Fishing Report for Week Ending October 28, 2012


OVERVIEW We’re in the changeover period from late season Coho to winter (feeder) springs (chinooks). Fishing was FAIR TO GOOD over the last week.

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Sooke Coho salmon fishing has SLOWED DOWN in the area. Anglers are still getting some coho up to 12 lbs, mostly out into the strait, but others are still getting some closer in to shore. Most anglers are fishing between 50 to 125 feet on the downrigger in 500 feet of water. Good lures for coho have been the Coho Killer spoons, Cloverleaf hootchies and Coyote spoons with green being the color to use. A few winter springs up to 14 lbs are also being caught. There are lots of smaller salmon, both coho and chinook grilse, so expect lots of shakers. Anchovies and herring will catch the most springs, but since the winters are very active feeders, just about any gear will catch them. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads are the most popular when fishing bait for springs.                                                                                              

Becher Bay – Coho salmon fishing has been SLOWER with fish up to 10 lbs caught. Anglers were getting the coho closer to shore this past week. The best depths for trolling for coho have been from 60 to 125 feet. There is a mixture of both marked and unmarked coho, but predominantly unmarked fish. Mongoose Coyotes or Green/Silver Coho Killer spoons have been good for coho. The best flashers have been the Silver Betsey, Silver Fever Hot Spot and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Cloverleaf, Purple Haze and Glow Below, Whirl Bay and the Bedfords have been the best spots for winter springs up to 12 lbs... Inside the bay, near Frazer Island, the winter springs have been small, and not of keep able size. 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 and the Bloody Nose.

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was SLOWER for coho up to 10 lbs this past week. Anglers are finding the best fishing for coho out past Race Rocks or even farther out 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 and Coho Killer spoons are working well for coho. There is a mixture of both marked and unmarked coho, but predominantly unmarked fish. Anglers were catching some winter springs up to 12 lbs 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, Army Truck and Clover leaf. 

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. Constance Bank has winter springs up to 10 lbs on it right now, with lots in the 5 to 8 lb size. Action has been pretty good there, especially on Army Truck, Purple Haze and Glo Below squirts.  Many of the boats are having no trouble getting their limit of winter springs. Anglers are catching fewer coho both near the shore and out in the deeper water near the Yellow Can Buoy. Most anglers fishing coho are using hootchies and spoons, usually with lots of green color. The best teaser head colors are Purple Haze and the Bloody Nose. Good choices in plastic baits are the Army Truck, Cloverleaf 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 a few 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. 

Sidney – Salmon fishing was FAIR around the area. There have been less coho, mostly unmarked fish up to 10 lbs. The coho have been at 90 to 125 feet and are in 250 to 300 feet of water. There have been lots of undersize springs in the Sidney Channel and a few bigger ones up to 8 lbs. The Sidney channel has been the best spot for winter springs. 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 – Trout fishing is FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area. Bass fishing is SLOWING WAY DOWN on most lakes.

Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River is rising now, up to 0.9 meters near the lake and near Duncan.  Salmon are in the river now, so it’s a good time to start fly fishing egg patterns for trout hanging just below the salmon redds in the upper reaches of the Cowichan. The best flies for resident rainbow trout are usually nymphs, especially bead headed Prince and Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymphs. If you want to target browns, fish with minnow imitating streamers, muddlers, zonkers or wooly buggers. Remember it is fly fishing only year round 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.

Effective immediately until 23:59 hours November 15, 2012, the Cowichan River will re-open to fly-fishing for only downstream of the weir at Cowichan Lake to 66 Mile Trestle. The daily limit for coho is one per day, maximum size 35cm. There have been complaints of spin fishermen in the fly only section of river. Keep an eye out and report any possible poachers.

 Local LakesTrout fishing is FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area. The cold weather hass made the fish a little bit sluggish, however, the newly released trout have been active feeders.

The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery has started fall releases of catchable-size rainbow trout.  On October Shawnigan Lake received 2,701 catchable rainbows, Thetis Lake 1,000 catchable rainbows and Langford Lake 750 catchable rainbows. On October 3rd, both Elk Lake and Prospect Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbows. On October 4th, Langford Lake received another 1,598 catchable Rainbows. On October 11th, Shawningan Lake received 1,000 catchable rainbows, Long Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbows and Fuller Lake received 1,470 catchable rainbows. On October 13th, Fuller Lake received another 100 catchable rainbows. On October 18, Lookout Lake received 250 catchable rain bows. On October 24th, Kemp lake received 1,500 catchable rainbows, Matheson Lake received 1,000 catchable rainbows, and Colwood Lake 250 catchable rainbows. On October 25th, Durrance and Kissinger Lakes received 1,000 catchable rainbows and Spectacle and Lizard Lakes received 500 catchable rainbows. On October 26th, Prospect Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbows and Dougan Lake received 1,500 catchable rainbows. This brings the total amount of catchable rainbows released this past year to 36,489 catchable rainbows.

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. 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, 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 - 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 – Please send photos and descriptions of your notable catch to our email


When you’re trout fishing with Powerbait, it pays to try different colors if the action slows down. Trout can be quite color selective and having the right color can trigger a bite. Many anglers will use two contrasting colors, such a red and green, when searching for that hot color.

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 2012!

See our event pages for upcoming events and like us on facebook!