Fishing the San Juan islands

DeepBlueWater

Newbie
Jan 3, 2019
21
8
Newport Beach, CA
Name
Henry
Boat
Grady White Sailfish 282
I may be working in the Anacortes area for a while and it would make sense to haul my boat up from Southern California. For the local members can you please give me an overview of what it's like to fish around the San Juan islands? Is the bottom rock or sand? Is it possible to fish year round assuming it's not a howling gale?

Thanks in advance!
 

Captain Decent

The Bert makes ‘em Squirt
Nov 2, 2017
1,528
2,222
38
Covington, wa
Name
Ryan
Boat
The Bert Makes ’em Squirt
Mostly rocky in the San Juan’s and sandy closer to Anacortes and the bays around there.

it’s got a good mix of protected and open waters so you generally can fish any time of the year. But if the whales show up you are an asshole and must get out of their way while remaining in the fetal position.

there is great lingcod fishing in May/June an abundance of other bottom fish that are largely protected and salmon fishing can be good at any time of the year but takes some time to learn the fishery.
 

troller w

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 14, 2010
256
446
Anacortes
Name
Dennis
Boat
Troller 190 Hewescraft Searunner
I won’t start lashing you for that question but I feel that the lashing’s are coming. Anyway the best way to just learn the basics is hire a guide first time out. I know a few but I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes that may advertise on BD but I’m sure the brother hood will suggest guides.
 

DeepBlueWater

Newbie
Jan 3, 2019
21
8
Newport Beach, CA
Name
Henry
Boat
Grady White Sailfish 282
Never thought about the whales; do they travel between the islands or stay out in the Juan de Fuca Strait?

A guide seems like a good way to start. All in all sounds pretty cool.
 

Siv

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 8, 2008
2,039
646
Normandy Park Wa
Name
Dave
Boat
19' SeaSport
Your boat is more than capable of the fishery but like the guys have said the recent issues with Orcas are complicating the seasons. The whales can be found all through the islands, not just the straights, when there is food for them. Totally agree to get with a guide to learn. It is complex place to fish and the locals are famously tight lipped.

There are also opportunities for shrimp and crab.

Beautiful country, some of the best saltwater boating in the world.
 
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DeepBlueWater

Newbie
Jan 3, 2019
21
8
Newport Beach, CA
Name
Henry
Boat
Grady White Sailfish 282
Siv,
I agree, the boating looks fantastic and from what I'd read, a great cross-section of fish and crab.

Not sure what you meant by recent issues with Orcas, I didn't see anything online, only tours to go watch 'em.
 

Fog Ducker!

Misanthropical member
May 9, 2010
2,490
2,474
North of Kali!
Name
Dave
Boat
4 and counting!
Siv,

Not sure what you meant by recent issues with Orcas, I didn't see anything online, only tours to go watch 'em.
The Governor put together a task force with 4 fishermen and 50 watermelons. They have put into effect several changes. Download and read the regs before you get here. Great fodder for the shithouse!
You will need a descender device ready to be deployed to fish here. PM me when you arrive.

A good way to find crowded places is to pick up John Martinez's book Saltwater Fishing Journal can be had a John's sporting goods in Everett, or off his website https://johnssportinggoods.com/

SJ's are a great way to spend all you spare time on the water!

Ducker!
ps. beware of short female sasquatch's, I hear they bite!
 

Grady226

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 17, 2009
2,013
986
Marysville,Wa
Name
Gary
Boat
22' Grady White
Join the local Puget Sound Anglers Club.....PSA Fidalgo.
A great group of guys and Chris Long of Jolly Mon Charters is the President.
 
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sgwill122

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 21, 2011
1,816
1,939
Redmond/WA/USA
Name
Stephen
Boat
'Lady Karen' 28 Duckworth Offshore
San Juan’s are awesome for saltwater boating. Fishing can be good when you are allowed to fish which is less and less recently. All rockfish are off limits, but we do have excellent sand dab fishery and a 6 week ling season but is restricted to a max of 120ft. Salmon season is unpredictable, we lost all of August this year. I would want my boat if I was living in the area. Make your way to the coast for some great ling/Hali/rock fishing in May.
 
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Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
If there's water it's worth bringing the boat!

Seriously though. Bring your passport too I was looking at Canadian regs yesterday, seems worth it to me.
 
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Siv

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 8, 2008
2,039
646
Normandy Park Wa
Name
Dave
Boat
19' SeaSport
Siv,
I agree, the boating looks fantastic and from what I'd read, a great cross-section of fish and crab.

Not sure what you meant by recent issues with Orcas, I didn't see anything online, only tours to go watch 'em.
Just google southern resident orcas for details about the issues. Also learn about downrigger salmon trolling , that is pretty much all they do in the islands.
 

DeepBlueWater

Newbie
Jan 3, 2019
21
8
Newport Beach, CA
Name
Henry
Boat
Grady White Sailfish 282
I am from Newport and frequently go to Catalina for halibut (the So Cal ones), white sea bass and yellowtail. Haven't caught a tuna yet as I've only had the boat for a year and a half and I'm new to fishing.

Between exploring various channels, sightseeing, fishing, learning how to catch crab and maybe venturing over to Canada, it all sounds great and I'd be humbled just to be able to experience your area.

Thank you all for your help, if it works out I'll join the Puget Sound club.
 

FVSerenity

Tuna Boss
Feb 27, 2012
2,896
1,891
The Salt
Name
Rod
Boat
22' Duckworth FVSerenity, 2502 Trophy FVHappyHours
I've heard there is like this whole other country really close to there or something where the fishing is like pretty good and stuff... I don't know, probably just a rumor.
Yeah but the license for a non resident is like $80.....oh wait......
 
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Nosecrets

Blackmouthers good side
Jul 6, 2012
1,658
2,860
North of seattle
Name
Blackmouther
Boat
9' bullfrog "mr big"
Its amazing. The seasons have been shortened up so much that you can really take advantage of prime time. The halibut season opens the morning the long lines come out during the largest tides which is incredible. You can have an awesome deadliest catch experience while chasing the fish which is rad. The salmon season is also amazing. You have the opportunity to fish winter blackmouth amongst crab pots which really makes the trip a delight. Ling cod season is the highlight. You can fish to 120’ and when you incidentally catch a rock fish you get to use a decender device to make sure you get to see the fish you released in the safeway case. Lets not forget about the summer king season. You can fish it right up to when the kings start to show up. Then its again so amazing because it gets closed down as to feed the whales. You can book a whale watching trip but bring your telescope so you can see them unless you go to bc, up there you can ride them. Its really awesome
 

EJ Swanny

Three Generations of Uff-Dah
Nov 30, 2010
2,641
1,448
Redondo/WA
Name
Erik
Boat
"Riley-J" 2006 21' Proline Tourney
X3, epic scenery and boating/camping opportunities. Fishing...you need some really good inside info...hell, even crabbing is getting that way these days, beautiful none the less....