Fishing Report for Week Ending October 8th

OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing continues to be GOOD in most areas. Halibut fishing is now closed for retention.

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

Port Renfrew – Coho fishing has been GOOD.  Both in the bay and outside the bay for hatchery and wild fish. Reports of some bigger Coho are finally starting to show up. We've heard of some fish up to 18lbs now. Casting lures off the beach and out of a boat continue to produce fish on a regular basis. Good lures to use include Gibbs Koho spoons or Ironhead Spoons in any colour. Blue Fox spinners, mepps spinners, and small chartruese buzz bombs are all catching fish as well. Outside the bay fishing off a downrigger between 30-80 feet with flashers and spoons or hoochies have been working well. Good colours to use are anything with green, chartruese, glow and silver. Remember it is closed to retention above the bridge until further notice. Fisheries has been out so don't forget to pinch those barbs, and remember a snagged fish must be quickly released unharmed.

Sooke – Spring salmon fishing is still SLOW for springs this week. Most fish are now staging near the river mouths waiting for rain. Reports from the past weekend have indicated that coho fishing was a little slower, and the size average has also gone down. Some Chum salmon were also caught recently. A good color if you are trying to target Chums is purple. Purple Haze hoochies, and spoons in silver with a bit of blue or purple seem to be best. If Coho are your main target try fishing between 30-70 feet with flashers and hoochies or spoons. If there are a lot of coho around take off the flasher and just troll a spoon by its self the fish will fight better this way. Also for a little more fun try spooling up a 8 weight fly rod with mono and fish this off the rigger with a spoon. If you have one throw out a fly rod on the surface with a bucktail and spinner about 30-40 feet behind the boat in the prop wash. Good colors to fish are any of the glow hoochies/squirts/spoons, or silver combinations, behind a flasher of your choice. Wild fish are now open for retention. The limit is one wild and three hatchery marked fish per person/day.

Pedder Bay – The fishing for springs was SLOW this past weekend, both in the bay and near Church Rock. Most of the springs caught were small feeders and there were lots of shakers. The fishing was FAIR for hatchery cohos up to 12 lbs. The coho action was best out on the tide lines and near the shipping lanes. Flashers and spoon/hoochies combos continue to be best for Coho trolled quickly.

 Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was HOT out on Constance Bank this past week with our charter boats getting there limits of feeder springs to 10 lbs. The odd Coho is mixed in as well. Seals are starting to be a problem as well and will continue to get worse into the winter. The waterfront has been producing the odd coho. Green/Silver coyotes and Coho Killer spoons are working well out on Constance Bank. Hootchies and squirts are good in Electric Chair, Cloverleaf, Glow Below and Glow Army Truck. Good flashers have been the Red/Silver, Silver Betsey, Purple Onion and Gold Fever Hot Spots. Limits for salmon include one hatchery and one wild coho, as well as two chinooks. 

Oak Bay – Salmon fishing remains SLOW in Oak Bay. With not much to report. There were some springs up to 10 lbs caught. The best fishing has been on the Flats in 80 to 110 feet of water. The best bet is trolling right on bottom in 80 to 110 feet of water with squirts, Baitrix tiny strip, small anchovy or Coho Killer spoons. Good squirts are the Cloverleaf, J-79, Pea Soup 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. Jigging with buzz bombs and deadly dicks have produced well for some people.

Sidney – Salmon fishing was VERY SLOW near Sidney.  Also, be aware of the seasonal closures in the Sidney area that are now in effect, especially near Coal Island. Anglers have not been using much bait as the dogfish are there in heavy numbers. Squirts have been out producing hootchies and the hot patterns for springs are the J-79, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Mongoose Coyote spoons have also been working well. Chad Page managed to find a nice 26lb Spring fishing a mint tulip hoochie in 120 feet of water in Sidney Channel.


OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is Picking Up on most lakes in the South Island area. Bass fishing is Slowing Down on most lakes as the bass move into deeper water. It finally looks like we will be having some good rainfall amounts by the end of the week. This will greatly improve river fishing.

Nitinat River-Remains closed to any retention of salmon, and is closed to fishing below Red Rock Pool. This is due to the extreme low water conditions and no foreseeable rain in the future. Keep an eye on this site for any openings after the rainfall.

Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River is very low, .305 in Duncan. Rain is needed to get the salmon into the river. The best fishing is now in the early morning and evening. The best flies for resident rainbow trout are usually nymphs, especially bead headed Prince and Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymphs. As soon as the salmon show up egg patterns will be the ticket. To fish egg patterns effectivley, you will need a 5 or 6 weight fly rod with a floating line and various sink tips. If you want to target browns, fish with minnow imitating streamers, muddlers, zonkers or wooly buggers. Remember it is fly fishing only between the trestle at Greendale road and the 70.2 mile trestle. ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1 as well. Targetting salmon remains closed from the weir to the tidal boundary until further notice.

Local Lakes –

It's that time of year again! The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery is starting its fall releases of catchable-size rainbow trout beginning October 1st. We will update you with the numbers and which lakes have been stocked in the coming weeks.

Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. The cooling water temperatures are making trout more active.  Some anglers are catching trout on both Powerbait, Gulp! eggs, or worms, especially while fishing from shore. Fly anglers are doing well using Pumpkinheads,  Wooly Buggers, Leeches or Micro Leech patterns when fishing deep. That said, there has been a lot of surface activity lately and chronimids are hatching on most lakes. Trollers have been doing OK with a variety of lures but we’ve heard tat the Orange Hot Shot has been good. 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 and Langford Lake. By the way, all wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.

Bass Fishing – Bass fishing is Slowing Down. At this time of year the Bass move to deeper drop offs and are harder to find. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style work well and crank baits can work well 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.

Notable Catches – Adrienne Benner caught a nice rainbow fishing off shore at Langford Lake this weekend. She caught the fish using a dew worm. Chad Page caught a nice 26.1lb Spring salmon on Saturday, out of Sidney Channel. The fish was caught at 120feet on a mint tulip hoochie. If you have any photos or reports please send photos and descriptions of your notable catch to our email


If you are into fly fishing and notice you don't have any backcast space when fishing on a river. Don't give up! Learn how to roll cast. You may need to get a heavier line so you can turn over weighted flies with more ease. A switch or spey rod will also help and make things even easier. If you need a hand with this come in and talk to one of our professional fly fishing staff. We'll make sure you get out there with the right gear to make your days fishing more enjoyable.

Island Outfitters Leader Board – 2012


1) 182.8 lbs – Jeff Saponja – Port Renfrew – Mackerel – August 11th

2) 162.3 lbs – Des Hatchard – Port Renfrew – Herring – April 15th

3) 145.6 lbs – Ken Emms – Oak Bay – Herring – April 15th

4) 144.5.4 lbs – Trevor MacDougall – Oak Bay – Herring – May 12th

5) 142.6 lbs – Andrew Stawicki – Haro Strait – Octopus – May 13th


1) 39.4 lbs – Curtis Petres – Trap Shack – Anchovy – July 2nd

2) 34.8 lbs – Jason Whittaker – Beechey Head – Anchovy – June 23rd

3) 30.0 lbs – Debbie Campbell – Beechey Head – Anchovy – June 27th

4) 28.6 lbs – Duane Bertrand – Trap Shack – Anchovy – June 20th

5) 28.5 lbs – Falon Lancey – Sherringham Point – Anchovy – May 25th


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 2013.