Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending October 14, 2018

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

Coho fishing was SPOTTY this past week in the Juan de Fuca Strait. The fishing for winter (feeder) chinooks was FAIR around the south Island. Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week.


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

  1. Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line);
  2. Visit the DFO web page find applicable fishery notices; or
  3. 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.


Coho fishing was SPOTTY most of the week. The most consistent fishing for coho has been out in the mid strait in 500+ feet of water and towards the international border. Although many are being caught at 60’ on the downrigger, many are also being caught at 100-150 feet on the downrigger. The coho have been up to 12 lbs in size. There were still some springs coming in but not too many and most of them have been small feeders being caught near the Bluffs.  Anchovies and small herring have out fished artificials recently with good choices for anchovy teaser head colors being Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and 4″ Coyote spoons have been good for coho. Green and glow have been the hot colors for coho spoons. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. For flashers, the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, Lemon Lime, Madi and the Super Betsey are popular.

Becher Bay

Salmon fishing was SPOTTY for coho in the strait and near the shipping lanes. The larger coho have been found deep, from 100 to 150 feet, instead of up near the surface. Also, there are a lot of juvenile fish around and they seem to be in the top 50 feet of water. Bait seemed to be more productive than artificial lures this past week. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers and Gibbs Skinny G’s in green/glow, blue/silver and green/silver colors the favorites. Spring fishing has slowed down and no really large ones were caught. The best spots for springs were Aldridge Point and the Trap Shack. The best depths to fish for springs have been between 40 to 60 feet on the downrigger. Anchovies are the bait of choice for springs. Good choices for teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. The GIBBS Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, the Betsey, and Gold Fever Hot Spot flashers have been working well. Needlefish hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits.

Pedder Bay

Pedder Bay Marina reports QUIET coho fishing far out in the strait. Anglers are getting most of the coho out in 500+ feet of water in the strait. Spoons have been producing well for coho and springs and the Skinny G’s, Wee G’s, AP Tackleworks and Coho Killers are the top choices. Green with either silver or glow has been the color choice in spoons.  Fishing for springs has slowed down, but a few have been picked up near Church Rock and inside Pedder Bay. Most of the springs have been less than 10 lbs in size. Most anglers fishing anchovies are using Mint Pearl, Chartreuse and Bloody Nose teaser head colors. Squirts are still working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good color choices.  Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Outfitters and Lemon Lime. Good choices for teaser head colors are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze.  

HALIBUT - Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. East Race and William Head were the most productive spots.


Fishing for salmon was SLOW off the Victoria waterfront this past week. The one exception was Constance Bank on the ebb tide in the afternoons. Anglers there were catching feeder springs up to 8 lbs and a few coho. Spoons are working well on the bank with Skinny G’s and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Brass/Silver and glow white good choices. In closer, it’s been SLOW for anglers trolling the Harbour area. Most of the few fish caught by the harbour this past week have been from 3 to 6 lbs in size. Anchovies have been the most productive bait this past week for springs and the Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads have been working well.  Spoons that have been successful in getting hook ups are Skinny G’s and Coho Killer, AP Tackleworks  and Green/Glow and Cop Car Coyote spoons.

HALIBUT - Fishing was FAIR for halibut this past weekend. Fishing has been best at Constance Bank and the Mud Hole.

Oak Bay

Salmon fishing was GOOD in Oak Bay. Winter springs have moved onto the Flats and some anglers were getting limits of small springs up to 10 lbs in size. There were a bunch of coho moving thru on Saturday and four boats got limit catches of coho. The winter springs are feeding on needle fish close to the bottom and hugging the bottom. Most of the anglers have been either bottom bouncing small anchovies, squirts and spoons or jigging close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay trolling lures are Wee Gs, Skinny Gs, Coho Killers and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons. Squirts will also work with Jelly fish and Electric Chairs good bets. Jiggers are doing best with Deep Stingers and Point Wilson darts.

HALIBUT - Fishing was FAIR for halibut this past week.


Salmon fishing was FAIR in the Sidney area. The best area this past week was Pender Island there were coho holding out from the bluffs in 300 feet of water. The best depths on the downrigger were from 60-65 feet and from 120-150 feet. Suggested spoons are Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and Wee G spoons and AP Sandlance spoons. Suggested colours are Green/glow and blue/glow.  Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good in Glow or UV Purple teaser heads.

Freshwater Report

Freshwater Overview

Fishing was GOOD in most lakes for trout and REALLY GOOD for bass. Chum and coho salmon are now entering Vancouver Island rivers.

Cowichan River

The water level is very fishable at .62 meters near Duncan and near the lake. The water temperatures have also dropped. Salmon are entering the lower part of the river but we have not heard of them at the top end of the river yet. It will soon be time to fly fish egg imitations for the trout feeding on salmon eggs. In the meantime, bead head nymphs have been working well in the top end of the river.


TROUT – Trout fishing has been BETTER for trout at the local lakes due to lower water temperatures and fall trout stocking. 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 Muddler Minnow patterns on full sink fly lines. 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.

The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery has started the fall stocking program of catchable triploid rainbow trout in south Island lakes. On October 5th, Durance Lake received 1,000 trout averaging 231.79 grams in size. On October 4th, Thetis Lake received 1,000 trout, Kemp and Matheson lakes 500 trout, Poirier Lake 300 trout, Colwood Lake 250 trout and Ida Anne 200 trout. The trout averaged 206.52 grams in size. On October 2nd, Langford Lake received 2,500 trout and Glen Lake 1,000 trout averaging 228.5 grams in size. Also that day, Prospect lake received 2,500 trout, Thetis Lake received 1,000 trout and Lookout lake 250 trout averaging 231.71 grams in size. On September 28th, Langford Lake received 997 trout averaging 705.96 grams in size. On September 27th, Prospect Lake received 1,000 trout averaging 705.96 gram in size.

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 GOOD on Island lakes as bass try to fatten up for the winter. Most lakes are producing large fish. Soft plastics are a great choice when fishing structure close to shore. The most productive colors in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can also be very effective this time of year if you find fish in deeper water. During the day, spinner baits and crank baits are working well at times. 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.

Freshwater Notable Catches

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email

Fish Tip of the Week

Now is the time to go deep for Chinook salmon. The migrating coho have almost totally disappeared and the winter or feeder springs are starting to provide most of the action. So start bouncing your downrigger balls off of the bottom if you want to be in the strike zone. And with a little luck, you just might pick up a halibut too!

2018 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.


  1. 8 lbs 8 oz – Rob Waldner – Langford Lake – Fly – March 31st
  2. 5 lbs 4 oz – Kayden Howes – Elk Lake – Corn – February 12th
  3. 4 lbs 11 oz – Allan Edgar – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 12th
  4. 4 lbs 9 oz – Joshua He – Elk Lake – White Garlic Powerbait - June 9th
  5. 4 lbs 5 oz – Tyler Clough – Langford Lake – Powerbait - April 2nd


  1. 41 lbs 0 oz – Lyle Berzins – Juan de Fuca Strait – Coho Killer – October 6th
  2. 40 lbs 2 oz – Larry Barnes – Port Renfrew – Anchovy – August 6th
  3. 36 lbs 5 oz – Bryant Fairley – Sooke Harbour – Anchovy – August 15th
  4. 36 lbs 0 oz - Jess Game – Camper Creek – July 17th
  5. 23 lbs 8 oz – Sonia Benedic – Clover Point – Mint Tulip Hoochie - February 26th


  1. 73.8 lbs – Brian Dow – Constance Bank – Herring – March 16th
  2. 70.7 lbs – Ray Hawthorne – Discovery Island – Herring – March 10th
  3. 66.3 lbs – Seth Papineau – Church Rock – Herring – March 12th
  4. 64.1 lbs – Chad Dobranski -– Discovery Island – Herring – March 10th
  5. 61.1 lbs – Trevor Walton – Oak Bay – Mackerel – March 10th

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