OVERVIEW – The Chinook fishing was FAIR TO GOOD around the south Island if you could sneak out during all the wind and rain. Most of the Chinooks have been from 4 to 10 lbs in size.
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SOOKE– There’s nothing new happening here. The salmon fishing has been GOOD over the last few weeks when you could get out. Most of the fish were from 4 to 8 lbs in size with the occasional larger one. The best location to fish for winter springs was near Secretary Island. Most of the salmon are close to the bottom in 100 – 140 feet of water. The most productive lure combo has been a white hootchy fished behind a Red/Gold flasher. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and 3.5″ G Force spoons have been good. Anchovies are still the most popular choice for those fishing bait. Good choices for teaser head colors are Army Truck, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. For flashers, Red/Gold Hot Spots, the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, Madi and the Lemon Lime Chartreuse are popular.
BECHER BAY– Salmon fishing was A LITTLE BIT BETTER than last week for springs. Not very many anglers were able to get out in all the wind and rain during the week. Those that did stayed fairly close to the marina. Anglers have been having better success in Becher Bay between Frazer Island and Cheanuh Marina on the top of the flood tide. A few anglers have also had some success in Whirl Bay as well. Most anglers are fishing close to the bottom in 100 to 160 depths. We haven’t heard of any salmon over 10 lbs here this past week. The majority of anglers are using spoons with Coho Killers, Gibbs Skinny G’s in green/glow and green/silver colors the favorites. The GIBBS Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, Madi, Lemon Lime and Green/Glow Hot Spot flashers have been working well. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits.
PEDDER BAY– Pedder Bay Marina reports GOOD fishing in Pedder Bay near the Green Can and in Whirl Bay. Of course, not many anglers were fishing in the bad weather this past week. Most of the fish have been caught close to the bottom in 100 to 140 feet of water. The salmon have been from 3 to 7 lbs in size with the occasional larger fish. Spoons have been producing the best and the Skinny G’s, AP Tackleworks and Coho Killers are the top choices. Green with either silver or glow has been the color choice in spoons. Hootchies and squirts with a green and glow, or UV white have been popular color choices for plastic baits. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Outfitters and Lemon Lime.
VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was FAIR off the waterfront this past week. Most of the fish are still small, from 3 to 7 lbs in size. Constance Bank has been the best spot to fish for numbers and size of fish. Sisters Hannah and Grace Cottier were fishing with their dad at Constance Bank on the weekend and Hannah landed a 14.5 lb spring and Grace a 10.5 lb spring. They were using Irish Cream Skinny G spoons. Trolling just off the bottom in 85 to 140 feet of water has been the way to catch salmon there. Closer in, salmon were caught near Clover Point. In most locations the best depths to fish were 90-140 feet although they are often found in shallow water near the harbour entrance. Spoons have been successful in getting hook ups with Irish Cream Skinny G’s, Green/Glow AP Tackleworks Anchovy 4” spoons and Green/Glow Coyote spoons popular choices.
OAK BAY– Salmon fishing was SLOW in Oak Bay this past week. There were a few salmon coming in from the Gap and from the Flats but they were mostly small. The salmon are feeding on needle fish and have been close to the bottom where the feed is located. Most of the anglers have been either bottom bouncing or jigging close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay lures are needlefish spoon and squirts.
SIDNEY– Salmon fishing was GOOD in the Sidney area. We have heard that there were some keeper springs up to 12 lbs being caught in the Sidney Channel, but most of the fish were just undersized or just legal. The Red Can and the Powder Wharf are two areas off the channel that have been good. We also heard of some springs near Hambley Point and Fairfax Point. Anglers using spoons found that Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and 3.5″ G Force spoons the most productive this past week. Suggested colours are Kitchen Sink and Irish Cream. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers of fish with teaser heads in Glow or UV Purple.
Notable Catches – Sisters Hannah and Grace Cottier were fishing with their dad at Constance Bank on the weekend and Hannah landed a 14.5 lb spring and Grace a 10.5 lb spring. They were using Irish Cream Skinny G spoons.
Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email email@example.com
OVERVIEW – Fishing was SLOW in most lakes for trout and bass and SLOW in the rivers for steelhead.
COWICHAN RIVER – The water level on the river is still quite high, but it is continuing to drop. Near the lake it’s gone from 3 meters down to 1.95 meters and near Duncan it’s gone from 3.4 meters to 1.85 meters. There are steelhead in the river now and we have heard of some being caught in the Riverbottom area, but not too many. For steelhead, jigs and pink worms have been productive. Fishing for trout in the fly only area had been SLOW. Now is the time to fish egg patterns for trout.
We now have numbers for our Chinook salmon returns in the Cowichan River. The preliminary estimate of 26,482 fish is a new record and is literally off the charts. On top of this we also had 187,000 chums. Though not a record this does amount to about 2 million pounds of nutrients distributed throughout the system. This is very good news for the entire riparian ecosystem. This is also something all of the many groups working to protect and preserve the Heritage River can be proud of. These numbers were published in the DFO South Coast Salmon Bulletin Escapement Update dated December 22, 2017.
TROUT – Trout fishing has been SLOW for trout to at the local lakes. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, and worms while fishing close to the bottom. Allan Edgar landed a 4 lb 11 oz beauty on Friday at Langford Lake while fishing Powerbait. On the previous Thursday, Brock Heppell caught a 1 lb 14 oz rainbow also at Langford Lake and also on Powerbait. Pink, Chartreuse and Fluorescent Yellow have been good choices recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Muddler Minnow patterns on full sink fly lines most of the time to get into the lower water levels. There have been some chironomid hatches though. Trollers are catching trout with worms fished behind Gibbs Gang Trolls and on Gibbs Wedding Bands. 2” Tomic Plugs have also been working well for trout.
BASS– Bass fishing is SLOW. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style work well and crank baits can work well at times. Soft plastics rigged “Texas Style” are also a good choice when fishing drop offs and deeper structure. The most productive colors in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can also be very effective this time of year. 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.
Notable Catches – Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 to the brine to add that extra attractant.
2018 Island Outfitters’ s Leader Board
1) 4 lbs 11 oz – Allan Edgar – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 12th
2) 1 lb 14 oz – Brock Heppell – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 4th
1) 14 lbs 8 oz – Hannah Cottier – Constance Bank – Skinny G – February 11th
2) 10 lbs 8 oz – Grace Cottier – Constance Bank – Skinny G – February 11th
Halibut fishing is closed and we hope to hear when the season will open soon.
Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with the free for fun and prizes Salmon, Trout and Halibut Leader Boards. Simply weigh your catch in at Island Outfitters and the top five fish in each category on December 31st win a special prize.
JOIN US AT THE 22nd ANNUAL Boat & Fishing Show
February 16-18, 2018
At Pearkes Rec Centre in Victoria
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