South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: August 18th, 2014
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OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was similar to last week. The best location by far, was Swiftsure Bank near Port Renfrew. Salmon and halibut fishing there was GOOD, but as you traveled east the catching slowed way down and once you got east of Sherringham Point it really dropped off. Around Victoria and Oak Bay and Sidney it's been VERY SLOW. Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend.
PORT RENFREW – Fishing has been GOOD for springs out at Swiftsure Bank. The springs are very deep, from 120 to 220 feet on the downrigger. Most of the springs are cookie cutters and weigh15-20 lbs. The top producers are spoons. Along the "beach" it's been much slower than off shore and quite spotty. Halibut fishing has slowed a bit on the bank.
SOOKE – Salmon fishing was HIT or MISS again this past week. There would be fish in one area one day, and the next day they would have moved on to another area. If you could locate the fish, you could catch a few. The most consistent spots were Sheringham Point, Muir Creek and Otter Point. The springs were running into the mid 20's, but most were in the teens. Sockeye anglers were having limited success out in the strait in 300 to 500 feet of water and near the tide lines. We heard that the third tide line produced the most sockeye. There were some coho starting to show up too, but not many hatchery ones that can be retained. 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 Oki's Super Betsey. Halibut anglers are having best success out west towards Jordan River and Sombrio Point.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing has been SLOW 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, Aldridge Point and the Trap Shack. Anglers have been catching springs between depths of 40 to 90 feet on the downrigger. There are a few coho and sockeye being caught, especially out farther into the strait, close to the US border. 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. This past Wednesday was Noah Harrison's 11th birthday fishing trip. He caught his first Chinook salmon and it weighed 25 lbs. He caught the fish at Beechy Head on anchovy. Best 12 minutes of his life, he said.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was SPOTTY both in the Pedder Bay and in Whirl Bay. The springs are mostly between 8 to 14 lbs in size. Many of the springs are being caught between 100 to 120 feet on the downrigger at the mouth of Pedder Bay. A few anglers have had good success trolling cut plug herring at 60 feet. Anchovies were productive with Chrome Joanne, UV Green and Purple Haze teaser heads being top choices in teaser heads. Anglers are still getting some fish 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.
The 20th Annual Bite-Me Fishing Derby was held at Pedder Bay Marina on the weekend. The total number of fish weighed in was an all time low and very frustrating for most derby entrants. The first place salmon weighed 25.1 lbs. The second place salmon also weighed 25.1 lbs but was weighed in after the other same size fish. Third place went to a 22 lb spring. So far those are the only details we've been able to get about the derby.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR 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 VERY SLOW but a tiny bit better than last week off Victoria. Constance Bank was pretty quiet this past week. Anglers were finding few decent fish in the 9-15lb range. The better springs that were getting caught were close to the bottom and biting most frequently on the tide change. Closer in, the salmon fishing was VERY SLOW and the vast majority of boats are catching nothing. On Saturday we knew of about a dozen springs caught between Macaulay Point and Clover Point. On Sunday, we only know of three salmon caught between 40 boats. The salmon seem to be passing through quickly and not stopping to feed. The odd sockeye and pink salmon have been caught as well. 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.
The Clover Point Anglers' Association held their 20th Annual Salmon Derby this past Saturday and Sunday. The winning fish was a 15 lb 15 oz spring caught by Tom Vaida. Second place went to Tom Celuzak for a 15 lb 4 oz spring. Third place winner and top junior angler was Holly Celuzak with a 15.1 lb spring. There were 7 salmon in total caught by the anglers in the 12 foot tinnies.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. Angler's that were going out were 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 VERY, VERY SLOW for those trolling out on the Flats and in the Gap. Can't honestly say if anyone caught any fish there this past week. Most the anglers were trolling this past week with a few boats jigging and both were reporting slow fishing. 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 FAIR this past week. Paul Gessler managed to land a 49 inch, 56lb halibut using a spreader bar with a large pink hootchy and herring, while fishing near Discovery Island. 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 PICKING UP near Sidney this past week. We've heard of pair of 18 lb springs from Hambley Point and another 18 lb spring from the Pender Bluffs. Some sockeye have also been caught near Moresby Island. Many anglers are fishing for springs using anchovies in 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. Spencer Rausch reported jigging up a pair of springs weighing up to 13 lbs off the Powder Wharf in 35 feet of water.
Notable Catches – Noah Harrison caught his first chinook salmon, a 25 lb fish, off Beechy Head on his 11th birthday fishing trip. The Clover Point Anglers' Association held their 20th Annual Salmon Derby this past Saturday and Sunday. The winning fish was a 15 lb 15 oz spring caught by Tom Vaida. Second place went to Tom Celuzak for a 15 lb 4 oz spring. Third place winner and top junior angler was Holly Celuzak with a 15.1 lb spring. Spencer Rausch reported jigging up a pair of springs weighing up to 13 lbs off the Powder Wharf in 35 feet of water.
OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area due to the hot weather and warmer water temperatures. 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. There are rainbows as well as resident brown and cutthroat trout that are active in the top end right now. Bead head nymphs are the top producer there and our favorites are the Prince Nymphs, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ears and Pheasant tails. There are lots of insect hatches during the day now and the dry fly fishing can be excellent if you match the hatch.
TROUT – Trout fishing was GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area this past week. The total Island trout release this spring is 57,305 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 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.
CARP – Carp fishing is GOOD at Elk Lake. Corn and carp Boilies have been the best bait recently.
Fish Tip of the Week
Be alert and courteous to the boats around you! When boats are fishing close together and one boat hooks a big spring, well that fish is going to make a big run (usually straight back). You should always move away from the boat that's fighting a fish or get your gear up and away from the fish. You'll appreciate it when you've hooked that slab and other boats keep out of your way.