Fishing Report for Week Ending December 23, 2012


OVERVIEW Strong winds and bad weather kept most anglers off the water most of this past week. Otherwise, fishing was FAIR TO GOOD for winter springs (feeder Chinooks). 

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SOOKE – No real changes since last week as winter spring fishing has been FAIR in the area. Very few anglers were out fishing due to the weather. There are winter springs to 10 lbs in the area, but most of the salmon are much smaller. The most action seems to be in front of the bluffs in about 120 to 220 feet of water with the baits down from 120 ft to 150 ft. Otter Point has also been good. 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– Not much in the way of news to report here as few anglers were out fishing. Fishing was FAIR for winter springs when anglers braved the bad weather. The winter springs are still in the bay, from just outside the marina and out to Lamb Island and Frazer Island. Lamb Island was the best location to catch fish though. There have been some springs as large as 13 lbs.  Many anglers are finding bait out producing artificial lures, with anchovies being most popular choice of 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. 4” Coyote type spoons have been effective this past week, with Green/Silver and solid White Glow the best patterns. Drew Seigel caught a 13lb spring out of Becher Bay while trolling anchovies with dummy flashers off the downriggers, with an 8 weight fly rod spooled with 12lb mono on the reel. 

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD even though few boats went out this past week. Most of the winter springs were from 5 to 7 lbs in size. Trolling near the bottom at 120 to 140 feet near the buoy at the mouth of the bay was the best bet. Squirts seem to be the most productive bait with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. Anchovies are 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. 4” Coyote type spoons have been effective this past week, with Green/Silver and solid White Glow the best patterns. 

VICTORIA  – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week when the weather wasn’t miserable.  Constance Bank had winter springs up to 12 lbs on it, but mostly fish in the 3 to 5 lb size range. Action has been pretty steady there, especially with 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 springs all the way from Clover Point to Albert Head. That said, the largest fish have been caught in the harbour mouth and Albert Head has had the smallest fish. Jeremy Petzing won a small private derby with an 18½ lb spring caught near the gas dock in the harbour. We’ve heard that it’s good right to the Blue Bridge. 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 bad news is that the seals are back to this area and anglers are losing fish to them, especially around Clover Point. 

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing has been FAIR on the Flats, if you could get out on the water due to the weather. Anglers were catching mostly small winter springs up to 8 lbs 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 remains 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. 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 – Jeremy Petzinger won a small private salmon derby with an 18 ½ lb spring caught near the gas dock in Victoria harbour. 

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


OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is SLOWING DOWN 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 dropping now, and is at 1.3 meters near Duncan. We’ve heard of more steelhead being caught and released in the river recently, mostly from Stoltz to Sandy in the Riverbottom area. There are very, very few fresh coho in 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 SLOW 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 has finished its fall releases of catchable-size rainbow trout.  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  


 Think pink for steelhead! The first runs of winter steelhead are now starting up the Cowichan, the Stamp and other rivers. And the most successful color to use on the island is pink.  Whether it’s a worm, yarn, or spin ‘n glos, think pink when you tie on your lure. 

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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