Fishing Report for Week Ending January 8, 2012

 Fishing Report  for Week Ending January 8, 2012SALTWATER


OVERVIEW Salmon fishing was GOOD for winter springs when the weather allowed you to get out on the water. Constance Bank and Moresby Island had large numbers of fish. Seals are still a problem for anglers fishing off of Victoria. The seals do not appear to be a problem either west or north of Victoria.

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Sooke Salmon fishing was GOOD during the week but slower on the weekend for winter springs up to 13 lbs. There are quite a few of the usual 6 to 8 lb fish. The fish are deep, from 120 to 160 feet on the downrigger, in 100 to 180 feet of water. Much of the action is coming from off the harbor and Secretary Island. The fish are not very selective and being caught on all types of gear. Anchovies have been working best in Bloody Nose and Army Truck teaser heads. Hootchies and squirts are good in Purple Haze, Cloverleaf and Glo Below. The best flasher has been the Silver Betsey and Silver Fever Hot Spot. Cop Car or Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also been good for springs.

Becher Bay – Salmon fishing was GOOD for winter springs running up to 19 lbs in size. The fishing was good around the flagpole and out to Lamb Island for fish up to 10 lbs. The biggest salmon were being caught near Church Rock where a 19 lb spring was caught on Wednesday. A 17 lb spring was also caught there during the week. The majority of anglers fishing for springs have switched from using bait to artificial lures as the fish are not very selective and being caught on all types of gear. Anchovies are still catching a lot of fish though. The best teaser heads for anchovies were the Purple Haze and the Bloody Nose. The best flashers have been the Green/Silver Hot Spots and Oki’s. Hootchies and squirts were good in White/Silver, Glo Below and Mint Tulip. Cop Car, Glow/Green or Green/Silver spoons have also been good for springs.

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing had been GOOD during the week but was slower on the weekend.  Due to the weather, most anglers have been fishing in the bay near the can buoy. Anglers have doing fairly well there for fish up to 8 lbs. Whirl Bay was slow, but it was better closer in by Church Rock where fish up to 19 lbs were caught during the week.. There still is good fishing on the William Head side of the bay and in Parry Bay too. The fish are not very selective and being caught on all types of lures. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads have been the most popular ones when using bait and the best flashers have been the Silver Betsey and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Glo Below, Mint Tulip and Purple Haze. Coho Killer spoons in Green/White and Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also worked very well for the springs.

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was EXCELLENT this past weekend out at Constance Bank. Almost all the boat s came back from there with limit catches, or reported releasing a lot of smaller 3 to 5 lb, but legal, springs.  Most of the springs were less than 8 lbs, but there was the odd bigger one. The east side of the bank was hot for those anglers bottom bouncing in 120’ to 150’ of water. The seals are still a problem for some anglers on the bank, but others had no unhappy incidents. Close in, anglers were getting fish up to 12 lbs while fishing between Esquimalt and Clover Point. However, there was not nearly as much action as there was offshore.  Anchovies have been working best in Mint Pearl and Bloody Nose teaser heads. Coho Killers, Green/Glow and Army Truck spoons are working well for winter springs. Hootchies and squirts are good in Electric Chair, Cloverleaf and Glo Below. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots.

Oak Bay Salmon fishing had been GOOD on the Flats for winter springs up to 13 lbs. Anglers are catching the fish while trolling in the Gap and on the Flats. The best bet is trolling right on bottom in 100 to 150 feet of water with squirts, Baitrix tiny strip, small anchovy or Coho Killer spoons. Good squirts are the Cloverleaf, J-79 and Electric Chair. 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. Moresby Island was especially good for anglers trolling right on the bottom in 150 to 160 feet. The fish were weighing into the teens there. It was non stop action on Sunday morning. The Sidney Channel from the Powder Wharf south to near Darcy Island had been a productive area, but the fish have been smaller there. There are lots of fish around the minimum size length but a few bigger ones too. 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 the J-79, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Mongoose Coyote spoons have also been working well. Homemade Tiny Strip is also working very well.

Notable Catches – Please send photos and descriptions of your notable catch to our email


OVERVIEW – Fishing is SLOW on the local lakes for both trout and bass in this cold, winter weather. Steelhead are now showing up in the rivers. 

 Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River is just over 2 meters near the lake and 1.4 meters near Duncan. That’s high water and tough fishing for steelheaders.  We heard of good steelhead fishing before the rains last week but its much tougher now. The Riverbottom and Bible Camp area has been the best area to fish. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin ‘n Glo’s, Corkies, Gooey Bobs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Although many anglers are successful catching winter runs on flies, most anglers chose to use floats and gear.


Local LakesTrout fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area. As the water temperature drops the fish are not as active causing the action to slow down.  However, you can get some big fish this time of year. Bruce York, age 10, caught a 22.5" and 4.8 lb rainbow trout on a Willow leaf gang troll and black wedding band with a leech chaser at Langford Lake. Also on Saturday, Arden Ereiser landed a 22” 3 lb rainbow trout at Elk Lake.
Aredn Ereiser with a 22" rainbow trout at Elk Lake

Many anglers are catching trout on both 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 but we’ve heard tat the Orange Hot Shot has been good. Chris Jones sent us pictures of 22” and 18” rainbows from fuller Lake that he caught on the Orange Hot Shot. The Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers work well for larger fish too. 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 is SLOW. 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 Catches – Bruce York, age 10, caught a 22.5" and 4.8 lb rainbow trout on a Willow leaf Gang Troll and black wedding band with a leech chaser at Langford Lake. Also on Saturday, Arden Ereiser landed a 22” 3 lb rainbow trout at Elk Lake.

Please send photos and descriptions of your notable catch to our email



Protect your rod tip! Many salmon anglers place a large bead on their line before tying on a terminal swivel. The bead prevents the angler from reeling the swivel into the rod tip’s eye and breaking it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Island Outfitters Leader Board – 2011

Congratulations to our 2011 winners!


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 2012!

See our event pages for upcoming events!


April 6th and 7th:  Island Outfitters 18th Anniversary Sale: Our storewide annual sale with LOTS of great deals and bargains.

April 14th.  The 5th Annual Elk Lake Take a Kid Fishing Derby. Tickets are Adults - $25, Children under 16 - $10. All ticket holders are entered into the draw for a new boat and motor package. First place prizes of $1,000 for the largest tout and the largest bass. This derby has live release weigh boats and weigh-station located strategically on the lake. For more info contact us at 350-475-4969.

April 28th: The Sidney Salmon Derby. Rod Tickets are only $100.00 each! Banquet Tickets are $22.00 (including HST). Scales close at 4:00pm.- Banquet Dinner at Tulista Park starts after 4:00pm. Prizes to be won! 1st Place; $5,000 2nd Place; $3,000 3rd Place; $2,000:  Plus Draw Prizes and 50/50 Tickets! All proceeds go to Salmon Enhancement Tickets available at Island Outfitters

May 12th and 13th: The 16th Annual Just for the Halibut Derby. First prize is $7,500 cash, 2nd prize is $2,500, and 3rd prize is $1,000 cash. A hidden weight “Bonus” prize is sponsored by SG Power. Tickets are available at Island Outfitters, Pedder Bay Marina or Cheanuh Marina. Call 250-475-4969 for more information.