Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending Sept 16th, 2019

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

Coho fishing is EXCELLENT in the Sooke area. The Chinook fishing is SPOTTY around the south Island. Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend.


 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 find applicable fishery notices; or
  3. 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.


Coho fishing was EXCELLENT this past week. Coho limits are now being caught regularly, especially out further from shore in 400 feet of water. The best fishing for coho was from Secretary westward. Most of the coho have not been clipped so you have to release a bunch of unmarked ones while filling your limit. There were still some springs coming in but not too many. Otter Point and Possession Point were producing most of the action for springs. Good choices for anchovy teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose.  Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and 4″ Coyote spoons have been good too. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. For flashers, the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, Madi and the Super Betsey are popular. 

Port Renfrew

Salmon fishing was FAIR at Swiftsure Bank for coho and springs. Closer in along the shore anglers are getting both springs and coho. Both chinooks and coho are moving into the bay in preparation to running up the river and anglers have been catching them in the bay and near the river mouth. Halibut fishing is still GOOD

Becher Bay

Salmon fishing was GOOD for coho off Beechey Head and in the shipping lanes. There have been good bites very early in the morning as well as the late afternoon. A lot of the coho being caught have been unclipped, but there are enough clipped ones to make it worthwhile to target the coho. 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. One unusual catch was a10.6 lb sockeye caught near the Trap shack. Anchovies are the bait of choice for springs. Good choices for teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Anglers are using spoons with Coho Killers and Gibbs Skinny G’s in green/glow and green/silver colors the favorites, especially for coho. 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 GOOD coho fishing outside Whirl Bay. Anglers are getting most of the coho out in 400+ feet of water. . A few are also being caught inside the bay, including a 17 lb hatchery marked coho. The best bite times have been either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon and evening and on flood tides. Fishing for springs has slowed down. For springs, the best trolling depths have been between 20- 40 feet and 70-85 feet. Most anglers are using teaser head colors Mint Pearl, Chartreuse and Bloody Nose. Squirts are still working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good color choices. Spoons have been producing well 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. 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 GOOD this past week. East Race and William Head were the most productive spots.


Fishing for salmon was GOOD off Constance Bank over the past few days. Spoons are working well on the bank with Skinny G’s and Wee G’s in Irish Cream, Blue/Silver and Herring Aid good color choices. In closer, it’s been SPOTTY for anglers trolling the Harbour area. Although some springs into the twenties caught this past week, most have been from 8 to 13 lbs in size. There are also a fair number of coho being caught and many of them are hatchery fish. Anchovies have been the most productive bait this past week and the Bloody Nose teaser has been working well.  Spoons that have been successful in getting hook ups are Skinny G’s and Wee G’s, AP Tackleworks 3” Neon Army Truck Herring spoons and Green/Glow and Cop Car Coyote spoons.

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

Oak Bay

Salmon fishing was FAIR in Oak Bay. Winter springs have moved onto the Flats and anglers were getting limits of springs to 10 lbs. The salmon are feeding on needle fish close to 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 and 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 GOOD for halibut this past week.


Salmon fishing was FAIR in the Sidney area. The best areas this past week were Hamley Point and near the James Island ferry dock. There was a large run of squid near the James Island ferry wharf and anglers were taking advantage of it either by fishing for squid and/or salmon. Anglers using spoons found that Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and Wee G spoons and AP Sandlance spoons productive this past week. Suggested colours are Herring Aid and Irish Cream. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good in Glow or UV Purple teaser heads.

Saltwater Notable Catches

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

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to to be featured on our fishing report.

Freshwater Report

Freshwater Overview

Fishing was FAIR in most lakes for trout and REALLY GOOD for bass. The Nitinat River is now producing for anglers river fishing for chinooks.


Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Subject: FN0922-RECREATIONAL – Region 1 – Portions of the San Juan River – Finfish Closure – Effective September 4, 2018  Effective September 4 until October 5, 2018 a finfish closure will be in effect in the following areas: That portion of the San Juan River from the hatchery counting fence downstream approximately 150 meters to square white boundary signs on either side of the river, and that portion of the Fairy Lake tributary approximately 5 meters downstream of the hatchery holding pens, indicated by square white boundary signs.  A map of closure will be provided on the DFO recreational fishery website and will also be posted in that area. This closure is intended to allow chinook to migrate upstream when environmental conditions improve and also to allow the hatchery better opportunities to collect brood stock.

Cowichan River

The water level is low at summer levels and most anglers are staying off the river so as not to stress the fish in the warm water. 


Trout fishing has been FAIR for trout at the local lakes due to water temperatures warming up. That said, if you fish the thermocline you should get good action. The mornings and evenings should produce surface action for fly anglers. 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 too. 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.

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 EXCELLENT on Island lakes. Most lakes are producing large fish as they are in the shallows for spawning. 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

Cover water! Most of the time when you hit one Coho, you hit another Coho, and then another. This is because Coho usually travel in schools in search of baitfish. In order to locate some Coho, it is important to continue covering different water and depths until you have found a school. Try spreading your lines all at different depths and try not to get stuck sitting in one spot against the tide.

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. 40 lbs 2 oz – Larry Barnes – Port Renfrew – Anchovy – August 6th
  2. 36 lbs 5 oz – Bryant Fairley – Sooke Harbour – Anchovy – August 15th
  3. 36 lbs 0 oz – Jess Game – Camper Creek – July 17th
  4. 23 lbs 8 oz – Sonia Benedic – Clover Point – Mint Tulip Hoochie – February 26th
  5. 18 lbs – Martha George – Oak Bay Flats – AP “Chatham” spoon – April 22nd


  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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