Port Renfrew is known for excellent fishing. We are situated at the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where many runs of fish travel destined for various rivers in Puget Sound and the Fraser River system. Our salmon season usually begins in early May with the first runs of larger Chinook in the 20-30 lb range. Chinook season continues on to mid September. Coho usually start in July and run into the end of October. Our area is know for it's run of larger than average Coho, usually in late September. Some of these fish run well over 20lbs.
Our halibut fishery is second to none with the larger halibut showing up early in the year. February is generally the start point for halibut and the season typically runs into late fall. Weather can sometimes play a big factor in getting to the halibut grounds.Port Renfrew has approximately 25 independent guide boats where a typical day starts at 6:00 am with a one hour run out to Swiftsure Banks. Usually the Charters target Chinook Salmon for the first part of the day and finishing up with halibut, depending on tides and currents. It's very common to get your limit of both salmon and halibut.
There are numerous fishing derbies in Port Renfrew starting with the Father's Day Derby in June with a first prize of $10,000.00 and finishing with the Coho Derby the first weekend in October. The winner in the October Coho Derby takes all with purses that usually exceed $10,000.00 and as high as $16,000.00.
Delicious Dungeoness Crab can be found in the Bay of San Juan. Best crabbing is in late spring and early summer. Smelt fishing can be enjoyed off the beach. Many folks set their nets and enjoy a picnic while waiting for their bounty. Our river estuaries have excellent sea run Cutthroat using flies and spinners. The San Juan, Harris Creek and Gordon rivers enjoys a strong Steelhead run throughout the winter months. Anglers also enjoy fishing Coho right off the beach come September and into October.