03/08/16 Vancouver Island Fishing Report

Fishing Report for Week Ending March 6, 2016

SALTWATER

OVERVIEW – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week when it wasn’t too windy. Most of the salmon are still on the small size, however, there were some larger salmon into the low 20’s caught this past week. Halibut fishing was GOOD early in the week.

Subject: FN0110-Recreational – Salmon – Chinook – Areas 19 and 20: Fishery Management Actions in effect to 23:59 hours Friday, June 17, 2016 Waters:  Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subarea 20-5 (those waters near Victoria between Cadboro Pt to Sheringham Pt.). Management measure: You may retain two (2) chinook salmon per day.  These chinooks may be either- Wild or hatchery marked between 45 cm and 67 cm; or- Hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in length. – The minimum size limit in these waters is 45 cm in length. Management actions after June 17 will be announced in a second fishery notice.  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); or B) Visit our web page http://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm to find applicable fishery notices; or C) Follow our sport fishing Twitter account https://twitter.com/sportfishingbc Visit our facebook page to see reports, news and videos by our guides and staff from their most recent trips. 

SOOKE – The salmon fishing was FAIR for winter springs this past week. There are lots of small springs off Sooke right now but there is the occasional larger fish. Anchovies have been the top bait recently, especially with glow teaser heads. The 3”-4” Coyote, Gypsy and G-Force spoons, as well as hoochies, are also top choices for Sooke anglers in the winter months. Good colors have been Outfitters, Irish Cream and No Bananas. Hoochies in White Glow, Army Truck and Tiger Prawn have been catching their fair number of fish. The most popular flashers recently have been the Purple Onion, the Gibbs Outfitter and the Lemon Lime.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD for anglers in East Sooke. Anglers were catching springs as large as 17.5 lbs in the bay. It has been best between Lamb Island and Fraser Island. There have also been reports of springs caught by the Trap Shack and in Whirl Bay, but those were smaller fish. Anglers have been successful with all types of gear. Anchovies in glow teaser heads have been very effective. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in Cop Car, Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were also effective. For flashers, the Madi, Lemon Lime and Purple Onion have been good. Some halibut up to 50 lbs were also brought back to the marina.

PEDDER BAY –Salmon fishing was GOOD, just like last week. There were lots of springs at the entrance to the bay. The anglers are fishing close to the bottom and often bouncing the downrigger balls on the bottom, in 120-150 feet of water. There is still a lot of bait right inside the bay. Small spoons, such as the G-Force, Coyote and Gypsy, in the glow and/or any bright colours were very effective. Hootchies and squirts also produced well. Flashers that remain popular include Glow green, Lemon-Lime and Purple Onion. And you can’t go wrong fishing anchovies in a Bloody Nose teaser.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was VERY GOOD this past weekend week. Best areas were Race Rocks, William Head, 27 Fathom reef and Constance Bank. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was FAIR off Victoria. The fish were plentiful Constance Bank and near Albert Head (on the pinnacles). Most of the salmon are still not very large in size. The inside of the harbour has also produced some better springs and Brotchie Ledge to Ross Bay has also produced some fish. Spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze have been the most popular colors for teaser heads. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and White Glow. Coho Killers, AP Needlefish, G Force and Coyote spoons in Green Splatterback, Moon Glow and Cop Car colours have also been good. The Purple Onion, Lemon Lime and Madi have been effective lately. Herring fishing in the Gorge has been good this past week.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was VERY GOOD over the weekend. We heard on 18 halibut seen at the Esquimalt ramp one day this past weekend. There were quite a few halibut taken at Constance Bank and near Albert Head. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. The Flats have been holding some nice fish recently for those trolling close to the bottom. It’s been best in 100-140 depths. Good lures have been Green Splatterback Coho Killers, Skinny G spoons and APT Needlefish spoons.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was GOOD this past weekend. Nick Hui brought in a 51.9 lb halibut from Oak Bay for 4th place on our leader board. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

Greg Baynton and friend with a 10 lb Chinook at Coal Island

SIDNEY– Salmon fishing was FAIR near Sidney. Coal Island and near the Red Can by Sidney Spit were the hot spots for salmon this past week. The majority of the winter springs caught recently have been short of the minimum size for retention and most areas have some fish. Most anglers are fishing using anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and Gold Nugget. Sidney Anglers held their Halibut Derby this past weekend. Steve Cote won the derby with a 43.15 lb halibut caught near D’Arcy Island in  240 feet of water. Only one halibut was caught during the derby. We do know that a huge “barndoor” halibut was caught and released this past weekend close to Sidney. 

Notable Catches – Steve Cote won the Sidney Anglers’ derby with a 43.15 lb halibut caught near Sidney. Nick Hui brought in a 51.9 lb halibut from Oak Bay.

Please send photos (in jpeg format) and descriptions of your notable catch to our email info@fishingvictoria.com  

 

FRESHWATER

OVERVIEW – Fishing is PICKING UP in most lakes. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake, where the fishing has been good for these large trout. Steelheading has been good in most Island rivers.

COWICHAN RIVER – The River has been rising all week. The water level at the lake today was at 2.2 meters and near Duncan at 1.85 meters. The water clarity has been good. There is a dangerous sweeper above the Skutz Fall pull out and another one above the Bible Camp. One boat was lost recently, but fortunately no lives were lost. Anglers have been catching lots steelhead and the occasional brown trout in the Riverbottom area, mostly from drift boats. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin ‘n Glo’s, Beads and yarn, Gooey Bobs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Spoons can also be a great lure in these conditions. We’ve also heard of some fly anglers hooking up with steelhead too. Fly fishing at the top end of the river has been good.

TROUT – Trout fishing was PICKING UP on most lakes in the South Island area. Cowichan Lake has produced some large cutthroat trout for those trolling 3” plugs, but that is strictly a catch and release fishery for large trout. Shore anglers at local lakes are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and close to the bottom. Orange Garlic and Pink Garlic have been good choices recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers are catching trout with Gibbs Gang Trolls and Gibbs Wedding Bands. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers in rainbow, green or black and white patterns. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, Black with Silver Flake or Rainbow Pattern.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has started their spring releases of catchable rainbow trout from the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery. On February 29th, Prospect Lake received 2,000 trout, Thetis Lake received 1,000 trout and Glen Lake received 500 trout with an average size of 222 grams. On March 3rd, Elk Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbows and Shawnigan Lake received 1,950 trout averaging 232 grams.

BASS – Bass fishing is VERY SLOW. Fishing drop shot style is your best bet now. Soft plastics rigged “Carolina Style “are also a good choice when fishing the bottom, drop offs and reefs, and have been most productive in 4” Smoke or Pumpkinseed Yum baits. 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 info@fishingvictoria.com

 

FISH TIP OF THE WEEK 

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. 

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