Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending January 6, 2019

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

Once again, the weather has kept anglers off the water much of his past week, but there were a few good days, and the fishing for winter (feeder) chinooks was GOOD. The chinooks have been deep close to the bottom and glow spoons have been the most popular lure. Halibut fishing was SLOW during the last day of the season.

Notices

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.

FN1310-RECREATIONAL - Shellfish - Prawn and Shrimp - Area19 Closures

Subareas 19-7 to 19-12 (Saanich Inlet) will continue "pulse fishing" (closed in the first half of the month and open in the second half of the month) through to March 31, 2019. This means that Subareas 19-7 to 19-12 are closed from:

  • 00:01 hours December 1 to 23:59 hours December 15, 2018; 
  • 00:01 hours January 1 to 23:59 hours January 15, 2019; 
  • 00:01 hours February 1 to 23:59 hours February 15, 2019; and 
  • 00:01 hours March 1 to 23:59 hours March 15, 2019.

All prawns carrying eggs externally on the underside of the tail must be returned to the water immediately and in the manner that causes the least harm. For the latest details on recreational fishery openings and closures in your area:

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

Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. Most anglers have been fishing from just outside the harbour entrance to Otter Point.  The fish have been close to the bottom in 120-150 feet. Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and 4″ Coyote spoons have been good. Blue and glow has been the hot color combination for spoons. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. Anchovies and small herring always work for winter springs and good choices for anchovy teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. 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 the largest fish. 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. Large anchovies wee working too 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 at Pedder Bay and not at Whirl Bay and Church Rock. The springs have been up to 8 lbs in size and quick limits were reported. The fish have been close to the bottom and there is lots of bait in the bay. 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 on Monday.

Victoria

Bad weather and strong winds limited access to the fishing grounds on many days this past week. That said, the fishing was GOOD when anglers were getting out. Constance Bank held the most fish and springs up to 12 lbs were caught there. Closer in, the Albert Head area produced well for salmon up to 9 lbs. Most of the fish caught off the waterfront this past week have been from 3 to 6 lbs in size but there were a bunch of larger ones too for anglers who released the smaller ones.  The salmon have been concentrated along the bottom. Spoons are working well with Skinny G’s and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Brass/Silver and glow white good choices. 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 for halibut was SLOW on Monday.

Oak Bay

Fishing for springs up to 12 lbs was GOOD 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 in previous weeks. Trollers had been catching the salmon while 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 for halibut was SLOW on Monday.

Sidney

Salmon fishing was GOOD in the Sidney area. Moresby Island was the hot spot this past week and we heard of one boat limiting on springs up to 12 lbs there. The Sidney channel, from the Red Can to the James island Powder Wharf areas has held winter springs up to 9 lbs, but they have mostly been just under the size required for retention. 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.

Halibut

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.

Saltwater Notable Catches

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email info@fishingvictoria.com

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

Freshwater Report

Freshwater Overview

Fishing was SLOW in most lakes for trout and bass. 

Notices

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 water level on the Cowichan is very high and has been fluctuating between 3.5 and 2.8 meters at the lake and Duncan all week. It will take a while for it to drop to good fishing conditions. Winter steelhead is just starting on the river now.

Trout

Trout fishing has been SLOW for trout at the local lakes. 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 results of the Vancouver Island Fish hatchery fall stocking program of catchable triploid rainbow trout in south Island lakes are as follows.  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 http://www.gofishbc.com/Stocked-Fish.aspx

Bass

Bass fishing is SLOW on Island lakes with the cold water temperatures. Soft plastics are a great choice now. The most productive colors in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can be very effective this time of year if you find fish in deeper water. 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 info@fishingvictoria.com

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

Fish Tip of the Week

When fly fishing the rivers for steelhead while using a sink tip or full sinking line, keep your leaders short. Anything more than 3 feet allows the fly to float up with the currents and not down near the fishes mouth. And be sure to keep mending your line!

2018 Island Outfitters Leader Board Winners!

Congratulations to all!

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.

Trout

  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

Salmon

  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

Halibut

  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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