past week but there were some bigger ones. Anchovies have been working well in glow colors outside the harbour. Good choices in plastic baits are the Cloverleaf, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in green and glow colours have been very effective. Seals are still a problem, but their location has been changing from day to day.
Halibut – Halibut fishing is CLOSED.
OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. Winter springs up to 12 lbs are being caught on a regular basis. 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 Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Green/silver or Green Jellyfish.
Halibut – Halibut fishing is CLOSED.
SIDNEY – Salmon fishing was GOOD near Sidney this past week. Many of the springs have been in the 8 - 14 lb size this past week. Coal Island, Sidney Spit and the middle section of the Sidney Channel were the hot spot again this past week. Many anglers are fishing using anchovies in UV Green teaser heads. Squirts have been out producing hootchies recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, J-79 and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and 50/50 colors.
Notable Catches – Mark Parker brought in a 24.3 lb spring from off the waterfront on Tuesday, the first fish on our ladder board this year! Nice catch, Mark.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area due to the cold weather. Winter run steelhead are now showing up in many rivers and streams. 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. Only single barb less hooks are allowed for all fishing on island streams and rivers.
COWICHAN RIVER – The water level had been dropping since cresting on Tuesday. As of today, it is at 1.34 meters by the lake and 1.3 meters downstream near Duncan. The river is in good shape for fishing. We've heard of increasing numbers of steelhead being caught and released in the river recently, mostly in the Riverbottom area. The Riverbottom and Bible Camp area has been the best area to fish. For 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. The trout fishing in the mid and upper river is excellent. There are rainbows, cutthroats and resident brown trout that are actively feeding on salmon eggs. Salmon egg imitations are the way go to lures for trout.
TROUT – Trout fishing was SLOW 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. 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 VERY SLOW. Fishing drop shot style is your best bet now. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style "are also a good choice when fishing drop offs and reefs, and have been most productive in 4" Yum bait colors 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.
CARP – Carp fishing is DEAD SLOW at Elk Lake. Corn and carp Boilies have been the best bait recently.
Fish Tip of the Week
Shorten your leader for winter springs. These fish are much more active feeders than the mature fish we catch in the summer and not nearly as leader and flasher shy. You'll get just as much action with 4 foot leader instead of a 6 to 8 foot leader and find it a lot easier to land a fish.