Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending March 31, 2019

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

OVERVIEW - Halibut catching was FAIR over the weekend. Salmon fishing was FAIR overall as some areas produced fish and others were slow.


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 the website at

Fishery Notice

RECREATIONAL - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)
FN0158-Recreational - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon) – Halibut:

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

Effective April 1, 2019 until further notice: - The maximum length for halibut is 126 cm (head-on). The daily limit for halibut is one (1). The possession limit for halibut is either of: one (1) halibut measuring 90 cm to 126 cm in length (head-on), OR two (2) halibut, each measuring under 90 cm in length (head-on). The annual limit is six (6) halibut per licence holder, as set out on the 2019/2020 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. All halibut retained by the licence holder shall be immediately recorded in ink on the 2019/2020 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. The area from which each halibut is caught, and its head-on length 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.

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 it was another week of not many anglers fishing for salmon. Most anglers were targeting halibut instead and were having a little success with 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 FAIR near Becher Bay. The best fishing was from Beechey Head and Aldridge Point. The fish are still quite deep and 120’ to140’ is the most productive depths. The hatchery marked fish have been as large as 15 lbs. Anglers are mostly using hoochies and spoons for lures, but many are switching over to anchovies. 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 were working too and good colours for teaser heads 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 FAIR salmon fishing at Pedder Bay. The hot spot was again near the Navy can buoy at the mouth of the bay. Mike berry landed a beautiful 82 cm, 16 lb. hatchery spring on a Lemon/Lime AP Tackleworks anchovy spoon by the bay. Coyote style spoons have also worked well as the fish are targeting herring more than needlefish. Anchovies in green glow teaser have also been effective. Good choices for teaser head colors are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze.  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, Bon Chovy and Lemon Lime.


Overall, salmon fishing was GOOD on the bank this past weekend. The fish were not on the top of the bank but a bit deeper and to the side. Most of the springs were from 7-9 lbs. with in the low teens. Closer in along the waterfront it was SLOW for springs with the most productive area being from Esquimalt to Brotchie Ledge. Most of salmon have been from 4-6 lbs in size. Anglers are trolling close to the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water. 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 3” herring spoon good choices.

Oak Bay

Fishing was SPOTTY in Oak Bay. Anglers have reported springs on the Flats in 80-140 depths. Trollers had been catching the salmon trolling small spoons; Coho killers, Wee G’s and 3” AP Tackleworks Herring 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, Coho Killers and 3“AP Tackleworks Herring 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 were springs from 12–18 lbs. coming from Coal Island and Moresby Island. The salmon fishing was VERY GOOD in Saanich Inlet, especially near Wain Rock Most anglers are using Skinny Gee spoons or anchovies. Suggested spoons are Coho Killers, Gibbs Skinny G and Wee G spoons and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons. Suggested colours are Cop Car and Trap Shack. 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

Mike Berry landed a beautiful 82 cm, 16 lb. hatchery spring on a Lemon/Lime AP Tackleworks anchovy spoon by Pedder Bay.

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 GOOD for trout and PICKING UP for bass.

Cowichan River

The water level on the Cowichan is still quite low for this time of year.  It’s too low for most drift boats and can be easily waded or crossed at most pools. Rain is badly needed. 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 picking up.


Trout fishing has been GOOD for trout at local lakes and we have two new top trout for the 2019 ladder board! Peter Grant caught a 4lb 8oz Rainbow from Langford Lake on Saturday using a Brown Leech. On Sunday, Chad Vandermolen caught a 5 lb. rainbow trout on a muddler Minnow fly, also from Langford Lake.

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 island lakes. On March 27th, Kemp, Matheson and Glen Lake received 500 trout each and Lookout Lake 200 trout with an average weight of 230 g. On March 26th, Spectacle and Dougan Lakes each received 500 rainbow trout averaging 223.04 g. On March 21st, Elk Lake received 2,000 trout averaging 256.26 g in size. On March 18th, Durrance Lake received 1,000 trout, Poirier, Matheson and Kemp Lakes 500 each and Langford Lake 200 trout, all averaging in size 214.92 g in size. 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 PICKING UP on Island lakes with the water temperatures rise. Soft plastics are a great choice and crankbaits are catching 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

We have two new top trout for the 2019 ladder board! Peter Grant caught a 4lb 8oz Rainbow from Langford Lake on Saturday using a Brown Leech. On Sunday, Chad Vandermolen caught a 5 lb. rainbow trout on a muddler Minnow fly, also from Langford 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

All fishing and hunting licenses expired at the end of March! So be sure to get your new licenses before your next trip outdoors. There usually are changes in the regulations, so take some time to read and review the regulations before going out and accidentally getting into trouble.

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. 5 lbs. – Chad Vandermolen – Langford Lake – Muddler Minnow – March 31st
  2. 4 lbs. 8 oz – Peter Grant – Langford Lake – Brown Leech – March 30th
  3. 4 lbs. 2 oz – Mike Greenwood – Langford Lake – Rapala – March 23rd
  4. 4.0 lbs – Kimberly Skillings – Langford Lake – Pink Powerbait – January 29th
  5. 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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