Fishing Report for Week Ending March 11, 2018

SALTWATER

 OVERVIEW – Halibut fishing was FAIR TO GOOD with the first good tides of the halibut season and most anglers were trying to catch their first one of the year. That said, only about 40% of the boats caught the big flatfish. The Chinook fishing was FAIR TO GOOD around the south Island with most of the Chinooks running from 3 to 8 lbs in size.

Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada Subject: FN0173-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Chinook  – Areas 19 and 20:  Chinook Recreational Fishery Management Actions  Effective dates:  immediately until 23:59 hours June 15, 2018 Waters:  Subareas 19-1 to 19-4; and, Subareas 20-4 to 20-7(those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Point to Sombrio Point.). Management measures:  You may retain two (2) Chinook salmon per day.  These Chinook may be either:– wild or hatchery marked between 45 cm and 67 cm; or– hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in length.  – The minimum size limit in these waters is 45 cm in length.  In light of conservation concerns for Fraser Chinook and consideration of additional management actions, further changes could be considered for the 2018 fishery.  Updates will be provided as required.

 

Our current #1 on our leader board, Ray Hawthorne

For the latest details on recreational fishery openings and closures in your area:

  1. A) Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line);
  2. B) Visit our web page http://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfmto find applicable fishery notices; or
  3. C) Follow our sport fishing Twitter account https://twitter.com/sportfishingbc

Visit our Facebook page to see reports, news and videos by our guides and staff from their most recent trips.

SOOKE–The salmon fishing has been FAIR over the last few weeks. Most of the fish were from 3 to 8 lbs in size with the occasional larger one. The best location to fish for winter springs was from the Bluffs to Muir Creek. Most of the salmon are close to the bottom in 100 – 140 feet of water but there are some at mid water depths. 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. There were some nice halibut up to 67 lbs brought in over the weekend.

BECHER BAY– Salmon fishing was GOOD. Anglers have been having the most success on the top of the flood tide in Whirl Bay. 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 Whirl Bay and near the Green Can at the mouth of the bay. 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 6 lbs in size with the occasional larger chinook up to 10 lbs.  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. Hoochies 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.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR with the first good tides of the halibut season. Jesse McCullough brought in a 59 lb 1 oz halibut from the Race Rocks area. Jesse caught the big fish with Octopus for bait.

Sean Thompson with the first halibut of the year weighed in at the store

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was FAIR off the waterfront this past week when the winds weren’t too blustery. Most of the fish are still small, from 3 to 7 lbs in size, but a few up to larger ones have been caught. It was good for numbers of fish out at Constance Bank and in near Clover Point. In most locations the best depths to fish were 90-140 feet and we’ve heard of some larger fish being caught at mid-water depths. 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. Most of the boats out fishing were not after salmon this past weekend as the emphasis was on halibut.

HALIBUT – Fishing was FAIR with the first good tides of the halibut season. Constance Bank produced the most fish but the largest was caught at Border Bank where Brent Story caught a 55 lb 9 oz halibut with octopus for bait.

Chris Paul with his Border Bank halibut

OAK BAY– Salmon fishing was FAIR in Oak Bay this past week. There are 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.

HALIBUT – Fishing was FAIR with the first good tides of the halibut season. Discovery Island was the spot for large fish with the top three largest halibut of the weekend caught in Oak Bay. Ray Hawthorne caught a 70.7 halibut on herring near Discovery Island. Chad Dobranski caught a 64.1 lb halibut, also near Discovery, on herring. Trevor Walton caught a 61.1 lb halibut on mackerel in Oak Bay. Sean Thompson caught a 57.1 lb halibut in Oak Bay with a herring/Hoochie combo.

Chad Dobranski with his big hali

SIDNEY– Salmon fishing was GOOD in the Sidney area. We have heard that there were some keeper springs being caught near Coal Island, Pat Bay, Moses Point, Fairfax, the Sidney Channel and the Powder Wharf.  The largest fish were heard of this past weekend was a 12 lb spring. The Red Can and the Powder Wharf are two areas off the channel that have produced. Jigging has been the best way to catch springs near the Powder Wharf. Anglers using spoons found that Coho APT Sandlance spoons, 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  Ray Hawthorne caught a 70.7 halibut on herring near Discovery Island. Ray Hawthorne caught a 70.7 halibut on herring near Discovery Island. Chad Dobranski caught a 64.1 lb halibut, also near Discovery and also on herring. Trevor Walton caught a 61.1 lb halibut on mackerel in Oak Bay. Jesse McCullough brought in a 59 lb 1 oz halibut from the Race Rocks area. Jesse caught the big fish with Octopus for bait. Constance Bank produced a 55 lb 9 oz halibut for Brent Story with octopus for bait.Sean Thompson caught a 57.1 lb halibut in Oak Bay with a herring/Hoochie combo.

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email info@fishingvictoria.com 

 

FRESHWATER

OVERVIEW – Fishing was SLOW in most lakes for trout and bass and GOOD in the rivers for steelhead. The Elk and Beaver lake fish inventory prepared for the Capital Regional District by Hemmera Envirochem Inc is now available for those interested in what’s in the lake. You can download the report at http://colquitzcoalition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/171106_CRD_Fish_Inventory_Report.pdf

COWICHAN RIVER – The water level on the river is continuing to drop and is good for fishing. Near the lake it’s down to 0.88 meters and near Duncan it’s 1.06 meters. There are steelhead in the river now and we have heard of good fishing  in the Riverbottom area. For steelhead, jigs and pink worms have been productive. Fishing for brown trout in the fly only area has been FAIR.

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. 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. Hudson Webster landed a nice brace of rainbow trout while trolling a white flatfish at Elk lake with rainbows weighing 2 lbs 11 oz and 1 lb 4 oz.

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 – Hudson Webster landed a nice brace of rainbow trout while trolling a white flatfish at Elk Lake with rainbows weighing 2 lbs 11 oz and 1 lb 4 oz.

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email info@fishingvictoria.com

 

FISH TIP OF THE WEEK

 When you are trolling deep for winter chinooks and using a downrigger, you should make sure that your release clip is attached with at least 3 feet of leader. This long leader will make it easier to see rod tip action, indicating an undersized grilse is on the line, and allowing you to quickly reel in and release the fish and get back to trolling for the big boys.

 

2018 Island Outfitters Leader Boards

Trout

1) 5 lbs 4 oz – Kayden Howes – Elk Lake – Corn – February 12th

2) 4 lbs 11 oz – Allan Edgar – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 12th

3) 2 lbs 11 oz – Hudson Webster – Elk Lake – White Flatfish – March 10th

4)1 lb 14 oz – Brock Heppell – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 4th

5) 1 lb 4 oz – Hudson Webster – Elk Lake – White Flatfish – March 10th

 

Salmon

1) 23 lbs 8 oz – Sonia Benedic – Clover Point – Mint Tulip Hoochie – February 26th

2) 14 lbs 8 oz – Hannah Cottier – Constance Bank – Skinny G – February 11th

3) 10 lbs 8 oz – Grace Cottier – Constance Bank – Skinny G – February 11th

 

Halibut 

1) 70.7 lbs – Ray Hawthorne – Discovery Island – Herring – March 10th

2) 64.1 lbs – Chad Dobranski -– Discovery Island – Herring – March 10th

3) 61.1 lbs – Trevor Walton – Oak Bay – Mackerel – March 10th

4) 59.1 lbs – Jesse McCullough – Race Rocks – Octopus – March 10th

5) 55.9 lbs – Brent Story – Border Bank – Octopus – March 10th

 

 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.

See our event pages for details on upcoming events at http://fishingvictoria.com/events/

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