South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: February 17th, 2015
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OVERVIEWS – Winter chinook fishing has been GOOD and fish up to 22.6 lbs were caught this past week. Halibut fishing was GOOD, especially on Saturday, with fish up to 54 lbs caught.
SOOKE – The fishing for winter springs was FAIR this past weekend. Not too many boats went out but some nice springs up to 12 lbs were caught anyway. Most boats were fishing from the harbour entrance to 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 QUITE GOOD in East Sooke. This past week, chinooks as large as 22+ lbs were weighed in at Cheanuh Marina. Most of the fish were caught either in Whirl Bay, off the Bedfords or from inside Becher Bay. The largest weighed 22.6 lbs and was caught inside the bay near Aldridge Point. Jamie Constable landed a 15Lb 14oz spring in Beecher Bay on an Army Truck hootchy during the evening bite on February 10th. Whirl bay produced an 18.6 lb spring for Jeff Whitney-Griffiths. Most fish were caught trolling in 130 feet to 160 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 STEADY in Whirl Bay and near the Can Buoy by the entrance to the bay. Most of the keepers weighed from 6 to 8 lbs but a few larger ones up to 13 lbs were weighed at Pedder Bay Marina. 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 was EXCELLENT over the weekend. Saturday was the very best day of the past week, but Sunday was much slower. There were lots of fish brought back to the marina, but no real big ones. Anglers that were fishing 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 for winter springs was GOOD off Victoria. Anglers have been catching chinooks both close to shore and out at Constance Bank. However, the bank was more consistent than the waterfront. During the week the bank produced lots of 8 – 12 lb springs. It was slower there, and the fish were smaller, on the weekend. At other times, Esquimalt, Brotchie and Clover Point have produced some nice fish. 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.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD over the weekend. Halibut up to 40+ lbs were caught off the waterfront, mostly at Constance Bank. Anglers that were fishing 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 GOOD for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. Winter springs up to 12 lbs were being caught frequently. 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 was GOOD over the weekend. Anglers that were fishing 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.
SIDNEY – Salmon fishing was GOOD near Sidney this past weekend. Moses Point, Coal Island, Sidney Spit and the Sidney Channel were all producing springs this past week. There is bait moving into the inlet and salmon are following them there as well. 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 – Jamie Constable landed a 15Lb 14oz spring in Beecher Bay on an Army Truck hootchy, during the evening bite on, February 10th. Whirl bay produced an 18.6 lb spring for Jeff Whitney-Griffiths.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area due to the cold weather. Although not many fish are being caught, some of those are big ones. Winter run steelhead are in most rivers and streams now. Remember that ALL wild trout (steelhead included) 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 has been dropping steadily since blowing out last weekend. It is presently at 1.9 meters by the lake and 1.7 meters downstream near Duncan. The steelhead fishing has been good and some large fish were caught and released. The Riverbottom area has been the best area to fish, but there are steelies in all parts of the river now. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin 'n Glo's, Corkies, Gooey Bobs, Jigs 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 upper river is excellent. We've also heard of some large wild sea run brown trout being picked up as incidental catches. There are rainbows, cutthroats and resident brown trout that are actively feeding on salmon eggs. Salmon egg imitations are the go to lures for trout.
TROUT – Trout fishing was SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. That said, some big trout have been caught this past month. 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
Add a little bait or scent to your lure. Whether it's a piece of worm on a Flatfish fished for trout, or a piece of herring strip on a Coyote Spoon fished for salmon, you can improve the fish catching capabilities of your lure by sweetening it up with a piece of bait. But be sure to check the regulations first, if you are fishing in freshwater, since bait or scent is not legal in all waters.