Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending December 2, 2018

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

The fishing for winter (feeder) chinooks was GOOD from Victoria to Sooke. The chinooks have been deep in all areas but have been biting almost any type of lure. Overall, very few anglers were out fishing this past week in the colder weather conditions. Halibut fishing was SLOW.


For the latest details on recreational fishery openings and closures in your area:

  1. Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line);
  2. Visit the DFO web page find applicable fishery notices; or
  3. 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.


Salmon fishing was GOOD. All the effort now is on winter (feeder) springs. Most anglers have been fishing from just outside the harbour entrance to the Bluffs.  The fish have been down near the bottom in 120-150 feet. Anchovies and small herring always work for winter springs and good choices for anchovy teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and 4″ Coyote spoons have been good for coho. Green and glow have been the hot colors for coho spoons. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. For flashers, the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, Lemon Lime, Madi and the Super Betsey are popular.

Becher Bay

Salmon fishing was GOOD near Becher Bay. The best fishing has been off of the Bedford Islands and towards Church Rock. There have been fish moving to the inside of the bay as well. The best depths to fish for springs have been between 120 to 140 feet on the downrigger. The springs are also getting larger in size with fish up to 11 lbs caught this past week. They haven’t been too picky about what they will strike either. Anglers are mostly using spoons and plastics for lures. Good spoons have been Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and Coyotes with glow on them.  Needlefish hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. Anchovies still work and effective choices for teaser head are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. The GIBBS Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, the Betsey, and Gold Fever Hot Spot flashers have been working well.

Pedder Bay

Pedder Bay Marina reports GOOD salmon fishing. The fishing has been best in Whirl Bay and near Church Rock. The springs have been deep, around the 200 ft depth, and not too choosy about what lures they want. Inside Pedder Bay, some fish are being caught but not as many. The springs have been up to 12lbs in size. Spoons have been the most popular lures, with the 4” Silver Horde UV herring Aid the “hot” lure. Coyote spoons have also worked well as the fish are targeting herring and not needlefish. Hootchies and squirts are still working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good color choices.  Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Outfitters and Lemon Lime. Good choices for teaser head colors are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze.   

HALIBUT - Halibut fishing was SLOW this past week. There have been lots of dogfish caught. East Race and William Head were the most productive spots.


Fishing for winter springs was VERY GOOD off Constance Bank this past week. Anglers there were catching lots of feeder springs while trolling close to the bottom. Some boats have reported catching limits fishing along the high points of the bank. Lee Tradewell caught the largest this past week with a 15½ lb spring from the bank. We also heard of a 13 from the bank along with more in the 7-8 lb range. Spoons are working well with Skinny G’s and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Brass/Silver and glow white good choices. In closer, it’s been GOOD for anglers trolling from Esquimalt to Clover Point. Most of the few fish caught off the waterfront this past week have been from 3 to 10 lbs in size and were deep, at least 140-150 feet. Anchovies have been the most productive bait this past week for springs and the Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads have been working well.  Spoons that have been successful in getting hook ups are Skinny G’s and Coho Killer, AP Tackleworks  and Green/Glow and Cop Car Coyote spoons.

 HALIBUT - Fishing was SLOW for halibut this past weekend. Fishing has been best at Constance Bank and the Mud Hole.

Oak Bay

Salmon fishing is FAIR in Oak Bay. Anglers are reporting a few springs up to 10 lbs on the Flats in 100-140 feet of water. Most of the fish have been less than 6 lbs in size, but there are larger ones up to 10 lbs being caught as well. Trollers had been catching fish trolling small spoons; Coho killers, Wee G’s and AP Sandlance spoons. Most of the anglers have been bottom bouncing squirts and spoons or jigging close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay trolling lures are Wee Gs, Skinny Gs, Coho Killers and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons. Squirts will also work with Jelly fish and Electric Chairs good bets. Jiggers are using Deep Stingers and Point Wilson Darts.

HALIBUT - Fishing was SLOW for halibut this past week.


Salmon fishing was SLOW in the Sidney area. The Sidney channel and James island Powder Wharf areas have held winter springs, but they have mostly been just under the size required for retention. We haven’t heard of any legal fish coming from the Pender Island area, just small ones. Suggested spoons are Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and Wee G spoons and AP Sandlance spoons. Suggested colours are Green/glow and blue/glow.  Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good in Glow or UV Purple teaser heads

Saltwater Notable Catches

Lee Tradewell caught the largest chinook this past week with a 15½ lb spring from Constance Bank.

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

Freshwater Report

Freshwater Overview

Fishing was GOOD in most lakes for trout and bass. Coho salmon fishing is still going on in Vancouver Island rivers.


Effective November 1 until December 31, 2018 the daily limit of Coho salmon is one, (1) per day, and the daily limit of Chum salmon is two (2) per day in the Cowichan River downstream from the Mile 66 Trestle Bridge to the to the Highway No. 1 Bridge (Silver Bridge). This is the typical boundary for this opening. The minimum size limit for Coho salmon is 25 cm. The minimum size limit for Chum salmon is 30 cm.

Anglers are being requested to provide catch information from this fishery to DFO through the use of a catch-card system.

Anglers wishing to participate in this fishery can obtain cards through DFO by calling Brad Beaith at 250-756-7190 or the Duncan Fisheries office at 250-746-6221. The Duncan Fisheries Office is currently open 0800-1030 Tuesday - Friday. Catch cards will also be available at some local retailers.

Cowichan River

The river blew out early in the week with water levels over 2.3 meters near Duncan. It’s been receding since then and was about 1.6 meters today near Duncan. Winter steelhead should just be starting up the river now.


Trout fishing has been FAIR for trout at the local lakes due to fall trout stocking. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, and worms while fishing close to the bottom. Pink, Chartreuse and Fluorescent Yellow have been good choices recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are mostly fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Muddler Minnow patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers are catching trout with worms fished behind Gibbs Gang Trolls and on Gibbs Wedding Bands. 2” Tomic Plugs have also been working well for trout.

The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery has started the fall stocking program of catchable triploid rainbow trout in south Island lakes. On November 9th, Shawnigan Lake received 2,650 trout averaging 220.58 grams in size. On November 7th, Kemp Lake received 1,000 trout, Durrance Lake 1,500 trout, Matheson Lake 500 trout, and Lookout Lake 250 trout trout averaging 223.54 grams in size. On November 5th, Elk Lake received 2,000 trout averaging 215.08 grams in size. On October 30th, Spectacle Lake received 500 trout and Ida Anne lake 150 trout averaging 219.71 grams in size. On October 25th, Lookout Lake received 250 trout averaging 200.32 grams in size. On October 24th, Elk Lake received another 2,307 trout averaging 200.32 grams in size. On October 22nd, Spectacle Lake received 1,000 trout and Dougan lake 500 trout averaging 220.40 grams in size. On October 5th, Durrance Lake received 1,000 trout averaging 231.79 grams in size. On October 4th, Thetis Lake received 1,000 trout, Kemp and Matheson lakes 500 trout, Poirier Lake 300 trout, Colwood Lake 250 trout and Ida Anne 200 trout. The trout averaged 206.52 grams in size. On October 2nd, Langford Lake received 2,500 trout and Glen Lake 1,000 trout averaging 228.5 grams in size. Also that day, Prospect Lake received 2,500 trout, ThetisLake received 1,000 trout and Lookout lake 250 trout averaging 231.71 grams in size. On September 28th, Langford Lake received 997 trout averaging 705.96 grams in size. On September 27th, Prospect Lake received 1,000 trout averaging 705.96 grams in size.

To find out about fish stockings all over the Island and the province, as well as the different strains being released, click on the link


Bass fishing is FAIR on Island lakes as the water temperature decreases. Most lakes are producing large fish. Soft plastics are a great choice now. The most productive colors in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can also be very effective this time of year if you find fish in deeper water. During the day, spinner baits and crank baits are working well at times. 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. 

Freshwater Notable Catches

8 year old Jackson Coleman caught his first trout, a nice 15” rainbow, at Elk Lake.                             

Please send photos (in jpeg format) with name(s) and a description of your notable catch to our email

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to to be featured on our fishing report.

Fish Tip of the Week

Many fly anglers put away their gear for the winter without properly storing expensive fly lines. Rather than leaving your line tightly wound onto the reel, it's best to remove the line and store it in larger loops off of the reel. And a good application of line cleaner certainly wouldn't hurt your line's performance.

2018 Island Outfitters' Leader Boards

Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with our 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 win a special prize.


  1. 8 lbs 8 oz – Rob Waldner – Langford Lake – Fly – March 31st
  2. 5 lbs 4 oz – Kayden Howes – Elk Lake – Corn – February 12th
  3. 4 lbs 11 oz – Allan Edgar – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 12th
  4. 4 lbs 9 oz – Joshua He – Elk Lake – White Garlic Powerbait - June 9th
  5. 4 lbs 5 oz – Tyler Clough – Langford Lake – Powerbait - April 2nd


  1. 41 lbs 0 oz – Lyle Berzins – Juan de Fuca Strait – Coho Killer – October 6th
  2. 40 lbs 2 oz – Larry Barnes – Port Renfrew – Anchovy – August 6th
  3. 36 lbs 5 oz – Bryant Fairley – Sooke Harbour – Anchovy – August 15th
  4. 36 lbs 0 oz - Jess Game – Camper Creek – July 17th
  5. 23 lbs 8 oz – Sonia Benedic – Clover Point – Mint Tulip Hoochie - February 26th


  1. 73.8 lbs – Brian Dow – Constance Bank – Herring – March 16th
  2. 70.7 lbs – Ray Hawthorne – Discovery Island – Herring – March 10th
  3. 66.3 lbs – Seth Papineau – Church Rock – Herring – March 12th
  4. 64.1 lbs – Chad Dobranski -– Discovery Island – Herring – March 10th
  5. 61.1 lbs – Trevor Walton – Oak Bay – Mackerel – March 10th

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