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Port Renfrew Marina and RV Park Fishing Report

June 2/11 Port Renfrew Marina Report

June 2nd, 2011

Port Renfrew Marina is experiencing typical early season fishing. Chinook salmon are here one day gone the next. When its been good it has been hot with lots of hook ups. The highlight catch was Gerry Hamilton’s first trip out of the year and boated a 36 pound and a 22 pound spring.

Halibut fishing remains strong as the tides are running. Not much happens on the slack but as the boats start to swing on anchor the bite comes on. Herring and mackerel are working best.

Crabbing is still spectacular. One boater had two traps in and had 63 crabs in one take! Of course he could only bring is the legal amount which on that day was eight.  Check your traps often as some boaters seem to think any trap in the bay is a “public trap.”

If you were seasonal last year and have not contacted us about your return your spot is now open for anyone interested in it. Sorry but it is required that you contact us at the beginning of May to be assured of it.  We still have our ATM and it is working well for anyone needing to access cash.

Well, after a long hard try at the WFN contest we have unofficially landed in 5th place which considering the size of Port Renfrew versus the large towns in Ontario we did pretty good. The town lost power for two days and that set us back, guessing enough to not be able to rally back into 4th place.  The official winners will be announced June 6th but we were told that after the top 3 the other towns get subsidiary prizes so we will see what happens. We all believe that Port Renfrew is the “Ultimate Fishing Town” contest or not.

Bud & Rex

May 18/11 Port Renfrew Marina Report

May 18th, 2011

Vicious Fish springsVicious Fish springs

Chinook fishing at Port Renfrew Marina is very good to the west of Carmanah lighthouse. Limit catches of fish in the 15 to 20 pound range have been quite common. Small hoochies and spoons right on the bottom is what is working best.

Closer to the bay fishing is fair with short bit times through the day. Again close to the bottom in 80 to 90 feet of water with the needle-fish type lures.

Halibut fishing is very good. All the usual anchoring spots are producing very well. A surprising note: Halibut are being caught right inside the bay with one boat landing three and losing one last weekend.

Crabbing is still good with many large and more full bodied ones around. It should stay this way until the end of June hopefully.

Note: sorry the pictures of the large halibut weren’t forwarded on to us so no pics as yet.

News: Port Renfrew is entered in the WFN Ultimate Fishing Town contest. In the first round we came in 3rd overall in Canada and 1st in western Canada! We did well but with the second round we struggled with a few setbacks. The town went 2 days without power or internet service so we fell to 5th but are now in 4th place. Unfortunately 4th does not count in the three winning spots BUT WFN is giving out subsidiary prizes to the top 20 towns running and so we are asking anyone who can to keep voting for Port Renfrew and help it out with the recognition it deserves and maybe get the hatchery some much needed monies.

PRM 2(Desi) 2011

More Vicious Fish!

Vicious Fish Springs & Hali catch

Vicious Fish Springs & Hali catch

For all past seasonals, please contact us to inform us if you are returning. It is past the deadline and you can lose your spot.

The 2011 season is off to a good start with good weather and good fishing, hope to see you there soon.

Bud & Rex

May2/11Port Renfrew Marina Report

May 2nd, 2011

Port Renfrew Marina opened this past weekend to calm seas and sunny skies.  We had pretty much a steady stream of people coming in to set up for the new season. We are all looking forward to having a great year.

Fishing is very good for both halibut and spring salmon right now.  Halibut are close to shore this time of year in  70 to 100 feet of water. One even followed a crab trap up in the bay. The Columbia river Chinook run is predicted to be one of the strongest in years.

Notable catches for halibut:

Chinook salmon can be found all along the coast with best results coming from fishing close to the bottom with small spoons and hootchies. Most are hatchery fish in the 12 to 20 pound range.

Crabbing is very good as usual this time of year although many are still soft but oh so sweet! 

Very Important News:  As many of you are aware Port Renfrew is entered in the WFN (World Fishing Network) contest for the “Ultimate Fishing Town” across Canada. We are a small town and weren’t sure how it would go but here is it, one day from the first round ending and we are in the lead for the western side of Canada and in third place overall!!! The final round will be starting on May 10th and ends May 31st.  We want to urge everyone to vote for Port Renfrew  ”the little town that could.”  This takes you to make that commitment to get to your computer and vote and we can win this one click at a time!  Here is the link that takes you to where you would vote.  Also on our home page in the upper right hand corner is another link to take you to WFN.  The winnings for this contest is $25,000.00 and $2000.00 from the sponsor! Port Renfrew could make very good use of this money and as most of us know the hatchery out here is in dire straights running on a shoe string budget  and having the theft last year of their boat motor and generator set them back even further.  So PLEASE vote as much as you can, we know a three week stretch is hard to keep going but it is so important. You can vote up to 4 times a day, in the morning before 9:00 am after 9:00 am and again after 3:00 pm and again after 9:00 pm.

Other News:  The ATM is up and running for our customers and a reminder we are a cash business, we don’t accept credit cards. Our pay phone is getting repaired and should be OK soon. The phone at the marina is also reactivated. All previous customers that were seasonal must contact us asap if they are wanting to keep their spots for this year. We again have many new inquiries and we need to know what camp spots are available. You have until May 15th to reach us regarding your site. We now have GAS, DIESEL and BAIT. 

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report April 2011

April 15th, 2011

Another season for Port Renfrew Marina is soon upon us. We apologize for the late report as we usually have word out regarding the new year in late March. There have been a string of of incidents that have delayed us but better late than never! We are sure everyone is looking forward to start their fishing season and see some warmer weather.

For seasonals that are wanting to set up you can start bringing your units in on the Easter long weekend. There will be staff there to help. Anyone that is wanting to keep their spots should be notifying us asap and for those who are not returning we would appreciate you letting us know that your site is open for others. For new people, you can contact us and we can keep you updated as to the availability.

Please note and review on our site the rates page. Unfortunately some things have gone up slightly. Also we are having problems with our site being listed in Google.  It works fine if you type it into your browser location bar directly: If you know of anyone having issues finding our site please send them the link (or you can access it from Google Maps).   Thank you and we are sorry for anyone finding this frustrating as we certainly are!

Important News: An organization called WFN World Fishing Network is sponsoring a contest for Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town. The town that wins will get a $25,000.00 donation to use for the community in ways they feel would benefit the town and fishing. Port Renfrew would benefit greatly with a contribution that large! We would like to see some of those funds go to good causes such as the San Juan Salmon Hatchery, the town Information Center, possibly the school or the local church and maybe some kind of ideas for a place for teens to gather in a safe and fun environment but whatever the monies get used for we are sure the town will benefit huge. Port Renfrew came in first in the nomination phase and that was fantastic and now we are in the voting phase of the contest. Anyone can vote that has a email address and you can vote with each address you have, no matter how many and you can vote up to 4 times a day at the scheduled intervals. Voting is on-line and very easy. Simply go to the Port Renfrew website at, find the “vote” button over on the right hand side and click on it. You will then be asked to fill in your name and e-mail address. Then click in  the “I agree” box. Then copy in the 2 words given in the anti-spamming box and then you click Submit (the first time you do this, you’ll be asked to verify your email address…just once though). We need EVERYONE to do this for Port Renfrew and we hope enough people will. At this point we are trailing Port Hardy and we need to win this, one click at a time!!  You can vote every 6-hours, and you can also vote from as many email addresses as you have access to.  Create yourself some extra hotmail or gmail accounts and do some extra voting!   The voting started April 12th and goes until May 3rd. Port Renfrew in a small town and we hope it will end up being the little town that could!

We look forward to seeing all our customers again and meeting our new ones for the coming season. Lets hope the fishing is great this year!

Bud & Rex

Oct.13/10 Port Renfrew Marina Closing Report

October 13th, 2010

Port Renfrew Marina’s 2010 season has now come to an end. This year went by so quickly, each month seemed to fly by and now another fishing season is over for the Port Renfrew area.

2010 fishing was about average for Chinook salmon, certainly not anything great when compared to the incredible 2007 spring returns. There seems to be less springs over the 40 pound mark although we did have six over 50 pounds this year. Most of the springs caught this year were in the mid 20 to mid 30 pound range. The white springs that usually show up in late Aug and early Sept. never did show up.

Halibut catches remained very strong right up to closing time. It may well be the best year ever that we have had for large halibut.

Coho returns are very strong. Great catches were hitting the docks on a daily basis right up to the day we closed. The only problem was the poor weather for Sept and Oct made for difficult fishing at times.

2010 saw the first Sockeye opening since 2006 and this time there were actually were fish to be caught and lots of them! Everyone was getting their limits, it was an amazing fishery for these tasty fish this year.

Port Renfrew Marina is now closed for the season and will reopen May 1, 2011. For those who may have their boats or units still to be picked up please do so as soon as possible and check in with our caretakers Wayne & Gwen Coleman for times available to get through the gate. The gate will be locked this winter.  Please note that if you do not pick your unit or boat up soon winter rates for storage will apply. You must notify the caretakers when you come to pick up your boat. Please also make sure you leave your campsite clean of debris and garbage to discourage bears and other problem animals such as rodents. There will be a $100.00 fee for any site that is left in an unacceptable condition.  For anyone who still has an outstanding account for the season to please be diligent and contact us. The marina phone number is set up to call forward to our number and after one month it will say “NOT IN SERVICE”. This will be in effect until approximately April of 2011.  

Please Note: No units will be allowed out of the marina during the dates of Oct.18 to Nov.18th due to the fact that our caretakers will be away and the fellow filling in has been advised to not let any boats or units to leave the property of the marina for security reasons. If you are not wanting to incur storage fees please make sure you remove your boat or unit before this date.

All of us at Port Renfrew Marina wish all our customers, new and old for a safe, healthy winter and look forward to seeing you again in the spring for another great year of fishing.

Bud & Rex

Oct.04/10 Port Renfrew Marina Fishing Report

October 4th, 2010
At Port Renfrew Marina Coho fishing has been fantastic for the past 10 days or so. Many boats are reporting 15 to 20 hookups in only a few hours. Nice size fish with many in the 14 to 18 pound range.
Baitrix in strips and anchovy have been on fire! Hoochies, bait and spoons on short leaders are also producing.

The Coho Derby for 2010 was a big success with a great turnout of many fishermen who were happy to see $5.00 of the entry fee go towards the hatchery. This year we had calm seas, sunny mild weather and lots of fish to make a GREAT derby and many happy smiling faces.  We had four hundred entrants bringing in $10,000.00, with $8,000.00 going to the winning pot and $2,000.00 going to the San Juan hatchery.  This years winner was Brent Eliason who weighed in a 21 pound 1 ounce Coho early on Sat and it held up for the rest of the derby. We had many others come in in the 18′s, 19′s and a 20.1  pounder brought in by John Holman.

  Brent Eliason winner of $8,000.00
Coho derby-1

great days catch

Coho derby Brent Eliason winner of $8,000.00

Important Date to Note: 

Port Renfrew Marina will be closing on Oct.11th. Please make sure you have contacted us regarding your boat if in storage and your unit if you are leaving it over the winter. If not winter storage rates will apply. Please call us asap or come in to make arragements. After the 11th the gate will be locked.

Bud & Rex

Sept.26/10 Port Renfrew Marina Update

September 26th, 2010

Port Renfrew Marina is seeing the Coho showing up in some great numbers. This past weekend pretty much all the fishermen coming into the docks had limit catches and many are in the high teens. Most catches are still in the area of the whistle bouy between 400 feet and 600 feet with spoons, anchovy and hoochies being the recommended bait.  On Saturday and Sunday we had some rough weather just at the mouth of the bay but for the most part the seas weren’t too bad. Some heavy rain was predicted for the area but never came until late Saturday afternoon and overnight, leaving both days with mild conditions. The weather is predicted for the next few days to be nice and lets all hope that it stays that way for the upcoming Coho Derby this weekend. So far the fishing looks very promising!

Notable Catches:

  • Neil Hanson   20lb Coho
  • Wally Brouse  18lb Coho
  • Vic Pross  15 Coho in two days
  • Kelly Wagner of Last Chance Charters 14 Coho
  • Brad McDonald  5 Coho  17 lb biggest

Port Renfrew Marina’s Coho Derby “Winner Take All”  is this weekend Oct.2nd and 3rd. The entry fee is $25.00, $20.00 of which goes to the winning pot and $5.00 goes directly to the San Juan Hatchery. Recently the hatchery had their boat motor stolen and a pump. This theft has really set them back and it is really frustrating to hear this after so many people rose to the occasion to help raise funds for the year. Luckily the money raised helped them with this but now their funds have been drained again. So this donation from the Coho Derby will be even more important this year. Why not come,  go fishing and at the same time help the hatchery out and maybe go home with a bundle of money!

       Bud & Rex

14 Coho

14 Coho biggest 17 pounds

Days catch 10 CohoSept coho-6

Sept.23/10 Port Renfrew Marina Report

September 23rd, 2010

For Port Renfrew Marina the less than spectacular spring season is over for another year. Perhaps it was the early rains that had them rushing for the rivers rather than staying around to feed.

The Coho have arrived with some good sized “footballs” hitting the docks. The largest so far was Brian Longs 22 pounder. That would have been a great one for the upcoming Coho Derby on Oct.2nd and 3rd. There have been a few in the mid to high teens so we are hoping for a good run that weekend. The coho seem to be right from the whistle bouy out of 500 feet of water. Coyote spoons, white or white and green hoochies and anchovies are all working well.

Halibut fishing is still excellent with many limit catches coming in with the odd one in the 100 pound range even this late in the year.

This late in the season make sure you check the weather forecasts as the fall storms and swells are starting to fire up!

Notable catches:

  • Brian Long  22 coho
  •  140  halibut
  • sorry no pics and there were other cohos caught in the high teens but have no names to match weights.

Very Important Dates:

  • Port Renfrew Marina’s Coho Derby:  Oct. 2nd and 3 rd. “Winner Take All”  This derby has one winner and he or she gets the entry fee money total. In past years it has been anywhere from $5,000.00 up to $13,800.00. This year the entry fee is $25.00 with $20.00 going to the winnings and $5.00 of it going to the local  hatchery.
  • Port Renfrew Marina Closes: The marina closes on Oct.11th this year.  It is very important for anyone who has a boat in storage to contact us and arrange to have their boat out on or before that date otherwise storage fees will apply. If you are leaving your unit over the winter you also need to sign in at the office and let us know how long and if you require power.  If you are leaving your unit for winter storage you are allowed one night a month to come and check on it. Daily checking is permitted but call first to make sure the gate is open or can be opened for you.  Keep in mind that Renfrew winds and rains will destroy a costco tent left up. At season closing all customers are required to leave their site clean of debris and broken or damaged goods. A $100.00 clean up fee will be charged to any left with “stuff” that attracts bears and or critters and general garbage.

Bud & Rex

Sept.15/10 Port Renfrew Marina Report

September 15th, 2010

Port Renfrew Marina is seeing typical mid September fishing. Chinook salmon are still showing up in small numbers and the odd coho up to 20 pounds are being caught also.  Early September spring fishing was slower than usual as the big whites never showed up. With this rain possibly more springs will show. The best spots are from Camper Creek to Logan.

Coho will continue to show in greater concentrations as we get into October. They are already jumping in the river. Spoons, apexs and hoochies will all work when they arrive.

The real bright spot on the fishing front has been the halibut. Much larger fish in good numbers are still being caught by those at anchor. If the weather holds halibut should still be biting.

36 45 50 132 hali's 8 ling  12 crab

36 45 50 132 hali's 8 ling 12 crab

Important Dates: 

  • Coho Derby:  Oct. 2 nd and 3 rd. “Winner Take All” This derby entry fee is $25.00 with $20.00 going to the winning pot and $5.00 going directly to the local San Juan hatchery. This derby has never had a wining pot of less the $5,000.00 and the best year it was $13,800.00 So with better odds than the lottery enter this derby, have some fun, support the hatchery and maybe go home with a lot of cash!
  • Port Renfrew Marina Closes: Oct. 11 th Thanksgiving Day. If you noticed our sign out front of the office we mistakenly wrote Oct.12 th so please make a note of the date. We also had to do a correction in previous post. Sorry for the confusion.

    If you have a boat in storage please make sure you have made arrangements to come and pick it up on or before closing or winter storage rates will apply. If you are planning to leave your unit for storage you must sign in at the office so we have you registered. You must do this before we close also.

Sept.8/10 Port Renfrew Marina Report

September 8th, 2010
PRM 2010-3_800x600

Nice catch!

Port Renfrew Marina is seeing spring fishing to be up and down these past two weeks. It has been a bit slower than normal for this time of year although the last two or three days did pick up. It appears the sockey have moved on, sure was great while it lasted! Coho should be arriving by the third week of September. There are the odd ones being caught now but mostly at Swiftsure Bank.

Chinook fishing was average but slowed dramatically over the derby weekend. It did pick up again after the weekend rain. Camper and Logan produced fish on the high slack tides. Rumor has it that there are huge schools of springs farther up the coast and we are hoping that they are just running late this year.

Halibut catches remain good though only for those anchoring closer to shore than Swiftsure Bank are loading up.

Happy 40th Birthday Des

Happy 40th Birthday Des

Notable Catches:

  • Mark Jordan   37  (not in the derby)
  • name lost         39  (also not in derby!)
  • Bud Watt          30  after derby

Some interesting and exciting news for Port Renfrew Marina. One of our own guides won the Sooke Harbor Derby this year.  Desi Hatchard of came in first place with winnings of $100,000.00! Congrats to Desi, who was also celebrating his 40th birthday, (hence the funny picture) couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

This past weekend was Port Renfrew Marina’s 13th Annual Labor Day Derby. It was another resounding success with outstanding efforts by many. Although attendance was down slightly the people who were there really came through with all their efforts to help raise funds for the San Juan Hatchery again this year.  Fishing was quieter than past derby’s but that didn’t stop the upbeat attitude of everyone there.  The event went smoothly with the delicious dinner and beverages and then the prizes got under way with a live band that played from about 7:30 and didn’t stop until 12:00.  Who knew that fishermen dance?

Port Renfrew Derby Winners

Port Renfrew Derby Winners


  • 1st. Place Wolf Kadgien  34.1     $1000.00
  • 2nd Place      Joe Serpa       31.7       $ 500.00
  • 3rd Place Mary Dice     30.14     $ 250.00

Port Renfrew Marina had 3 large raffles,  6 silent auctions, 5 live auctions and some cash donations bringing the total amount of monies donated to the San Juan Hatchery this year to  the outstanding amount of $9,587.00! We would like to thank a few generous people and businesses for their great  ”over the top”   donations and efforts.

A great thanks goes to Jared at Rona in Langford that donated the Broil King BBQ which raised $2311.00 dollars!   Won by: Neil Young

Also a special thanks goes to Lindsey Wilson of Four Points Sheraton Gateway of Victoria who gave us a few generous donations, one, the limited edition print ”Fall Run” in memory of her brother Matt Cardin who worked at the hatchery and passed away and with those we raised $837.00 plus had prizes to give away.     Print won by: Pooh Parker

Another thanks goes to Port Renfrew General Store for their donation of 2 nights for four people in the Country Cottage and a $100 certificate to the store and it raised $329.00 Won by: Linda Grieve

A wonderful thank you goes out again to Audie Williams of the Davey Derby that was held at Port Renfrew Marina this past July.  They donated $2000.00 to the San Juan Hatchery as they do every year.

Very special thanks also go to :  Island Outfitters,  Gizmo’s (Victoria),  Desi Hatchard of Vicious Fish Charters and Neil Young who personally donated and also raised $600.00 from guys he works with in Alberta! One even came from Nova Scotia!

And to all the other businesses and people who donated and there were many, to many to list, thank you so very much for all your contributions. None of this would be possible without businesses and people like them who donate to this great and important cause.

Bud & Rex