Fishing Report for Week Ending March 3, 2013


OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was  FAIR   for winter springs (feeder Chinooks) in most areas, the weather wasn’t great, and not too many anglers wee out fishing.

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EARLY BIRD TICKET NIGHT for the The 17th Annual Just for the Halibut Derby will be Tuesday, March 5th at the 6 Mile Pub. Festivities start at 6:30 PM. See you there!

SOOKE – Once again, not much is new as winter spring fishing has been SPOTTY in the area. Winter springs weighing up to 9lbs were being caught, but most of the salmon were from 3 to 8 lbs in size. The best action still 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. However, not all the salmon are in deep water. Otter Point has also been good at times too. 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. Crabbing has been good recently.

BECHER BAY – Fishing was FAIR for winter springs. On Tuesday the herring moved into the bay and fishing was good in the afternoons through Thursday for springs up to 9 lbs. There springs were holding close to the bottom, from just outside the marina by the Flag Pole then out to Lamb Island and Frazer Island, Whirl Bay has produced a few fish too. It was slow out by the Head to the Trap Shack. 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. The 4” Coyote type spoons have been effective, with Green/Silver and solid White Glow the best patterns.

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was SPOTTY this past week and not many anglers were out fishing. Most of the winter springs were from 5 to 8 lbs in size. A few fish were caught in Pedder Bay, and in Whirl Bay. The fish were near the bottom at 120 to 140 feet. However, most of the Pedder Bay boats were travelling to Constance Bank to get their fish. Anchovies were the most productive bait with Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads the most popular now. Squirts are productive bait too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. 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. Crabbing has been good since the commercial crabber stopped crabbing in the bay.

VICTORIA – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week along the waterfront. Constance Bank was better by far than close in, with most fish in the 3 to 8 lb size range. Most anglers fishing the bank are using artificial lures and trolling with the currents rather than against them. Good lures are Army Truck, Electric Chair and Glo Below squirts. Closer in, there has been some action, but not as much as on the bank. There was a small private derby held on the weekend and the winning fish weighed 9.8 lbs. We have no info on who caught it or where. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Coho Killer spoons have been effective also with the UV Purple Haze patterns very popular. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots. The bad news is that the seals are a real problem in this area and that many anglers are losing fish to them, especially around Clover Point.

The Department of National Defense (DND) has created fish habitat in the form of an artificial rocky reef complex in Esquimalt Harbour. The 3 reefs are located between approximately -2m and -9m chart datum on either side of the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour. More information can be found at the Esquimalt Angler’s web site:

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing has been SPOTTY on the Oak Bay Flats. Anglers are catching mostly small winter springs, but some have been going as large as 8 lbs. The best bet for springs is trolling right on bottom in 110 to 140 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 GOOD in the Sidney area. It’s been good on the west side of the peninsula near Deep Cove and Wain Rock at 95 to 120 feet and close to the bottom. Moses Point has also been good. As usual for this time of year, springs are also being caught by Coal Island, Moresby Island and near the red can buoy in the Sidney Channel. Owen Kassinen recently caught 13.5lb Chinook in the Sidney channel between Red Can and the Powder Wharf at 135 feet on tiny strip with a glow teaser head. 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. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and 50/50 colors.

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


OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is SLOW 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 (i.e.: 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 – Rain on the weekend caused the river to blow out. The clarity is poor still for steelhead fishing. There are LOTS of drift boats working the river in the Riverbottom area as the steelheading is poor on the Stamp and elsewhere. Expect to see lots of anglers if you plan to fish the Riverbottom area. We’ve heard of some steelhead being caught and released in all stretches of the river. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin ‘n Glo’s, Corkies, Gooey Bobs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Although many anglers are successful catching winter runs on flies, most anglers chose to use floats and gear.

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.

TROUT – Trout fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area. The cold weather has made the fish sluggish. The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery released 63,512 catchable rainbows into Vancouver Island lakes in 2012.

Bank anglers are catching trout on both Powerbait, Gulp! Eggs or worms while fishing from shore. Fly anglers are using Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches or Micro Leech patterns and 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 - At this time of year the bass are located near deeper drop offs and are hard 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


Big jigs are a very effective way to catch halibut as most anglers know. You can improve your jigs by adding Berkeley GULP or Powerbait to your lures. The large size and scent of this attractants should increase your hookups on the big flatfish.

Island Outfitters Leader Board 2013


 1) 19.1 lbs – Christien MacDonell – Albert Head – Hootchy - January 19th


 We are now waiting for the season to open and the first “barn doors” of to be weighed in at the store.


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 upcoming events in 2013!

March 5th: EARLY BIRD TICKET NIGHT for the The 17th Annual Just for the Halibut Derby will be Tuesday, March 5th at the 6 Mile Pub. Festivities start at 6:30 PM. See you there!

April 4th through 7th: Island Outfitters 19th Anniversary Sale: Our storewide annual sale with LOTS of great deals and bargains.

April 13th. The 6th Annual Elk Lake Take a Kid Fishing Derby. Tickets are Adults - $25, Children under 16 - $10. All ticket holders are entered into the draw for a new boat and motor package. First place prizes of $1,000 for the largest tout and the largest bass. This derby has live release weigh boats and weigh-station located strategically on the lake. For more info contact us at 350-475-4969.

April 20th and 21st: The 18th Annual Just for the Halibut Derby. First prize is $7,500 cash, 2nd prize is $2,500, and 3rd prize is $1,000 cash. A hidden weight “Bonus” prize is sponsored by SG Power. Tickets are available at Island Outfitters, Pedder Bay Marina or Cheanuh Marina. Call 250-475-4969 for more information.

April 24th: The Fly Fishing Film Tour Canada: The Victoria Royal Canadian Legion Branch #292, 411 Gorge Rd East Victoria B.C. Parking around back off Dunedin St. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 Door $5 for under 15. Wednesday April 24th doors open @ 6pm

May 4th: The Sidney Salmon Derby. Rod Tickets are only $125.00 each! Banquet Tickets are $22.00 (including HST). Scales close at 4:00pm.- Banquet Dinner at Mary Winspear Centre starts after 4:00pm. Prizes to be won! 1st Place; $5,000 2nd Place; $3,000 3rd Place; $1,000: Plus Draw Prizes and 50/50 Tickets! All proceeds go to Salmon Enhancement Tickets available at Island Outfitters

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