South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: September 16th, 2014
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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing is FAIR to GOOD in most areas as the fish are heading towards their home rivers. Halibut fishing was EXCELLENT this past weekend.
PORT RENFREW – Fishing has been slower out at Swiftsure Bank, both for salmon and for halibut. Along the "beach" it's been hot and cold with some good days and slow fruitless days. Most of the springs weigh between 10 to 20 lbs with an occasional fish in the high twenties. Logan Creek has been a hotspot. Anchovies have been the best bet with the fish which are down between 35 to 45 feet.
SOOKE – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. The coho numbers have been increasing but there are very few sockeyes around now. Anglers were having their best success out in the strait in 500 to 600 feet of water and near the US border. We heard that the boats out the farthest produced the most coho. If you could locate the fish, you could catch a few. Spring fishing has been slow and the most consistent spots were Sheringham Point, Muir Creek and Otter Point. The springs were mostly in the teens with the occasional larger fish. Some springs are being caught while fishing for coho on the tide lines. Choice of lures has stayed very similar to last week; Anchovies are working well with Blue Green Chrome 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 Ok'i Super Betsey.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing has been GOOD in East Sooke. Some springs are being caught, with most fish weighing in the teens to low twenties. The best salmon fishing was near Beechey Head and the Trap Shack. Anglers have been catching springs close in to shore between depths of 40 to 90 feet on the downrigger. Most of the salmon being caught now are coho. Successful anglers are going to 200 foot or more depths and fishing at 100-110 feet on the downriggers. If you go farther into the strait, close to the US border, the coho fishing has been hot.. Most of the coho have been wild, unmarked fish. Most anglers are having their best results fishing anchovies. The most productive teaser heads for anchovies were the Blue Green Chrome and Bloody Nose. For flashers the Madi and the Purple Onion have been very good lately. Spoons such as G-Force in the smaller sizes have been working as well.
PEDDER BAY – Coho fishing has been GOOD way out in the strait near the US border. Out in the strait the fish have been between 90 – 160 depths. Spring salmon fishing was FAIR both in the Pedder Bay and in Whirl Bay, just like last week. The springs are mostly between 8 to 20 lbs in size. Many of the springs are being caught between 100 to 120 feet on the downrigger at the mouth of Pedder Bay. Anchovies were productive for springs with Chrome Joanne, UV Green and Purple Haze teaser heads being top choices in teaser heads. Anglers are getting coho while trolling 3.5" spoons. Coho Killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Squirts are working too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Silver Betsey, Green/Silver Hot Spot and Purple Haze.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was EXCELLENT over the weekend. We also heard that there weren't as many dogfish around. 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 has been FAIR off Victoria. A few days saw good numbers of salmon being caught along the waterfront from Ross Bay to Esquimalt. On the other days it was very slow with very few fish taken for the large number of boats out fishing. Although some big springs have been caught in close, most of the fish are in the low teens in size. The salmon seem to be passing through quickly and not stopping to feed. Some coho salmon have been caught as well, both close to shore and out at Constance Bank. The better springs that were getting caught were close to the bottom and biting most frequently on the tide change. That said, some sprigs have been taken as shallow as 25 feet on the downrigger. Most anglers fishing Constance are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (yellowtail or green/glow). G-Force spoons in Outfitters or No Bananas colors. 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. Closer in, anchovies are the best choice with green, Purple Haze or Bloody Nose popular choices. Good flashers have been the Green Onion and the HOT SPOT Silver Fever.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was EXCELLENT this past week out at Constance Bank. Anglers are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait with octopus being the most productive bait this past weekend. 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 for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. There were some springs caught this past week, but not lots of them. Most anglers were trolling this past week. 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 Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Green/silver or Green Jellyfish.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was EXCELLENT this past week. Thomas Thiele reported catching a 42 pound (118 cm) Halibut near Discovery Island. Anglers are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait with 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 GOOD near Sidney this past week. Some springs up to 30 lbs and some coho and sockeye have been caught near the Pender Island Bluffs. Hambley Point has slowed down for springs. Many anglers are fishing for springs using anchovies in UV Green teaser heads. We've heard that the channel has a lot of smaller, undersize chinooks holding in the deeper water, but no good keepers. 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. Bob Bentham caught this 30.2 lb spring in Sidney on his 70th birthday while fishing with his sons. He caught the fish early in the morning on anchovy with a purple haze teaser head and a Gibbs green Madi flasher.
Notable Catches – Bob Bentham a 30.2 lb spring in Sidney on his 70th birthday while fishing with his sons. Nine year old Sawyer Nottelman caught a 20 lb ling cod, baiting , hooking and olaing it on his own. Thomas Thiele reported catching a 42 pound (118 cm) Halibut near Discovery Island.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area as the temperature cools. 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. The lower reaches of the Cowichan River have been closed to all recreational uses until further notice.
COWICHAN RIVER – Water levels on the river are very, very low. The lower reaches of the Cowichan River have been closed to all recreational uses until further notice. The trout fishing in the mid and upper river is good to excellent, especially very early in the morning and late in the day, but it really stresses the fish to catch and release them now. Most anglers are staying off the river so as to not stress the trout.
TROUT – Trout fishing was FAIR to GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. Ryan Rock weighed in a 3lbs 14 oz rainbow trout caught on a fly in the Duncan area on Saturday the 6th.
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 GOOD. At this time of year the bass are shallow in the mornings and evenings.. There have been good reports of early morning fishing with spinner baits in Chartreuse, White and Black. 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 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. Surface lures have been producing well in the evenings and mornings. 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. Bernard Schedler caught a 4.5 lb smallmouth bass while fly fishing at Thetis Lake.
CARP – Carp fishing is GOOD at Elk Lake. Corn and carp Boilies have been the best bait recently.
Notable Catches – Ryan Rock weighed in a 3lbs 14 oz rainbow trout caught on a fly in the Duncan area on Saturday the 6th.
Fish Tip of the Week
Brine your salmon bait! It's a fact that many top salmon anglers brine their anchovies or sardines in salt before going fishing for the day. This makes the bait tougher, last longer, and retain its shape better while trolling. Some anglers prefer liquid brine while others just heavily salt the bait. And still others add scents and oils or other scent to the brine to add that extra attractant.