Fishing Report for Week Ending December 2, 2012


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


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Sooke Winter spring fishing has been FAIR in the area. Kinglsey Grant reported lots of small feeder coho to keep the action going in between some winter springs to 8 lbs. The most action seems to be in front of the bluffs in about 150 to 220 feet of water with the baits down at 80 ft and 45 ft. The bigger salmon seemed to be hanging out at Otter Point in the back eddy regions on each side depending on the direction of the tide. He was using anchovies and purple UV squirts with most of the bigger fish taking the anchovy but total numbers seem to be split 50/50 on artificial versus bait.  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 STEADY for winter springs. They have now moved into the bay, from just out off the flag pole and between Lamb Island and Frazer Island. There have been some larger fish caught this past week, with 17 & 16 lb springs the biggest ones. Spoons have been really effective this past week, with Green/Silver and solid White Glow Coyote spoons the best. Many anglers are still fishing for springs with bait, with anchovies being most popular choice.  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. 

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was GOOD even though few boats went out this past week. Peter Landesman caught a 17.5 lb spring near William Head. Rob Nicholsen landed a 12.2 lb spring in the Bay near the Can Buoy and Bruce Miller caught a 11 lb spring in the bay as well. Squirts seem to be the most productive bait with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. Anchovies are a productive bait too with Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads the most popular now. The best flashers have been the Purple Glow and Purple Haze. 

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. Constance Bank had winter springs up to 12 lbs on it, with lots in the 2 to 6 lb size range. Action has been pretty good there, especially artificial lures. Good artificial lures are 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 losing fish to them, especially around Clover Point. 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.

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 and a few large enough to keep. We’ve heard of a 12 lb spring from near the Red Can and a 9 lb spring from near Coal Island. There has been some action off Moresby Island as well. Coal Island should be a good spot to try now 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 Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Mongoose Coyote spoons have also been working well. 

Notable Catches – Peter Landesman caught a 17.5 lb spring near William Head. Rob Nicholsen landed a 12.2 lb spring in Pedder Bay near the Can Buoy and Bruce Miller caught a 11 lb spring in the bay as well. 

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 VERY SLOW 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 quite high now, blown out actually, at over 2 meters near the lake and 1.7 meters near Duncan.  Coho fishing has been good in the river using intruder flies and Blue Fox spinners. Look for the coho in back eddies and “frog” water. Steelhead should be entering the river soon and will be found in the lower end of the river.

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 Skutz Falls to the Highway No. 1 Bridge (Silver Bridge). This is the typical boundary for this opening. This opening is in effect until 23:59 hours December 31, 2012. Chinook retention is not permitted due to low returns.

In request of the Province of British Columbia and, to update the 2011 – 2013 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis: Effective 00:01 hours November 27, 2012 until 23:59 hours March 31, 2013 the Cowichan River from the Weir at Cowichan Lake downstream to the Greendale Trestle is closed to all angling. In addition, effective 00:01 hours November 27, 2012 until 23:59 hours March 31, 2013 the Cowichan River from the Greendale Trestle to CNR Bridge (mile 70.2) is open to Fly-Fishing only.

Local Lakes – Trout 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. On November 19th Prospect Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbows and Elk Lake 1,665 catchable rainbows. On November 20th, Durrance Lake received 1,000 catchable rainbows. On November 23rd, Shawnigan Lake received 941 catchable rainbows and Fuller Lake received 400 catchable rainbows. So far this year, 63,512!

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 


Speed up for winter springs! They are much more active feeders than the summer fish, and by trolling a little faster than you would in the summer you can cover more water and present your lure to more fish. And don’t forget to keep your bait close to the bottom too. 

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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