Fishing Season and Limits

Fishermen looking for big trophies are lucky in this area, because BC sport fishing is almost a year-round event. Depending on the season, you’ll find excursions for either giant halibut or hard-fighting salmon varieties. No matter what you’re looking to take home, make sure to get your Canadian salt water fishing license before you arrive. You can apply for your license online and once you receive it, download it to your electronic device and print out a separate paper copy to bring with you. You’ll need to fill out the license during your excursion, and our captain will help you with that.

Halibut Fishing

Halibut is out of season in January to allow for spawning. You’ll often see the biggest halibut at this time of year. The females lay their eggs far out into the ocean, then come in close to shore to rest and feed. We’ve seen giants from 60 to 200 pounds coming in near our favorite fishing spots on Vancouver Island during the first few months of the year. BC sport fishing gets started in March, when we start fishing for these giants, although the Port Renfrew BC weather usually determines whether or not we set out for the day.

Finding the Fish

As spring turns into summer, the waters are filled with halibut. Some days, clients pull halibut up while trolling for salmon – a bonus without even working for it! The smaller fish weighing 20 pounds make for some fantastic eating. If you’re determined to get one of the big ones this summer, John knows some great Vancouver Island fishing spots where they gather. In the past, our clients have pulled out fish weighing over 100 pounds but now there is a mandatory maximum of 70 pounds. Don’t worry – John will find them.

Size Limits

There is a variable size limit on halibut sometimes changing on April 1. Normally, the maximum length with the head on is 133 cm. The daily limit is just one fish, and the possession limit is 2. The second halibut can only be 83 cm or under. You can catch up to 6 halibut each year, and every fish must be immediately recorded on your license in ink.

Salmon Fishing

As the weather gets warmer, the salmon fishing season starts to heat up! Enthusiasts start fishing for those feisty Coho salmon beginning in June, when you can find schools of them following the Port Renfrew tides. They’ll be feeding on the surface most days until October, although these picky fish are tough to catch early in the morning.

When to Fish for Coho Salmon

It’s later in the BC sport fishing season when the Coho really start to get huge. They can grow up to a pound a week, and can weigh 10 pounds or more by September. From June 1 until the end of the year your limit on Coho salmon is two per day in our fishing area. Port Renfrew’s Coho Derby is in late September or early October, and you’re allowed to catch four Coho per day by then.

Catching the Chinook

Later on in the year we have great success fishing for the big Chinook salmon. These fish move up and down the coast with the tides and the Port Renfrew BC weather, giving anglers an opportunity to catch them. Our unique BC sport fishing area offers offshore fishing for the big ones as well as a shallow water fishery along the coastline. The Chinook season lasts from late May until around September 15th (but can be variable). Your limit is two Chinook per day, and it’s a rare angler who doesn’t catch that amount fairly easily.

John ‘Welzie’ Wells and the Hindsight are your ticket to the best BC sport fishing hot spots on the Swiftsure banks and beyond.

Licensing and Regulation

Get your Canadian Salt Water Fishing license online. Or, if you are coming from the US, contact John to arrange your licenses.

Dept of Fisheries & Oceans regulations for Port Renfrew and Sooke.