Fishing Report for Week Ending April 10, 2016

Fishing Report for Week Ending April 10, 2016


OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was FAIR when it wasn’t too windy, with the best fishing in the afternoons. Halibut fishing was FAIR if you picked the right time to fish the currents.

Our 20th annual Just for the Halibut derby is coming up on April 30th and May 1st! Tickets available at Island Outfitters.

Subject: FN0110-Recreational - Salmon - Chinook - Areas 19 and 20: Fishery Management Actions in effect to 23:59 hours Friday, June 17, 2016 Waters:  Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subarea 20-5 (those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Pt to Sheringham Pt.). Management measure: You may retain two (2) chinook salmon per day.  These chinooks may be either- 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 waters is 45 cm in length. Management actions after June 17 will be announced in a second fishery notice.  FN0221- RECREATIONAL- Halibut - Management Measures in Effect April 1, 2016 Effective 00:01 hours April 1, 2016 until further notice:- The maximum length for halibut is 133cm.- 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. Note: This is a change from last year.- The annual limit is six (6) halibut per license holder For the latest details on recreational fishery openings and closures in your area: A) Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line); or B) Visit our web page to find applicable fishery notices; or C) Follow our sport fishing Twitter account Visit our facebook page to see reports, news and videos by our guides and staff from their most recent trips. 

SOOKE – The salmon fishing was SLOW for springs this past week. A creel survey of 30 boats on Sunday found only 2 chinooks and 5 halibut were caught. All of those fish  were taken by local fishing guides. Anchovies have been the top bait recently, especially with Cop Car and Purple Haze teaser heads. The 3”-4” Kingfisher, Gypsy and G-Force spoons, as well as hoochies, are also top choices for Sooke anglers. Good colors have been Kitchen Sink, Irish Cream and No Bananas. Hoochies in White Glow, Army Truck and Tiger Prawn have been catching their fair number of fish. The most popular flashers recently have been ones with Moon Jelly patterns such as the Madi and the Lemon Lime.


BECHER BAY Salmon fishing was GOOD for anglers in the Bay. Most of the fish were running from 6 to 10 lbs in size and the largest was a 20.5 lb spring caught by Vern Story not too  far from the marina. Anglers have been successful with all types of gear. Anchovies in glow teaser heads have been very effective. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in Cop Car, Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were also effective. For flashers, the Madi, Lemon Lime and Purple Onion have been good. Some halibut up to 50 lbs were also brought back to the marina. There were also quite a lot of halibut brought into Cheanuh Marina from Race Rocks and points east.


PEDDER BAY –Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. There were hatchery springs in the mid teens at Whirl Bay. Most anglers are fishing close to the bottom, often bouncing the downrigger balls on the bottom, in 120-150 feet of water, while others are getting nice fish at 60 – 90 feet. Small spoons, such as the G-Force, Coyote and Gypsy, in the glow and/or any bright colours were very effective. Hootchies and squirts also produced well. Flashers that remain popular include Glow green, Lemon-Lime and Purple Onion. And you can’t go wrong fishing anchovies in a Bloody Nose teaser.


HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. Best areas were Race Rocks, William Head, 27 Fathom reef and Constance Bank. Anglers that were fishing 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 Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.


VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was FAIR off Victoria. Constance Bank was good early in the week but slower on the weekend. A creel survey of 40 boats at the  Esquimalt Anglers ramp on Saturday reveled 16 springs and 21 halibut taken by local anglers. Not many of the fish were reported to have come from close in along the waterfront.  Anchovies were a good bait to use and Bloody Nose and Purple Haze have been the most popular colors for teaser heads. Spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and White Glow. Coho Killers, AP Needlefish, G Force and Coyote spoons in Green Splatterback, Moon Glow and Cop Car colours have also been good. The Purple Onion, Lemon Lime and Madi have been effective lately.


HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend. The best areas have been Constance Bank, Border Bank and the Mud Hole. Anglers that were fishing 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 Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.


OAK BAY Salmon fishing was SLOW this past week. A few people were fishing for salmon on the Flats but not landing much. The Flats have been holding some smaller size springs fish recently for those trolling close to the bottom. It’s been best in 100-140 depths. Good lures have been Green Splatterback Coho Killers, Skinny G spoons and APT Needlefish spoons.

HALIBUT Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend. Anglers that were fishing 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 Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

SIDNEY- Salmon fishing was GOOD near Sidney, but slower than last week. Coal Island has been the best area.  However the seals have been a nuisance there. There have been quite a good number of springs between12-20 lbs being caught. It has slowed down by Hambley Point and in the lower channel.. Many anglers are fishing using tiny strip or anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads. Coho Killer, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackle needlefish spoons have been working well.


After a lengthy fight with a seal, Colin Roberts managed to get a 22 lb Chinook in the boat. The fish was caught at Coal Island on Sunday, April 17th by Colin Roberts on an anchovy with a glow head. The seal had the fish by the scruff of the neck for a good 45 minutes, surfacing for air 8 or 10 times before diving back down deep. Eventually the seal let go, thankfully!


Notable Catches Colin Roberts landed a 20 lb spring near Coal Island after 45 minute battle with a seal trying to steal his fish.


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




OVERVIEW – Fishing is PICKING UP in most lakes for both trout and bass. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake, where the fishing has been good for these large trout. Steelheading has been good in most Island rivers.

All bass fishing is closed to retention until June 15th.

COWICHAN RIVERThe water level has been dropping steadily all week and the water level is 0.955 meters at the lake and 0.7 meters near Duncan today. Most of the steelhead have left the river and most fish being caught are kelts. Fly fishing at the top end of the river for trout has been excellent as insect hatches are becoming common. The rainbows, cutthroats and resident brown trout are actively feeding on these hatches and migrating salmon fry. Bead head nymphs are the top producer there. Good patterns are Prince Nymphs, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ears and Stone fly nympmhs. A fry imitation or a Wooly Bugger will also work, especially for the brown trout.


TROUT – Trout fishing is PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing close to the bottom. Orange Garlic and Pink Garlic have been good choices recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers are catching trout with Gibbs Gang Trolls and Gibbs Wedding Bands. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers in rainbow, green or black and white patterns. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, Black with Silver Flake or Rainbow Pattern.


The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has resumed spring releases of catchable rainbow trout from the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery. These are the 3N Fraser Valley strain.


On April 12th, Prospect Lake received 2,000 trout, Thetis Lake received 1,000 trout and Spectacle Lake received 500 trout with an average size of 232 grams. On April 13th, Elk Lake received 2,000 trout with an average size of 228 grams. On April 14th, Durrance Lake received 745 trout, Kemp and Matheson lakes received 500 trout and Dougan received 300 trout with an average size of 246 grams.


A total of 46,544 trout have been released to date in 2016 in Vancouver Island lakes.

BASS - Bass fishing is PICKIING UP. At this time of year some of the bass are moving into the shallows while other bass are near deeper drop offs and hard to find. Look for the fish suspended by drop offs close to shore along docks, branches, and any overhanging structure. 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. 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 (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email





Its transition time again for Chinook anglers. While there are still deep running winter fish around, returning migratory springs are also starting to show up.  These fish are found much higher in the water column, and anglers who want to catch them should keep at least one line off of the bottom and at middle water depths.


2016 Island Outfitters Leader Board




1) 75.8 lbs – Walker Grant – Waterfront – Herring - March 27th

2) 68.4 lbs – Wayne Boyd – Constance Bank - February 7th

3) 67.1 lbs – Jordan Webb – Constance Bank – Herring – April 3rd

4) 63.2 lbs – Bruce Cook – Oak Bay – March 20th

5) 63.0lbs – Buck Holman –Pedder Bay – Salmon Belly – April 14th




1) 3 lbs 14 oz – Kody Stofer – Elk Lake – Salmon Eggs - January 26th

2) 2 lbs 3 oz – Kody Stofer – Langford Lake – March 23rd

3) 2 lbs – Greg Barkes – Elk Lake – April 9th

4) 2 lbs – Mike Hardy – Elk Lake – April 9th

5) 1 lbs 15 oz –Cory MacDormand – Elk Lake – April 9th




We are now waiting for the first salmon of the year to be weighed in at the store. So, bring your next big salmon in for the contest!

Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with the free for fun and prizes Salmon, Trout and Halibut Leader Boards. Simply weigh your catch in at Island Outfitters and the top five fish in each category on December 31st wins a special prize.

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