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South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: May 23rd, 2016

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Saltwater

Victoria halibut fishing

OVERVIEW – In most areas, Salmon fishing was SLOW and Halibut fishing was SLOW this past week.

The Pacific Gateway Marina is holding their SALMON CHAMPIONSHIP on June 18th & 19th in Port Renfrew. Tickets are $500 per boat and only a very few tickets are left. There is a Captain's BBQ on Friday, June 15th, at 6PM. First prize is $10,000, second prize is $2,500 and third prize is $1,000. Proceeds of the derby go to the Pacific Salmon foundation.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing remained SPOTTY for springs this past week. This may be because there was a very fast tide as well as many killer whales in Sooke. There is some oversize, unclipped springs in the area as well as some springs up to 10lbs. The top choices for Sooke anglers are the White Lightening or Irish Cream Coho Killers trolling behind the Madi or Bon Chovi Flasher. Hootchies in Cop Car, Purple haze and White have been effective in the past month. Anglers fishing off Sherringham Point, Otter Point and the Bluffs have had the most success this past week.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was SLOW for anglers at the Trap Shack, Beechey Head, and Aldridge Point. Most of the chinooks were running up to 10 lbs in size but there were few hatchery Springs. Sean Hutchinson caught the largest spring salmon this past week, a 26.6 lb hatchery spring, while fishing near Cherry Bay. Anglers using bait are finding anchovies in glow teaser heads have been working well still. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in Bon Chovy or Outfitters colours were also effective. For flashers, the Purple Onion, Lemon Lime and Bon Chovi have been good. Very few halibut were brought into the marina.

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. There were some springs in the 7-9 lb size range and a smattering of hatchery springs into the mid teens. Pedder Bay held the most baitfish and salmon. It was slower off Whirl Bay. Many anglers are still fishing close to the bottom, often bouncing the downrigger balls on the bottom, in 120-150 feet of water, while others are getting their fish at 50 – 90 feet along the kelp beds and rocky shore line. The tide change for ebb to flood has been the best time to catch fish. Most of the salmon have been feeding on small squid, so white hootchies, Milky Way, jellyfish squirts and small spoons, such as the G-Force, Coyote and Gypsy, in the glow colours were very effective. Flashers that remain popular include Glow green, Lemon-Lime and Madi.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend. The best areas were Race Rocks, William Head, 27 Fathom reef and 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 Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was FAIR off Victoria. The best fishing was out at Constance Bank again this week. Anchovies were a good bait to use and Glow and Purple Haze have been the most popular colors for teaser heads. Spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups as well. Good choices in plastic baits are the Pink Haze and White Glow. Gibbs Outfitters or Bon Chovi Skinny G trolling behind a Moon Jelly flasher has also brought results in Victoria.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend with the best areas remaining to be East Constance Bank, Border Bank and the Mud Hole. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well to stay away from dog fish was the 9" Jumbo Squid in Green Glow.

Dawn Lewis her two children, her brother Todd, and sister Cathy caught a nice 133 cm halibut that weighed in at 70lbs caught on salmon bellies at Constance bank. They also fought, landed and released a Halibut over 150 lbs just 10 minutes before the 70 lb fish hit the bait. 8-Year-old son Nick brought the 70lb fish in almost the entire fight by himself!

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. The Gap and the Flats were popular spots this past week. Over the weekend, there were 70+ boats at the Flats. Jigging seems to work just as well as trolling. The salmon have been feeding heavily on needle fish on the Flats. The main bite period has been at the end of the ebb and the start of the flood. Anglers fishing with bait have been using anchovies or tiny strip in Glow teaser heads. Good trolling lures have been Coho Killers, Bon Chovi or Outfitters Skinny G spoons and APT Needlefish spoons. Drift anglers have been getting fish on Needlefish Darts or Deep Stingers.

Mike Donah his wife Cathy and daughter Jess, from Plattsburgh N.Y. caught a 72 lb, 132cm halibut, an 18 lb hatchery chinook, and a limit of Lingcod and Black Rockfish in Oak bay on Wednesday near the flats. The halibut was caught on salmon bellies, the rockfish and lingcod on Smart Baits Jessy swim baits, and the salmon on a 4 3/4 oz green and gold Dart Jigging spoon in 94 feet of water.
HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well to stay away from dog fish was the 9" Jumbo Squid in Green Glow. The halibut being brought in were ranging from 20- 40lbs with few exceptions.

SIDNEY – Salmon fishing was SLOW this past week. The best spots around Sidney were Coal Island and Fairfax Point. The few fish that were being brought in were ranging up to 10 lbs in size. Sidney Spit has been better than last week but still remains slow. Trollers fishing with tiny strip or anchovies were using Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackle needlefish spoons were successful. Anglers jigging have also been catching springs and are using Needlefish Darts and Deep Stingers. The Powder Wharf and Shag Rocks area remain to be good for jigging salmon.

Notable Catches – Sean Hutchinson caught the largest spring salmon this past week, a 26.6 lb hatchery spring, while fishing near Cherry Bay. Dawn Lewis her two children, her brother Todd, and sister Cathy caught a nice 133 cm halibut that weighed in at 70lbs caught on salmon bellies at Constance bank. They also fought, landed and released a Halibut over 150 lbs just 10 minutes before the 70 lb fish hit the bait. 8-Year-old son Nick brought the 70lb fish in almost the entire fight by himself! Mike Donah with his Wife Cathy and daughter Jess from Plattsburgh N.Y. caught a 72lb, 132cm halibut, 18lb hatchery chinook and a limit of Lingcod and Black bass in Oak bay near the flats.

Freshwater

OVERVIEW – Fishing is GOOD in most lakes for both trout and bass. Warmer weather has really made the fish more active and the insect hatches have increased. All bass fishing is closed to retention until June 15th.

COWICHAN RIVER – The water level is very, very low for this time of year. Fly fishing at the top end of the river for trout has been good and insect hatches are happening daily. The rainbows, cutthroats and resident brown trout are actively feeding on these hatches and migrating salmon fry. Good patterns are Pheasant Tail, Prince, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ears and Stone fly nymphs. A fry imitation or a Wooly Bugger will also work, especially for the brown trout. When the fish are feeding on the surface, the Goddard Caddis has been a good fly to fish.

TROUT – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing close to the bottom. Chartreuse and Fluorescent Yellow 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. 2" Tomic Plugs have also been working well for Trout.

BASS – All bass fishing is closed to retention until June 15th. Bass fishing is GOOD. Langford Lake has been very buy with bass anglers this past week. White Buzz baits, as well as Texas rigged Yum Dingers in Watermelon Flake or Berkley Oil Slicked Worms, have been working well. 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 fishing for salmon you should follow the bait for best results. Schools of needlefish and herring are often pushed around by the action of tides and currents, especially on flats, and it pays to locate and then stay with the bait. Once you're on the bait, it's only a matter of time before the salmon show.