Island Outfitters Fishing Report
Week Ending March 10, 2019
Due to the recent cold there was not too much fishing done during the week. Those that did go out had GOOD success on chinooks up to nearly 20 lbs in size. The chinooks have been close to the bottom and glow spoons and anchovies in glow teasers have been the most effective lures. Halibut is now open and was GOOD for most anglers.
Island Outfitters is holding the Annual Early Bird Ticket Night for the 23rd Annual Just For The Halibut Derby on Tuesday, March 12th at the 6 Mile Pub.
Festivities start at 6 PM! Join us there next week!
Effective dates: March 1, 2019 until further notice: Waters: Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subareas 20-4 to 20-7(those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Pt to Sombrio Pt.). Management measures: You may retain two (2) Chinook salmon per day. These Chinook 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. Variation order 2019-RFQ-78 The Department is consulting on additional management actions to conserve Fraser River Chinook and Southern Resident Killer Whales. Revised management measures will be announced in April 2019. Notes: Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal and non-tidal waters of British Columbia. Anglers are requested to release any hatchery marked sockeye. These fish are hatchery raised sockeye and part of a recovery program designed to increase the numbers of Cultus Lake sockeye. The term "hatchery marked" means a fish that has a healed scar in place of the adipose fin. Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the voluntary Salmon Sport Head Recovery program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped chinook and coho salmon. Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment. Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program at (866) 483-9994 for further information. Rockfish Conservation Areas that are currently in effect and are closed to all fin fishing. Descriptions of these closures, and other recreational fishing information, can be found on the Internet at: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation? If so, please call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line at (800) 465-4336. For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at 1-(866)431-FISH (3474). For more information: Contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or visit our website at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
For 2019, the recreational fishery allocation is 890,013 pounds. The following measures will be in effect as noted below. Further updates on the fishing regulations for April 1, 2019 will be provided later in March 2019. Coast-wide: Open time: Effective at 00:01 hours March 1, 2019 fishing for halibut will be opened coast- wide until further notice. Licensing: The 2018/2019 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence, remain in effect until 23:59 hours March 31, 2019. Limits and sizes: Effective March 1, 2019 until further notice: -The maximum length for halibut is 115 cm. -The daily limit for halibut is one (1). -The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one (1) of which may be over 83 cm in length. -The annual limit is six (6) halibut per licence holder, as set out on the 2018/2019 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. -All halibut retained by the licence holder shall be immediately recorded on the 2018/2019 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. The area from which each halibut is caught and its length (head-on) shall immediately be recorded on the licence. The exceptions to these openings are: Areas 121: No person shall fish for or retain halibut, rockfish and lingcod in Area 121 outside the 12 nautical mile limit seaward of a line that begins at 48 degrees 34.000 minutes and 125 degrees 17.386 minutes W and continues south easterly at a bearing of 116 degrees True to a point at 48 degrees 28.327 minutes and 125 degrees 01.687 minutes W. Area 121: Closed to all finfish, year round in the waters of Swiftsure Bank, inside a line from 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 125 degrees 06.00 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 124 degrees 54.20 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 29.62 minutes N and 124 degrees 43.40 minutes W, thence following the International Boundary between Canada and the U.S. to 48 degrees 29.55 minutes N and 124 degrees 56.20 minutes W, thence in a straight line to the point of commencement. Variation Orders: 2019-RCT-079 (Close Time) and 2019-RFQ-080 (Quota) Non-residents of Canada wishing to fish for and retain halibut in Management Areas 121, 23 and 123 must purchase an electronic licence through a Canadian Independent Access Provider (IAP). Find an IAP location from our web page: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/licence-permis/iap-fai-eng.html Note: Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) and Glass Sponge Reef (GSR) closures remain in effect - refer to the following web pages for descriptions: 1) RCAs- http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/restricted-restreint-eng.html#rca 2) GSRs- http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/restricted-restreint-eng.html#sponge FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contacts: Brad Beaith (South Coast) - (250)756-7190, Darren Chow (North Coast) - (250)627-3441, Jason Knight (250) 850-9370
Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week but few anglers were out fishing for salmon. Most anglers were targeting halibut instead and were having good success of the big flatfish. The best salmon fishing was near Secretary Island and Otter Point. The fish have been close to the bottom in 100-150 feet depths. Spoons such as Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and 4″ Coyote spoons have been good. Green 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 herring have been good as well. Good choices for teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Popular flashers have been the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, the Lemon Lime, the Madi and the Super Betsey.
Salmon fishing was GOOD near Becher Bay. This past weekend the salmon were in the Bay from the Lamb Island to just outside the marina. There have been lots of small chinooks between 5 -5 6 lbs and enough others from 10 -12 lbs to keep anglers happy. The best depths to fish have been between 90 to 120 feet on the downrigger. The fish have not been too picky about what they will strike and anglers are mostly using hoochies and spoons 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 Marina reports GOOD salmon fishing at Pedder Bay. Although not many boats were out salmon fishing, we were told that most boats came back with at least one salmon. The hot spot was again near the Navy can buoy at the mouth of the bay. Coyote style spoons have 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. Anchovies in green glow teaser have also been effective. 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.
Overall, salmon fishing has been GOOD both on the bank and all along the waterfront. There were lots of salmon from 4-6 lbs throughout the area, with some larger fish into the low teens as well. Anglers are trolling close to the bottom in 70 to 120 feet of water. The fish have been in depths of 70-150 feet. Anchovies and herring are working the best and glow teaser heads have been better than the non glow colours. Spoons are working very well with Skinny G’s and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Outfitters and the AP Tackleworks 4” herring spoon good choices.
Fishing has PICKED UP in Oak Bay. Anglers had also been reporting springs up into the teens on the Flats and in the Gap in 90-140 depths. Trollers had been catching the salmon trolling small spoons; Coho killers, Wee G’s and AP Sandlance spoons. Most of the anglers have been bottom bouncing spoons and squirts close to the bottom. Scott Craven picked up 14 & 10 lb springs on Saturday in Oak Bay. 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.
Salmon fishing was GOOD during the Mill Bay Marine Group Saanich Inlet Salmon Derby. Thirty one chinooks were weighed in and the winner was Mark Lister with a 19.7 lb hatchery clipped chinook. Second place went to Cam Wright with a 16.5 lb chinook. Third place went to Dawson Parker with a 15.5 lb chinook. Richard Cox took 4th with a 14.2 lb chinook from Whiskey Point. The top three fish were all caught near Wain Rock. We heard that there are still a few springs near Coal. The Sidney channel, from the Red Can to the James Island Powder Wharf areas has produced mostly sub-legal springs. 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 fishing was GOOD this past week. We’ve heard of fish being caught at Constance Bank, Albert Head, the East Race and Sooke. Most anglers that were fishing for halibut are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Other good baits are the 8” Powerbait Grubs and Delta Hali Hawgs.
Saltwater Notable Catches
Mark Lister won the Mill Bay Marine Group Saanich Inlet Salmon Derby with a 19.7 lb hatchery clipped chinook. Second place went to Cam Wright with a 16.5 lb chinook. Third place went to Dawson Parker with a 15.5 lb chinook. Richard Cox took 4th with a 14.2 lb chinook. Scott Craven picked up 14 & 10 lb springs on Saturday in Oak Bay.
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Fishing was GOOD for trout but SLOW for bass.
The water level on the Cowichan is still receding and is fairly low. It’s close to 0.59 meters near the lake and 0.55 meters near Duncan on Sunday. For those wanting to wade, this is a good level. It’s getting a little low for most drift boats. The Riverbottom area has been the heaviest fished and steelhead are in all the usual places. Anglers are catching steelies on both gear and flies. Trout fishing has been good as well.
Trout fishing has been FAIR 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 Spratley 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 Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is currently stocking spring catchable triploid rainbow trout into southern Vancouver Island lakes. On March 5th, both Elk and Prospect lakes were stocked with 1,800 catchable rainbows averaging 227.37 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 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
Kimberly Skillings caught a 4 lb rainbow trout at Langford Lake. She was using pink Powerbait to catch the fish. Don Round caught a 3 lb 3 oz rainbow while trolling a Spratley fly in Elk Lake.
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Fish Tip of the Week
When you are trolling deep for winter chinooks and using a downrigger, you should make sure that your release clip is attached with at least 3 feet of leader. This long leader will make it easier to see rod tip action, indicating an undersized “shaker” is on the line, and allowing you to quickly reel in and release the fish and get back to trolling for the big ones.
2018 Island Outfitters' Leader Boards
- 4.0 lbs – Kimberly Skillings – Langford Lake – Pink Powerbait – January 29th
- 3 lbs 3 oz – Don Round – Elk Lake – trolled Spratley fly – January 15th
- We are waiting for the first salmon of the year to be weighed in at the store.
- Halibut fishing is closed and we hope to hear when the season will open soon.