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South Vancouver Island BC Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: May 18th, 2017

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Saltwater

Chinook salmon fishing around Victoria BC

OVERVIEW – Fishing was SLOWER for springs when it wasn't too windy. Halibut fishing was FAIR this past weekend.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing has been SLOW for springs. Most of the hatchery fish are running from 86 to 10 lbs in size. Also, some of the salmon are being caught at summertime depths (50-80 feet). The best fishing has been near Otter Point, Muir Creek and Sherringham Point. With the current chinook restrictions in place, it makes little sense to travel west of Sherringham. About half of the anglers are using artificial lures and the Skinny G needlefish spoon in the Outfitters color scheme has been the most effective spoon. The other half of the anglers is using bait, and anchovies are the most popular natural bait. 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. Halibut fishing has fair west of Sooke.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. The best fishing has been on the flood tide inside the bay from Aldridge Point to the front of Frazer Island.. There were some hatchery springs from 6 -10 lbs caught and the occasional large unclipped fish that had to be released. The best depths for trolling have been from 50 – 130 feet on the downrigger.. 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 SPOTTY salmon fishing when it's not too windy. The anglers have had to work pretty hard for fish this past week. Most anglers are 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.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend. Halibut as large as 77 lbs wee seen at the marina. 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.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was SPOTTY this past week. Constance Bank was the best area when the tides and currents weren't ripping. There were a few hatchery springs up to 10 lbs were caught on the bank. Along the waterfront the salmon fishing has been very slow. However, the lingcod fishing has been coming on with a fair number of them caught. The best lingcod area is around the breakwater. Bob Deslippe landed a 38 lb 3 oz lingcod while fishing off the waterfront this past Tuesday. Best areas for salmon have been Albert Head, Brotchie Ledge and Clover Point. Your lure should be close to the bottom when trolling off for springs this time of year. Spoons have been very successful in getting hook ups. Green Spatter Back UV Coho Killers, 3.5" Cop Car spoons or AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons have brought some hookups. Like elsewhere, needlefish are the predominant feed right now.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week. The halibut have been fairly deep with depths of over 250 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 SPOTTY in Oak Bay. There are hatchery springs into the low teens near Brodie Rock and on the Flats. A 17 lb spring from Ten Mile Point was the largest salmon of the week. The salmon are feeding on needlefish and have been at depths from 65 to 145 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 FAIR 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. Although it's slower than last week, anglers are still getting springs throughout the area. John Bond did really well while jigging by the Powder Wharf. Jon caught a 25 lb spring on a 2 oz GIBBS #60 Black/Silver Minnow. Anglers using spoons found silver 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.

Notable Catches – The Bob Deslippe landed a 38 lb 3 oz lingcod while fishing off the waterfront this past Tuesday. John Bond did really well while jigging by the Powder Wharf. Jon caught a 25 lb spring on a 2 oz GIBBS #60 Black/Silver Minnow.

Freshwater

OVERVIEW – Fishing was VERY GOOD in most lakes for trout and GOOD for bass as the weather improves.

COWICHAN RIVER – The Cowichan River's water level is dropping to decent wading levels. The water level is now at 1.14 meters near the lake and 1.03meters near Duncan. Fishing for trout in the fly only area has been VERY GOOD, especially if you are in a drift boat. Apparently, the dry fly fishing was awesome this past Wednesday, but slower on other days. Bead head nymphs have been consistently working well.

TROUT – Trout fishing is VERY 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. James Baluch landed a 3 lb 4 oz rainbow trout at Langford Lake this past Monday.

BASS – Bass fishing is GOOD as the bass move into shallower water and approach 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.

Notable Catches – James Baluch landed a 3 lb 4 oz rainbow trout while fishing a black leech fly at Langford Lake on March 8th.

Fish Tip of the Week

For many anglers it is the beginning of fishing season and they are about to take their first trip of the year. Before you go on that long anticipated first trip, go over all your gear in detail. Replace last year's line with new line, get rid of old leaders and replace them with new ones plus clean up anything that's tarnished. It wouldn't hurt to do an inventory of all your gear and make sure that you have everything that you need before venturing forth. Every year we hear a sad story of someone out for the first time and hooking a monster, only to lose it to worn tackle that they just didn't bother to replace. Don't let that be you.