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Port Renfrew Fishing Report

Find out what’s working and what’s not when fishing in the Port Renfrew area on Southern Vancouver Island. Tips, best practices, places and the go-to lures are just a sample of what you’ll find in our fishing report.

Port Renfrew Marine Map


Port Renfrew Marine Weather Forecast


Port Renfrew Fishing Report

Click Here for Area 20 Current Regulations


July 2020

Let’s get this season started already, eh? The majority of small towns along the west coast of BC were closed down this spring. As a community, we welcome our tourists back for another season of great fishing.

The fishing is great right now. Halibut fishing is steady at most of the anchoring spots. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information at this time for drifting areas.

Chinook fishing is steady in the local areas. There are fish holding at Camper Creek, Rock Pile, and Logan. Over the last few weeks, we saw huge numbers of squid spawn. This is a sure sign the Chinook will be hanging around.

It’s catch-and-release at the time of this writing, and we will hear more around the first week of June about upcoming regulations. If you want to keep Chinook, head down to Nitinat and look for some beauties in the 15- to 20-lb range.

The gear of choice close to home is small anchovies trolled in a Rhys Davis teaser behind a Hot Spot Salty Dog flasher. The Skinny G Blue Nickel is the trick at Nitinat.

If you need an updated report, feel free to contact me. As you know, the fishing changes hourly.

I wish you bent rods & blistered palms.

John Wells

May 2020

This month, let’s focus on one of those opportunities which present themselves to anglers of all ages: smelting at Pacheedaht Campground. It’s a great place to fly kites and to have beach fires when permitted, and smelting is especially fun for the young ones.

Smelting is done with gill nets, which you can pick up at Trotac Marine in Victoria. If you can’t get there, you could ask your local tackle suppliers to bring one in for you. Once you get your net set up, you will need to get wet or wear chest waders. Pull the net out just past the break and toss the weight, normally a 10-lb ball.

If you’re lucky enough, you will see floats just off the beach. Seasoned smelt anglers use these as pulleys. You will need a long rope (about 100′) with one end run through the float. (You can do this at low tide.) This allows you to smelt fish without chest waders or getting wet.

The smelt season runs from the end of May through September, and smelting is best on the incoming tide. Please remember to limit your catch to what you can enjoy fresh. Smelt are great table fare, and next issue I’ll share some recipes.

I wish you bent rods & blistered palms.

John Wells



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