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South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: January 25th, 2016

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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week but most of the salmon are still on the small size. There were some larger salmon up to 17+ lbs caught this past week, so not all the fish are small. Halibut fishing is closed during January but will reopen on February 1, 2016.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing was GOOD for winter springs this past week. There are lots of small 3-7 lb springs off Sooke right now but not too many larger fish. It's been good around the 140 foot contour. The 3"-4" Coyote, Gypsy and 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 Purple Onion, the Gibbs Outfitter and the Lemon Lime.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD for anglers in East Sooke. Anglers were reporting good success in the bay for springs up to 12+ lbs. The best areas have been inside the bay from Cheanuh Marina to Lamb Island.. It's also been good by the Trap shack and on the east side near Whirl Bay. Most of the fish being brought back to the marina weigh between 5-7 lbs in size. Anchovies in glow teaser heads have been very effective in luring the winter springs. 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.

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past weekend. There were lots of springs in the 3-5 lb range with a few larger ones to 12 lbs. Most of the fish were caught close to the bottom in 120-150 feet of water inside the bay by the Navy Buoy. The trolling pattern has been to do figure eights between the Deep Hole and the Can Buoy. The anglers are fishing close to the bottom are often bouncing the downrigger balls on the bottom. There is also lots of bait right inside the bay, and salmon feeding on them there as well. Small spoons, such as the G-Force, Coyote and Gypsy, in the glow and/or any bright colours were very effective. Hootchies and squirts also produced well. Flashers that remain popular include Glow green, Lemon-Lime and Purple Onion. And you can't go wrong fishing anchovies in a Bloody Nose teaser.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing is closed during January but will reopen on February 1, 2016.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was GOOD off Victoria. The weather was poor much of the week so not too many anglers were out. The fish have been found just about everywhere at some point, but they are following the bait schools so you might have to move around a bit to find them. The larger fish of last week seem to have moved on and most of the salmon are weighing between 3-5 lbs. Spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze have been the most popular colors for teaser heads. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and White Glow. Coho Killers, AP Needlefish, G Force and Coyote spoons in Green Splatterback, Moon Glow and glow white & green colours have also been good. The Purple Onion, Lemon Lime and Bon Chovy flashers have been popular recently.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing is closed during January but will reopen on February 1, 2016.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. Out on the Flats, winter springs have been caught fishing with Green Splatterback Coho Killers on the bottom in 65' of water using Purple flashers and 40" leaders. The fish were feeding on needlefish and Coho Killers in Gold Nugget have been productive too.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing is closed during January but will reopen on February 1, 2016.

SIDNEY- Salmon fishing was GOOD near Sidney. Steve Roberts caught a 17 lb spring off Moresby Island on January 20th. It was caught on a Coyote spoon and had a belly full of extra large herring (maybe 8"-10" each). The majority of the winter springs caught recently have been short of the minimum size for retention but we did hear that keepers are now coming from the Sidney Channel between the red can and the Powder Wharf. 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 is now closed in Saanich Inlet.

Notable Catches – Steve Roberts caught a 17 lb spring off Moresby Island on January 20th.


OVERVIEW – Fishing is FAIR in most lakes. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake, where the fishing has been good for these large trout. Steelheading has been good in most Island rivers.

COWICHAN RIVER – The river "blew out" last week but the water has receded a little bit over the last couple of days. The water level at the lake today was just over 2 meters and at 1.7 meters near Duncan. Although, it's dirty and brown, anglers have been catching both steehead and brown trout in the Riverbottom area. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin 'n Glo's, Beads and yarn, Gooey Bobs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Spoons can also be a great lure in these conditions. Fly fishing for brown trout at the top end of the river has been good.

TROUT – Trout fishing was FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. Cowichan Lake has produced some large cutthroat trout for those trolling 3" plugs, but that is strictly a catch and release fishery for large trout.

Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and close to 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 are catching trout 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. Fishing drop shot style is your best bet now. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style "are also a good choice when fishing the bottom, drop offs and reefs, and have been most productive in 4" Smoke or Pumpkinseed Yum baits. 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

When fly fishing the rivers for salmon and steelhead while using a sink tip or full sinking line, keep your leaders short. Anything more than 3 feet allows the fly to float up with the currents and not down near the fishes mouth. And be sure to keep mending your line!