Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED MAY 29, 2017.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For June 2017 From: Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney, Langford, Elk Lake, Prospect Lake, Sooke, Pedder Bay, Becher Bay, Lake Cowichan, Port Renfrew, Nitinat Lake, Nitinat River, Harris Creek, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Duncan, Chemainus Lake, Salt Spring Island, St. Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Nanaimo, Quennell Lake (Cedar), French Creek, Parksville,Qualicum Beach, Spider Lake, Cameron Lake, Nile Creek, Courtenay / Comox, Oyster River, Campbell River, Gold River, Oyster River, Salmon River, Port Alberni,  Bamfield, Ucluelet, Tofino, Barkley Sound, Nootka Sound, Moutcha Bay, Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet, Port Hardy.


The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) asks the public to report suspicious fishing activities by contacting your nearest DFO office, or by anonymously calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477),, or by texting TIP190 and your message to 274637 (crimes).


The Government of Canada is inviting Canadians to join in a conversation about the protections needed to ensure our fish have a healthy environment to live, feed and reproduce, and healthy corridors to migrate between these places.

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the launch of an online public consultation to seek Canadians’ views on recent changes to the Fisheries Act.

This online public consultation is part of the Government’s Review of Environmental and Regulatory Processes.

Canadians can share their views and have their voices heard by visiting :

Quick Facts

- The Fisheries Act gives the government the powers to manage Canadian fisheries and to protect habitat that supports them. It is an essential tool to conserving the sustainability of our fisheries.

- Gaining royal assent in 1868, the Fisheries Act is one of Canada’s oldest pieces of federal legislation. It was most recently amended in 2012. This current consultation is seeking Canadian’s views on whether any lost protections from the latest amendment should be restored.



Saltwater – BECHER BAY – 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 lb. 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 effective. For flashers, the red glow Hot Spot, lemon lime and green/glow Hot Spot.

PEDDER BAY – Most anglers are using artificial lures, trolling close to the bottom, but anchovies are also producing. Spoons, especially G-Force, Skinny G and AP Tackleworks spoons in Outfitters’, Bon Chovy or No Bananas colours, have been effective. Hootchies and squirts with green and glow combinations have been good plastic baits. Good teaser head colours are UV green, chartreuse, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. Flashers that are popular include the Hot Spot red/glow, lemon-lime and Madi.

Halibut as large as 77 lb. were seen at the marina. Most anglers 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 – Constance Bank was the best area when the tides and currents weren’t ripping. Hatchery springs up to 10 lb. were caught on the bank. Along the waterfront the salmon fishing has been slow. However, the lingcod fishing has been coming on. The best lingcod area is around the breakwater. Bob Deslippe landed a 38 lb. 3 oz. lingcod off the waterfront. Best areas for salmon have been Albert Head, Brotchie Ledge and Clover Point. Your lure should be close to the bottom when trolling 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 hook-ups. Like elsewhere, needlefish are the predominant feed right now.

Halibut have been fairly deep; depths of over 250 feet have been the most productive.

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 there recently. The salmon are feeding on needlefish and have been at depths from 65 to 145 feet, depending on where the feed is located. Most 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 and green, or white glow. Good jigging lures have been Point Wilson Darts and the Delta Mac Fish.

HALIBUT – Most anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait.

SIDNEY - Anglers are getting springs throughout the area. John Bond did really well jigging by the Powder Wharf. He 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 ones. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers of fish.

In the Sidney area, the new daily limit is two chinook salmon per day of which only one chinook may be greater than 67 cm. The minimum size for chinook salmon in these waters is 62 cm.

Freshwater - 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 casting Woolly 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 in May.

BASS - There have been many reports of good catches of fish as large as 6 lb. Soft plastics rigged Carolina style and crank baits are working well. The most productive colours in 4" Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed.

Langford, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Marys Lake on Salt Spring Island also has great bass fishing.

There is no longer a closed season for bass retention on the Island.

Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,

Victoria, ph: 475-4969



Salmon fishing was a little slow but is now starting to pick up. Otter Point, Secretary Island and Trap Shack have been productive on the flood tide. On the ebb tide try Possession Point and Muir Creek.

Fishing depths have ranged from 40 ft. to 90 ft. I find 70 ft. to be the most productive. Six or 5’1/2" anchovies have been working great with green and silver Betsy, Purple Haze or Bloody Nose teaser heads. For flashers try OK’i silver or gold Betsy, Purple Haze, glow red or purple glow Hotspot. For spoons try speckleback chartreuse and green glow Coho Killers, Cop Car, glow and green glow Coyote.

On the halibut side Jordan River and Race Rocks has still been good but dogfish have been showing up so bring lots of bait. Good catches of halibut using herring, salmon bellies, and sardines.

A reminder to always keep updated with DFO fisheries regulations, especially on salmon retention sizes that can change week by week.

Until next time happy faces and tight lines. Al Kennedy,

Reel Excitement Salmon Charters





Saltwater - Port Renfrew - Fishing for halibut is good with some nice size fish. Get an updated weather forecast before going out to the banks. Berkley 8" Power Grub or jumbo herring. Try bouncing bottom to kick up silt and draw them in with glow jigs tipped with octopus, squid and saury.

Salmon fishing: lots of small feeder chinook (5 to 12 lb.) being caught. Try glow flashers with Bloody Nose teaser heads and tiny anchovy.

The bulk of the bait fish seems to be needle fish which Gibbs Skinny G'S and Needle Fish spoons copy perfectly.

Freshwater - . Cowichan Lake - Fishing is coming on strong! Trolling with 3" Tomics in the new iridescent colours (dark days dark plugs, bright days bright plugs) are very effective. Rig your rod with a good chain swivel and a leader the length of your rod. Try the plug at the side of your boat before you let the line out. You want to be trolling fast enough that your plug kicks from side to side. Once you have your trolling speed perfect then let the line out 100 to 150 ft. Experiment with different amounts of weight. Also popular right now are the green rainbow Gang Trolls with black (because of ant hatches) Wedding Bands tipped with worm. No boat no problem. Fishing at the creek mouths with eggs, paste, worms or roe on the bottom with a Corky rig by far the fastest action. Producing mainly rainbows with the odd lunker cutthroat. .

Cowichan River - After that cold spring it’s finally warming up and trout fishing has been fantastic. Every afternoon there has been great hatches of March brown, Mays, tent caddis and quite often flying ants. Stripping minnows or buggers producing large browns, rainbows and the occasional cuttthroat. When things slow down fishing with bead head Prince Nymphs will always produce rainbows in the riffles.

Local Lakes - Kissinger and Lizard to the west, Quamichan and Somenos to the east, Fuller and Chemainus to the north, Dougan and Shawnigan to the south. (So many good lakes, where to go?) All producing well. Early or late day best for bait fishing from the shore. Hot bait - Powerbait Mice Tails.

Fly fishing - Nymphs (Prince Nymph) damsels or dragons. Small Doc Spratleys. Dries: Tom Thumbs, caddis or Mays. June is damsel month, fish these nymphs casting out with a floating line. Slow strip towards shore. This can produce teeth jarring strikes. A wet line with a slow troll and a small Doc Spratley will always produce fish.

Trollers - Try smaller gang trolls with Flatfish size F4 - or Wedding Band topped with bait, or a small black fly.

Bass fishing - Hot! June is the best month of the year. The larger males will be guarding their nest at this time. They will attack any intruding lure. Large Woolly Buggers or dragons, crank baits, tube baits, spinner baits all work well. Even though we no longer have to release bass during spawning season, we want to keep this great fishery. Please release bass quickly and close to where you hooked them. Once they are removed from their nest their eggs or fry are very vulnerable.

May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear.

Gord March,

Gord’s Fly Box & Goodies

170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742


Lake Cowichan



Saltwater - Salmon fishing has been good out front, at the Fingers, Entrance Island, and all the way down to Porlier Pass.

Most guys have been using 3-/12 inch spoons in Irish Cream, Homeland Security, Cop Car and Army Truck finishes. Also effective are small anchovies in green glow teaser heads.

The salmon are mostly teens, 12-15 lb. with a few up around 20 lb. Depths are 150-180 feet.

There’s been lots of algae in the waters all around Nanaimo. This bloom is gumming up everybody’s gear.

June should bring in more and bigger chinooks, with good results on the same types of gear and depths.

Halibut, lingcod and rockfish are open, and the odd one ling been caught.

Freshwater - All the stocked lakes are starting to pick up with the warmer weather. Most successful trout fishers are using Power bait and Pautzke Eggs. Trollers do well with a Flatfish.

Fly fishers go deep with sinking line and wet flies - local favorites like the Pumpkinhead Wooly Bugger, but watch for ant and insect hatches to match.

The 18th Annual bass derby will be held Father’s Day, June 18 at Zuiderzee Campsites on Quennell Lake

Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726



Bring on the salmon! For a lot of fisherman June is when the salt chuck adventures start. Now is the time to look over the fishing gear before your first trip. Replace old monofilament mainlines, tie new leaders on your lucky lures, sharpen hooks, and shine up your flashers. You should be set now, spend your time on the water fishing and not fixing!

Chinook salmon fishing has really picked up this May. We are seeing good returns of migratory chinooks moving through Georgia Strait and taking advantage of our abundant herring. Hopefully this will continue.

On a recent outing we even witnessed some humpback whales!

Coho salmon usually start to show up in Area 14 in early June. Last year we saw a good return of coho, hopefully this year will be even better. We'll see more pink salmon this year too, as the big returns occur on odd years. When targeting coho or pink salmon it's really quite simple, use your go-to chinook gear and bring one side up to 70'-90' on the downrigger. I have caught coho and pink salmon trolling as deep as 200' on the downrigger, but generally they're more abundant in the 120' range and shallower in our waters. Try using a black/white spoon (60" leader) with a green/silver flasher, or Army Truck hootchie (42" leader) with a red/silver flasher.

One of the better areas for coho and pink salmon can be right Out Front of the French Creek Harbour, making it accessible, and small boat friendly.

Area 14 coho size limit is 12", two hatchery (adipose fin missing) per angler/day. Coho are open June 1-December 31. No word yet on wild coho retention for 2017 in Area 14. Pink salmon size limit is also 12", four per angler/day. It's a good idea to check with Department Of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on limits for the area you'll be fishing prior to heading out.

Practice safe releasing methods. Keeping salmon in the water and using a gaff or pliers to get the hook out gives the fish a better chance at survival. Try to avoid netting the fish and having it flop around in the boat losing scales, only to discover it needs to be released. With a little practice you can release salmon with relatively little harm done to them.

Coho and pink salmon fishing can be a great way for young anglers and families to be introduced to our great sport. Lots of hook-ups and action will keep everyone's interest level high!

Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,

(250) 951-5927



 After a long cold wet spring it is the time to prepare your equipment and boat for the season.

Fry patterns in rivers work well representing young pink and chum that are dropping downstream to begin their short lives at sea, where they will feed voraciously, before returning to the rivers. Survival rates are low with only two to three percent making it back to spawn.

Essential fly patterns for river or estuary mouth are beadhead rolled muddlers, brown or epoxy minnows and Micky Finns. Fish them on a sink tip line or attach a sinking polyleader to a floating line to get down to where the cutthroats will be lying. You should also carry some prince and pheasant tail nymph’s and stoneflies.

The Little Qualicum river has produced some fine cutthroats recently and also the occasional steelhead. Right now the river is only open below the hatchery down to the sea but the upper river opens June 1. The ability to roll cast is a definite advantage on this river because there are so many places where a conventional backcast is not possible because of overhanging bushes and trees. It helps if you have a fly line with a short head. Many lines will make it difficult to roll cast especially if you are making quite short casts. Call into the store if you need advice.

Early summer trout fishing on Vancouver Island rivers is a wonderful experience and there are many opportunities to find wild fish in fantastic scenery. Please be aware that it is mandatory to release all wild trout caught in Island rivers or streams.

LAKES - Fishing has been good as the lakes warm up and fish become more active. Spider Lake has been stocked and chironomids have been successful. There are many wilderness lakes to explore with both stocked and wild fish.

SALTWATER - Fishing for boat anglers continues to be good. Consistent catches of 8 - 15 lb. chinook are normal with some 20+ lb. salmon. Fish are being caught deep but I have heard reports of some good fish being caught jigging in 60 ft. of water.

Whether you fish fly, gear or saltwater we have the right tackle and advice to help.

Tight Lines Keith Hyett,

Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,



Saltwater - At this point there is no sockeye salmon season but there is still hope that it might change. The last time DFO predicted a run this low it turned out to be a great run.

Chinook salmon fishing looks like it will be another good year in Barkley Sound. Hot spots have been Vernon Bay, Pill Point and on the outside along the Bamfield Wall, with a mixture of early returning salmon near the outside and feeder springs. Anglers are doing well with needlefish hootches and Gibbs Skinny Gs right off the bottom.

Halibut fishing has been good when the weather allows you to get out. Lingcod and other bottom fish have been good too on the inside waters, Great Bear Rock and Swale.

Freshwater - It has been a late start to trout fishing with the cold spring, but all the lakes that you can get to have been good. With the bit of warmer weather we should get some ant hatches to trigger the bite. In the river you can expect that some steelhead will show up in early June. The upper Stamp River is open and should be good for trout fishing.

Good luck. Gone Fishin’

4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,

ph: 250-723-1172



June might be the best kept secret in Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound because most fishers think only about the federal hatchery chinook runs that arrive in early July and extends well into August. There is a lot more to this fishery than the great Conuma chinook run.

In June at the mouth of each inlet/sound are large schools of traveling springs feeding on massive bait balls. These sandlance/needlefish start showing up in late May and linger into July. With that much bait the salmon transiting stop to rest and feed.

In Esperanza, Low Rock to Halftide Reef is an excellent troll, Blind Reef which often is called The Pins is a great spot for these holding/feeding chinook. The world famous Ferrer Pt. is second to none for large schools of salmon resting and feeding. If you are a newbie at Ferrer stop and watch the other boats that will be there before you start your troll. As in many places there is a protocol. Usually the fish are inside Ferrer near the contours and kelp beds of the NW Cone and it’s a counter clockwise trolling pattern. Remember you are fishing one of the best spots on all of West Coast Vancouver Island so the action is usually fast and productive so when you hook up pull out of the pattern if possible.

In Nootka, Beano Creek holds salmon at the tip of the reef at the creek and out front of the caves just off the kelp. Maquinna Pt to San Miguel is another excellent troll. Look at your chart or GPS and you will see a narrow trough (approx. 40 m/120 ft. deep) that runs from off shore in, get in it, the fish are usually 60-90 ft. down. Watch your sounder, you will see the bait fish, 10 ft. above the bait. Then hold - Fish on.

Bait - keep it small 4-5" spoons/lures - CJ Needle Fish lures, Coyote as well as Tomic, Titan, Coho Killers Spoons. Colours glow/green, glow Army Truck, green Image or Envy.

Hootchies - Yamashita /Goldstar, Lighthouse LED, Yo-Zuri, North Pacific, Jensen Flash Fly; much the same colours as spoons, all with variations of glow or double glow, splatter green, Speckled Turds, Confetti, Oil Slick glow. As always the best bait is what all the above are imitating. Yes a 5" anchovy in an Anchovy Special, Bulletroll or Krippled head. This will roll perfectly at 2-3 mph behind your favourite flasher and usually out-fish the imitations.

Let us not forget the outstanding bottom fishing in the area for halibut, lingcod and much more

Stop by the Westview Marina tackle shop and we will get out the chart and GPS coordinates to the local hot spots for you. Preferred gear: Lighthouse LED 9" Flash Green, the new 10" Supper Tuf Glo swim baits and Triple Glo B2 Squid 12 oz.

John Falavolito Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis

800 992 3252

N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5

Successfully serving the Fishing Pubic for 24 yrs.



Saltwater - There have been 20+ lb. chinooks caught on Goldstar Koho Killer spoons. As always, any spoon with a chartreuse and white glow pattern will be productive. If early indications can be trusted, Kitty Coleman will be a hot spot once the weather settles down. Gibbs Moon Jelly flashers paired with a pistachio or B-52 hootchie should work well.

Anchovy in a teaser head should never be counted out, even when dogfish make them challenging to troll. To avoid this pesky fish increase your trolling speed so only feeding salmon will be enticed.

Freshwater - Lake fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout is in its prime. Multiple insect hatches are occurring making this an ideal time to try Mayfly and Hare's Ear Nymph patterns. If you are gear fishing try a bronze fire-stripe Krocodile spoon, Rooster Tail spinners or Panther Martin spinners. In lakes that allow the use of bait such as Maple and Wolf Lake, use a worm with a bobber. Orange Powerbait just off the bottom can also be effective. As the months get warmer the fish will retreat into deeper water so a float tube or small boat will be advantageous.

Nicole, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942



Saltwater - Salmon fishing is really heating up in Campbell River as schools of herring are finding their way into nearby waters and bringing hungry salmon with them. Good catches are happening in the Green Can and Hump area and continuing across to the Cortes bell buoy. Great fishing can be had trolling the drop offs on both sides. Sandlance and Peetz spoons are bringing in more than their share, with many teen size chinook caught and a few lower 20s as well. The Blue Meanie hootchie and the Durabait needlefish or anchovy rig are also producing in the Green Can area. Salmon jiggers are showing good results off the Hump with 6 oz. Point Wilson Dart candlefish jigs, and also picking up a nice by-catch of lingcod and the occasional halibut. Shelter Point and areas to the south have been good and continue right on down into the Bates Beach and Kitty Coleman Hump.

Prawning results have been very encouraging this year with stronger catches reported than at the same time last year. A good mixture of Carlyle Just Tuna and Tyee Marine ultimate pellets give you the best results. Depths of 350-400 feet seem to be giving the best yield, especially if you are using a line anchor or weight to keep your traps in place and fishing properly.

Great ling and snapper fishing in all the regular spots north of Seymour Narrows and to points beyond. White or glow/chrome Point Wilson Dart jigs and 12 or 16 oz. jigheads with Durabait tails are working extremely well.

Roger, Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,

Campbell River, 250-287-2641



Halibut - There’s a few fish up top, a bit of a run north. June usually produces really good catches of halibut.

There’s small spring salmon, feeders, and lots of bait in the area - it was a good year for herring. Everything has been running late. We’re still expecting that run of big, 30-40 lb. white fleshed Columbia River chinooks in early June. Most years they’re here by the May 24 weekend. They always stop in Port Hardy waters to fatten up for about three weeks before moving south.

Try whole herring or anchovies in Castle Point Specials at 50-60 ft. Castle Point Specials are opaque purple and pearl (exclusive to The Bait Shack) developed here with Tom Davis.

Trout - The fishing is finally improving with the bit of warmer weather triggering some bug hatches. Troll black and silver or blue and silver Flatfish in Alice and Victoria lakes. Fly fishers can alternate between Woolly Buggers and dry flies.

Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982

Jasmine from Campbell River caught her very first fish (at Point Holmes) on her pink Barbie rod with a blue BuzzBomb. She was persistent in wearing her pink princess dress to match her rod.



In the spring when it’s time to buy your fishing licenses there will be some changes. Non-tidal licenses will remain available from your fishing tackle store as well as the BC government website. Tidal licenses however will no longer be for sale at any store, they will only be available on-line for 2014.

As an attempt to go green by using less paper the federal government will no longer print blank licenses. Anglers, however, will have to print the on-line license and carry it with them when fishing.

The federal government will also stop offering vendors any incentive to sell  licenses. Previously tackle shop owners earned one dollar for each license sold. Not exactly a high profit margin, but a bit of compensation for their time. So the federal government will save money by not printing licenses and also by not sharing proceeds with stores. Also going into extinction are printed tidal waters regulations booklets. The government is banking on anglers carrying smart phones to check regulations wherever they are fishing.

Many tourists will be caught unprepared, and possibly find themselves paying fines for fishing without a license and without a clear idea of fishing regulations.

To buy your tidal waters fishing license on-line click here.


Be bear aware

A biological drive to put on weight for a long winter has B.C.’s bears on the move, seeking out the calories they need before heading to their dens.

In their desperation to get enough food, bears can get aggressive, especially in areas close to human habitat. That’s when most bear-human conflicts occur. If you’re fishing Island rivers there’s a chance you may encounter bears drawn to the same shores.

Bears have an incredible sense of smell. They can zero in on food from miles away and can be single-minded to get at that food. For a bear, food comes in many forms, including garbage and over-ripe fruit in residential areas.

Every bear encounter is unique so there are no steadfast rules.

If you meet a bear in the wild try to remain calm. Never approach or chase a bear; face the bear without making eye contact, back away slowly. Take the same route out that you came in. Try to keep track of the bear, but again, don't challenge the bear with eye contact.

If the bear makes blowing or snorting noises and then charges and veers off at the last second this is likely defensive behavior so continue to back away.Extend your arms above your head appearing as large as you can, talk in a gruff voice, look for a weapon such as a rock or stick. Drop your pack to distract the bear; only do this if absolutely necessary because the bear could learn to pursue people for their packs.

Climb a tree as a last resort.

If a bear is persistent or aggressive, call the Report Poachers and Polluters hotline 1- 877-952-7277, or surf to

For more information about bears and bear-human conflicts, visit:



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