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South Vancouver Island BC Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: April 17th, 2017

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Saltwater

Chinook salmon fishing around Victoria BC

SOOKE – The salmon fishing has been FAIR TO GOOD for springs. Most of the hatchery fish are running from 6 to 10 lbs in size. There have been a few larger unclipped fish that have been caught and released. The best fishing remains in 110 to 130 feet of water with the salmon close to the bottom looking for needlefish. Good areas have been near Otter Point, the Bluffs, and Tugwell Creek. Most 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 top spoons for Sooke anglers have lots of glow, red or Moon Jelly as the primary color. 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, Madi or Bon Chovi Flasher. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze have been effective recently. Halibut fishing has been slower west of Sooke.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. The best fishing has been near Aldridge Point and near Church Rock and Whirl Bay. There were hatchery springs up to 14 lb as well as the more common smaller 6-8 lb hatchery springs. The best depths for trolling has been 110 – 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 Bon Chovy 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 for hatchery springs from 6 to 12 lbs in size. The fishing was best by the Can Buoy at the mouth of the bay and in Whirl Bay. There are lots of needlefish in the area and salmon are targeting them. Most anglers are using artificial lures and trolling close to the bottom, but anchovies are also producing well. The fish haven't been too picky about what they will strike. 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, especially with a 30" to 36" leader. 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 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.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was SLOW this past week. Constance Bank was where the most consistent action occurred. Springs caught there were as large as 10 lbs. Closer in along the waterfront the fishing has definitely been slower. Best areas have been Albert Head and Clover Point. Your lure should be close to the bottom when trolling off from 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 good results. Like elsewhere, needlefish are the predominant feed right now.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. Constance Bank was the best location to fish. 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 GOOD recently. There are springs over 10 lbs near Brodie Rock and on the Flats. The salmon are feeding on needlefish and have been at depths from 65 to 145 feet, depending on where the feed are located. All 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 with fish taking salmon heads or bellies, large herring and octopus. Be sure to get setup about an hour and a half before the slack to catch the tide swing and to be able to stay on the bottom. 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 weekend. Salmon up to 16 lbs have been caught in several areas. Good areas were Hamley, Coal Island, Saanichton Spit, Fairfax and Pender Island. There are still a lot of undersize fish around but enough in the low teens to make it worthwhile. 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.

Freshwater

Elk Lake rainbow trout in Victoria

OVERVIEW – Fishing was PICKING UP in most lakes for trout and bass as water temperatures are rising. Winter run steelhead fishing is over in most rivers on both sides of the Island.

COWICHAN RIVER – The Cowichan River's water level is still too high for decent wading. The water level is now at 1.74 meters near the lake and 1.48 meters near Duncan. There has been a slide at the Clay Bank pool and the river is discolored with low visibility downstream of the slide. Fishing for trout in the fly only area has been good, especially if you are in a drift boat. Bead head nymphs have been working well and some March Browns have been hatching during the day.

TROUT – Trout fishing is FAIR TO GOOD on most lakes in the South Island and we had four large rainbow trout weighed in at the store on Saturday. Jeremy Herron caught a 3 lb 1 oz rainbow from Elk Lake and his partner Marcel caught a 2 lb 15 oz rainbow trout. Peter Grant caught a 2 lb 14 oz rainbow trout at Langford Lake and Felix Viens landed a 2 lb 10 oz rainbow there as well. 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. Trollers are catching trout with Gibbs Gang Trolls and Gibbs Wedding Bands. 2" Tomic Plugs have also been working well for Trout.

BASS – Bass fishing is GOOD as the bass move into shallower water and approach spawning season. There have been many reports of the fishing picking up. Soft plastics rigged 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.

Notable Catches – Jeremy Herron caught a 3 lb 1 oz rainbow from Elk Lake and his partner Marcel caught a 2 lb 15 oz rainbow trout. Peter Grant caught a 2 lb 14 oz rainbow trout at Langford Lake and Felix Viens landed a 2 lb 10 oz rainbow there as well.

Fish Tip of the Week

Are you up to date on fishing regulations? Many anglers assume that the rules are the same from year to year but that's not the case. We've just started a new annual cycle and often hear of anglers being caught for not knowing the current regulations. Don't be one of these and review the current regulations before going on your next fishing adventure.