Island Outfitters Fishing Report

Week Ending April 21, 2019

Saltwater Report

Saltwater Overview

Salmon fishing was FAIR overall as some areas produced fish and others were slow. After the mid-week chinook retention closure almost all fishing for salmon ceased. Only a few catch and release anglers have been out since then. Halibut catching was FAIR over the weekend. Weather was a big factor again this week.


The 23rd Annual Just for the Halibut derby is this coming weekend!!


Fishery Notice

Subject:-RECREATIONAL - Salmon - Chinook - Area 19 and 20 - Fishery Management Actions 

To address conservation concerns for Fraser River Chinook salmon, DFO is 
implementing new fishery reductions to support conservation and promote 
recovery of at risk Chinook. 
Strait of Georgia - South and Juan de Fuca - Areas 18, Subareas 19-3 to 19-12, 
Subareas 20-3 to 20-7 and Subareas 29-3 to 29-5:
00:01 hours April 19 to 23:59 hours July 31, 2019: Chinook non-retention; 
00:01 hours August 1 to 23:59 hours August 29, 2019: 1 Chinook per day;
00:01 hours August 30 to 23:59 hours December 31, 2019: 2 Chinook per day.
Coast-wide Recreational Fisheries:
For the recreational fishery, the annual aggregate limit for chinook salmon is 
ten (10) in all tidal and fresh waters coast-wide.

VO: 2019-RFQ-224

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 until the chinook retention closure, but it was another week of not many anglers fishing for salmon. 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 until the chinook retention closure. The best fishing was inside the bay between Creyke Point and Hoskyn Point (the flagpole) and off Aldridge Point. All the salmon this past week were less than 8 lbs. in size.  Anglers are mostly using spoons for lures, but many are switching over to anchovies. Good spoons have been Skinny G’s, Coho Killers and Coyotes with green in the colour mix.  Anchovies were working too and good colours for teaser heads are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Needlefish hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. 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 until the chinook retention closure. Whirl Bay was slightly better than Pedder Bay but large fish did not come from either area. 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.


Salmon fishing was GOOD at Constance Bank until the chinook retention closure. Most of the springs were from 7-9 lbs. with a few larger hatchery fish up to the mid-teens. The salmon were hugging the bottom and the bite came on as the flood tide started. 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 along the waterfront. 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 FAIR in Oak Bay until the chinook retention closure. We did hear that there were a few boats practicing catch & release on Saturday. Anglers reported springs on the Flats in 100-140 depths on the Flats. 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 Miki Blue Herring spoons. Squirts will also work with Jelly fish and Electric Chairs good bets. Jiggers are having some success near Brodie Rock using Deep Stingers and Point Wilson Darts.


Salmon fishing was SLOW in the Sidney area until the chinook retention closure. We heard that there were springs coming from Coal Island and Saanich Inlet as well. The salmon fishing has been 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 week. Poor weather didn’t help, and few halibut anglers were fishing for halibut.  That said, some boats landed halibut up approximately 40 lbs. in size. We did hear of a few halibut caught in most areas. Constance Bank, the Mud Hole, the East Race and Sooke all held fish. Some of the anglers have been going as deep as 600 feet to find the halibut. 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.

The 23rd Annual Just for the Halibut derby is this coming weekend!!

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 GOOD for trout and EXCELLENT for bass. 

Cowichan River

Trout fishing is PICKING UP with the increased water temperatures and insect activity. Recent rains have maintained the water level at over a meter near the lake and 0.8 meters near Duncan.  Anglers are now targeting trout in the upper reaches. There were large insect hatches this past weekend and heavy angling pressure. Tried and true fly choices at the top end include Prince nymphs, stonefly nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs, rolled muddlers, wooly buggers, Copper Johns and egg patterns. Elk Hair Caddis and Goddard Caddis dry flies work well too.


Trout fishing has been GOOD for trout at 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 has been stocking catchable triploid rainbow trout into southern island lakes. On April 1, Elk Lake received 2,000 trout and Spectacle Lake 500 trout averaging 220.48 g in size. 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 .

On April 4th, Elk Lake received 4,188 yearling trout and Langford Lake 1,000 yearling trout averaging 62.37 g in size.


Bass fishing is EXCELLENT on Island lakes as the water temperatures rise and the bass move into the shallows prior to spawning. Bass over 4 lbs. are being taken on a regular basis. Anglers are having success on a variety of lures. Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits and soft plastics are all producing well now. 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

Be careful when anchoring for halibut. Don’t crowd another boat that is already anchored near where you want to fish. Anchor lines getting tangled or hung up on each other can present a very dangerous situation that you should avoid for your own safety. Also, you should avoid the shipping lanes!

2019 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. 13 lbs. 3 oz – Randy McEwen – Constance Bank – AP Spoon – March 30th


  1. 61.1 lbs. - Kael Campbell - April 27th
  2. 57.4 lbs. - Mike Bastone - Oak Bay - April 27th
  3. 51.4 lbs. - Tom Berrett - April 27th
  4. 50.9 lbs. - Rob Powell - April 28th
  5. 50.9 lbs. - Troy Perry - April 28th

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