Find out what’s working and what’s not when fishing in the Victoria area on Southern Vancouver Island. Tips, best practices, places and the go-to lures are just a sample of what you’ll find in our fishing report.
Victoria Marine Map
Victoria Marine Weather Forecast
Victoria Fishing Report
September sees some of the biggest Chinook of the year pass right in front of the Victoria waterfront, so don’t winterize your boat quite yet. Fish the Victoria Breakwater down to the entrance of the Esquimalt Anglers Association in anywhere from 50′ to 100′ of water. All the usual Chinook gear will work, but my go-tos are the Betsy flasher and UV green Anchovy Teaser Head, along with the Madi flasher and glow white hoochie. As these springs get closer to spawning, bite times get shorter but more intense when they feed, so make sure to key in on tide and current changes.
There are also pinks and coho to be caught. While they can be caught anywhere, try out in the tide lines with There is also so great halibut fishing to be had in September. Try spots like Constance Bank, Albert Head, and William Head. pink hoochies and spoons. Try trolling faster for coho, and when you think you’re going fast enough, go faster.
There is also great halibut fishing to be had in September. Try spots like Constance Bank, Albert Head, and William Head. Target them in anywhere from 150′ to 300′ of water. Use salmon bellies, pink salmon heads, mackerel, or octopus. Make sure to check the currents before you go—anchoring in our area can be dangerous in some of our fast currents.
Get out on the water and enjoy September’s usually calm—but very productive—water.
The best time of year is upon us! August brings more diversity than any other month, so you can pick your target and focus on it or try for a little bit of everything. You can fish for Chinook salmon inshore at Oak Bay Flats, the Gap, Ten Mile Point, Clover Point, and even the Victoria Breakwater. White hoochies, Skinny G spoons, and anchovies are the tools of choice. Fish anywhere from 50′ to 150′ feet of water and you should be in the thick of things.
Pinks will bite anything, but especially small pink hoochies. Pink fishing is a great opportunity to get the kids into fishing. There will be lots of action, so they won’t get bored. Coho will be found mixed in with the pinks. Coho retention is hatchery only at the moment, so be careful while handling and releasing wild ones.
Halibut fishing remains strong if you can stay away from the dogfish. If the dogfish are bad, try Delta Big Eye Jigs or Hali Hawgs. Fish 250′ to 350′ of water.
Lingcod can be found on most pinnacles or edges. Gibbs power paddles in Herring Aid or glow will get them chomping!
Get out on the water and enjoy catching a wide variety of fish. It’s the best of times for coastal BC.
It’s salmon time in the Victoria/Oak Bay area. Most years, July is great fishing off the Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, 10-Mile Point, and Constance Bank. I find that jigging in these areas will often outproduce the trollers. Find the bait, stick with it, and fish on top of it using a needlefish pattern jig. Try from 21⁄2- to 5-oz jigs.
With today’s fish finders, you can actually watch the jig go right down to the depth of the bait and see where the fish are hanging. There’re nothing quite like feeling the bite of a big Chinook while you’re jigging! It’s an absolute ton of fun and something that anyone of any age and experience level can enjoy. The anticipation and the bite are both really exciting.
Try the Gap at the top of the flood tide, while Oak Bay flats is best on an ebb. If jigging isn’t your thing, troll your favourite pattern of Skinny G, Wee G, and Coho Killer behind a Madi or Lemon Lime flasher.
Bedsides Chinook, there should be plenty of pinks and coho to fish for. Try anywhere from a mile off Trial Island all the way out to the Canada/US border. At this time of year, try pink hoochies, or anything pink, really. Look for tide lines to follow, and cross over them. Pinks and coho will be anywhere from the surface to 120′ or deeper.
Tight lines and calm seas!
June means daylight comes early! It’s such a great time of year; you can be on the water at 4:30 a.m. before the birds even wake up! But you know what is awake? Hungry Chinook salmon off the Oak Bay Flats. There’s nothing better than being the first boat to roll up just as the sun is rising.
Needlefish will be boiling on the surface, and big Chinook will roll through until the sun is bright. Fish shallow for the first hour and troll the edges of all the bait balls. As the sun comes up, follow the bait and fish back down to bottom. Coho killers, Wee Gs, Skinny Gs, and needlefish hoochies are the go-to in Herring Aid, Bon Chovy, and No Bananas patterns fished behind a Bon Chovy or Betsy Flasher. Also, don’t be afraid to try anchovies if those lures aren’t working. I like to troll fast (3 mph) and cover ground, mostly in 90′ to 120′ of water and right on bottom after the first hour of daylight. If the flats aren’t producing, try areas like The Gap, Ten Mile Point, Clover, and Constance Bank
Jigging in these areas sometimes can outproduce trolling, and it’s just a great way to catch fish. There’s nothing quite like the surprise of a big Chinook hitting the jig when you least expect it. Find the bait and fish on your sounder, try needlefish pattern jigs, and it’ll be “Fish On!”
Tight lines and calm seas. See everyone on the water!
I hope everyone has their boat serviced, shined up, and ready to do some fishing! Let’s talk halibut and lingcod; it’s only fitting since lings open in our area on May 1.
First off, halibut! Halibut fishing will be in full swing now. There will be lots of halibut to be caught between Discovery Island all the way to Race Rocks, Oak Bay Flats, Border Bank, Constance Bank, Albert Head, and William Head. Try anywhere from 200′ to 350′ of water. Use a spreader bar with 2-lb ball setup with a 2′ to 3′ leader and herring, mackerel, salmon bellies, or octopus.
If the dogfish get really bad, try a Gibbs Big Eye jig or Hali Hawg with no bait added. Stay in one spot through a whole tide, and if you don’t get anything, try another ledge or pinnacle.
Now for lingcod and rockfish: Find rocky pinnacles and drift from the top down the edge till you hit the bottom, and repeat. Try jigs, herring on a spreader bar, or my personal favourite, a Gibbs Power Paddle. I fish the paddles two different ways: One is to drop to the bottom and jig down the pinnacle, and the other is to troll with them right close to the bottom. Over the last few years, I have found trolling for lingcod and rockfish to be very successful.
Feel free to message or call for any info you might need on our area.
Winter Chinook fishing is just reaching the peak time in March, and the weather is getting better to get out more frequently. For all boaters, make sure your boat safety equipment and mechanicals are checked before heading out for your first trip, of course. Make sure your VHF radio works and don’t be afraid to call out for a radio check to the marina on CH66A, or to other boaters on the water on CH69 or CH71. Please always avoid CH16 for radio checks.
In terms of bait around the Victoria area, there’s needlefish, herring, and opal squid. Most of the Chinook are feeding on any baitfish they can find. If you are fishing around Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Constance Bank, Pedder Bay, Whirl Bay, and Becher Bay area, try bouncing the sandy bottom with lures that imitate needlefish. If you’re fishing around the Victoria waterfront to the Trial Island area, or the rocky kelp area around East Sooke, try lures that look like 3″ to 5″ herring since the herring are coming in to spawn. Don’t dismiss the white hoochie, because there are still some squid around the area.
March/April is the peak time for halibut around Victoria. There are a lot of dogfish and skate around the hali grounds, so bring plenty of bait, or use jigs and artificial lures to avoid those unwanted dogfish bites.
Even try using your 6″ spoons for halibut if you have some. Fish the slower current days to improve your chance of getting into some halibut, and remember that it’s always safer to anchor on calmer weather days. If you find yourself new to anchoring for halibut, go on a fishing charter with a guide to learn the safety around anchoring, while hooking into some halibut with the pros.
Have fun on the water and always be safe. See you out there!
Montagu Lee, IFM Writer and Avid Fisherman
Where has the time gone? I’ll tell you where: Fishing—lots of fishing. September and October are no exceptions—there’s still lots of opportunity for big migrating Chinook. The Victoria Breakwater can be fantastic fishing this time of year. Anchovies are always a good bet, but the Gibbs Skinny G and Wee G will get the fish chomping. Coho start showing up in larger numbers and can be found anywhere from inshore to out in the tide lines. They will be plentiful until the third week of October. I like to troll fast (3 to 4 mph) using O’Ki Betsy flashers with glow white hoochies or herring strip. Fish all depths from the surface down to 150′.
September and October are also great months for halibut fishing. All the regular spots like Constance Bank, Border Bank, and Oak Bay Flats will produce. Try 150′ to 300′ of water with salmon bellies, mackerel, or herring on a spreader bar and 2-lb weights.
Some of my favourite fishing is in November and December for the abundant, scrappy winter springs—it’s absolutely world class! They are usually found right near the bottom and can be caught on a variety of gear. Flashers and spoons and hoochies are staples, but I love using Silver Horde plugs in 4″ and 5″, as no flashers are needed with them.
Anyone that has fished Victoria/Sooke area has heard of the man, the myth, the legend, Brian Gibson. I was lucky enough to know Brian as a young kid and a lot of what I know, I learned from him. Later, I was proud to call him my father-in-law, and my kids called him “Pop Pop” (Grandpa). Brian was an amazing fisherman and won many, many derbies (too many to list). Brian passed away recently, leaving a hole in many peoples’ hearts. But I know for a fact the fish in the Victoria/Sooke area are feeling much safer. RIP Brian, aka Happy Hooker.
Until the January issue, tight lines and calm seas.
August in the Victoria/Oak Bay waters can be great for a variety of fish species. Big Chinook in numbers pass through the area as they migrate to their home rivers. If you want to target them, fish in tight from the Ogden Point Breakwater to Sax Point. Fish over 60′ to 100′ of water, and look for 40′ -70′ on your downriggers. Anchovies or herring in a glow green Rhys Davis Anchovy Teaser Head are popular favourites, and with good reason. Other spots to try are Clover Point, Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and Ten Mile Point.
If it’s coho you’re looking for, head out to the first or second tide line and troll fast with your lines set at the surface, down to 90′ with your favourite spoons or hoochies. I like the No Bananas Skinny G and Gold Nugget Coho Killers.
When the tides and currents allow, halibut fishing in August can be red hot! Using salmon bellies, octopus, mackerel, or herring fished off a weighted spreader bar is the way to go but be sure not to exceed the 2-lb weight limit regulation. Constance Bank and Border Bank are great places to start.
August is the last full month for bottom fishing for rockfish. Use a weighted jig or a wiggly swimbait. Find a pinnacle and drift from the top of the pinnacle down to the bottom to find some tasty lingcod and rock cod. My favourite swimbait for lingcod is the Herring Aid Power Paddle.
So get out and enjoy the warm, calm August mornings or evenings.
Tight Lines and Screaming Reels!
Chinook, coho, halibut, and bottom fish are all plentiful. Hot spots for Chinook are Clover Point, Constance Bank, Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and Ten Mile Point. There will be a mix of needlefish and herring hanging around these areas, so the good old Gibbs Skinny G in a variety of patterns like Herring Aid, Bon Chovy, chartreuse/chrome, and No Bananas behind a Madi or Betsy Flasher will get you off to a great start! Jigging for Chinook can be really good right now and is a ton of hands-on fun for everyone aboard. Find the bait and drop a 5-oz Mac Fish to the bottom, then reel up a few feet and jig. There’s no better way to get a strike than jigging!! Oak Bay Flats, The Humps at Constance, and The Gap are all great jigging areas. Bring your kids—they’ll love it. It’s a great way to keep them engaged and excited.
Lots of people stop halibut fishing around this time of year, so take advantage of the quieter crowds and throw an anchor out for some white gold. The Mud Hole, Border Bank, and West Constance will all have some halibut. Using a spreader bar, 2-lb weight, and a 2′ leader with mackerel, octopus, herring, and salmon bellies will be your best bet. The maximum size for a halibut is 133 cm—be sure you read up on the regs and always have a
June is a magical time in the southern Strait of Juan de Fuca. With 4 a.m. sunrises and 10 p.m. sunsets, you can really get out on the water every day before or after work. There’s something special about being the only boat trolling on the Oak Bay Flats at the crack of dawn—needlefish boiling on the surface, birds working the bait balls, and lots of big, hungry Chinook making your reels scream.
Needlefish spoons and hoochie patterns will keep the Chinook biting. Try White Lightning coho killer, Skinny G Bon Chovy, or white glow needlefish hoochies behind an O’Ki Betsy or Madi flasher. The fish will be close to the surface at daylight, but it won’t be long before they’re back on the bottom for the day.
Other spots to try are The Gap and Constance Bank, and there should be some hatchery coho out in the tidelines to be caught. I like using white glow hoochies and small spoons, trolled fast and shallow.
Local halibut fishing can be excellent! Pick days with slower currents and anchor up on Constance Bank, Border Bank, or Oak Bay Flats in 175′ to 300′ of water to get on some “white gold” (halibut). My old faithful setup is spreader bars, 2-lb weights, and bait.
Try mackerel, herring, octopus, or salmon bellies. If the dogfish are a problem, don’t hesitate to drop a jig down with no bait. It will keep the dogs off and give you a chance at halibut.
When you’ve got your limit of halibut, stop at some of the rock piles on your way in and try for a couple lingcod or rock cod. So much fun to catch, and great eating!
See everyone on the water!
May is a fun month on the lower island. Longer days mean you can get on the water before or after work, and there are usually lots of Chinook ready to make your reel scream! Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and Constance Bank are the hot spots for large schools of needlefish, with big Chinook feeding on them. Needlefish spoons behind a flasher fished right on the bottom will keep you busy. Try Coho Killers, Wee Gs, and Skinny Gs in any of the popular colours. A couple of my favourites are the Bon Chovy Skinny G and Gold Nugget Wee G fished behind a O’Ki Phantom or Madi Flasher (fun fact: the Madi flasher was named after my daughter). I find the ebb tide on the Flats and Constance Bank to be the best time for bites, while the flood tide is best in the Gap.
Halibut fishing in May is so great! There are plenty around when the currents are right. Anchoring is the most popular way to fish them, but there’s nothing wrong with drifting or trolling. Try spots like Constance Bank, Border Bank, and the Mud Hole. Bait such as herring, salmon bellies, mackerel, and octopus on a spreader bar will get your rods to buckle!
If the dogfish are a problem, don’t be afraid to try jigs—I’ve caught plenty on jigs when the dogfish are out of control. Move along little doggie!
See you all on the water!
Salmon fishing really picks up in March! There’s still plenty of winter Chinook, and this time of year also brings the first of the early migratory Chinook.
Oak Bay Flats and the Gap are the hotspots, both full of needlefish. When Chinook are feeding on needlefish, the bites can last quite a while because it takes longer for the fish to get fair share of caloric intake. They are ravenous, and it takes a lot of needlefish to fill their bellies. These early-season fish are super aggressive and competitive for food—they make that that reel scream! Skinny Gs, Coho Killers, and Wee Gs are all great needlefish imitations; you’ll want to fish these presentations right on the bottom. Other spots to try are Clover Point and Constance Bank.
March and April are also the peak months to fish halibut in our area. For best success, I recommend anchoring and using a 2-lb spreader bar setup with a variety of baits such as herring, salmon bellies, mackerel, or octopus. Fishing slower currents is the key to anchoring for both safety and fish catching. Dogfish can be bad at times, so I recommend artificial bait such as Hali Hawgs or jigs, instead of tasty bait that they always will attack. It’s no fun playing catch-and-release with the “doggies.”
March is when most boaters are getting ready to hit the water, so make sure everything is tuned up and ready to go before heading out.
See you all on the water!
September and October is coho fishing time. You can find these feisty fish in close to shore or all the way out to the tide lines, at depths anywhere from the surface down to 150′. Work the areas out off of Trial Island or Constance Bank. White hoochies or spoons behind a Madi or Betsy flasher will do the trick. Troll fast! If you think you’re going too fast, go faster.
November and December is the start of our excellent winter Chinook fishing. There are so many places to try. The Victoria waterfront to Clover Point will produce, as will Constance Bank and Oak Bay Flats. Fish in 100′ to 150′ of water and keep the gear right on the bottom. Skinny G or Coho Killer spoons should be your go-to lures behind O’Ki Phantom or Bon Chovy flashers.
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy time on the water and provide some excellent table fare.
Wow, summer sure has flown by— it’s hard to believe we’re here in August already! This month sees some of the biggest Chinook of the year cruise by on their migration back to their home rivers. These fish are usually found in tight to shore and in shallower water. Off Oak Bay, try Ten-Mile Point, The Golf Course, and The Gap. In the Victoria area, Clover Point and Brotchie Ledge are always top producers. I like to use anchovies or herring in Rhys Davis teaser heads behind a Madi or Betsy flasher.
August will see a huge run of pinks come by, and it’s an excellent fishery to get the kids out to experience some non-stop action! Anything pink will catch them. Try out on Constance Bank or a couple miles off Trial Island.
Coho also will be in the area and can be caught anywhere from close to shore to way out on the tidelines. Anything flashy will get them biting. Try from the surface to 100′ down, and troll fast. When you think you’re going too fast, go faster!
This has been an excellent halibut season, and fishing remains strong. All the usual sports are producing well—Constance Bank, Border Bank, and the Mud Hole are all worth a shot.
Try in 200′ to 400′ feet of water, and make sure to check your currents before anchoring up.
All in all, August is a great time to get out on the water, so get out there and get your rods bent!
There’s nothing like trolling for springs at the crack of dawn off the Oak Bay Flats. No other boats around, birds diving on the massive schools of needlefish, and Chinook biting non-stop! Ah, must be July—a great time of the year to fish Chinook in the Victoria/Oak Bay area. Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and Constance Bank are the go-to spots. But don’t be afraid to give Ten Mile Point a try. I’ve had some unbelievable fishing off Ten Mile in the middle of July!
Skinny Gs or Wee Gs in a variety of colours are a great choice. My favourites this time of year are the Herring Aid and Gold Nugget. If you’re fishing close to bottom in any of the hotspots, run these behind a Madi or Betsy Flasher and the rods will be popping!
This year July will see the start of the pink run. You can find them pretty much anywhere, but a mile off Trial Island all the way to Constance Bank will be the best area. Pinks will bite almost anything at any time, so it’s a great time of year to get the kids out to get in on the action!
Halibut are still plentiful in July, but dogfish can be a pain. Spreader bars with baits like mackerel, herring, or octopus are normally the go-to, but if the dogfish are bad, give a Gibbs Hali Hawg or a Mud Raker jig a shot.
Try 200′ to 350′ feet of water off Constance Bank, Border Bank, or Albert Head.
June is a great month to fish in the Victoria/Oak Bay waters.
There’s plenty of Chinook to be caught at all the local hot spots. I’d try Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and Constance Bank first. While you might catch the odd mid-depth fish, more than 90% of them will be right on the bottom looking for food. Needlefish spoons and hoochies are your key to success.
Troll spoons like the Gibbs Wee G or Skinny G in Gold Nugget, Bon Chovy, or Outfitter. My hoochies (squirts) this time of year are Purple Haze, White Glow, and the Electric Chair … shocking?
Fish any of these setups behind a Madi or Betsy flasher on the bottom— you’ll keep your rods buckled! Always be sure to check the regulations and take note of the recent new regulations for the Ogden Point Breakwater area.
So far, halibut fishing has been insanely good, and June shows no sign of it slowing down! Use a spreader bar with 2-lb weight and about 2′ of leader with a Hali Hawg on the end, teased with bait like salmon belly, herring, mackerel, or octopus. If there are lots of dogfish around, try a Delta Big Eye jig with no bait. That will keep the pesky “doggies” away. I like to fish dropoffs and long flat areas on the edge of dropoffs. Try 170′ to 350′ deep in spots such as Border Bank, Constance Bank, and the Mud Hole.
I hope everyone has a great summer on the water!!
The Chinook fishing in May is outstanding as they gorge themselves on the huge number of needlefish around. The beauty of Chinook eating needlefish is that the bite usually lasts a lot longer, because they have to eat so much to fill up. The three main spots to fish are Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and Constance Bank. When on the Flats, fish the 90′ to 110′ contour; the majority of the fish will be right on the bottom. At The Gap, you want to fish anywhere from 60′ to 120′ of water, again right on the bottom. If out at Constance Bank, try either the west edge in 100′ of water or right up in the shallows from 60′ to 70′.
Jigging at all three spots can be very productive, but most people will be trolling with needlefish patterns. The Gibbs Skinny G and Wee G spoons are area favourites. I like the Tailspin or Gold Nugget colours the best. Run them with a 4′ to 7′ leader behind a flasher; try the Madi, Bon Chovy, and Betsy. Bouncing bottom is the key to success in this fishery. I bounce the bottom and bring the downriggers up a foot or two—constantly checking for bottom every few minutes.
May is also a great month to get out and target some halibut (white gold). Try anywhere from 150′ to 350′ of water. Constance Bank, Border Bank, and off Albert Head are all good places to try. Make sure you check your tides and currents before anchoring up. The strait of Juan de Fuca has some pretty fast currents that can make anchoring dangerous. Ideally, you’re looking for current of a knot or less.
Get out and enjoy the water!!
I’d like to start off by saying I hope everybody is safe and healthy. In these crazy times, getting out on the water, whether fresh or salt, is a great way to forget about everything and enjoy the outdoors.
March and April are two of my favourite months to fish the Victoria/Oak Bay areas. Large concentrations of needlefish have the springs (Chinook) schooled up and ready to bite! These early spring salmon are very aggressive, and the bite can last for hours. Find the needlefish and you’ll find the fish. Areas to try are the Gap, Oak Bay Flats, and Constance Bank. Fish right on the bottom with needlefish pattern spoons or squirts. Try spoons like Coho Killers, Skinny Gs, and Wee Gs in Herring Aid, White Lighting, Cop Car, Bon Chovy, and No Bananas patterns. Squirts to try are Purple Haze, Pink Haze, and Green Splatterback. Fish any of these behind a Madi or Green Phantom Flasher. In recent years, jigging for springs on the Oak Bay flats has become very popular, and what a great way to catch a fish!
March is usually the month that halibut fishing really kicks off in our area. The preferred method is to anchor and fish with spreader bars, 2-lb weights and bait. Bait like salmon bellies, octopus, mackerel, and herring will keep the rods buckled! If there are lots of dogfish, switch up to lead-headed jigs like the Delta Big Eye Jig with no bait added, or Hali Hawgs (my favourite).
Areas to try are out of Oak Bay Flats, Border Bank, Constance Bank, and Albert Head. Target 250′ to 350′ of water. At the time of writing, the new halibut regulations aren’t out, so make sure you check the regs before you head out.
Get out and drop a line. If you see me, give me a wave. Tight lines and calm seas!
Wow—the last area report of the year already! Time has flown by. I’ve been lucky enough to be on the water every day, putting all the world’s craziness on the shelf to focus on fishing.
September is a great month for fishing local Victoria and Oak Bay waters. The crowds typically lighten up but there are still plenty of fish to be had! The first two weeks of September can see some of the biggest springs of the year caught right off the Victoria breakwater. Troll over 60′ to 80′ of water with 50′ to 80′ on the downrigger.
Anchovies, spoons, and my favourite white hoochies will do the trick. Solid white hoochies imitate dead squid, UV imitate half dead ones, and UV with red dot imitate distressed, dying ones. The OA12R is the UV I like this time of year. Coho fishing will also start getting really hot and continue until the first big rains in October. Try fishing for them a few miles off Trial Island and all the way out to Border Bank. Try G-Force Spoons in all your favourite colours and white hoochies trolled fast anywhere from the surface down to 150′.
Halibut fishing has been great so far this year, and September and October are two of my favourite months to fish them! Anywhere from 200′ to 400′ of water. Spots to try are Constance Bank, Border Bank, Albert, and William Head. Make sure you check the currents to make sure it’s safe to anchor.
At the end of October, winter springs will start to show up and will continue right through the winter. Fish for these tasty treats right off the bottom. Victoria waterfront, Oak Bay Flats, and Constance Bank are the spots that will keep your rods bouncing.
Until next year, tight lines and big fish!
Wow! I can’t believe it, but here we are in August (Hogust or Fogust, as we like to call it), and some of the biggest Chinook of the year are cruising our local waters on the way back to their home rivers. Clover Point, the Breakwall, and Macaulay Point are most certainly the places to be. While spoons and hoochies will work, it’s tough to beat a well-rolled anchovy in August. Fish in tight to the Breakwall and look for 50′ to 80′ on the down- rigger. You can’t go wrong with Rhys Davis Teaser heads in the Betsy, Bloody Nose, Purple Haze, and UV Green behind O’Ki Betsy or Madi Flashers.
Coho will start to show up in big numbers out on the tide lines. Try speeding up and using small flashy spoons. Gold Nugget Skinny Gs or green and white Coho Killers are a solid choice, as are white glow hoochies—they always work great for coho.
If halibut fishing is anything like July, we’re going to be into some great white gold. Delta Jumbo Skirts in Herring Aide or Pink Glow in front of herring, salmon bellies, or mackerel are really good choices, or try my favourite—a Delta Hali Hawg tipped with octopus. If the dogfish get thick, try Big Eye jigs.
All the normal spots like Albert Head, William Head, and Constance Bank will continue to produce halibut. For best results, try between 200′ and 350′ of water.
Get out in the water and enjoy all the great fishing Victoria has to offer.
Here we are in July already—smack dab in the middle of summer, and smack dab in the middle of some great Chinook fishing. One of my favourite spots in July is for sure the Gap, an hour before and after either flood or ebb slack tide. The Chinooks will be hunting the big waves of needlefish hanging around, so needlefish spoons like the Skinny G in Tailspin, Bon Chovy, or Gold Nugget behind a Gibbs Madi or Herring Aid flasher would be the golden ticket. Other spoons worth trying are Silver Horde Coho Killers in White Lightning and Cop Car. Trolling fast with the gear right on bottom will do the trick!
In recent years, jigging has really made a huge resurgence; it’s a ton of fun. White Darts and Mac Fish dropped to the bottom and brought up a couple turns—it’s just that easy. Keep an eye on your fish finder and keep your jig in the bait. What a way to catch a fish! Other great spots to try are the Oak Bay Flats on the ebb tide and Constance Bank on either tide.
If you can stay away from the dogfish, the halibut fishing off Victoria can be quite good in July. Try the West End of Constance Bank in 180′ of water, the Mud Hole in 300′ to 330′ of water and Border Bank anywhere from 90′ to 250′. Mackerel, octopus, herring, and salmon bellies will all work for some tasty white gold. If the dogfish are bad, try Delta Hali Hawgs or Big Eye Jigs.
I hope everyone is having a great and productive fishing season!
You have to love fishing in June! My favourite part is being on the water at 4 a.m., before the rest of the world gets moving.
Chinook fishing in June can be great at all the hot spots, like Oak Bay Flats, the Gap, and Constance Bank. The majority of the salmon will still be focused on needlefish close to the bottom. I like the Oak Bay Flats on the ebb and right against Brodie Rock in 90′ to 110′ of water. Needlefish spoons and squirts are most certainly the ticket. Skinny G spoons in Tailspin, Bon Chovy, and Herring Aide patterns fished behind a Gibbs
Madi or O’Ki Salty Dog flasher right on the bottom will keep your reels screaming! If you’re not getting any action, try speeding up. You can never troll too fast.
The Chinook fishing will be epic, but let’s not forget about halibut and cod! Halibut can be found at Border Bank, Constance Bank, Albert Head, and the Mud Hole. Try between 250′ and 400′ of water. The dogfish or “mud shark” are usually everywhere in June, and you have to find creative ways to keep them off of your bait. Using circle hooks and salmon heads will help keep them away. Other baits to try are mackerel, octopus, and salmon bellies fished behind a Gibbs giant skirt in pink glow.
Try for lingcod at any rocky pinnacle or ledge around tide change. Power Paddle swimbaits are magic for these bucket-heads!
I hope everyone is having a great summer on the water! Stay safe and tight lines.
Victoria Fishing Report Archives
May has always been one of the best months of the year to catch fish in our area, and the fishing in Victoria/Oak Bay has been outstanding this year. Large schools of needlefish are present in all the hotspots like Constance Bank, Oak Bay Flats, and The Gap. Right in the middle of the needlefish are large schools of hard-hitting, reel-screaming, knuckle-busting Chinook!
Most of the fish will be found right on the bottom, but occasionally you’ll find the odd one mid-water. The gear of choice are needlefish patterns like the Gibbs Skinny G in Gold Nugget, No Bananas, Bon Chovy, and Tail Spin. Also try squirts in J79, Purple Haze, green splatterback, and white glow. Run any of these setups behind a variety of flashers; I recommend the Madi, O’Ki Phantom, O’Ki Betsy, and the new O’Ki Super Herring Aid.
May is also prime time for halibut fishing. Fish pinnacles and banks in anywhere from 150′ to 500′ of water. Albert Head, Border Bank, Constance Bank, and William Head are all great areas to try. The dogfish usually start showing up in May and can be a pain, but it’s worth the effort to hook up some white gold. Try spreader bars with bait such as herring, salmon bellies, octopus, and mackerel. Also, give jigs a go when the dogs are bad. The Gibbs Big Eye jig has been my go-to the last couple of seasons, often outfishing a spreader bar and bait.
Well, here we are in September. The kids are headed back to school, the days are starting to get shorter, and the fish around the Victoria/Oak Bay area are still hungry to bite your offerings!! Whether you want to target some of the biggest Chinook of the year hugging the shoreline around Victoria Harbour to Clover Point, head out a little ways and get in on some crazy fast action fishing for coho with light rods, or anchor up for some halibut, September/October is a great time. Calm water and smaller crowds make good reasons to get out there and have some fun on the water.
For the last of the big migrating Chinook, try a Gibbs Madi flasher or O’Ki Betsy flasher with a Purple Haze or Betsy Rhys Davids anchovy special or a Herring Aide Skinny G. For coho, try trolling fast with either spoons or hoochies behind a Madi or O’Ki Phantom flasher. September/October can offer excellent halibut fishing in all the usual spots—Constance Bank, Border Bank, and Race Rocks. Try herring, mackerel, octopus, and salmon bellies.
Wow, where has the summer gone? Hopefully out fishing! August in Victoria/Oak Bay gives so many fishing opportunities, it’s difficult to know where to start. From catching big Chinook along the coastline to heading offshore to target pinks and coho, August is red-hot fishing. If you’re looking to catch a reel-screaming, knuckle-busting slab of a Chinook, the Victoria waterfront is the place to be. From the Breakwater to Clover Pt., fish in tight with anchovies, herring, spoons, or hoochies behind a Madi or Betsy flasher. You will most certainly be deafened by the sound of your reels screaming. For teaser heads, try anchovies in a Bloody Nose or Chrome Betsy. Herring Aid spoons in Skinny G or Kingfisher will be sure to get your knuckles busted.
If you’re looking for non-stop action, head out to the first, second, or third tide lines to fish for pinks and coho. Pinks will go after any pink lure trolled behind a flasher, and the coho will eat anything flashy like an Ace High Fly. Try depths from the surface down to 120 ft. If you’re looking to make the pinks and coho a little scrappier, try using a fly rod with a bucktail fly or a small pink plug right on the surface. It’s too much fun to miss.
Halibut fishing should still be decent. Try spots like Constance Bank, Border Bank, and the Mud Hole in 180 to 330 ft of water. Herring, mackerel, octopus, or salmon heads should do the trick in putting some white gold on the boat.
As always, have a great time making memories and catching some fish!
Be sure to check the up-to-date regulations before you head out, as they seem to be changing all the time.
Here we are in July already! This can be a great time of the season for everything—salmon, halibut, and a buffet of bottom fish in the Victoria/Oak Bay area.
We’re seeing super fishing for Chinook off Oak Bay Flats and especially the Gap. They are feeding on needlefish on or near the bottom in 80 to 120 ft of water.
I’d suggest the Gibbs Skinny G and Wee G in blue/chrome, No Bananas and Bonchovy patterns, as well as Purple Haze, Pink Haze, and White Glow needlefish hoochies fished behind an O’Ki Phantom flasher or Madi flasher.
Remember, it is still catch-and-release only for Chinook until Aug. 1 in this area. Pinks have started to show out in the tide lines and can be caught on any lure or hoochie with a little pink in it (think pink!). For a little fun, try using a fly rod with a small pink plug or a pink Gibbs Hockey Stick. If see you some at the surface while trolling, you can also cast into them with a small spinning rod—tons of fun! Don’t leave home without one.
Halibut fishing can be fantastic in July. Constance Bank and the Mud Hole are the go to places to try. Concentrate on 300 to 380 ft of water at the Mud Hole, and 160 to 280 ft off Constance Bank. Try salmon bellies, mackerel, octopus, and herring on a spreader bar and 2-lb weight setup. The max size limit for halibut this year is 126 cm if you plan on taking one, or you can take two at 90 cm or less.
Get out on the water and enjoy it! See you out there, and remember no bananas on-board, not even one!
Tight lines and calm seas!
You have to love the early sunrises and late-night sunsets in June, a month that also sees large numbers of Chinook still feeding on schools of needlefish off of Oak Bay Flats, Constance Bank, The Gap, and Border Bank. While Chinook is closed to retention until August 1 in our area, you can still get out and enjoy some unbelievable catch-and-release action! Try using light fly rods with spoons and a dummy flasher off the downrigger to get the most out of every fish. You will love the battle and test the limits of your skills. Skinny Gs in Herring Aid or Bonchovy and Coho Killers in Irish Cream or Cop Car should keep the rods bouncing. Jigging needlefish patterns off the bottom is one of my favourite ways to catch Chinook. For this method you really have to pay attention to your sounder, and jig over areas where the fish stack up.
There are still plenty of halibut to be caught this time of year, although the dogfish will have moved in thick. Use jigs or Gibbs Hali Hawgs to keep the halibut biting and the dogfish away. Try Constance Bank, Border Bank, or the Mud Hole. Keep in mind that the max size for halibut is 126 cm this year, and anything larger must be released.
Bottomfish are still open in June, and you can find nice lingcod and other rock fish on any of the many rocky reefs around the area. Gibbs Power Paddles or Big Eye Jigs work really well for lings. The limit for bottomfish is one rock cod and one lingcod per day.
Don’t let the DFO’s decision to close Chinook retention interrupt your summer of fishing. Get out there with friends and family and enjoy your time on the water!!
May in the Victoria and Oak Bay area brings some of the greatest salmon and halibut fishing of the season! The beauty of fishing out of these areas is how close the fish are to the marinas and boat launches. A long run is 6 or 7 miles and sometimes as short as dropping your kicker out of the breakwater. And in May, tourists looking to experience a day on the water start showing up in groves. The new non-retention limits for Chinook in May change nothing, as most tourists visiting Victoria prefer to catch and release. Kind of hard to cook up a fish dinner in a hotel room, right? From decades of guiding experience on these waters, I can only say book your trips now; it will be busier than ever.
The salmon are still feasting on large schools of needlefish. While most of the fish you catch will be right on the bottom, you will start to get some up in the water column like 60 to 80 ft deep. The usual places to try are Constance Bank, Clover Point to the Flagpole, Oak Bay flats, and “The Gap.” There are lots of needlefish lure patterns out there now, but some of my favourite spoons are Gibbs Wee G in No Bananas, Bonchovy, and Herring Aid; Skinny G in Outfitters or Tail Spin; or the Silver Horde Kingfisher in Cookies and Cream or Irish Cream. As for hoochies, needlefish squirts in Purple Haze, J79 and white glow are also great choices. Fish any of these set ups behind a O’KI Phantom, Salty Dog, or twisted sister flashers and your rods should be popping off the clip in no time!
May is still a great time to Halibut fish in our area. Fish the slower currents, and try Constance Bank, Border Bank, or the Mud Hole in the 200- to 400-ft depths. May can see lots of undesirable dogfish, so jigs like the Delta Big Eye and the Floor Walker will help keep them away and halibut on! The max size limit on halibut is 126 cm for this season, which is a 55- to 65-lb fish. It’s one heck of a bucket list experience to catch one if you haven’t yet. See you out there!
As we roll into early spring, the Victoria-Oak Bay area sees some of the best Chinook fishing of the season. Massive schools of needlefish show up in our waters, and the Chinook are right behind them. These early season, hard-hitting, reel-screaming Chinook are plentiful in areas like Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, Clover Point, and Constance Bank.
The key to success is fishing right on the bottom with needlefish lures like Herring Aid and White Lightning Coho Killers, Kingfisher Cookies n Cream, Herring Aid and Irish Cream spoons as well as squirts in Purple Haze, Pink Haze, and J79. Leader lengths for spoons should be 4 to 6 ft long and 35 to 42 inches for squirts. Flashers to use are the Gibbs Madi, Phantom, Lemon Lime, and the Salty Dawg. Be sure to check the regulations for salmon limits and size restrictions.
At time of writing (mid-January) we haven’t heard when halibut will be open or what size limits we will be dealing with. Early season is the best time to halibut fish in the Victoria area. There is usually not much problem with dogfish so baits like octopus, mackerel, squid, herring, and salmon bellies fished behind a spreader bar are your best bets. Other gear like the Gibbs Hali Hawg or Delta Big Eye Jig will also work. Look for the more favourable currents and anchor or drift in 200 to 400 ft of water.
I hope everyone gets out to enjoy some great spring Chinook fishing!
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As September rolls around, the kids are back in school and the big crowds of boats are for the most part gone. That doesn’t mean the fish are gone too, though! The first two weeks of September sees anglers bringing in some of the biggest Chinook of the year.
The whole stretch of water from Clover Point to MacAulay Point will hold springs. Try the O’Ki Betsy Flasher or the Gibbs Madi Flasher with anchovy in Bloody Nose or Purple Haze teaser heads; the Gibbs Skinny G in No Bananas or Tailspin also will produce well. September also sees great coho fishing in Victoria, which will last until the middle of October. While fishing coho, try using light fly rods to make these hard-fighting fish even more of a challenge. Coho will usually be found in great numbers out in the tide lines from 300 to 800 ft of water. Coho can be anywhere from the surface down to 200-plus ft, although surface to 80 ft is more common. Try the Gibbs Twisted Sister Flasher and the Madi Flasher with a wide variety of spoons and hoochies. One of my favourites is the Ace High Fly! As the end of October rolls around, winter springs will become more plentiful and offer great fishing right though the winter and into March.
September and October are also great months for halibut off Victoria. Pick the best tides and try your luck off spots like Albert Head, Constance Bank and BorderBank. The dogfish shouldn’t be too bad, so mackerel, herring, and octopus are great bets.
Tight lines and screaming reels!
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Welcome to August! It’s a wonderful time to be on the water, with calm mornings and plenty of Chinook and coho to keep the reels screaming. While the rest of the west coast is covered in fog–hence the term ‘Fogust’–we’ll be sitting off hot spots like Macaulay Point, Breakwater, Constance Bank, Oak Bay Flats, and Ten Mile Point in our t-shirts.
August sees some of the biggest Chinook of the year cruise right off Victoria Harbour’s doorstep! Fish close to shore with anchovies, spoons, or hoochies. Macaulay Point to the break wall is a great place to fish in 50 to 90 ft of water. Anchovies in a Rhys Davis Teaser head in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze, Green Chrome, or No Bananas are all great choices behind a Gibbs Madi Flasher or Oki Betsy or Phantom Flasher.
Coho also start showing up in pretty good numbers and are feeding fast and hard! They will eat almost any lure put in front of them, but flashy spoons like a Green Nickel Skinny G or a Gold Nugget Coho Killer will get them on the slower days, and out in the second and third tide line you will still get some while hunting Chinook. You can only retain hatchery coho in our area.
Halibut fishing starts to pick up in August as the dogfish slowly start to leave the area. Border Bank, Constance Bank, Haro Straight, and Race Rocks will all produce if you put your time in. Try herring, salmon belly, octopus, and mackerel.
Halibut have to be 115 cm or under to keep. As always, check the currents before you put an anchor down.
Get out on the water and enjoy the beautiful August weather!
Fishing in July off the Victoria/Oak Bay Area can be very productive. Spots like Constance Bank and Oak Bay Flats are still holding good numbers of Chinook feeding on large schools of needlefish. The best fishing at these spots is for the most part still right on bottom, using gear like a No Bananas Wee G or Herring Aid Skinny G spoons behind a Gibbs Madi Flasher or an Oki Phantom Flasher. This is also the time of year where you start to see boats hugging the shore in shallower water at places like the Breakwater, Macaulay Point, Clover Point, or Ten Mile Point. Fish in 50 to 100 feet of water at a depth of 25 to 90 feet down using anchovies or herring in Rhys Davis teaser heads. Colours to try are Bloody Nose, Purple Haze, Green Chrome, and UV Green.
Halibut fishing can be great in July, although you might have to battle through some dogfish. Jigs like the Gibbs Big Eye or Hali Hawg will catch fish without bait to help keep the dogfish away. If you use bait, try salmon bellies, mackerel, or octopus. Spots to try are Border Bank, Constance Bank, and the Mud Hole between Albert Head and William Head, anywhere from 200- to 400-feet. Check the currents if anchoring.
If you limit out early, try your luck at lingcod. Find a big pinnacle or sharp dropoff and use heavy lead jigs or a Gibbs Power Paddle.
Before heading out on the water, make sure you check the current regulations. Check and double-check, because they are especially confusing this season!
As always feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
As we roll into June, the Chinook fishing off Victoria remains strong. Areas like the Flag Pole, Clover Point, Oak Bay Flats, The Gap, and of course Constance Bank are all great areas to try.
Heading out to Constance on the flood-to-ebb tide change with the new Gibbs Wee G behind a Madi Flasher has been money! My favourite spot is Oak Bay Flats on a hard ebb current using a Blue and Silver Skinny G and a Herring Aide coho killer behind an Oki Besty flasher or a Gibbs Lemon Lime flasher.
Halibut continues to be decent on days where the currents allow–look for 1.2 knots or less.
The dogfish have moved in now and can be a big problem if using bait like mackerel, herring, and salmon bellies. Instead, we use more artificial gear like the Delta Hali Hawg, Gibbs Big Eye Jigs, and Power Paddles.
Areas to try are Constance Bank, Border Bank, Race Rocks, and the Mudhole. We generally anchor for halibut around these areas, so be very careful with our strong currents and don’t anchor in any shipping lanes.
A regulation to keep in mind: There is still a slot limit size on Chinook. The largest wild salmon you can keep is 67 cm.
Regulations get visited by DFO June 15 and usually change, so keep an eye out for modifications. The halibut size limit is 115 cm maximum.
If you’ve got any questions, feel free to contact me. Tight lines and screaming reels!
May is one of the best months of the year to fish out of the Victoria area. Places like Constance Bank, Clover Point and Oak Bay flats will hold nice springs and sometimes in good numbers. Don’t be afraid to move between spots depending on the tides; this way you can hit a couple different bite times in a morning’s fish. Places like Oak Bay flats and Constance Bank will see lots of needlefish this month, and fishing close to bottom is a must.
Gear to try at this time of year is the Gibbs Madi Flasher or Purple Glow Oki Flasher paired up with a No Bananas Skinny G or G Force spoon as well as a gold nugget coho killer. It’s always deadly.
Halibut fishing is excellent in May as well. Some years the dogfish can be bad; try non-baited lures like the Delta Hali Hawg, or my personal favourite, the Gibbs Big Eye jig. If dogfish aren’t bad, baits like herring or mackerel are always winners. Areas to try are Albert Head, Constance Bank and Boarder Bank. If anchoring, keep an eye on the currents.
Lingcod opened this month and are plentiful around most inshore rock pinnacles. Be sure to check for Rock Cod Conservation areas. The Gibbs Power Paddle has to be my go-to lure for these large bucket mouths.
We’re right smack in the middle of a slot restriction for salmon and the regs are two springs per day. Wild fish have to be under 67 cm and hatchery can be any size over 45 cm.
Halibut size limits have changed as well, with 115 cm being the biggest we can keep.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Be safe and tight lines.