Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending December 23, 2018

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

Once again, the weather has kept almost everyone off the water this past week. The fishing for winter (feeder) chinooks was GOOD for those who did fish on the offshore banks or inside Pedder Bay. The chinooks have been deep and biting almost any type of lure. Halibut fishing was SLOW and we haven’t heard of anybody catching one.



Fishery Notice - Subject: FN1366-RECREATIONAL - Finfish - Coast-wide Pacific Halibut Fishery Update
This notice is a reminder that recreational fishing for halibut under the BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence will close by regulation effective 23:59 hours December 31 2018. 2019 management actions will be confirmed following the International Pacific Halibut Commission meetings and Sport Fishing Advisory Board of BC meetings in late January/ early February 2019.


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 but very few, if any, anglers were out in the winds this past week.. 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. There have been springs inside of the bay between Cheanuh Marina and Frazer Island. Anglers trolling just off the breakwater were catching fish up to 9 lbs. There have also been springs near Aldridge Point. The best depths to fish for springs have been between 120 to 140 feet on the downrigger or at 90 feet in shallower waters. The fish have not 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 EXCELLENT salmon fishing. The fishing has been best in Pedder Bay, 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 6 lbs in size and quick limits were reported.. 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.


Bad weather and strong winds limited access to the fishing grounds this past week. Fishing for winter springs had GOOD off Constance Bank in previous weeks. Anglers there were catching lots of feeder springs while trolling close to the bottom, but most have been small in size with a 5 lb fish a good one. 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 was FAIR 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 6 lbs in size and were deep, at least 140-150 feet. Spoons that have been the most popular lures and Skinny G’s, Coho Killer, AP Tackleworks and Coyote spoons have all worked well. 

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

Oak Bay

Strong southeast winds made it impossible most days for fishing in Oak Bay. That said, there were lots of fish up to 11 lbs out at Border Bank. Anglers had also been reporting a few springs up to 6 lbs on the Flats in 100-140 feet of water the previous week. 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 did hear of one salmon about 8 lbs in size caught in the channel. We haven’t heard of any legal fish coming from Coal Island to Pender Island, 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

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions 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.

Freshwater Report

Freshwater Overview

Fishing was SLOW in most lakes for trout and bass. 


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 is “blown out”. The water level has been fluctuating between 2.9 and 2.5 meters at the lake and Duncan all week. It will take a while for it to drop to good fishing conditions. Winter steelhead should just be starting up the river now.


Trout fishing has been SLOW 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 SLOW 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


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

There’s no question that flashers attract a salmon’s attention. But you don’t have to have the flasher attached to your line to reap the benefit. Try running your flasher on a short line attached near your downrigger ball while running your lure off of a release clip positioned above the flasher. That way, you can enjoy playing the fish without a flasher on your line.

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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