South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: March 11th, 2014
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OVERVIEW – The weather moderated this past week but was windy on Sunday. Salmon fishing was GOOD but slower for those that did go out. The guides were doing much better than the average angler. Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend.
SOOKE – Salmon fishing has been GOOD in Sooke, however, not many anglers were out fishing this past week. The best fishing for winter springs has been near the Bluffs in 100 to 120 feet depths. It was very good off the Trailer Park. The salmon were running up to 10 lbs in size. The springs aare 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 well with "chicken" size fish the normal catch.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing has been GOOD for winter springs. Most of the fish came from inside the bay and they were weighing from 6 to 12 lbs on average. Some boats were running over to Whirl Bay but they weren't catching as many there. For springs try 100'+ depths and fish close to the bottom. Hootchies have been the most effective artificial lure 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. Many anglers are having good success fishing anchovies. 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. A few halibut were also brought back to the marina.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD, especially at the entrance to the bay. There is a ton of bait in the bay and limits of fish have been easy to catch. Out west near Church Rock and Whirl Bay it was not nearly as good. The springs are mostly between 6 to 8 lbs in size. 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 a productive bait 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. 12 halibut came in on Saturday and 11 on Sunday. 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 GOOD for winter springs, especially at Constance Bank. Anglers were getting limit catches but most of the fish are relatively small, under 8 lbs in size. Most anglers fishing Victoria are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (chrome 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.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week. 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.
OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR for those trolling out on the flats. The fish weren't too big, under 10 lbs in size. 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. 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 has been some bait and salmon. There has also been a bit of activity near the Red Can buoy in the Sidney Channel. Most off the fish have weighed between 8 -10 lbs. Bob Haney picked up the largest of the week, a 13.5 lb spring, near Saanichton spit, which he caught on a Yellow Tail Coho Killer. 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 – Bob Haney picked up the largest salmon of the week, a 13.5 lb spring caught near Saanichton Spit on a Yellow Tail Coho Killer spoon.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area due to the cold, windy weather and the low water temperatures. A few steelhead are being caught in the Cowichan River.
COWICHAN RIVER – The water level has started to slowly recede after peaking at just over 2 meters near Duncan. Presently, it is just over 1.9 meters near the lake and near Duncan it is just over 1.8 meters. There are steelhead in all areas, just not too many. However, we have heard of some big ones caught recently. 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 SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area, especially with the cold water temperatures. That said, the action will be heating up real soon. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has started their spring releases of trout from the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery. On March 4th, Shawnigan Lake received 1,800 catchable rainbow trout, Fuller Lake received 1,200 catchable rainbow trout, and Chemainus Lake received 600 catchable rainbow trout. These trout averaged 232 grams in size. On March 6th, stocking of 2 year old brood stock rainbows averaging 619 grams occurred with Durrance Lake getting 225 fish, and Chemainus and Fuller lakes each receiving 133 fish. On March 7th, Elk Lake received 1,800 catchable rainbows averaging 226 grams and Langford Lake received 1,900 trout. The total trout release this spring is 7,300 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 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 VERY SLOW. 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 – Carp fishing is VERY SLOW now.
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.