Island Outfitters Fishing Report
Week Ending April 28, 2019
Halibut fishing was the focus of South Island anglers this past week. Weather was a big factor again, but anglers braved the weather to take part in the 23rd Annual Just for the Halibut Derby. Anglers reported SLOW fishing for the big flatfish. The chinook retention closure has brought salmon fishing to a standstill. Only a few boats were out for catch and release salmon fishing.
RECREATIONAL - Salmon
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.
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 http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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 had been FAIR until the chinook retention closure. We do not know of anyone who was out doing catch and release. The best salmon fishing had been near Secretary Island and Otter Point. The fish were 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 had been good as well. Good choices for teaser head colors are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Popular flashers had been the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, the Bon Chovy, the Madi and the Super Betsey.
Salmon fishing had been 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. Anglers were mostly using spoons for lures, but many were 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 were 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 had been working well.
Pedder Bay Marina reported FAIR salmon fishing at Pedder Bay until the chinook retention closure. Whirl Bay was slightly better than Pedder Bay. Coyote style spoons had been working well as the fish are targeting herring more than needlefish. Anchovies in green glow teaser had also been effective. Good choices for teaser head colors are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were 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. 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. Anglers had been trolling close to the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water. Anchovies and herring had been working the best and glow teaser heads were better than the non glow colours. Spoons had been working very well with Skinny G’s and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Outfitters and the AP Tackleworks 3” herring spoon good choices.
Dan Findlow, one of our guides, took out some clients for halibut on Monday and they quickly caught two off Albert Head. With time still left on the charter, they trolled spoons at Constance Bank for two hours. In that time, they caught and released 17 chinooks, with most of the fish around 10 lbs., and with a few both larger and smaller. There were multiple double headers and 16 out of the 17 were hatchery marked salmon. Dan said that there were so many fish that it didn’t matter what spoon you used on the actively feeding fish.
Fishing was FAIR in Oak Bay until the chinook retention closure. We did hear that there were a few boats practicing catch & release during the week. Anglers had 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 Miki Blue Herring spoons. Most of the anglers have been bottom bouncing spoons and squirts close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay trolling lures were 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 had been 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. Most anglers had been 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.
The 23rd Annual Just for the Halibut Derby was held this past Saturday and Sunday. $1,850 was raised for the TLC Kid’s Fund and $500 for the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Over the years there has been over $46,000 donated to the Kid’s Fund through the derby. There were 308 rod tickets in the derby and 47 halibut were weighed in. The weather was a HUGE factor on Saturday but there were still 14 halibut weighed in, including the three top finishers in the derby. Sunday’s weather was a bit better and 33 halibut were weighed in. The two areas that produced the most halibut were Oak Bay and Race Rocks.
First place in the derby, and $7,500 went to Kael Campbell who caught a very thick 61.1 lb. halibut that was several inches short of the maximum allowed length. Kael caught the winning fish in the Oak Bay area. Second place in the derby, and $2,500, went to Mike Bastone who caught a 57.4 lb. halibut near Race Rocks. Third place, and $1,000, went to Tom Berrett for a 51.4 halibut that was exactly 126 cm in length, the maximum length allowed.
The derby prize and leader boards with the top 24 winners and their catches and prizes is still on display outside the store. Come on over and look at the results. Also, our facebook page has photos of all the fish caught, the draw prize winners and the fish prize winners!
Saltwater Notable Catches
First place in the 23rd Annual Just for the Halibut Derby went to Kael Campbell who caught a very thick 61.1 lb. halibut that was several inches short of the maximum allowed length. Kael caught the winning fish in the Oak Bay area. Second place in the derby went to Mike Bastone who caught a 57.4 lb. halibut near Race Rocks. Third place went to Tom Berrett for a 51.4 halibut that was exactly 126 cm in length, the maximum length allowed. Tyson Daniel caught a 53.1 lb. halibut on herring near Discovery Island on Sunday. Unfortunately, he did not have a ticket for the derby!!
Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fishing was GOOD for trout and EXCELLENT for bass.
Trout fishing is PICKING UP with the increased water temperatures and insect activity. The water level is near 0.75 meters near the lake and near Duncan. Anglers are now targeting trout in the upper reaches. There were large insect hatches this past week and heavier 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 http://www.gofishbc.com/Stocked-Fish.aspx .
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
Ryan Arsenych caught a 2 lb. 4 oz rainbow trout, along with three smaller ones at Elk Lake this past Thursday.
Please send photos (in jpeg format) with name(s) and a description of your notable catch to our email email@example.com
Fish Tip of the Week
When fly fishing for trout in rivers, it is very important to check your flies frequently. The small hooks are easily damaged or broken by rocks or hard objects. This can occur on a back cast or as the fly bounces along the river bottom. Nothing is more frustrating than to miss a big fish and then find that the end off the hook was broken off on a previous cast.
2018 Island Outfitters' Leader Boards
- 5 lbs. – Chad Vandermolen – Langford Lake – Muddler Minnow – March 31st
- 4 lbs. 8 oz – Peter Grant – Langford Lake – Brown Leech – March 30th
- 4 lbs. 2 oz – Mike Greenwood – Langford Lake – Rapala – March 23rd
- 4.0 lbs – Kimberly Skillings – Langford Lake – Pink Powerbait – January 29th
- 3 lbs 3 oz – Don Round – Elk Lake – trolled Spratley fly – January 15th
- 13 lbs. 3 oz – Randy McEwen – Constance Bank – AP Spoon – March 30th
- 61.1 lbs. - Kael Campbell - April 27th
- 57.4 lbs. - Mike Bastone - Oak Bay - April 27th
- 53.1 lbs. - Tyon Daniel - April 28th
- 50.9 lbs. - Tom Berrett - April 27th
- 50.9 lbs. -Rob Powell - April 28th