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Port Renfrew Marina and RV Park Fishing Report

Port Renfrew Marina Report June 24/15

June 25th, 2015


Port Renfrew Marina is seeing the awesome fishing we have come to expect out here! Everywhere there are being springs caught. East Point to hole in the wall are all giving up limit catches of Chinook well into the 30 pound and plus range. Herring, anchovies and spoons are working well. There is the odd Coho and Sockeye being caught as well but only hatchery Coho can be kept. Time to get out and get fishing!

Offshore the reports are the best fishing ever seen! The “chicken ranch” is producing limit catches of both halibut and springs by 9:30 in the morning! Tons of bait, whales and schools of Coho really make the trip and with no fog so almost all boats can take part in that fishery. Hootchies and spoons fished 120 feet to 160 feet deep will hook the spring and spoons on the bottom will quickly get the halibut.

Crabbing remains very good as is usual for this time of year. It may slow down soon so get your traps out while you can.

Notable Catches:

  • Ron Jakimchuk   31.5
  • Terry MacDonald   38.5
  • Rex Coburn   31
  • Eric Eckdahl  32

Terry and Brad MacDonald 38.5

Rex Coburn 31

Eric and John 32











Upcoming Event: Coming up will be the Kinsmen Derby on July 18 and 19th. Tickets are $50.00 a rod proceeds go to the Cowichan elementary school playground upgrades which are in dire need of safety work. The Kinsmen do all kinds of great charity work around the area so come support their efforts and have a fun weekend of fishing. Setails on derby available at the Port Renfrew Marina office.

Port Renfrew Marina now has a small ongoing little cafe available for customers staying at the marina. So far it is only weekends but the office will now sell coffee when we open. Wayne and Gwen Coleman are running the little cookshop and it is very basic, with burgers, fries, hot dogs, breakfast egg muffin and coffee so far. Prices are from 1970!! You can order lunches for trips but they need to be done the day before.

For those wondering what all the excitement is out at the bank check these photos out! Must be tons of feed out there for all those birds and the whales to show up, what a great experience to see it all! Thanks to Paul Ricard for sending them on to us.

Humpback whale showing baleen

Humpback whale at Swiftsure

Whale at Swiftsure









IMPORTANT NOTICE: We have just heard that the two people we count on to help out to pick up donations in the Duncan to Nanaimo area for the PRM Labor Day Derby are not able to help this year. We are very much in need of a few volunteers to help us out. If you live in the area and can spare a few hours we would be very grateful if you could come forward and help us out. This help is critical if we want to get the level of donations we have had in the past to make the derby successful and to raise the monies we usually do for the hatchery. With this dry year we are having it seems even more critical that the hatcheries have even more work cut out for them to keep the numbers up for some years to come. We need to look to the future for ourselves and our children and theirs. If you can help with even just a couple places please let us know. All help is deeply appreciated.

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report June 18/15

June 18th, 2015

For Port Renfrew Marina onshore fishing continues to be fair to moderate. Fish are there one day and gone the next. The Logan Creek to Walbran Creek stretch seems to be a bit better than most if the beach. As usual small anchovies and small spoons such as Coho Killers are the best lures. Farther up the coast “hole in the wall” past Nit Nat has been the only consistent hot spot. You can troll right on the bottom as it is sand and loaded with needle fish.

Offshore the “chicken ranch” has come on again which is typical for mid June. The guides are reporting limit catches of springs and halibut. Spoons and hootchies are always favorites out there. Watch the fog as the ranch is right in the middle of the Freighter traffic lane!

Inshore halibut fishing remains slow at all the usual spots, though we would expect it to improve shortly as the pressure is off now that fish are at the bank.

Notable Catches:

  • Ken Evans   31

Ken Evans 31












Upcoming Event: As many of our regular customers know Blair Houdayer, a long time fisherman who had been coming to Port Renfrew Marina for more years than anyone can count, passed away a few months ago. In honor of his memory Port Renfrew Marina is hosting a one day derby on July 25th. This derby is called “The Houdy Memorial” and is for cut pluggers only. If you don’t fish that way why not give it a try that day? The derby entry is by donation only and all proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. There will be a small trophy for the biggest spring caught that day. More details to come

Blair Houdayer “Houdy”

Upcoming Event: Port Renfrew Marina is offering all the fishermen a chance to sell and or trade old and unwanted fishing gear under the Longhouse this coming Aug.1st, Saturday only. We will have tables up and you can come and sell your items and buy new ones maybe find old treasures of long ago discontinued items or have a chance to sell off all the multiples of things you felt you needed at the time! Time is not set yet but approximately 10:00 to 2:00 may be a good timeline. All we ask is that when you are done you remove your items and leave the area as clean as when you arrived. Any questions or suggestions see us in the office.

Another Upcoming Event: Port Renfrew Marina will be holding it’s second annual “Spring Derby”on August 8th and 9th. This is the derby we quickly put on to help fill the gap of missing the Davey Derby which had been cancelled. Guess nothing lasts forever but it sure was great while it lasted!! This derby will be to raise funds for the San Juan salmon Hatchery and will be $25.00 a rod with $5.00 of each ticket going to the hatchery. The winnings will be cash and will be 50% of the net ticket sales to first place, 30% to second place and 20% to third place.



IMPORTANT REQUEST: Coming up in September Port Renfrew Marina will be having its 18th annual Labor Day Derby. We all know and love this one with prizes, raffles, silent and live auctions and lots of fun stuff like the kids bullhead derby and the adult one! At this time we are asking for anyone who lives in the Duncan, Cowichan, Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Nanaimo or Ladysmith area to be kind enough to volunteer some time and do some canvassing for donations in their local area. If a few people come forward and do this we can see that each person has only a half dozen to maybe ten businesses to go to and this doesn’t leave one or two people doing it all. With new faces we may be able to come up with new ideas and businesses to approach. One person who did Nanaimo for us is unable to help this year so we are in need of extra help. We have Sooke, Colwood and Langford and a few places in Victoria covered. Any help will be much appreciated and it is recommended that whoever is willing that they start now before fishing season gets busy and also so the businesses have time to consider a donation and contact the powers that be to get them approved. As everyone knows a derbys success and fun value depends very much on its prizes.

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report June 8/15

June 9th, 2015

The spring and halibut fishing has only been fair this week. East Point was actually one of the most consistent spots though the cut pluggers at Camper Creek are doing well but have to deal with the seal problem. It is still an ongoing issue, they seem to have multiplied in numbers.

Halibut fishing has been slow, though the weather has been kind of rough to travel far too far. The “chicken ranch” at Swiftsure Bank should turn any day now.

Port Renfrew Marina will be putting on it’s second Spring Derby this coming Aug. 1st and 2nd this year. Tickets are $30.00 a rod with $5.00 of each ticket going to the local San Juan hatchery. Winnings will be 50%, 30% and 20% of total pot going to the top three fish. The Hoody derby in memory of Blair Houdayer who passed away this last January, is to be announced. It will be a ‘cut plug’ only fishery in his honor. No downriggers! Should be a fun way to pay tribute to one of our best fisherman and a wonderful gentle person who will be sorely missed for his winning smile and easy going personality.

Notable catches:

  • John Gordon   31

Well, as we have mentioned the Salmonberry Bistro is now gone and so the marina was left with no hot food for those fishermen who don’t want to bother with making their own breakfasts or dinners. Luckily, Wayne & Gwen Coleman have come to the rescue on that front! They will have a very simple menu to be found at their campsite. It is called K.I.S.S. Cafe for keep it super simple! They will be offering Egg burgers with bacon, sausage or ham, Hashbrowns, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Coffee, French Fries and possibly a couple other items. They will only be open Friday, Saturday and Sundays, the hours yet to be decided. There first weekend opening will be this coming one June 12th 13th and 14th. Prices are amazingly fair and reasonable!

Please, if anyone can help with a donation to our annual Labor Day derby coming up in Sept, let us know. We struggle with donations since we are at the end of a fishing season so to speak so the sooner the better if anyone out there can help whether it’s personal, business or a suggestion. Volunteers to work the derby are also appreciated, every dollar we can save means more goes to the local San Juan Hatchery for the conservation of salmon stocks.

Things are looking up at Port Renfrew Marina as our ATM and the phone system are still up and running well! Please remember that we are a cash business so if you are coming to stay with us bring cash, we do NOT accept credit cards. For those who have not been to the marina we have boat gas, car gas and diesel, ice, tackle and bait. We NO LONGER are a fishing license vendor. If you need a license you must go online to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Their email is or call 1 877 535 7307 for general inquiries. Licenses can be obtained online at home or at a business that offers access to the website. All you need is a computer and a printer and it’s done.

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report May 30/15

May 30th, 2015

At Port Renfrew Marina this week hasn’t seen much improvement in the halibut fishing. The usually good spots out west are hit and miss. If you land on them you can load up but most are on the anchor for hours with pretty slim results. It will change as halibut fishing is usually a constant out there.

Spring fishing has been very good but slowed a bit today, Saturday. Anchovies in the 12 pack and the always popular coho killers are the answer right now. “Hole in the Wall” at Nit Nat has been very good for some time. For those who can’t or don’t want to run that far Camper Creek has been good but be prepared to be “sealed,” they are the worst ever this year. Logan and the rock pile are a better choice as a fish you catch there you will probably land.

Crabbing is still very good, yum yum!

Notable Catches:

  • Hugh Hamar   25
  • Desi Hatchard  35
  • MillerTime  30
  • Mike Styba  29
  • Wally Brouse  27

Port Renfrew Marina is still looking for a inexpensive work truck. If you know of one that may be for sale please contact us at the office. As stated before, pretty is not necessary but reliable is. For those who come to the marina and need to access cash we have our ATM up and running now and it seems to have all its little quirks fixed. The phones are also up and running and we can now access voice mails left for us. It’s just great when modern technology finally works!

This year Port Renfrew Marina will be having its Labor Day Derby on Sept.5th and 6th. We are posting this early to give our customers the heads up to see if they are able to make a donation either personally or through their work or a business they know. As derby’s go ours is one of the last ones of the year so we tend to get issues with businesses being tapped out so we have decided to ask earlier each year. Donations are what make derby’s successful so we count everyone to pitch in. Please contact us at the office for info.

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report May 20/15

May 21st, 2015

For Port Renfrew Marina this last week has seen an improvement in the salmon fishing. Owen Point to Camper Creek has been the best area. Small anchovies or Coho killer spoons are working well. A word of caution; be prepared to lose at least one fish per day to a seal, a MAJOR problem already.

Hali fishing has slowed right down this week. No one knows why as the currents are good in the mornings. Perhaps its time to hit the chicken ranch.

Crabbing is still very good. Put some weight in your traps to keep them from moving along the bottom.

Notable Catches: 

  • Myles Van Eeuwen  26 lb salmon
  • Eric Eckdahl   22  25 & 27
  • Wayne Schiffner  27
  • Bobby & Tom Holland   42 halibut

Holland 42

Chase Hatchard and friends











At Port Renfrew Marina we have had issues lately with our phones and the ATM. We are happy to announce that both are up and working! It took some doing but the ATM is fully functioning after needing a variety of new parts and the phone will now let us access our voice mails. If you have called and left messages and had no response this is why so please try again if you are in need of information.

A reminder that we are now separating our food waste from non-biodegradable garbage as per the new CRD ruling. You will see the new green garbage cans for food waste. You can dump directly into is with no bag or is using a bag it MUST be compostable. We appreciate your cooperation in this effort, please do your best.

As most everyone knows the Salmonberry bistro is gone now and we no longer have hot food available. There is in the works a small venture coming and we will have the info on it within a week or two. If so it will be simple coffee and muchie type foods. As soon as it is confirmed we will be letting everyone know. It should hopefully be up and going by the month of June. Meanwhile be prepared to pack your food for those early mornings.

This past weekend we had two very helpful little girls, Aliya Allard and Paisley Kovacs, doing their best to raise funds for the local salmon hatchery. This was their own idea and efforts and they sat by their stand for the two days. They raised a total of $36.50! We want to thank them for their selfless time and willingness. We think everyone enjoyed getting their hand painted rocks! Good for you, girls!!

Aliya & Paisley










If you are a seasonal camper with Port Renfrew Marina and have not contacted us regarding your return, the deadline has passed and your site will be considered available unless you contact us asap.

We are Port Renfrew Marina sadly lost 5 of our customers this year. We want to acknowledge them and express our sadness at losing such good people. This includes Doug Olson, Don Campbell, Blair Houdayer, after along illness, Lana Gallant and recently, Chic Akiyama. They will all be missed.

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report May13/15

May 13th, 2015

Fishing has slowed down a bit from the last report. Currents and sea conditions last week were perfect for halibut fishing. Dwayne Isaac, back from Alberta, put a clinic on how to fish for them successfully. Several trips with various friends all produced very nice catches.  The next set of ebb tides should bring back good halibut fishing.

Crabbing remains good. Deeper water 50 to 60 feet seems better than the shallower waters. If you don’t have a large commercial like trap try weighting it down so it doesn’t move or float along the bottom.

Salmon is a little slow. Owen Point to Camper Creek trolling coho killers seems to be the right choice at this time.

For any customers that are unaware of the new CRD ruling, we need to let you know that you are now required to separate your food wastes from the non-biodegradable garbage. We have new green cans in the cages where the garbage cans are for this use. You can either dump your wastes in loose or in a COMPOSTIBLE bag. No plastic or bags saying bio-degrabable are accepted. If you are unsure of the rules or have questions please come by the office and we can help. Please do your best to comply with this new ruling as there are severe penalties for anyone not complying.

We at Port Renfrew Marina want to apologize for the ATM’s continued breakdown. Another part is on its way and we are hoping this will have things fixed. It should be up and running by Friday sometime if all goes as planned. We also had issues with the phones not working for a couple of days. If you try to contact the marina and have no luck it is likely they are down, the most common result will be a constant busy signal. Also although our phones will take voice mails messages we are unable to access them, so far we have tried to set it up so the voice mails go to an email but if you don’t get a return call then that means we have not been able to get the message. We again apologize for this, our system is old and has flaws that can’t seem to be resolved.

Port Renfrew Marina is still looking for a marina truck. We are needing one to take garbage and move things such as wood and debris around. It does not need to be pretty or in perfect shape, we just want one that is reliable and cheap. Anyone knowing of a truck for sale please call or email us. 250 483-1878. Thank you!

For those not aware the Salmonberry Bistro is now gone. We no longer have a cookshack for hot food. There is still a possibility that a small venture will start but if it does, it will be weekends only and very basic. If you have counted on meals from the cookshack be prepared to go elsewhere for now or bring food with you!

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report May 7/15

May 7th, 2015

The 2015 fishing season is starting off well. Generally very nice weather has helped. For Port Renfrew Marina we are filling up with our seasonal people so if you are a seasonal and haven’t contacted us about your return, please do so as soon as you can. This helps us with knowing what sites are available for new customers. There a change this year as the Salmonberry Bistro has moved to a different location. As of now we do not have a cookshack for hot food. We are still in the process of possibly getting another option but if so it will be on a smaller scale. Once we know for sure we will be posting the information. For those who are wondering we now have the ATM back up and running. We had to wait for a part to be shipped but it is now fixed.

For all our customers we want to inform you of the new CRD ruling regarding food waste in the garbage. The marina has purchased new green cans for the food waste which now must be separated from non- bio-degradable products. The food waste can be dumped into the garbage cans loose, as from a bucket or bagged as long as the bag is a compostable bag, not a plastic or bio-degradable bag. Please try to do your best in complying with this new ruling as there are serious consequences if not followed. Any questions regarding this new rule please come by the office and ask us.

In late April we put in the docks for the season, this is nearly an all day job and we want to thank everyone who helped Bud with the placement. A big thanks goes to Odd Johansen, Todd Garrett, Reid Warren and the Mills brothers, Dave and Doug. Without their help each year the job would be very difficult. Bud and our handyman, Eric have been doing dock repair and it is an ongoing job.

Crabbing has been very good, the key seems to be large ex-commercial traps that don’t move with the swell and placed in 50 to 60 feet of water. Nothing like a fresh catch of crab at this time of year!

Halibut fishing is good, as expected this time of year. Perfect ebb tides, with low swells make this coming few days a great time for fish. Sombrio to the east, and to all spots to the west are all giving up fish.

Salmon fishing has been fair to good, Owen Point to Camper Creek is a good spot. Coho killers and small hoochies are working as the main feed is needlefish now.

Bud & Rex

April 28/15 Port Renfrew Marina Report

April 29th, 2015

Port Renfrew Marina will be opening officially on May 1st, this coming Friday. We have been at the marina for the last week to prepare for our opening this season and for any seasonal early birds. If you are seasonal and are preparing to come in soon or have decided to not return please contact us asap to let us know your status for this season. The number is 250 483-1878 for the office. Also for our caretaker, Desi, his number is 250 483-1486.

Important Notice:  This year we have a new ruling with the CRD regarding the compostable garbage disposal. Please note that it is now mandatory to separate your bio-degradable vegetable wastes from your non degradable garbage. For campers this year it will be necessary to separate your vegetable wastes and any organics from the other garbage and you will see we have a separate container for it. It is imperative that all campers do their best to comply with this new ruling. Please check in with the office for details regarding the ruling and how to meet with compliance of this new by-law.

For Port Renfrew Marina the crabbing has been good and coming on nicely. Halibut fishing is also coming along well considering it is early in the year. Lets hope the weather and conditions lend themselves for a productive year! This year will follow the ones before with the usual derbies we have had in the past. By now most of you know that the Davey Derby is not happening anymore but Port Renfrew marina will be trying to compensate for that derby so sorely missed. This year we are having a small salmon derby in honor of Blair Houdayer or Hoody as most of us knew him. He passed away last year and in his name we are having a derby for recognition of him and his wonderful nature and good spirit. He was a gentle sweet guy who will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Info available at the marina office.

A reminder for all fishermen. Port Renfrew Marina no longer sells fishing licenses. If you need a license you must pick one up at a store that offers purchasing such as Canadian Tire or in Victoria at Island Outfitters. The easiest and cheapest way to get one is to go online and get it yourself. Just go to Government of Canada, Fishing and Oceans Canada and look for saltwater fishing license, click on get a fishing license. If you have access to a printer its simple and only takes a few minutes.

Port Renfrew Marina is still looking for a marina truck. It doesn’t need to be pretty and we are looking for one that is cheap. We are also in need of a freezer as our one last year died. Anyone knowing of either one that would work for us please contact us at the number 250 483-1878. It would be much appreciated!

For all of us at Port Renfrew Marina and for Port Renfrew in general,  we wish all our customers, old and new have a great year fishing and enjoying their summer. Lets hope the fishing is outstanding and the weather is also! As you return you will see the same old faces and we welcome Knut back and our handy guy, Eric who keeps the grounds nice. See you all soon!

Bud & Rex

April 11/15 Port Renfrew Marina Report

April 11th, 2015

Port Renfrew Marina is looking for a work pick up truck. Our old one gave up the fight and had to be scrapped. We are looking for an older truck, it doesn’t need to be pretty or expensive, cheap is good!  It is needed mostly for taking garbage to the dump, moving materials around the marina and such. If you know of an older truck that is in reasonable shape please contact us at 250 474-2643 and ask for Bud.

The marina will be opening soon, May 1st. If you are a seasonal customer and wanting to get your trailer out please contact Desi and let him know what dates you are looking to arrive. The gate is kept locked and you will need to give him some notice. There will be someone in the office from April 24th and we are hoping to have the phone lines working by then.

We have been informed recently from Tahnee that the Salmonberry Bistro will not be at the marina this year. She is moving to an area near the Coastal Kitchen as they are not open for dinners this year. There is a possibility of someone opening a small food stall at the marina but that is not confirmed yet. If not we are hoping that the office will be able to at least make coffee available. We will know more near opening time.

Any seasonals who are NOT returning please contact us and let us know as soon as possible so we can be aware of any spaces that can be made available for new customers. We always have new people inquiring and it would be helpful to know who is coming back and who may not be.

Bud & Rex

Port Renfrew Marina Report April 4, 2015

April 4th, 2015

The 2015 season for Port Renfrew Marina is almost upon us again! The winter went by quickly, the fishing will be starting up soon and we will all be looking forward to the crabbing to turn on. As most of you know the marina opens on May 1st. Those of you with your units in storage with us may want to check on things but with the mild winter our caretaker, Desi, says things are looking ok. The season this year is from May 1st to Oct. 12th. Anyone wanting to bring their units in will need to call and make arrangements either with Bud 250 474-2643 or with Desi Hatchard 250 483-1486. The gate is kept locked and it is important for all customers to call ahead. We at Port Renfrew Marina look forward to seeing our regular customers again for another season and to meet new our ones who we hope will enjoy their stay with us.

Bud & Rex