South Vancouver Island BC Saltwater Fishing Report
By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: May 13th, 2013
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Now is the time to book your Vancouver Island saltwater fishing charters for July and August. We recommend the following charters.
- Big Bear Salmon Charters
- Fishing Tofino by Braedy Mack Charters
- Reel Obsession
- Nootka Marine Adventures
OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was FAIR for winter springs (feeder Chinooks) in most areas. There are more over the slot size wild springs being caught now and they have to be released. Halibut fishing was GOOD in spite of some big tides this past weekend.
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Effective 00:01 hours March 1, 2013 until 23:59 hours June 15, 2013 in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subarea 20-5(those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Pt to Sheringham Pt.), the daily limit is two (2) chinook salmon per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 cm and 67 cm or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in length.
Effective April 1, 2013 until further notice: The maximum length for halibut is 126 cm. The daily limit for halibut is one (1). The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one of which may be greater than 83cm in length. There will be an annual limit of six (6) halibut per license. All halibut retained by the license holder shall be immediately recorded in ink on the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing license. The area from which each halibut is caught and its length shall immediately be recorded on license.
PORT RENFREW – Salmon fishing has been PICKING UP for springs up to twenty pounds. There are no size restrictions in this area. Halibut fishing has been good too. It's not too early to start fishing Renfrew.
SOOKE – Few anglers were out and salmon fishing was SLOW in the area. Some winter springs weighing up to 10 lbs were caught and there were a few wild springs that had to be released as well. The best action seems to be in front of the harbour and the Bluffs in about 120 to 220 feet of water with the baits down from 120 ft to 150 ft. However, not all the salmon are in deep water. Otter Point has also been good at times too. Anchovies are catching the most springs and Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads are the most popular when fishing bait for winter springs. Since the winters are very active feeders, just about any gear will catch them. One very good combination recently has been the Purple Haze squirt behind a Purple Glow flasher.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD over the weekend out past Muir Creek and near Point No Point and Jordan River. Lots of halibut were caught but all wee small in size. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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.
BECHER BAY – Fishing was SPOTTY for winter springs, with really no improvement from last week. The best fishing was near Aldridge Point and at 80 feet on the downrigger. In the bay, springs were holding close to the bottom, from just outside the marina by the Flag Pole then out to Aldridge Point and over by the Bedford Islands. Most of the fish are less than 10 lbs, but a few larger wild salmon up to 20 lbs have been caught and released. We also heard of a 15 lb hatchery spring caught near the Bedfords. Many anglers are finding bait out producing artificial lures, with anchovies being most popular choice of bait. The best teaser heads for anchovies were the Purple Haze and the Bloody Nose. Like usual, the fish are close to the bottom, and glow in the dark flashers are a good choice. The 4" Coyote type spoons have been effective, with Green/Silver and solid White Glow the best patterns. A few halibut were also seen coming into the marina.
PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was QUIET this past week, but very few anglers were out fishing for salmon. The best areas were near William Head and the Can Buoy at the mouth of the bay. Whirl Bay also produced a few fish. Most winter springs caught went from 5 to 10 lbs in size. The fish were near the bottom at 120 to 140 feet. Anchovies were the most productive bait with Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads the most popular now. Squirts are productive bait too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Purple Glow and Purple Haze. 4" Coyote type spoons have been effective this past week, with Green/Silver and solid White Glow the best patterns.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD in the Race Rocks area. Lots of halibut range were caught but they were all on the small size. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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 – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week along the waterfront. Constance Bank was the best location to fish, with hatchery marked salmon in the 6 to 16 lb size range there. Most anglers fishing the bank are using artificial lures and trolling with the currents rather than against them. Good lures are Electric Chair, Purple Haze and Glo Below squirts. Closer in, there has been some action, but not as much as on the bank. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Coho Killer spoons have been effective also with the UV Purple Haze patterns very popular. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots. Thomas Brandwood caught a 12 lb lingcod off the Victoria Breakwater on a Buzz Bomb.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD over the week at Constance Bank even with the big tides. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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 has FAIR on the Oak Bay Flats. Anglers are catching fin clipped springs, but some large wild fish up to 20 lbs are also in the area, and if caught, have to be released. The best bet for springs is trolling near the bottom in 110 to 130 feet of water with squirts, Baitrix tiny strip, small anchovy or Coho Killer spoons. Good squirts were the Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. With spoons, 3½" or 4" Gypsy, Titans, and Coyotes in Cop Car or Silver/Green colors and the Gold Star Coho Killer. Glow in the dark flashers would be the best choice for springs now.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR over the weekend. Mackerel, Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. 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 FAIR in the Sidney area. Some big fish were caught this past week. It had been best near Coal Island and Moresby Island. It was slower near the Powder Wharf, the Sidney channel and near the Red Can. Many anglers have been fishing for springs using anchovies in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze and 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.
NOTABLE CATCHES – Brian Butler caught a 19.2 lb hatchery spring while on one of our charter boats. Thomas Brandwood caught a 12 lb lingcod off the Victoria Breakwater on a Buzz Bomb.
OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. Bass fishing is PICKING UP. Please remember that bass are closed for retention on all southern island lakes through June 15th. Anglers are further reminded of the following:" The use of single barbless hooks is mandatory in all streams in Region 1;" All foul hooked (i.e.: hooked other than in the mouth) must be returned to the river immediately. ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1 as well.
COWICHAN RIVER – The water level has increased and and now it's about 0.9meters near the lake and 0.7 meters near Duncan. The trout fishing is GOOD in the fly only section at the top end of the river. There are rainbows that have dropped down from the lake as well as resident brown trout that are active right now. Bead head nymphs are the top producer there. Patterns rec enlty include the Golden Stonefly, Pheasant Tail nymphs, Prince Nymphs, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ears and Elk Hair caddis.
TROUT – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery just their busiest week of catchable releases so far this spring! They released over 10,000 catchable rainbow trout into 15 different lakes on Southern Vancouver Island this past week. On April 30th, 741 trout were released into Elk Lake. There were 500 trout released into Kemp, Matheson, Glen, Durrance and Thetis Lakes. On May 1st, Langford Lake received 1.757 trout and on May 2nd, Lookout lake received 250 trout. All told, 59,247 trout have been released into lakes on Vancouver Island this year.
Warm weather has brought increased activity by both insects and fish. Trout can now be found scattered at all depths and they have been feeding heavily on chironomids and mayflies. Bank anglers are catching trout on both Powerbait, Gulp! Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore. Fly anglers are using Chironomids, Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches or Micro Leech patterns and fishing deep. Trollers have been doing OK with a variety of lures but we've heard tat the Orange Hot Shot has been good. 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, Yellow with Red Spots or Blue/Silver. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well. Lastly, Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a worm-tipped GIBBS Wedding Band will almost always catch some fish. The biggest trout continue to be caught at Elk Lake, with Langford Lake being your next best bet to hook into a real "lunker". By the way, all wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.
BASS - Bass fishing is PICKING UP, but the fish are still in pre spawn locations, not in the shallows. Crank baits have been effective when fished around 12 feet down with a slow retrieve. Look for the fish suspended by drop offs close to shore. Some bass though have started to move into shallower water prior to spawning. 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. Please remember that bass are closed for retention on all southern island lakes through June 15th.
Fish Tip of the Week
Set your drag – properly! The best way to set your drag is with an accurate measuring scale, the same type that you use to weigh a fish. Your drag should be set to slip at approximately 30% of your line's breaking strength when pulled directly off of the reel.