South Island Area Report

May in the southern Gulf Islands is quite possibly the best time to fish this area. We still have feeder fish (winter springs) in the mix. And the first wave of river-bound fish arrives with a bang. The prime area is the east side of Galiano, from Lions Islet to Porlier Pass. But remember to check the charts for RCA zones, as we have many. Fish can be found from 50 to 200 feet, so it’s a good time of year to run multiple rods and/or work the gear to search them out, like 4” glow spoons, four to five feet behind a flasher, glow hootchies and of course bait. Anchovies and small herring can often out-produce artificials this time of year. Trolling from Lions Islet to the Second Cable is a very productive tack. Remember to turn around if you hit fish, as they will hold in certain areas with the tide/current. Then from just above the RCA to Porlier Pass, sometimes inside tack; other days it pays to troll into the abyss and play with depths. Other areas to focus on are Pender Bluffs, between the two bird-stained rocks. East side of Mandarte, Coal Island, Hambley Point, and bottom end of Saturna Island/Tumbo Channel.

May is also the opening for bottom fish in these parts. Again, pay close attention to the RCA zones. Search out pinnacles on your charts and try to jig around slack tides for best results.

We are blessed with some incredible freshwater fishing on Salt Spring Island, with most lakes receiving annual stocking. Rainbows, cutthroat and smallmouth bass are all available. May is a great month to target all of the above. Saint Mary’s Lake and Cusheon Lake have smallmouth bass. These fish are up on their beds this time of year. So catch and release, as they are in spawning mode. Early morning and evening can be wicked top water times, popper flies or top water plugs can produce violent takes. During the day, crank baits and spinner baits worked through the shallows produce well. For trout, trolled leach flies, spinners and small spoons will work. For the purist fly fishermen, try Weston Lake; some trophy trout can be fooled with damsel nymph patterns, dragonfly nymphs and stickleback flies. A great lake to take the kids is Stowel. It’s a small lake, with plenty of hungry fish.

May is a great time around these parts. From saltwater salmon to chunky smallmouth bass, we’ve got something for everyone.

Sean Hart
(250) 266-1581
[email protected]

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