Fishing Report Week Ending October 23rd,2011
3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8Z 3L2
Tel: (250) 475-4969 Fax: (250) 475- 6942

Written by: Island Outfitters

Fishing Report for Week Ending October 23, 2011

We would like to apologize for not having a fishing report last week as well as this week’s being late. Tom Vaida who does the fishing report has been away but will be back next week! Again we are sorry!


OVERVIEW Salmon fishing has been GOOD as the fall run of coho is passing through Juan De Fuca Strait. There still is a mix of salmon of other species, mostly feeder (winter) springs, increasing amounts of chum, and surprisingly, a few pinks. Most of the mature salmon are entering the rivers or holding near the river mouths.


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


Sooke Salmon fishing has been AWESOME as the fall coho run passes through Juan De Fuca Strait, get out before they head up the river! The coho are mostly out in the deeper waters of the strait, in at least 500 feet of water. Anglers are finding them from 50-150 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 catching a few feeder springs, chum and pink salmon while fishing closer to the shore. Secretary Island to the Otter Point is the area in which to concentrate your fishing effort if you’re looking for big spring that hasn’t headed up the river. 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 Silver Fever Hot Spot. Watermelon and Mongoose Coyote spoons are working well for coho. Rick Garat caught two nice coho within an hour of launching his kayak on the tide line, out from Sooke on a slip weight, Betsy flasher and pink hootchie.



Becher Bay – Salmon fishing has been GOOD over the past week for the coho running in the strait. The coho have mostly been caught in the deep water (500+ feet) in the shipping lanes. There is a mixture of both marked and unmarked coho, but predominantly unmarked fish. Gary Nute caught a nice coho this past week that weighed 15.4 lbs. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color.  Watermelon and Mongoose Coyote spoons are working well for coho. Anglers are still catching a increasing numbers of chum and the odd pink salmon. The Head and the Bedfords have been the best spots for winter 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, Silver Fever Hot Spot and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Glow Below, Purple Haze and Electric Chair.


Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was has GOOD for coho into the low teens this past week. Anglers are finding the best fishing for coho out at the third tide line or farther in the strait, in deep water (500+ feet) near the shipping lanes. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color. Watermelon and Mongoose Coyote spoons are working well for coho. 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. No reports of 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 SLOWER 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 near the Yellow Bouy.. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color. 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 small 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 Sidney. There have been a lot of just undersize springs in the Sidney Channel and a few bigger ones up to 8 lbs. The Sidney channel has been the best spot. No reports of coho have been received from this area. Many anglers have been fishing for springs using anchovies in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze and UV Green teaser heads. Squirts have been out producing hootchies recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Mongoose Coyote spoons have also been working well.


Notable Catches – Please send photos and descriptions to our email




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 been fluctuating between 0.8 to 0.9 meters so there is lots of water in the river for the salmon. 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 has SLOWED DOWN 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. Arden Ereiser caught and released a 4lb 14oz Largemouth bass and a 4lb 9 oz Smallmouth bass, both caught on Senko worms.


Notable Catches Please send photos and descriptions to our email




It’s time to go out and catch your chums, salmon that is, not your buddies. Chum salmon like black or purple hootchies, and most anglers will switch to using black hooks as well, to catch these hard fighting salmon. Troll very slowly and use a dodger instead of a flasher.


Island Outfitters Leader Board – 2011



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




     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



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!



We would like to thank Tom Vaida for being so prompt on the fishing report, realizing it isn’t as easy as we would like to think.  Thank you Tom!