Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending January 17, 2021

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

The fishing effort was low again this past week due to the weather. Winter chinook fishing has been GOOD in the Juan de Fuca Strait. Most winter springs have been from 4-5 lbs in size, but there have been some larger ones caught. There are lots of shakers in all areas. Crabbing was FAIR TO GOOD.

All bulk line spooling is 10% off during the month of January.

For all your Port Renfrew and Victoria fishing charter inquiries please email us at

If you wish to book a Victoria Fishing Charter as soon as possible, please call Rob Rippen at 250.686.3151

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

       A) Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line);

       B) Visit our web page find applicable fishery notices; or

       C) Follow our sport fishing Twitter account

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




FN0476-General Information: Information for BC Recreational Fishers on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Update

As Canadians continue to adjust with life under Covid-19 conditions, recreational fishers are reminded to follow the guidelines set out by Public Health Officials when 
taking part in recreational fishing activities in British Columbia waters to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The Public Health Officer of British Columbia has asked 
British Columbians to limit non-essential travel within the province, especially to smaller communities. Consistent with the Orders and Guidance for Fishing and 
Hunting from the Public Health Officer of British Columbia, fishers are expected to only fish in their local area. 

Fishers should also be aware that many coastal communities in BC have closed access and services to visitors to help protect their residents. Access to fuel, supplies 
and other services in these communities may not be available.

Recreational fishers should be vigilant to follow the general recommendations from the Government of Canada for the Canadian public, see official advice on the 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) page or call the information line at 1-833-784-4397 

Updates and changes that were recently announced by the Province of British Columbia regarding recreational fishing in BC at the following webpage: .

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is keeping the health and well-being of all Canadians in mind as we work together in an effort to slow the spread of the new 
coronavirus (COVID-19). To slow the spread of COVID-19 we ask that recreational fishers keep a physical distance between each other. Physical (social) distancing is 
proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

DFO's Conservation and Protection Program continues to provide a critical function in the Federal Government's management of Canada's marine resources. Regular 
integrated patrols by fishery officers on land, sea and air are ongoing.  

Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard is committed to supporting our fisheries and aquaculture industry during these difficult times. The Government of Canada 
is taking the necessary steps to keep you informed of the latest developments.


Greg Hornby, A/Regional Recreational Fisheries Coordinator,

FN1360-RECREATIONAL - Salmon - Chinook - South Coast - Management Measures January 1, 2021 - Reminder

The following is a reminder of the South Coast Area Chinook management measures currently in effect and continuing January 1, 2021 until further notice.

The daily limit for Chinook is two (2) per day in the following areas:

Areas 11 to 27, 28, 111, 121, 123 to 127 and Subareas 29-1 to 29-5 and 29-8. 

Variation Order: 2020-RFQ-413; 2020-RFQ-689

Coast-wide Recreational Fisheries:

For the recreational fishery, the annual aggregate limit for Chinook salmon is ten (10) coast-wide in all tidal waters. The annual licence period is from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Fishers are advised that further restrictions (including minimum and maximum size limits) do occur in some Areas and fishers are required to check the DFO website for a full list of any additional regulations and restrictions in the Area being fished. Please refer to the DFO recreational fisheries website at the following web address for a full list of regulations and restrictions: 

Further information on specific management actions will be communicated by separate Fishery Notices. You can view or subscribe to fisheries notices at:


Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal and non-tidal waters of British Columbia.  

Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery program by labeling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped Chinook and Coho Salmon. Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment. Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program toll free at 1-866-483-9994 for further information.

Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) are currently in effect and are closed to all fin-fishing. Descriptions of RCAs, other closures such as finfish closed areas and salmon non-retention areas, and other recreational fishing information, can be found on the Internet at:

Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation?  If so, please call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line at 1-800-465-4336 or by email at

For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at 
1-866-431-FISH (3474).

Contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or visit our website at

Fishery Notice

FN0859-RECREATIONAL - Shellfish - Prawn and Shrimp - Areas 17, 19, 23 - Closures

Recreational Prawn and Shrimp by Trap Fishers are advised that the harvest of prawns and shrimp by trap, ring net, or spear while diving, will close in the following Subareas as described in the Pacific Fishery Management Area Regulations:

1. Subareas 17-5, 17-6, and 17-9 (Stuart Channel);
2. Subareas 19-7 to 19-12 inclusive (Saanich Inlet);
3. Subareas 23-1 to 23-3 inclusive (Alberni Inlet).

These areas will be closed for the following periods:

from 00:01 hours September 8 until 23:59 hours September 15, 2020;
from 00:01 hours October 1 until 23:59 hours October 15, 2020;
from 00:01 hours November 1 until 23:59 hours November 15, 2020;
from 00:01 December 1 until 23:59 hours December 15, 2020;
from 00:01 hours January 1, 2021, until further notice.

Decisions will be made and announced in December on the possibility for further openings or the need for winter closure from January 1 through to March 31, 2021 to allow the prawn spawning cycle to complete. The 3 month winter closure protects large, mature egg-bearing female prawns as their eggs prepare to hatch.


Chinook fishing was GOOD near the Sooke Bluffs and some nice springs were caught this past week. Most anglers are fishing spoons or hoochies since there are abundant small shakers. Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Wee G’s, Coho Killers, and AP Tackleworks spoons have been good for coho. Green and glow white have been the hot colours in spoons. Anchovies and herring were good baits, but you need lots because of all the shakers. Good choices for teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Purple Haze and Bloody Nose. Popular flashers have been the Betsey, the Bon Chovy, the Madi and the Gold Fever Hot Spot. Crabbing has been GOOD in the basin. 

Becher Bay

Fishing has been GOOD for salmon. Cheanuh Marina reported that most boats are still getting limit catches. Anglers are also reporting catching fish higher in the water column and not just on the bottom. The fish are also getting larger in size with more 8–9-pound fish seen at the cleaning table. It does not seem to matter too much what lure you are using, so most anglers are using artificial lures. Anglers have been getting springs from 60-150 feet on the downrigger. The GIBBS Guide Series Outfitters, Madi, and Glow/Green Hot Spot flashers had been popular. Crabbing has also been VERY GOOD inside the bay

Pedder Bay

Salmon fishing has been GOOD near Pedder Bay. Most winter springs are mostly in the 4-5 lbs size range, but a few larger ones are also being caught. Both Pedder and Whirl Bays have been productive. Trolling close to the bottom has been the most effective method to catch fish. Spoons that have been effective are Skinny G’s, Wee G’s and AP Tackleworks spoons. Most of the successful spoons have green and glow or are bright in colour. Anchovies and herring are good baits for chinooks. Good choices for teaser head colors were Chartreuse, UV Green and Bloody Nose. 


The salmon fishing was GOOD this past week when you could get out. Although anglers are not catching as many fish as in previous weeks, some of the salmon have been larger. The average size along the waterfront has been from 4 - 7 lbs but a couple of 9-10 lb springs were caught near the harbour and on Constance Bank. The fishing was best at Constance Bank and from Albert Head to Brotchie Ledge. Spoons have worked well with Skinny G’s and Coho Killers in Herring Aid, No Bananas and Irish Cream. The AP Tackleworks 3” Herring spoons in White Hoochy and Lemon/Lime have been effective as well. Crabbing has been FAIR


Oak Bay

Fishing for salmon has been VERY SLOW this past week. That said, a 14 lb spring was caught on the Flats. Most of the fish in the area are little 2-3 lb springs. Most Oak Bay anglers are running elsewhere in their boats for salmon. Crabbing has been FAIR in Oak Bay and Cadboro Bay.


Fishing for salmon was BETTER this past week. There were more fish caught, but many were not big enough for retention. We did hear of keepers caught from the Red Can to Fairfax Point. A 17 lb spring caught near Coal Point was the largest that we have heard of this past week. Crabbing has been FAIR.


Halibut fishing is closed until further notice.

Saltwater Notable Catches

Please send photos (in jpeg format) with name(s) and a description of your notable catch to our email

Freshwater Report

Freshwater Overview

Fishing has been SLOW for trout and bass as water temperatures drop. 




Cowichan River

The river is still in high water condition even though it has been dropping for the last four days. The water level today is 2.3 meters near the lake and 1.8 meters near Duncan.


Trout fishing has been SLOW at 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 mostly fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Chironomid patterns. Trollers are catching the most trout with worms fished on Gibbs Wedding Bands behind Gang Trolls. Tomic Plugs in 2”-3” sizes have also been working well for trout.  

To find out about fish stockings all over the Island and the province, as well as the different strains being released, click on the link 


Bass fishing is SLOW for the shallow water fishermen. Bass have transitioned to deeper water. Those with the knowledge of deeper water fishing are having success by using dropshot, jig or swimbait techniques. Prospect, Elk/Beaver and Shawnigan lakes have been producing nice size bass.

Freshwater Notable Catches

Please send photos (in jpeg format) with name(s) and a description of your notable catch to our email


Fish Tip of the Week

Add a little bait or scent to your lure. Whether it’s a piece of worm on a Flatfish fished for trout, or a piece of herring strip on a Coyote Spoon fished for salmon, you can improve the fish catching capabilities of your lure by sweetening it up with a piece of bait.  But be sure to check the regulations first, if you are fishing in freshwater, since bait or scent is not legal in all waters.

2020 Island Outfitters' Leader Boards

Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with our 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.




Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support

Gibbs DeltaOkuma High PerformanceScottyShimanoPure FishingIslander