Archive for September, 2008

September 28 Port Renfrew Fishing Report

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Fishing in Port Renfrew has slowed down considerably….either the season is winding down, or those coho are out there waiting, and we haven’t seen them yet.

The Springs appear to have moved on, so the focus now is on coho. This weekend was Port Renfrew Marina’s Coho Derby. Over 400 entrants at $20 a rod, meant an approximately $9000 winner-take-all prize. The fishing was slow, not a lot of fish came in, but a 20.5 pounder caught on Saturday was the winning fish. The winning fisherman was Darcy Williamson , who is a lucky fella indeed — he won the $13,700 prize back in 2005, fishing in the same boat. Pretty sure Darcy will have some offers for crew next year.

Here’s a picture of Mark aka “Nitnat Junkie” with his son Zakk and a nice coho…thumb’s up for sure, Zakk!

Out at Swiftsure Bank, there are still both halibut and salmon being caught. On Friday and Saturday, Jolly Rogers caught some “chicken” halibut, feeder springs, and mid-size coho (up to 15 pounds). If you do head out there, though, keep an eye on Port Renfrew weather, because the seas can start getting nasty this time of year. Still…sunny and calm last few days, so get out there while you can!

Have fun, fish safe.

September 15 Port Renfrew Fishing Report

Monday, September 15th, 2008

We’re halfway into September, and the switch has started from summer to fall fishing. There are fewer Spring salmon around the nearshore spots (Camper Creek, Logan Creek, East Point), with some speculating that the unseasonably rainy August brought them upriver to spawn earlier than normal.

JR from Jolly Rogers Fishing says “salmon fishing on Swiftsure Bank has been steady, with lots of medium-sized feeder springs and coho to keep the anglers happy. The coho are starting to show closer to shore as well, and we’re hoping for good coho fishing well into October. Halibut continues to be steady on the Bank as well, with the fish smaller but fairly plentiful.”

Kelly from Last Chance Fishing reports “Good coho fishing today out in 300-600 feet of water, 50-90 feet down. Anchovy and Coyotes worked for me, some nice hooked noses up to 12 pounds, pretty steady action. There are some halibut still if you can get out there, but the seas have been big and rough.

Mark aka “Nitnat Junkie” provides the following report of his weekend around Port Renfrew: “Spent the weekend out there, fished around East Point Saturday, got 2 small coho, fished the same spots Sunday and got nothing, went out today off Logan in about 400-600 ft of water 40 to 60 ft down, got our limit of springs between 15-20 lbs and 2 small coho under 15, fishing with anchovy and a lime green hoochie seemed to work“. Good job out there Mark…Just goes to show you…if you don’t succeed doing the usual, try something different. You never know what might happen.

Fishing Derby news from Port Renfrew Marina: Port Renfrew Marina’s Coho “Winner Take all” Derby will be held this Sept.27th & 28th. The cost is $20.00 a rod and the rules are dawn to 6:00 p.m. on Sat. the 27th and dawn to 1:00 on Sun the 28th. All fish are expected to be caught within the legal fishing areas. The fisheries rules for Coho are: Two wild Coho can be kept if caught inside the whistle buoy. Hatchery Coho can be retained in or outside the bay. Up to four Coho in total may be kept. For more information, see these links:

The weather has been great in Port Renfrew, hopefully it continues….rainy season is coming soon, so you better enjoy the sun and calm seas while they last!

Sept 9: Port Renfrew Bear Attack & Local Heroes

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

A pretty incredible story out of Port Renfrew last night. Not exactly a fishing story, but definitely a story related to fishing in Port Renfrew.

A Saltspring fisherman was on his boat at Port Renfrew Marina, putting a fish in his cooler, on the outside finger wharf, closest to other side of the river. The black bear saw him from across the river, swam across, and was on the dock and into his boat in a flash. The fisherman tried to give the fish to the bear, but the bear went for him instead.

Bruce Miller (Miller Time Charters) was on his boat next door, heard the commotion, with the fisherman’s buddy yelling on the dock, and couldn’t believe what he saw. He grabbed his gaff, ran over, and started stabbing the bear with it. He figures he stabbed the bear 10 times, and it didn’t let go.

Another guy on the dock was hitting it with a hammer, with no effect. Finally a third fisherman grabbed his filet knife and slit the bear’s throat — and the bear didn’t let go until it was dead.
[Updated Sept 11: Bud Watt, co-owner of Port Renfrew Marina, was one of the first guys on scene. Eventually half a dozen men were trying to pry the bear off, but it wouldn't let go. Ed Stirling eventually killed it, with a 30 cm Swedish fileting knife.]

The fisherman was bleeding but conscious after — while being tended to by the paramedic, he asked for a cigarette to calm his nerves and asked someone to take a photo of the bear on his boat. He got medi-vaced to Victoria for surgery, and the word is he will be fine. Our best wishes go out to him for a speedy recovery.

Bears have been a nuisance at the Marina and elsewhere in Port Renfrew this year, getting into garbage. Conservation Officers are looking into what provoked this bear to attack — black bears are normally wary of humans, and attacks of this nature are extremely rare.

Bruce Miller and the other two guys who jumped into that boat are heroes, risking their lives to save someone else’s.

This highlights the “wild west” feel of Port Renfrew’s fishing community. These fishermen and women can be extremely competitive when it comes to finding the good fishing spots and bringing home the biggest and best fish…but when push comes to shove, whether it’s a marine emergency or something else, they all look out for each other, and have each other’s backs! Bud Watt, from the Globe and Mail article: “Everyone was thinking, ‘We got to stop this thing or this guy’s going to die.’ No way anyone could sit around and watch.”

That’s fishing on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island!

September 6 Port Renfrew Fishing Report

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

James Boshier from Vancouver sent in this Swiftsure Bank report from last weekend, along with pictures: “Pretty bumpy out there at the start, 5-6ft swell with low interval, some steep waves. Glassier as day progressed, bumpy again late afternoon when west wind picked up. We caught five smaller chicken halibut, had to work a bit for them. We caught a nice ling cod, plus some snapper. Trolled deep and caught a couple of feeder springs. We fished Logan Creek and Camper Creek briefly on the way in, but no bites. Two dungeness keepers in the trap. All in all a really fun day!

Mike from Heavy Hauler Fishing reports this week: “The halibut out at the banks is slowing down as the fish seem to be moving on. So I decided to throw down the anchor closer to shore and caught a bunch of halibut, 92, 65, 50, 35 and 25 lbs, lots of fun. Salmon fishing has been spotty but hopefully the Harrison run will show up soon.”

Port Renfrew Marina
‘s annual Chinook derby was a success last weekend, with 272 tickets sold and $4500 raised for local salmon enhancement. Ron Jakimchuk won with a 35.2 pounder. The Marina reports a 17 lb coho was caught … hopefully the start of a good late Port Renfrew coho season! The Marina’s coho derby is Sept 27-28 this year, $20 entry fee, winner take all.

Good luck out there!