Fishing Report for Week Ending March 30, 2014


OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was FAIR with still mostly smaller size fish. Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. The guides were doing much better than the average angler, both on salmon and halibut.

Current fishing and hunting licenses expire on April 1st! So be sure to get your new licenses before your next trip outdoors. The new freshwater regulations are coming out soon and the new saltwater guide books are here. There often are changes in the regulations, so take some time to read and review the regulations before going out and accidentally getting trouble. The saltwater licenses are only available on line.

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 until 23:59 hours Friday, June 13, 2014 in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subarea 20-5(those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Point to Sheringham Point), 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. The minimum size limit in these areas is 45 cm in length.

For the latest updates in DFO regulations go to

SOOKE – Salmon fishing has been FAIR in Sooke. The best fishing for winter springs is still near the Bluffs in 100 to 120 feet depths. The salmon were running up to 12 lbs in size. The springs are holding close to the bottom, so that’s where you want to fish. Anchovies are working well in Bloody Nose and UV teaser heads. Glow and UV hootchies and squirts, Coho Killers and G-Force spoons are working well also. The most popular flashers recently have been the Purple Onion, Green Jellyfish and others with both Glow and UV surfaces. Halibut anglers were doing well with “chicken” size fish the normal catch. David Suzuki caught a 65 lb, 125 cm halibut caught off Sooke bluffs on Saturday morning using salmon belly, butt juice, and a tiger prawn skirt. Most halibut anglers have been anchoring off the Sooke Bluffs or heading west towards Jordan River.

David Suzuki with his nice halibut David Suzuki with his nice halibut

BECHER BAY– Salmon fishing was NOT TOO BAD for winter springs. A pair of 20 lb salmon was caught by one of the local guides and there were a couple of springs in the teens caught as well. Anglers have reported the best fishing for springs this past week was at Whirl Bay and Church Rock. Fishing was much slower inside the Bay and near Lamb Island. Hootchies have been the most effective artificial lure and Jay 79, Cloverleaf and Purple haze have been good color patterns. Artificial spoons such as Coho killers and G-Force spoons have been working well also. Many anglers are having good success fishing anchovies. The best teaser heads for anchovies were Green Glow and the Bloody Nose. For flashers, the Purple Onion and the Green Jellyfish have been very good lately. Several “chicken” halibut were also brought back to the marina, mostly from the west Race Rocks area and near Lamb Island.

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR, especially at Whirl Bay. The springs are still mostly between 6 to 8 lbs in size, but there have been some bigger ones up to 20 lbs around as well. There still winter springs being caught while trolling back and forth from the Deep Hole to the Yellow Can with the lure bouncing close to the bottom. Most of the action was coming on spoons trolled close to the bottom. Coho Killers and G-force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Anchovies were also productive with Green Glow, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads being good choices in teaser heads. Squirts are working too with UV colors like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Purple Onion, Clear jelly UV and Purple Haze.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR on the weekend. It wasn’t the best weekend for tides and currents either. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. 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 – Fishing has been FAIR for winter springs.  It was markedly better at Constance Bank. Most anglers were getting into fish on the bank and some were getting limits. The fish are still relatively small, under 10 lbs in size. However, there are a few weighing into the teens there as well. Seventeen pounds is the largest size caught that we know of this past weekend. Closer in, the salmon were running deeper, around 160 to 180 feet in depth. Most anglers fishing Victoria are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (yellowtail or green/glow). G-Force spoons in Outfitters or No Bananas colors have been killers too. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Blow. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in all colours have been very effective. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Clear jelly UV or Green Jellyfish. Seals continue to be a problem for anglers after salmon.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend. Constance Bank was good, as well as closer in towards the shore. Most of the halibut have been in deeper water, usually around 300-310 feet. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. 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.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR for those trolling out on the flats. The fish weren’t too big, under 10 lbs in size. The most popular method for catching springs is trolling near the bottom in 75 to 130 feet of water with squirts or spoons, Baitrix tiny strip, or small anchovy. The fish that were being caught were on Coho Killer spoons in Glow/Green, 3” to 4” G-Force & Gypsy spoons. Good squirts were the Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, Clear jelly UV or Green Jellyfish.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. Anglers are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. 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 off Sidney this past week. Coal Island is still the hot spot for salmon with most boats getting fish there. The good news was that almost all the fish were keepers. Some decent fish are also showing up off of arbutus Point. There has also been a bit of activity near the Red Can buoy in the Sidney Channel, but mostly from smaller, sub legal size springs. 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  David Suzuki caught a 65 lb, 125 cm halibut caught off Sooke bluffs on Saturday morning using salmon belly, butt juice, and a tiger prawn skirt.

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email



OVERVIEW – Fishing is PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area as spring weather improves.  A few steelhead are being caught in the Cowichan River but many of the fish are kelts.

COWICHAN RIVER –The water level increased over the weekend with the recent rain. It’s just over 1.75 meters near the lake and near Duncan it is less than 1.6 meters. There are steelhead in all areas, with many of the fish being kelts. The trout fishing in the upper river is excellent for brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout. The trout are actively feeding on salmon eggs. Egg patterns are the way to go now, and they are very effective when drifted behind an old salmon redd. If you’re after steelhead, 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. Remember that ALL wild trout must be released on all streams in region 1.

TROUT – Trout fishing is PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is continuing their spring release of catchable rainbow trout from the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery. On March 26th, Elk Lake received 1,200 trout. On March 25th, Durrance Lake received 1,000 trout, Glen, Kemp and Matheson Lakes received 500 trout each, Colwood Lake received 250 trout, Lookout Lake received 200 trout and Ida Anne Lake received 75 trout. On March 19th, 1,800 trout were released at Shawnigan Lake, 200 trout at Lookout Lake and 75 trout at Ida Anne Lake. On March 18th, Dougan Lake received 640 trout and Somenos Lake received 500 trout.  On March 11, Prospect Lake received 1,725 trout, Thetis Lake 1,000 trout and Spectacle Lake relieved 500 trout. On March 7th, Elk Lake received 1,800 catchable rainbows averaging 226 grams and Langford Lake received 1,900 trout. On March 6th, stocking of 2 year old brood stock rainbows averaging 619 grams occurred with Durrance Lake getting 225 fish, and Chemainus and Fuller lakes each receiving 133 fish. On March 4th, Shawnigan Lake received 1,800 catchable rainbow trout, Fuller Lake received 1,200 catchable rainbow trout, and Chemainus Lake received 600 catchable rainbow trout. These trout averaged 232 grams in size. The total Island trout release this spring is 28,047Fraser Valley strain rainbow trout.

Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and right on the bottom. Yellow and Bubblegum have been good colours recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers have been doing well with a variety of lures. 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, Black with Silver Flake or Rainbow Pattern. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well; the jointed Rapalas have also been great for larger fish. Larger Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a size 6 hook tipped with a small 1-2″ piece of worm always produce fish. The biggest trout usually come from Langford Lake and Elk Lake. John Redlick weighed in a 4 lb 10 oz rainbow trout that he caught trolling a 3” rainbow floating Rapala plug using his fly rod near Duncan. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.

BASSBass fishing is SLOW. At this time of year the bass are near 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. Crank baits have been effective too when fished around 12 feet down with a fast retrieve. Soft plastics rigged “Carolina Style “is also a good choice when fishing drop offs and docks, most productive in 4” Yum bait colors Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Look for the fish suspended by drop offs close to shore along docks, branches, and any overhanging structure. 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.

CARP – Carp fishing is SLOW but starting to pick up now.  Dan Cessford pulled in a 14 lb 1 oz carp from Elk Lake on Sunday, the first weighed in at the store this year.

Notable Catches  John Redlick weighed in a 4 lb 10 oz rainbow trout that he caught on a Rapala plug near Duncan.

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email


Protect your rod tip! Many salmon anglers place a large bead on their line before tying on a terminal swivel. The bead prevents the angler from reeling the swivel into the rod tip’s eye and breaking it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Island Outfitters Leader Board 2014


1) 25.0 lbs – Barry Eaglestone – Whirl Bay – March 23rd


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


1) 4 lbs 10 oz – John Redlick – Duncan area – March 25th

2) 2 lbs15 oz - Duncan Watts – Langford Lake- Powerbait – January 25th

3) 2 lbs 14 oz – Ian Knowles – Lookout Lake – Leech fly – January 29th

4) 2 lbs 9 oz - Jeffrey Head – Lookout Lake – Powerbait – February 21st

5) 2.3 lbs – Jeffrey Head – Elk Lake – Leech fly - May 5th


1)    Dan Morris – 38 carp weighed in, total 227 lbs 10 oz

2)    William Oliver –39 carp weighed in, total 165 lbs 2 oz

3)    Jodey Hillard - 7 carp weighed in, total 32 lbs 5 oz.

4)    Paul Carreia- 4 carp weighed in, total 29.14 lbs.

5)      Jayson Chavez – 3 carp weighed in, 25 lbs 10 oz


Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with the free for fun and prizes Salmon, Trout, Carp and Halibut Leader Boards. Simply weigh your catch in at Island Outfitters and the top five fish in each category on December 31stwins a special prize. Everybody who enters a fish gets a prize! To enter, just bring in your catch to be weighed at our store.

March 25th – Early Bird Ticket Night

April 12th – Elk Lake “Take a Kid Fishing Derby”

April 26th and 27th is our 20th Anniversary Sale

May 2nd and 3rd - Sidney Salmon Derby

May 10th and 11th – “Just For the Halibut Derby”

 June 14th and 15th – Port Renfrew Fathers Day Derby

Fly Fishing Film Tour, F3T – Lots of great prizes again – spring 2014

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