Fishing Report for Week Ending October 2, 2011

Fishing Report for Week Ending October 2, 2011

SALTWATER

OVERVIEW Salmon fishing has PICKED UP as the fall run of coho is passing through. There still is a mix of salmon of other species, mostly feeder (winter) springs, a few mature springs, a few pinks and increasing amounts of chum in local waters. Most of the mature salmon are entering the rivers or holding near the river mouths.

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Sooke Salmon fishing has PICKED UP as the fall coho run is passing through Juan De Fuca Strait. The coho are out in the deeper waters of the strait, in at least 500 feet of water. Anglers are finding them at 100-150 feet on the downrigger. There is a mixture of both marked and unmarked coho, but predominantly unmarked fish. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color. Anglers are still mostly catching a mixture of feeder springs, chum and pnk salmon while fishing closer to the shore. Most anglers looking for big springs are trolling near the Harbour entrance for fish returning to the Sooke River. Secretary Island to the Otter Point is the area in which to concentrate your fishing effort if you’re looking for big spring. Anchovies have been working best in Purple Haze, UV Green or Bloody Nose teaser heads. Hootchies and squirts were good in Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. The best flasher has been the Silver Betsey and Gold Fever Hot Spot. Mongoose Coyote spoons also work well.

Becher Bay – Salmon fishing has been PICKED UP over the past week with the coho running in the strait. The coho have mostly been caught in the deep water (600+ feet) of the strait in the shipping lanes. There is a mixture of both marked and unmarked coho, but predominantly unmarked fish. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color.  Anglers are still catching a few mature springs up to 23 lbs and few chum and pink salmon. The Head and the Bedfords have been the best spots for springs. The majority of anglers fishing for springs are now using bait, with anchovies being most popular. The best teaser heads for bait were the Purple Haze, UV Green and the Bloody Nose. The best flashers have been the Silver Betsey, Gold Fever Hot Spot and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Glow Below, Purple Haze and Electric Chair. Cop Car or Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also been good for springs.

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was has PICKED UP for coho this past week. Anglers are finding the best fishing for coho out at the third tide line in the strait in the deep (600+ feet) near the shipping lanes. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color. There is a mixture of both marked and unmarked coho, but predominantly unmarked fish. Anglers were catching some springs near Church Rock and in Whirl Bay, but not too many of them, and mostly feeder springs at that. Not much action came from inside the bay. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads have been the most popular when using bait and the best flashers have been the Silver Betsey and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Purple Haze, Electric Chair and Lemon Meringue. Cop Car or Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also worked for springs.

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was SLOW this past week. Constance Bank still has a bunch of smaller feeder springs, but most anglers are staying away from them, preferring to let them grow to adulthood. Along the waterfront it was very slow for springs. Anglers are catching a few coho both near the shore and out in the deeper water. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color. A few pink salmon are still being caught as well. The best teaser head colors are UV Green and the Bloody Nose. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots.

Oak Bay Salmon fishing has been SLOW on the Flats. Anglers were catching winter springs while fishing close to the bottom. The best bet for springs is trolling right on bottom in 60 to 120 feet of water with squirts, Baitrix tiny strip, small anchovy or Coho Killer spoons. Good squirts were the Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. With spoons, 3½” or 4” Gypsy, Titans, and Coyotes in Cop Car or Silver/Green colors and the Gold Star Coho Killer. Glow in the dark flashers would be the best choice for springs now. Also, jigging can be productive as there are lots of areas with good bottom structure that hold salmon. Gibbs Minnows are a good choice when fishing these spots.

Sidney – Salmon fishing has SLOWED DOWN around the Pender Bluffs. There have been a lot of just undersize springs in the Sidney Channel. Some larger fish have been near Saanichton Spit recently. Many anglers have been fishing for springs using anchovies in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze and UV Green teaser heads. Hootchies have been out producing squirts recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Army Truck, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Mongoose Coyote spoons have also been working well.

Notable Catches – If you have any fishing info, notable catches, digital photos or tips that you would like to share or have included in our fishing report, please email us at info@fishingvictoria.com. Also, check out our blog and facebook page for links to recent videos and reports from our staff.

FRESHWATER

OVERVIEW – Fishing is GOOD on the local lakes for trout and bass. The fall stocking of catchable rainbow trout into Island lakes has started, so expect lots of action in your favorite lake.

Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River has increased to 0.9 meters so there is lots of water in the river for the salmon. The chinook salmon are in the river now, so it’s a good time to start fishing egg patterns for trout hanging just below the salmon redds in the upper reaches of the Cowichan. Try fishing small nymphs, egg patterns and/or streamer patterns for the Rainbows and Browns. Nymphs are good flies to use all year round too, especially Prince, Caddis, and Mayfly nymphs. Wooly Buggers work well for brown trout, as do Bunny Leeches and Zonkers. Remember that it’s barbless hooks only and there is a bait ban on the river. There is a fishing closure below Marie Canyon.

Local LakesTrout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery has begun their fall trout release program. On September 26th, both Shawnigan Lake and Langford Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbow trout. On September 27th, Elk received 2,000 catchable rainbow trout and Fuller Lake received 1,224 trout. On September 29th, Prospect Lake received 2,700 trout, Thetis Lake 1,490 trout and Spectacle Lake 927 trout.

Many anglers are catching trout near the bottom on either Powerbait Gulp eggs, or worms. Fly anglers are mostly using chironomids, Wooly Buggers or leech pattern flies. Trollers have been doing OK with a variety of lures. The Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers work well for larger fish. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers with the police car one of the best and the black with silver glitter spots taking second place. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, Yellow with Red Spots or Blue/Silver. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well. Lastly, Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a worm-tipped GIBBS Wedding Band will almost always catch some fish. The biggest trout continue to be caught at Elk Lake with Langford Lake being your next best bet to hook into a real “lunker”.  By the way, all wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.

Bass Fishing - Bass fishing was GOOD this past week. Anglers have been having good luck with spinnerbaits fished near shore in the mornings and evenings. Top water plugs are working when fished near structure and the shoreline. Suspending Rapalas (X-Rap, Husky Jerk) are working with a bit slower retrieve and a lot of twitching action for the bigger fish. Bass are also biting near the drop offs in deeper water, especially on soft plastics. Some anglers are doing well with spinner baits too. 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. Look for the bass to really start aggressively feeding as the weather continues cooling.

Notable CatchesIf you have any fishing info, notable catches, digital photos (please send as attachments) or tips that you would like to share or have included in our fishing report, please email us at info@fishingvictoria.com. Also, check out our blog and facebook page for links to recent videos and reports from our staff.

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.

Island Outfitters Leader Board – 2011

Halibut

1)    231.4 lbs – Terry Zarelli – Race Rocks area – Octopus- March 25th

2)    194.4 lbs – Al Crow – Sooke – Salmon Head – May 14th

3)    127.5 lbs – Reg Day – Sidney – June 26th

4)    124.6 lbs – Todd Steen – Sidney – May 27th

5) 101.9 lbs – Reg Day – Sidney – June 27th

Salmon

     1) 47.1 lbs – Ian Robinson – Port Renfrew – Anchovy – July 29th  

     2) 40.0 lbs – Dave Stubbs – Constance Bank – Hootchy – August 20th

     3) 36.4 lbs – Brandon Salter – Waterfront – Anchovy – August 7th

     4) 33.0 lbs – Bill Campbell – Trap Shack – Anchovy – July 5tth

     5) 32.8 lbs – Joe Zammit – Trap shack – Anchovy – July 16th

2011 DERBIES and EVENTS

Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with the free for fun and prizes Salmon and Halibut Leader Board. Simply weigh your catch in at Island Outfitters and the top five fish in each category on December 31st wins a special prize. Everybody who enters a fish gets a prize! Maybe it will be you bringing in the big one!  Please let us know as early as possible about your up coming events in 2011!

See our event pages for upcoming events!