OVERVIEW – Fishing was SLOWER for winter springs with hatchery fish up to 14 lbs. Halibut fishing was GOOD this past week. The recent weather has still kept many anglers off the water.
For the latest details on recreational fishery openings and closures in your area:
- A) Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line);
- B) Visit our web page http://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm to find applicable fishery notices; or
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SOOKE – The salmon fishing has been FAIR for springs. Most of the fish are running from 5 to 12 lbs in size. The best fishing has been in 110 to 150 feet of water. The salmon are holding close to the bottom so you have to troll deep. Most of the anglers are using artificial lures but the largest fish have been caught on herring or anchovies. There are large herring in the area and the bigger fish are keying in on them. The top spoons for Sooke anglers have lots of green, glow 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.
BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. The best fishing has been near Frazer Island and Aldridge Point. Church Rock produced a few springs up to 10 lbs. Most of the anglers are using artificial lures and are trolling close to the bottom. Spoons, especially G-Force and Skinny G spoons, in Bon Chovy or Outfitters’ colours have been very effective. Anglers using bait are catching their share of salmon and are finding anchovies in glow teaser heads have been working best. For flashers, the Betsey, Lemon Lime and Green/Silver Hot Spot have been good.
PEDDER BAY – Pedder Bay Marina reports FAIR salmon fishing for winter springs up to 14 lbs in size. The largest fish of the weekend, at 14 lbs, was caught near the can at the entrance to the bay. The fishing was similar in Whirl Bay and the largest salmon that we know of from there weighed 10 lbs. 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 and Skinny G spoons in Brass/Silver, Bon Chovy or Outfitters’ 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 Betsey, Lemon-Lime and Madi.
HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. On Saturday 6 halibut were counted between 18 boats and one of those boats had three! That’s a 22% success rate per boat. 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 wee as large as 12 lbs. Closer in, the 60 -140 foot depths have been best off the waterfront. Good areas have been the harbour entrance, Finlayson Point, Clover Point and Brotchie Ledge. Your lure should be close to the bottom when trolling off Victoria. The same depth and technique has been working well out at Constance Bank. Spoons have been very successful in getting hook ups. Green Spatter Back UV Coho Killers, 3.5” Cop Car spoons or AP Tackleworks herring spoons have brought good results.
HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. Constance Bank was the best location to fish. George Kahan brought in a 49.4 lb halibut using herring as bait. Mike McLean brought in a 48 lb halibut using salmon belly as bait. 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 FAIR recently. There are springs up to 12 lbs on the flats but the seals have been a problem here. Many of the local anglers are fishing at Constance and Border Bank, just to escape the seals. All of the anglers have been bottom bouncing or trolling 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. Some anglers have been having success jigging for the springs.
HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD with fish taking salmon heads, large herring and octopus in the 250 to 370 foot depths. Duane Sapelak of Fountain Tire caught a 68.9 lb halibut near Discovery using herring for bait. Sam Anderson caught a 58 lb halibut in Oak Bay on octopus and Jarek Malinowski a 51.7 lb halibut on herring near Discovery. 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 SLOW this past week. The best areas were Coal Island and the Sidney Channel. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackleworks spoons the most successful spoons this past year. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were the good producers of fish.
Notable Catches – Duane Sapelak of Fountain Tire caught a 68.9 lb halibut near Discovery using herring for bait. Sam Anderson caught a 58 lb halibut in Oak Bay on octopus and Jarek Malinowski a 51.7 lb halibut on herring near Discovery. George Kahan brought in a 49.4 lb halibut from Constance using herring as bait. Mike McLean brought in a 48 lb halibut, also from Constance, using salmon belly as bait.
Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email email@example.com
OVERVIEW – Fishing was PICKING UP in most lakes for trout and bass as water temperatures are slowly rising. Winter run steelhead are in most rivers on both sides of the Island. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has started their stocking of spring catchable rainbow trout into Vancouver Island lakes. On March 14th, Shawnigan Lake received 1,750 catchable trout weighing 242.6 grams. On March 10th, Thetis Lake received 1,500 trout and Colwood Lake 250 trout averaging 236.54 grams. On March 6th, Durrance Lake received 1,000 trout and Glen, Kemp and Matheson Lakes received 500 trout averaging 231.7 grams. On March 2nd, Elk Lake and Prospect Lake were each stocked with 1,750 trout weighing 238.82 grams each. To find out about 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 COWICHAN RIVER – The Cowichan River water level was rising again since Wednesday and is at 1.96 meters near the lake and 1.74 meters near Duncan today. There has been a slide at the Clay Bank pool and the river is discolored with low visibility downstream. There are steelhead in the river and some anglers are hooking up, but it has been slow with continuing cold water temperatures. The Riverbottom to Skutz falls area has been best for steelhead. Fishing for trout with egg patterns in the fly only area has been good.
TROUT – Trout fishing is SLOW on most lakes in the South Island area as the water temperatures are still low and the fish sluggish. 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 PICKING UP during the day. Soft plastics rigged Carolina style work best but deep diving crank baits work well too. The most productive colors in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Nick Skevington reported catching some nice bass while trolling in Elk lake with a short body, shad shaped, deep diving crank bait, one long cast length behind the boat at 2 – 2.5 mph in 14 – 20 feet of water. 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 – Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email firstname.lastname@example.org
FISH TIP OF THE WEEK
All fishing and hunting licenses expire at the end of this month! So be sure to get your new licenses before your next trip outdoors. There often are changes in the regulations, so take some time to read and review the regulations before going out and accidentally getting into trouble.
Get a jump on your fishing season by getting all your gear in order now, before you start fishing in earnest. Service your rods, reels, lures and downriggers so that you can get a jump on repairs and replacements before the stores get busy and the fish beckon. There will be some big spring sales soon and if you know what you need, you can really take advantage of them, buying what you need at bargain prices.
2017 Island Outfitters Leader Board
1) 68.9 lbs – Duane Sapelak – Discovery – Herring – March 24th
2) 58.0 lbs – Sam Anderson – Oak Bay – Octopus – March 23rd
3) 51.7 lbs – Jarek Malinowski – Discovery – Herring – March 24th
4) 49.4 lbs – George Kahan – Constance – Herring – March 24th
5) 48.0 lbs – Mike McLean – Constance – Salmon Belly – March 25th
1)1.11 lbs – Leia Bouchard – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 29th
2)1.10 lbs – Leia Bouchard – Langford Lake – Powerbait – January 29th
We are waiting for the first large salmon to be weighed in at the store.
Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with the free for fun and prizes Salmon, Trout and Halibut Leader Boards. Simply weigh your catch in at Island Outfitters and the top five fish in each category on December 31st win a special prize.
See our event pages for details on upcoming events at
We are having a garage sale in our parking lot on April 1st and 2nd Come and get some great bargains!
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