Fishing Report For Week Ending April 21, 2013


OVERVIEW – Halibut fishing was once again the main focus of saltwater anglers this past week, in spite of blustery conditions on the weekend. Salmon fishing was FAIR to GOOD for winter springs (feeder Chinooks) in most areas, but not too many anglers were fishing for salmon. There are some over the slot size wild springs being caught now and they have to be released.

04-21-13 Derby winner

The 18th Annual Just for the Halibut Derby as held this past Saturday and Sunday. There were 409 tickets in the derby, at one rod per ticket, and the weather conditions were poor. However, local anglers showed great skill and perseverance and weighed in 116 halibut. The sizes ranged from 7.8 lbs up to the winner at 57.5 lbs. The first prize of $7,500 cash went to Justin Wilson for his 57.5 lb halibut. Justin caught the fish near Race Rocks on a 6” Berkley Grub with a piece of Octopus attached. The 2nd prize of $2,500 cash went to Mike Bell for a halibut weighing 57.4 lbs and caught near Sidney Island, The 3rd prize of $1,000 cash went to George Kahan for a 53.5 lb fish caught near Mandarte Island. A charitable donation of $1,800 went to the TLC Kid’s Fund and a donation of $500 was went to the South Vancouver Island Anglers’ Coalition from derby proceeds.

04-21-13 K Grant

Visit our facebook page to see pictures and details of the 17th Annual Just for the Halibut Derby, including all fish entries.

Visit our facebook page to enter our fishing picture contest, and see reports, news and videos by our guides and staff from their most recent trips!

Effective 00:01 hours March 1, 2013 until 23:59 hours June 15, 2013 in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subarea 20-5(those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Pt to Sheringham Pt.), the daily limit is two (2) chinook salmon per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 cm and 67 cm or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in length.

Effective April 1, 2013 until further notice: The maximum length for halibut is 126 cm. The daily limit for halibut is one (1). The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one of which may be greater than 83cm in length. There will be an annual limit of six (6) halibut per license.  All halibut retained by the license holder shall be immediately recorded in ink on the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing license.  The area from which each halibut is caught and its length shall immediately be recorded on license.

SOOKE– Once again, very few anglers were out after salmon. Not much is new as salmon fishing remains FAIR in the area. Winter springs weighing up to 10 lbs were caught. The best action seems to be in front of the harbour and 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.

Halibut – – Halibut fishing was FAIR over the weekend. We’ve only heard of “chickens” taken during the derby, and they came from near Jordan River. Anglers did best when fishing in 100 to 200 feet of water. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

BECHER BAY – Fishing was FAIR for winter springs but only a couple of anglers were out for salmon. Most anglers were out for halibut. The best fishing was near Aldridge Point and at 80 feet on the downrigger. In the bay, springs were holding close to the bottom, from just outside the marina by the Flag Pole then out to Aldridge Point and over by the Bedford Islands. Most of the fish are less than 10 lbs, but a few larger wild salmon up to 20 lbs have been caught and released. 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.  A few halibut were also seen coming into the marina.

 04-21-13 Justin Wilson

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week but very few anglers were out fishing for salmon. The best areas were near the Can Buoy at the mouth of the bay and Whirl Bay. Most winter springs caught went from 5 to 10 lbs in size. A few fish were caught in Whirl Bay, but nothing as large as those. The fish were near the bottom at 120 to 140 feet. 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.

 04-21-13 Housil

Halibut – – Halibut fishing was GOOD near here with the winning fish, and many others, coming from Race Rocks area. Good spots were Race Rocks, the reef off William Head, the 18 Fathom and 27 fathom reefs. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

VICTORIA – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week along the waterfront, but few anglers were out for salmon. Constance Bank was the best location to fish, with salmon in the 4 to 14 lb size range there.  Most anglers fishing the bank are using artificial lures and trolling with the currents rather than against them. Good lures are Electric Chair, Purple Haze and Glo Below squirts. Closer in, there has been some action, but not as much as on the bank. 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:

Halibut – – Halibut fishing was POOR over the weekend due to the weather. It was very rough at Constance Bank, and Albert Head was only slightly better. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

 photo 1

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing has been FAIR on the Oak Bay Flats. Anglers are catching fin clipped springs, but some large wild fish are also in the area, and if caught, have to be released. We heard of one hatchery spring caught on herring on a spreader bar fished for halibut this past weekend.. The best bet for springs is trolling right on the bottom in 110 to 130 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.


Halibut – Halibut fishing was GOOD over the weekend. We’ve only heard of “chickens” taken this past week, but with the new maximum size, that’ all that can be retained anyway. Mackerel, Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits for halibut. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.


SIDNEY - Salmon fishing was FAIR in the Sidney area. It’s been best near Coal Island but some fish are also being caught near Hamley point.  It was slower near the Powder Wharf and from near the Red Can. 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 – Justin Wilson won the 17th Annual Just For The Halibut Derby, Mike Bell came in second and George Kahan came in third. 

Please send photos and descriptions of your notable catch to our


OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area. Bass fishing is also PICKING UP. 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 – The water level has been dropping and and now it’s about 1.2 meters near the lake and 1.1 meters near Duncan. The steelheading is over now until next December. The trout fishing is picking up in the fly only section at the top end of the river. There are rainbows that have dropped down from the lake as well as resident brown trout that are active right now. Bead head nymphs are the top producer there. Although a fry imitation will work now too. Other good flies are Prince Nymphs, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ears and Wooly Buggers.

 04-21-13 McAllister

TROUT – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. The water has been warming and many of the local lakes have received stockings of catchable size rainbow trout recently. On April 3rd, 2,000 trout were released into Prospect Lake, 500 in Kemp and Matheson Lakes, and 250 in Colwood Lake.  On April 9th, 150 trout were released into Ida Anne Lake. On April 16tth, 2,400 trout were released into Elk Lake, 1,000 trout into Durrance Lake and 600 trout into Langford Lake. On April 17th, 1,000 trout were released into Prospect Lake, 500 into Spectacle Lake and 250 into Lookout Lake. On April 18th, Dougan Lake received 487 trout.  All told, 49,220 trout have been released into lakes on Vancouver Island this year.

Trout can now be found scattered at all depths and they have been feeding heavily on chironomids. Bank anglers are catching trout on both Powerbait, Gulp! Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore. Fly anglers are using Chironomids, 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. One of our staff members, Nelson Karger caught a beautiful 5.3 lb rainbow on a chironomid at Langford Lake yesterday. Nelson said the fish were near the bottom in 20 feet of water.

BASS - Bass fishing is PICKING UP. Crank baits have been effective when fished around 12 feet down with a slow retrieve. Look for the fish suspended by drop offs close to shore. Some bass though have started to move into shallower water prior to spawning.  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. Please remember that bass are closed for retention on all southern island lakes through June 15th.

Notable Catches – Please send photos and descriptions of your notable catch to our


When fishing for trout with Power Bait, always make sure the hook is completely covered by the bait. You don’t want the trout to feel any metal when they gently mouth the bait. And don’t use too heavy a weight as to alarm the fish when it picks up the bait.

 Island Outfitters Leader Board 2013


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


1) 113.2 lbs - Randy Lowe – Race Rocks – Hootchy/Herring -March 23 rd

2) 97.6 lbs – Ryan Prolyshyn – Constance Bank - March 22 nd

3) 75.8 lbs – Patrick Cunliffe – Race Rocks – March 17th

4) 58.4 lbs - Jesse McCullough – Constance – Octopus – March 24th 

5) 57.5 lbs – Justin Wilson – Race Rocks – Grub & Octopus – April 21st


 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!

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

May 2nd through 5th:  Island Outfitters 19th Anniversary Sale: Our storewide annual sale with LOTS of great deals and bargains.

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