Archive for February, 2009

Halibut Open, March 1

Friday, February 27th, 2009

It’s official…opening day for halibut fishing is March 1st, and that means it’s “Game On” for Port Renfrew’s fishing once again. This time of year can yield the big slabs from the wild west coast of Vancouver Island…fewer fish caught, and usually at anchor, but they are bigger than average and sometimes monsters from the deep!

We look forward to the first reports of halibut catches, hopefully starting this Sunday. We can almost taste those fish and chips now…time to stock up on tartar sauce. :-)

Good luck out there.

[and a word to the is still winter and that means potential for heavy weather...these winter days can be calm as they come, and things can change for the worse quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on the reports...have fun, but play safe!]


Effective March 1, 2009, recreational fishing for halibut will be opened coastwide. The daily limit at the start of the season is one (1) per day with a possession limit of two (2).

Fishery Notice

Category(s): RECREATIONAL – Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)
Subject: FN0101-Halibut: Further to FN0037 & Amendment to FN0100 – Coastwide Opening and Limits

The department will implement a coastwide opening of the recreational halibut

Effective 00:01 hours March 1, 2009 fishing for halibut will be opened
coastwide. The daily limit at the start of the season is one (1) per day with a
possession limit of two (2).

The exception to this opening is:

Areas 121, 23 and 123:
Effective 00:01 hours March 1, 2009 to 23:59 hours December 31, 2009:

- No person shall fish for or retain halibut, rockfish and lingcod in Area 121
outside the 12 nautical mile limit seaward of a line that begins at 48 degrees
34.000 minutes North latitude and 125 degrees 17.386 minutes West longitude and
continues south easterly at a bearing of 116 degrees True to a point at 48
degrees 28.327 minutes North latitude and 125 degrees 01.687 minutes West

- Electronic licence conditions will be continued as follows:
"no person who is not a Canadian resident may fish for or retain halibut under
this licence in management Areas 121, 23 and 123."

In an effort to open the recreational fishery while some key issues with
respect to the 2009 management plan remain unresolved, the initial halibut
retention limit will be one per day, two in total possession. The department
expects to complete its consultations with the recreational sector on the
halibut management plan for 2009 before the end of February, including
examining the feasibility of increasing the daily limits. The plan will include
measures for monitoring and evaluating the catch in-season. Any changes in the
management plan following these consultations will be announced in a subsequent
Fishery Notice.

Variation Order No. 2009-67

February 19th Port Renfrew Fishing Report

Friday, February 20th, 2009

The fishing season is not quite here for Port Renfrew, but we’re getting close. Halibut season should be open soon (announcement expected by the end of February). In March, we will begin see the first of the “Columbian” salmon — early Fraser River springs that provide early season adrenaline. These scrappy fish are commonly 20-30 pounds and are fatter rather than longer — aka “footballs”. And from that point…it’s game on! Good times are on the way.

In the meantime, we have to find our fun where we can. If you have access to a Nintendo Wii, go rent the “Rapala Tournament Fishing” game. The kids complain that it’s boring, because you can’t steal cars, beat people up, or see blood splatter from machine gun fire. But if you’re into fishing, it is pretty fun!

You choose a boat type, angler, location, and gear, and motor to the spot you like. There’s a few locations for salmon, coho (silvers) in Alaska’s Kenai River or chinook (Kings) in the Sacremento River in California. The casting with the Wii nunchuk feels pretty realistic. You can view the lure underwater or you can view the water surface from the boat. Your fishing buddy sits at the steering wheel giving “helpful” advice as you fish…just like real life.

When a fish hits, you have to set the hook quickly or it will get away. Then you reel it in. If you reel too fast or have the drag too tight, you’ll break the line; if you don’t reel fast enough or have the drag too loose, it will shake the hook. When the fish takes line, the nunchuk vibrates in your hand…gives a little hint of those summer screaming reels!

Of all the locations, I recommend chasing the Tigerfish in Lake Victoria, Africa, as the most fun….the 100 pound plus fish required the strongest line on offer, or they would snap it every time. The fish go on long runs, with the line ripping off the reel, you felt like you were really there (we ran the batteries dry!).

Here’s a youtube video of someone catching an 11 pound King (Chinook) salmon.

The game’s not perfect, there’s some annoying things from a serious angler’s point-of-view, but it’s got enough fun parts that I’d highly recommend it.

See you out on the water soon, in the meantime, see you at the video game rental store.