Fishing Report for Week Ending February 19, 2012

Fishing Report for Week Ending February 19, 2012


OVERVIEW Salmon fishing was SLOWER for winter springs in most areas, primarily due to windy weather. If you can find some bait and stay near it, you’ll do better than most. Seals are still a problem for anglers fishing off ofVictoria. The seals do not appear to be a problem either west or north ofVictoria.


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Sooke Salmon fishing was FAIR for winter springs up to 10 lbs this past week. Most of the salmon are still smaller fish though. 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 along the Bluffs to the trailer Park, off the harbor entrance and SecretaryIsland. 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 – The fishing was PRETTY GOOD for winter springs. Actually, this was the spot for big winter springs this past week. Tom Baxter got a 23 lb fish on the weekend and a 21 1/2 lb fish was caught earlier in the week. Quite a few in the mid teens were also noted. The hot spot was in the channel byFraserIsland inside the bay. Anglers fishing further away fromWhirlBay and theBedfordIslands did not do nearly as well, both in size and quantity. It’s also been good from Beechey Head toIronMineBay for fish up to 14 lbs..  Fishing close to the bottom is the key to success in all areas. The springs have shone a preference for bait over artificial lures this past week. Anchovies are the most productive bait now. 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 was SLOWER, especially inPedderBay and on the William Head side of the bay and inParryBay. There were some fish coming fromWhirlBay but many anglers were getting skunked there too. No large salmon were seen at the marina, mostly 3 to 8 lb fish.  The springs have shone a preference for bait over artificial lures this past week. Anchovies are the most productive bait now. The best teaser heads for anchovies were the Purple Haze and the Bloody Nose. 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 SLOWER out at Constance Bank and SPOTTY along the waterfront this past weekend. At the bank anglers were catching fish up to 12 lbs and releasing smaller 3 to 5 lb, but legal, springs, that is if the seals did not get them first. The bank was best for those anglers bottom bouncing in 120’ to 150’ of water. Closer in, anglers were getting fish up to 11 lbs while fishing between Albert Head and Clover Point. Wayne Zaccarelli picked up an 11 lb hatchery (29") and 10 lb wild (28") chinooks off theVictoria harbor mouth in only 15 minutes of fishing! One fish had big herring in stomach and the other about a dozen small shrimp about an inch long. Over half boats fishing along the waterfront were skunked, but weather was a factor on many days. The springs have shone a preference for bait over artificial lures this past week. Anchovies are the most productive bait now and have been working best in 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. The herring fishing off of theCraigflowerBridge was pretty good this past week.

Oak Bay Salmon fishing was SLOW on the Flats for winter springs up to 10 lbs with the weather being a factor much of the week. 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 has been FAIR aroundSidney withCoalIsland the hot spot. Anglers have been landing 8 to 12 lb springs there. There have also been some fish around Moresby andMandarteIslands. It’s been slower in the south end of the Sidney Channel. There had been lots of springs around the minimum size length this winter. 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 – Wayne Zaccarelli picked up an 11 lb hatchery (29") and 10 lb wild (28") chinooks off harbour mouth in only 15 minutes of fishing!

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, windy weather. Steelhead fishing is going strong in the rivers.

Cowichan River – The water level on theCowichanRiver has been steadily dropping except for a short spike upwards on Saturday. The level is close to 1.5 meters at the lake and just below 1.4 meters nearDuncan. Water clarity has been good and anglers are getting some nice steelhead. The Riverbottom and Bible Camp areas have been the most popular areas to fish and for drift boaters. That said, there are steelhead in the entire length of the river. 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 theSouth Island area, especially since many of the lakes had ice this past week. That said, some “lunkers” have been caought this past week at Dougan andLangfordLakes. Bob Sieben caught a 3.7 pound rainbow trout on the afternoon of January 29th, 2012 atDouganLake with power bait off the bottom. Bob went to collect the rod and check the line and as he twitched the line the big fish struck.

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 fullerLakethat 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,WillowLeafLaketrolls with a worm-tipped GIBBS Wedding Band will almost always catch some fish. The biggest trout continue to be caught atElkLakewithLangfordLakebeing your next best bet to hook into a real “lunker”.  By the way, all wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released inCowichanLake.

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.  LangfordLake,ShawniganLake,ProspectLake and Elk andBeaverLakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary’s Lake onSaltSpringIsland is also a great lake for bass fishing.

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


Herring are staging for their annual spawning run into Victoria Harbour and up through the Gorge. Try and locate the schools of big herring and then fish large baits, plugs or hootchies near them if you want to catch the big winter springs.

Island Outfitters Leader Board – 2011


 We are now waiting for the season to open and the first “barn doors” of to be weighed in at the store.


We are now waiting for the first big springs of the year to be weighed in at the store. Maybe you will be bringing in the biggest one this year!


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!

February 24th to 26th: The 20th Annual Boat, Fishing and Outdoor Sale will be held at the Pearkes Recreation Centre at the Tillicum Mall. This is the Island's largest boating, fishing and outdoor show and sale. There will be lots of displays, manufacturer representatives and boats on view. Visit for more details.

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.