Fishing Report for Week Ending November 18, 2012


OVERVIEW Fishing was FAIR TO GOOD over the last week. The main focus is now winter springs (feeder Chinooks).


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Sooke Winter spring fishing has been FAIR in the area. The best area has been just off the harbour entrance and west to the Trailer Park Most of the fish have been fairly small, under 7 lbs in size. The fish have been found from 70 feet down to 140 feet and near the bottom.  Anchovies are catching the most springs and Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads are the most popular when fishing bait for winter springs. Since the winters are very active feeders, just about any gear will catch them. One very good combination recently has been the Purple Haze squirt behind a Purple Glow flasher.                                                                                                    

Becher Bay – Fishing was GOOD for winter springs. They have now moved into the bay, just out from the flag pole. Most of the springs are under 8 lbs in size but there have been some caught as large as 13 lbs. Whirl Bay and the Bedfords have also been good spots for winter springs. The majority of anglers fishing for springs are now using bait, with anchovies being most popular bait. The best teaser heads for anchovies were the Purple Haze and the Bloody Nose. Like usual, the fish are close to the bottom and glow in the dark flashers are a good choice. A few coho have also been caught recently, but nowhere near the numbers of fish as in the previous month.

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was FAIR but only 5 boats went out this past weekend, so there isn’t a lot of news. Anglers reported winter springs in the 2 to 5 lb size in Whirl Bay and at the mouth of Pedder Bay. Anchovies were the most productive bait. 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. There is still the odd coho in the area.

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. Constance Bank had winter springs up to 14 lbs on it, with lots in the 2 to 6 lb size range. 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. Closer in, there has been some good action too. There have been scattered springs from Clover Point to Albert Head. The bad news is that the seals are back to this area and anglers are starting to lose fish to them. Anchovies have been very effective recently with the best teaser head colors being Purple Haze and the Bloody Nose. Coho Kill spoons have also been effective with the UV Purple Haze patterns very popular. Good choices in plastic baits are the Army Truck, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots. 

The Esquimalt Anglers’ Association has just added a real time web cam on their web site. It shows what’s happening at the Fleming Beach ramp. Here is the link: 

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 in the Sidney Channel. There have been lots of undersize springs in the Sidney Channel as well as bigger ones up to 8 lbs. There has been some action off Moresby Island as well. 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 – Salmon fishing has been GOOD where allowed. Trout fishing is FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area. Bass fishing is SLOWING WAY DOWN on most lakes. Anglers are further reminded of the following:" The use of single barbless hooks is mandatory in all streams in Region 1;" All foul hooked (ie: hooked other than in the mouth) must be returned to the river immediately.  ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1 as well.

Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River is rising now, up to 1.4 meters near the lake and 1.5 meters near Duncan.  Several species of salmon are in the river now, so it’s a good time to fly fish 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.

Effective immediately until 23:59 hours November 15, 2012, the Cowichan River will re-open to fly-fishing only downstream of the weir at Cowichan Lake to 66 Mile Trestle. The daily limit for coho is one per day, maximum size 35cm.

Based on current coho and chum escapement levels to the Cowichan River the retention limit for coho is varied to 1/day greater than 25 cm, either wild or hatchery, and the retention of chum is varied to 2/day in the following portion of the Cowichan River:

Downstream from the Mile 66 Trestle Bridge to the to the Highway No. 1 Bridge

(Silver Bridge). This is the typical boundary for this opening.


This opening is in effect 00:01 hours November 10, 2012 until 23:59 hours

December 31, 2012. Chinook retention is not permitted due to low returns. 

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

The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery is finishing its 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. On October 30th, Glen and Thetis lakes received 1,000 catchable rainbows, Langford Lake received 550 catchable rainbows, Prior Lake received 500 catchable rainbows and Ida Anne and Lookout Lakes received 250 catchable rainbows each. Also, 50 reconditioned Fraser Valley Rainbow brood stock were released into Fuller Lake on Friday November 2nd. These fish were about 2.5 kilograms each, so they should supply some fun for anglers. On November 13th Spectacle Lake received 1,000 and Chemainus Lake 500 catchable rainbows. On November 16th, Elk Lake received 1,835 catchable rainbows.  So far this year, 56,756 catchable rainbows have been released into Vancouver Island Lakes. 

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 


Seals stealing fish can be a big problem during the winter saltwater fishery. One of the best ways to avoid seal problems is to not to fish with the pack of other fishing boats, but to separate yourself and fish away from the pack. Another good idea is to use a lighter leader than your main line, so that if a seal grabs your salmon and a fight ensues, at least you won’t lose your flasher.


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! 

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