Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending March 17, 2019

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

Due to the good tides this past weekend, more anglers were fishing for halibut than salmon. Halibut fishi was FAIR as a few boats did well while most got skunked. Salmon fishing was SLOWER that in the previous week.


Fishery Notice

FN0155-RECREATIONAL - Salmon - Chinook - Area 19 and 20 - Fishery Management Actions Effective March 1, 2019

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.


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:

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

Fishery Notice

RECREATIONAL - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)
FN0158-Recreational - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon) - Halibut: 2019 Fishery Opening March 1, 2019 and Management Measures in Effect Until March 31, 2019

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.


Open time:
Effective at 00:01 hours March 1, 2019 fishing for halibut will be opened coast-
wide until further notice.

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 

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 

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:

Note: Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) and Glass Sponge Reef (GSR) closures 
remain in effect - refer to the following web pages for descriptions:

1) RCAs-
2) GSRs-

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 Bon Chovy, the Madi and the Super Betsey.  

Becher Bay

Salmon fishing was SLOW near Becher Bay. This past weekend the salmon were not in their usual spots in the Bay and only a few were weighed in during the week. There were small chinooks between 5 -5 6 lbs and others from 10 -12 lbs last week but the big tides have probably moved them to other spots. They should be back in the bay by next weekend. 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 Bon Chovy, and Gold Fever Hot Spot flashers have been working well

Pedder Bay

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, both for salmon and halibut. Pedder Bay Marina also reports a very heavy red tide in 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, Bon Chovy and Lemon Lime. Good choices for teaser head colors are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze.    





Overall, salmon fishing has been FAIR TO 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. 

Oak Bay

Fishing was SLOW 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. 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 FAIR in the Sidney area. We heard that there are springs near Coal Island, Wain Rock, the Sidney channel, from the Red Can to the James Island. A number of the fish have been between 8 – 10 lbs. 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 FAIR this past weekend. We’ve heard of fish being caught at Constance Bank, Pedder Bay, 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, especially if there are lots of dogfish hitting the baits. 

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 FAIR for trout but SLOW for bass. 

Cowichan River

The water level on the Cowichan is still receding and is quite low for this time of year.  It’s close to 0.55 meters near the lake and near Duncan. It’s getting a little low for most drift boats and can be easily waded in most pools. The Riverbottom area has been the heaviest fished. There are lots of redds in the top end but it looks like most of the spawning has been completed.  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 12th, Thetis Lake received 1,500 trout, Durrance lake 1,000 trout and Colwood lake 250 trout averaging 257.5 g in size. On March 11th, Shawningan Lake received 2,500 trout and Dougan lake 500 trout averaging 244.62 g in size. On March 8th, Elk Lake received another 1,200 trout and Glen lake received 500 trout averaging 222.89 g in size 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 .


Bass fishing is SLOW on Island lakes with the cold water temperatures. Soft plastics are a great choice now but crankbaits are starting to catch bass as well. 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

Fish Tip of the Week

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get into your tackle box, organize it again, get rid of the old or bad lures, take stock of what’s missing, buy or replace what’s needed, change the line on the reels, service the reels, and replace worn or missing guides on your rods. So take advantage of this time and get a head start on the coming year.


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. 4.0 lbs – Kimberly Skillings – Langford Lake – Pink Powerbait – January 29th
  2. 3 lbs 3 oz – Don Round – Elk Lake – trolled Spratley fly – January 15th


  1. We are waiting for the first salmon of the year to be weighed in at the store.


  1. Halibut fishing is closed and we hope to hear when the season will open soon.

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