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South Vancouver Island BC Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: June 1st, 2017

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Saltwater

Chinook salmon fishing around Victoria BC

OVERVIEW – Fishing was PICKKING UP for springs. Some salmon are now being caught at relatively shallow depths and not just near the bottom. Halibut fishing was SLOW this past weekend.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing has been GOOD for springs. Most of the hatchery fish are running from 6 to 10 lbs in size but we've heard of some from 20 to 27 lbs. Also, some of the salmon are being caught at summertime depths (50-80 feet). The best fishing has been from the bluffs westward. More and more anglers are using bait, and anchovies are the most popular choice. Good choices for teaser head colors are UV Green, Chartreuse, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. For flashers, you can't go wrong with a Super Betsey, Lemon/Lime or Bon Chovi Flasher. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze have been effective recently. Many anglers are still using artificial lures and the Skinny G needlefish spoon in the No Bananas or Outfitters have been the most effective spoon.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. Most of the salmon caught this past week were hatchery springs from 6 -10 lbs. That said, there were some larger springs, both clipped and unclipped around. A 23 lb clipped spring was taken by O'Brien Point. There have also been quite a few larger wild springs that had to be released. The best depths for trolling have been from 60 – 100 feet on the downrigger and the fish are closer to shore. The Trap Shack to Beechey Head was been the best area. More anglers are using bait now and are finding anchovies in glow teaser heads have been working best. Spoons, especially G-Force and Skinny G spoons, in No Bananas or Outfitters' colours have been very effective. For flashers, the Red Glow Hot Spot, Lemon Lime and Green/Glow Hot Spot.

PEDDER BAY – Pedder Bay Marina reports GOOD salmon fishing but nothing big. The most productive area was from Whirl Bay to the Bedford Islands. It was slower inside Pedder Bay. Most anglers are still using artificial lures and trolling close to the bottom, but anchovies are also producing well. Spoons, especially G-Force, Skinny G and AP Tackle works spoons in Outfitters', Bon Chovy or No Bananas colours, have been very effective. Hootchies and squirts with a green and glow color combination have been good plastic baits to use. Anchovies were still working this past week. Good choices for teaser head colors are UV Green, Chartreuse, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. Flashers that are popular include the Hot Spot Red/Glow, Lemon-Lime and Madi. Anglers jigging at the mouth of the bay and in the channel have been catching more salmon than those anglers trolling.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was SLOW this past weekend. The biggest halibut of the weekend weighted 55 lbs. Most anglers that were fishing for halibut are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well were the 8" Powerbait Grubs and Delta Hali Hawgs.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was SPOTTY this past week. Constance Bank was the best area when the tides and currents weren't ripping too badly, but that wasn't very often. Along the waterfront the salmon fishing has been very slow. Best areas for salmon have been Albert Head, Brotchie Ledge and Clover Point. Look for some of the salmon to be at summer depths now. Spoons have been very successful in getting hook ups. Irish Cream Skinny G's, Coho Killers, 3.5" Cop Car spoons or AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons have brought some hookups.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was SLOW this past week. The halibut have been fairly deep with depths of over 300 feet the most productive. Most anglers that were fishing for halibut are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well was the 8" Powerbait Grubs and Delta Hali Hawgs.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was HOT & COLD in Oak Bay. There are hatchery springs into the upper teens on the Flats but the fishing has been inconsistent. The salmon are feeding on needlefish and have been at depths from 65 to 140 feet, depending on where the feed is located. Most of the anglers have been either bottom bouncing or jigging close to the bottom. Good trolling lures have been Coho Killers, Bon Chovi or Outfitters Skinny G spoons or AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons. Sandlance lures and squirts (needle fish) are best in pearl, white & green, or white glow. Good jigging lures have been Point Wilson Darts and the Delta Mac Fish.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was SLOW this past week. Most anglers that were fishing for halibut are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well was the 8" Powerbait Grubs and Delta Hali Hawgs.

SIDNEY – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. Los of springs have been caught from Pender Island to Sidney Spit. Jigging has been very effective in the more shallow spots while trollers are doing better in the deeper waters. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons the most successful spoons this past weekend. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers of fish.

There has been a new fishing regulation put in place for the Sidney area starting May 8th. The daily limit is two (2) chinook salmon per day of which only one (1) chinook may be greater than 67 cm. The minimum size limit for chinook salmon in these waters is 62 cm.

Freshwater

OVERVIEW – Fishing was GOOD in most lakes for trout and bass.

COWICHAN RIVER – The Cowichan River's water level is still dropping and wading is much better in most pools. The water level is now at 0.71 meters near the lake and 0.61 meters near Duncan. Fishing for trout in the fly only area has been VERY GOOD, especially if you are in a drift boat. There are both mayfly and caddis hatches on the river at this time.

TROUT – Trout fishing is GOOD on most lakes in the South Island. Warmer water temperatures have increased both trout and insect activity. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing close to the bottom. Pink, Chartreuse and Fluorescent Yellow have been good choices recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines most of the time. That said, there has been flurries of hatches and trout surface feeding. 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. Langford Lake has been recently stocked with brood stock rainbow, so some large trout are being caught there.

BASS – Bass fishing is GOOD as the bass move into shallower water for spawning season. There have been many reports of good catches of fish as large as 6 lbs. Soft plastics rigged Carolina style and crank baits are working well. The most productive colors in 4" Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. 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. As noted above, there is no longer a closed season for bass retention on the island.

Fish Tip of the Week

If you're bass fishing now, look for the large post-spawn female bass cruising around logs, rocks and weed edges recovering from their spawning effort. If you can't trigger a reaction strike, go back with a slower lure (tube or top water) and a bite is almost guaranteed!