Fishing Report for Weed Ending November 12th, 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 November 13, 2011


OVERVIEW Salmon fishing is FAIR to GOOD for winter springs. There are still a few coho and chum to be caught, but winter (feeder) springs are the target species for anglers. Most of the winter springs are fairly small and undersized and most have to be released, but there are a few larger ones into the high teens.


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 GOOD as the winter springs are passing through Juan De Fuca Strait before heading into the open ocean. The fish are deep, from 90 to 140 feet on the downrigger, in 130 to 180 feet of water. Most of the fish are not very big, just barely legal, but there are a few bigger ones around. A 17 lb hatchery spring was seen at Sunny shores Marina on the weekend. Anglers are also catching a few chums. Anchovies have been working best in Purple Haze and UV Green teaser heads and seem to be catching larger coho than the artificial baits. Coho Killers, Green/Glow and Mongoose Coyote spoons are working well for coho. Hootchies and squirts are good in Purple Haze, Cloverleaf and Glow/Green. The best flasher has been the Silver Betsey and Silver Fever Hot Spot.

Becher Bay – Salmon fishing has still been GOOD over the past week for winter springs. There lots of them, but most are small with a few in the 6 to 8 lb range in the mix. A 13 lb winter spring was reported taken off Church Rock this past week and that was the biggest seen at the marina. Some springs are starting to appear in the bay now so fishing should pick up around Fraser Island. A couple of coho came in as well, but that run has certainly diminished in size. The majority of anglers fishing for springs are using bait, with anchovies being the most popular choice. 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 Purple Haze, Cloverleaf and Glow/Green.

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was GOOD for winter springs up to 8 lbs with lots of shakers also hitting the lures. Some boats were bringing back limit catches. Coho fishing has slowed down and we’ve only heard of one taken this past week.  Anglers were catching most of the springs near Church Rock and in Whirl 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, Cloverleaf and Glow/Green for coho and springs. Coho Killer spoons in Green/White and Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also worked very well for the springs.

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was FAIR 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. Also, the fish are moving around on the bank so some anglers are catching large numbers of fish while others were not doing very well. Along the waterfront it was spotty for springs, but some nice ones were caught Nick Shubert caught a beautiful 15 lb spring on the waterfront near Trial Island at 90 ft on a purple hootchie. Gary Caton caught a 14½ lb spring off the waterfront on a J-79 squirt.. This time of year you have to search for the bait and stay near it if you want to get some larger winter springs. Anglers are catching few coho and the occasional chum salmon. Coho Killers, Green/Glow and Mongoose Coyote spoons are working well for both coho and winter springs. Hootchies and squirts are good in Purple Haze, Cloverleaf and Glow/Green. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots.


Oak Bay Salmon fishing has been GOOD on the Flats for small, around minimum retention size, winter springs. Anglers were catching the winter springs while fishing close to the bottom. The best bet 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 are the Cloverleaf, 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.

Sidney – Salmon fishing was GOOD around Sidney. There are lots of just undersized springs in the all over and a few bigger ones. On the weekend, Bob Haney had a good day catching and keeping a 10½ and 8½ lb springs as well as a 9 lb chum salmon. Bob was using an Electric Chair squirt and fishing near Coal Island. No reports of coho being caught 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 of your notable catch to our email



OVERVIEW – Fishing is GOOD on the local lakes for trout and SLOWER for bass. The fall stocking of catchable rainbow trout into Island lakes has happened, so expect better action in your favorite lake as the water clears. 
Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River near the lake is just over 1 meter so there is lots of water in the river. Ultimate water level for trout fishing, Brown trout are taking Mickey Finns. With all the salmon in the river now, it’s a good time to start fishing egg patterns for trout holding just below the salmon redds in the upper reaches of the Cowichan. You can also try fishing small nymphs, egg patterns and/or streamer patterns for the Rainbows and Browns. Nymphs are good flies to use all year round, 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 been busy with their fall trout release program of Fraser Valley Rainbow Trout 3N catchables. 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. On October 11th Durrance Lake received 2,000 trout, Glen Lake received 1,000 trout and Langford Lake received 725 trout. On October 19th, Kemp Lake received 1,500 trout. On October 20th, Elk Lake received 1,918 tout. On October 21st, Langford Lake received 1,000 trout, Prior Lake 500 trout and Lookout Lake 250 trout. On October 25th Prospect Lake received 2,000 trout and Lookout Lake received 500 trout. So far, 59,652 trout have been released into lakes on the Island. Good stuff!

Many anglers are catching trout on either Powerbait Gulp eggs, or worms. Fly anglers are mostly using Wooly Buggers or leech patterns. 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. Slower presentations such as soft plastics work as the water cools. As winter approaches, look for the fish to move into deeper water and suspend. They might become less active and take a little more “coaxing” to bite.  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.

Notable CatchesGuy Hebert holding a nice chum salmon (approx 14Lbs) caught by a fishing buddy in Sooke river this past Sunday.




Now is the time to go deep for Chinook salmon. The migrating fish have almost totally disappeared and the winter or feeder springs are providing most of the action. So start bouncing your downrigger balls off of the bottom if you want to be in the strike zone.


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!