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South Vancouver Island BC Fishing Report

By Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters Sportfishing Centre | Last updated: April 25th, 2018

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Chinook salmon fishing around Victoria BC

The Chinook fishing was FAIR around the south Island with most of the Chinooks running from 3 to 18 lbs in size. Halibut fishing was FAIR during the Just for the Halibut Derby.

We held our 22nd Annual Island Outfitters Just for the halibut derby this past weekend. The weather was miserable on Saturday, and only three halibut were caught and entered in the derby. Fortunately, Sunday was the complete opposite weather wise and 60 halibut went onto the scale. The winner of $7,500 in hundred dollar bills was Al Motiuk who landed a 114.99 cm halibut that weighed 48.5 lbs. the fish was caught fishing in Sooke! Second place, and $2,500 in hundred dollar bills, went to Brandon Alexander for a 44.3 lb halibut. Brandon was fishing with Island Outfitters Guide Zane Hyrsko in the Mud Hole. Third place went to Bill Day who caught a 42.9 lb halibut at Border Bank. Bill took home $1,000 in hundred dollar bills as his prize. We will have a full write up on our web page a little later this week.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing was GOOD on Sunday. Most of the fish are from 3 to 8 lbs in size with the occasional larger one to 18 lbs. The winter springs were spread out throughout the Sooke area. Most of the salmon are close to the bottom in 100 – 140 feet of water but there are some at mid water depths. Spoons such as Skinny G's, Coho Killers and 3.5″ G Force spoons have been good. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. Anchovies are still the most popular choice for those fishing bait. Good choices for teaser head colors are Army Truck, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. For flashers, Red/Glow Hot Spots, the Delta Guide Series UV Moon Jelly, Madi and the Lemon Lime Chartreuse are popular. There were a few halibut caught this past weekend.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. Most of the fish were caught near the Bedford islands and Whirl Bay. The fish have not been too large this past week with the larger ones topping out in the low teens. Anglers are fishing close to the bottom in 100 to 140 depths. The majority of anglers are using spoons with Coho Killers, Gibbs Skinny G's in green/glow and green/silver colors the favorites. The GIBBS Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, Madi, Lemon Lime and Red/Glow Hot Spot flashers have been working well. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits.

PEDDER BAY – Pedder Bay Marina reports FAIR salmon fishing. The majority of the salmon have been from 3 to 6 lbs in size but some larger ones up to 14 lbs were caught. It's picked up at Whirl Bay but was slower inside Pedder Bay. Most of the fish have been caught close to the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water. Squirts were the hot lures again this past week with a green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good color choices. Spoons have been producing the best and the Skinny G's, Wee G's, AP Tackleworks and Coho Killers are the top choices. Green with either silver or glow has been the color choice in spoons. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Outfitters and Lemon Lime.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past Sunday. East Race and William Head were the most productive spots.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was GOOD off Constance Bank this past week when the winds weren't too blustery. Most of the fish are still small, from 3 to 6 lbs in size, but some larger hatchery springs into the high teens have been caught off the waterfront. In closer, there were springs from Brotchie Ledge to Trial Island, just not too many. The best depths to fish were 90-140 feet but we've heard of some larger fish being caught at mid-water depths. Spoons have been successful in getting hook ups with Irish Cream Skinny G's, Green/Glow AP Tackleworks Anchovy 4" spoons and Green/Glow Coyote spoons popular choices. Most of the boats out fishing were not after salmon this past weekend as the emphasis was on halibut.

HALIBUT – Fishing was GOOD for halibut this past Sunday. Constance Bank, the Mud Hole and Albert Head produced a few in the derby.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing is FAIR in Oak Bay. There are salmon coming in from the Flats but not lots of them. It was slow around the Gap. Most of the salmon have been on the small side, but some nicer ones to 18 lbs were caught on Sunday. Martha George landed an 18 lb hatchery spring on the Flats and is now in second place on our Leader Board. She was using an AP Tackleworks "Chatham" Sandlance spoon. The salmon are feeding on needle fish and close to the bottom where the feed is located. Most of the anglers have been either bottom bouncing squirts and spoons or jigging close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay trolling lures are Wee Gs, Coho Killers and AP Tackleworks spoons. Squirts will also work with Jelly fish and Electric Chairs good bets. Jiggers are doing best with Deep Stingers and Point Wilson darts.

HALIBUT – Fishing was FAIR for halibut on Sunday. Border Bank was where most of the halibut were caught.

SIDNEY – Salmon fishing was FAIR in the Sidney area. That said, the largest spring salmon of the week on the south Island came from Sidney waters. Laura Harris caught a 21 lb spring near Saanichton. Laura was using Tiny Strip in a glow white teaser head. There were springs being caught near Pender Island at the 120 foot contour. It was fairly slow around Coal Island. Anglers using spoons found that APT Sandlance spoons, Coho Killers and Gibbs and Needle G spoons the most productive this past week. Suggested colours are Kitchen Sink and Irish Cream. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers of fish with teaser heads in Glow or UV Purple.

Notable Catches – Martha George landed an 18 lb hatchery spring on the Flats. Laura Harris caught a 21 lb spring near Saanichton. Laura was using Tiny Strip in a glow white teaser head.


OVERVIEW – Fishing was PICKING UP in most lakes for trout and bass and the steelhead fishing is pretty over.

COWICHAN RIVER – The water level has been dropping all week, but it is still high. Near the lake the water level is at 1.41 meters and near Duncan it's at 1.22 meters. There are very few steelhead in the river now and most of the fish are kelts. Fishing for trout in the upper river has been picking up. Some warm weather should really increase the trout activity.

TROUT – Trout fishing has been PICKING UP for trout to at the local lakes due to the recent trout stockings and as the water temperatures warm up. 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 fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Muddler Minnow patterns on full sink fly lines most of the time to get into the lower water levels. There have been some chironomid hatches too. 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.

BASS – Bass fishing is PICKING UP on Island lakes. Most lakes are starting to produce as larger fish are moving into the shallows pre spawning. During the day, spinner baits and crank baits are working well at times. Soft plastics rigged "Texas Style" are also a good choice when fishing drop offs and deeper structure. The most productive colors in 4" Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can also be very effective this time of year. 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.

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.

Big jigs are a very effective way to catch halibut as most anglers know. You can improve your jigs by adding Berkeley GULP or Powerbait to your lures. The large size and scent of this attractants should increase your hookups on the big flatfish.