We are pleased to announce a new member of the Fishing Port Renfrew group.
Alex West of Steelhead Fishing Vancouver Island Adventures is passionate about freshwater fishing. This is a year-round river fishery: salmon in August to November, steelhead from December to April, or trout from April into early summer.
The focus is in Cowichan and Port Renfrew. For Port Renfrew, the San Juan is the biggest river, but the fishing action can be great on the smaller Gordon River, Harris Creek and Caycuse River.
Fly fishing is the specialty, but gear fishing is welcome too. Inflatable rafts are the tool of choice for floating the river.
Check out the video below for some South Vancouver Island river fishing action for steelhead.
Port Renfrew Marina hosted its annual coho derby last weekend. The winning salmon was over 19 pounds and the winner got over $12,000. Nice fish….nice haul! Great story too, read all about it here http://www.portrenfrewmarina.com/report/
The Port Renfrew Marina is reporting some excellent early Sept fishing. There are still nice spring/chinook salmon around, with a 37 pounder winning their Labour Day derby. Picture below….Brian Paulson is the lucky angler.
But the coho report is what is most stellar: “The real surprise is the Coho fishing.In the twenty years we have been here we have never seen this many, this large, this early. Lots of limit catches, with fish up to 19 pounds already! You can get them on the beach but the best place seems to be in 300 to 350 feet of water down 35′ to 40′. Spoons and hootchies in green, white or yellow seem to be working well. We would say that this is shaping up to be the best Coho year since 2000.”
That is great news, as Port Renfrew has in past been famous for the Fall coho fishing, with trophy size northern coho salmon, best on the west coast. The last few years have been a little slower, maybe this year they are back!
Their report states not too much halibut chasing going on lately, but that the currents are good in Sept, and with less fishing effort, there tends to be a few more around.
Fishing is pretty much done for the year in Port Renfrew, leaving the ocean to the surfers and storm watchers.
Deanna from “Love Sooke” visited Port Renfrew recently to check out the storm, finding some wild wind and waves at Botanical Beach.
If you do venture out, make sure you bring your rain gear though — as everyone knows, the Port Renfrew/Bamfield/Barkley Sound area is one of the rainiest places on earth. In the big storm on Nov 13th, Port Renfrew saw rain nearly 10mm/hour at one point and 50mm over the day (2 inches). That’s a downpour!
And also…be very careful if you are visiting the exposed open ocean at Botanical or other spots. Waves come in sets, with gaps in between — meaning it may seem calm now, but in a minute or two there could be large waves. Also, rogue waves can happen, with one wave substantially larger than anything else. Respect the power of mother ocean, keep your distance from the water’s edge.
The Swiftsure Bank season may be winding up, but the coho salmon fishing is just starting. The fish are starting to move inshore and they will get bigger and bigger over the next few weeks, as they feed voraciously on anything they can get. Which of course is good news for anglers, as hungry fish means great action!
As of Sept 11, you can keep 4 coho, wild or hatchery, to the west of Bonilla Point (area 121). Otherwise, fishing closer to Port Renfrew you can keep up to 4 coho, 2 of which can be wild — but only if caught inside the harbour. And after Oct 1, you can keep 1 wild, but only if caught outside the harbour. Here’s the regs.
Port Renfrew Marina’s coho derby is on Oct 3/4 this year … a winner take all event, always a good time. $25 a rod, with $5 going to the San Juan Hatchery (and some lucky angler goes home with a pretty good chunk of change in their pocket).
Have fun out there … ’tis the season for early winter storms, so watch the weather and be safe!
Fishing continues to be excellent ! Nice weather and a steady stream of Chinooks are coming into the docks. An abundance of Chinook in teens and twenty range are coming in as well as the occasional large ones up to 40 lbs. There are a few pinks around still but the bulk appear to have moved on making it easier to target the Chinooks without going through large amounts of bait. A few coho are showing up and are beginning to get into the low teens for size, although only the hatchery coho can be kept.
With a bit of rain and some salmon heading up stream soon this should also mean better and better halibut fishing as well throughout September.
Summer is in full swing in Port Renfrew, lots of salmon and halibut being caught out at Swiftsure Bank, plus some nice size salmon on the Beach. Here’s a beauty caught with Jolly Rogers Fishing Adventures.
And check out this video from Wild Renfrew, showing how nice a place Port Renfrew is for a visit. A lot more to do than just fishing! (though the fishing is of course pretty spectacular on its day)