Saltwater Tell me all about PNW saltwater sportfishing

Goldenglory18

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Kenny Thompson
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Newbie to the area, and the tagged albacore post got me all giddy.

What are the main saltwater targets around here? I'm familiar with bass, pelagic, and bottom fishing techniques in SoCal, but I figure it's WAY more seasonal up here. What else is a common target? Are there any bass-like targets like calicos or spotties? Any resident species that can be found in the local areas of the sound?

Stoked to get busy fishing in 2022.

TIA!

- Kenny
 
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xtshawytscha

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May 14, 2011
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Forks, WA, USA
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Eric
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Cabin Fever - C Hawk 245
Saltwater fisheries here vary wildly depending on where exactly you are fishing. The coastal fisheries here are somewhat similar to your socal stuff but with different species and shorter weather windows. Neah Bay, LA Push, Westport and Illwaco provide access. Bottomfish (blue and black rockfish primarily) is open year round but limited by weather. Catch them near shore on structure or in kelp. Lingcod generally opens in March and runs into October. Only pelagic game is albacore. Salmon is highly regulated. Puget sound and inland waters are a different game. Crabbing and shrimping is also popular in the sound.
 

Johnlgarrison

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Jul 27, 2009
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    Johnny Garrison
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    I am also a southern California transplant been here for two months. Really looking forward to getting out and trying my hand at rockfish.
     
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    Pipe Dream
    Hope I am not bursting your bubble but be aware that most of Puget Sound is closed to all rockfish retention. There is some very limited opportunity in the Strait but be sure you check the regs by management area for species and daily limits as well as depth limitations.
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    Pipe Dream
    Then there is the requirement to have a descender device aboard rigged and ready to utilize if fishing for bottom fish. No barbed hooks and, finally, be sure to have your attorney's number on speed dial. (Had to split due to key stroke limit)
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    Salmon King

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    Mar 29, 2013
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    There are some good freshwater opportunities (bass/cutthroat/perch) to be had. It varies from area to area. Some great spots in eastern WA away from the crowds.

    Offshore is good and whitefish (rockfish/halibut/lingcod) are the best eating. Book your 2022 charters now as they fill up.
     
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    koorbloh

    Lion hunter
    Jun 16, 2010
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    Monroe, WA
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    Jeff
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    17' Smokercraft Osprey
    I'm no expert on the ocean fishing.

    But, the main events with a fishing pole in Puget sound, as I see it, are salmon and ling cod seasons. The ling cod season is in May and June, and salmon is largely a summer-fall, and the some late winter-early spring. Get familiar with the regs and areas. Some years are better than others, and it does take some effort to learn.

    Some of the best days in the sound, on my boat, are days spent crabbing. Opening day can be a zoo, but crabs are July-September, and then winter crabbing is reliably October-December.

    Lots of lakes with a variety of species.

    Rivers are fun too if you have waders instead of a boat.
     
    P
    Pipe Dream
    Summer crab season in most areas of Puget Sound is 1 July thru Labor Day unless it isn't. Be sure to check seasons by management area.
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    Goldenglory18

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Looks like I'll be sticking to lakes more often than not, which in the grand scheme of things I kinda assumed coming in. That's why my agreement to move up here came with two contingencies....1) I'm headed down to San Diego at least once a year for a long weekend and 2) I'm buying another kayak for the lakes.

    Anyone have local charter recommendations for Halibut? That's the only saltwater target that really seems to be in my wheelhouse. Especially if albies are no-show.

    - Kenny
     
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    Genie Aye

    FISH BOSS
  • Sep 25, 2008
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    Off the coast...we start fishing mid april thru October, fish all the different species, ling cod, rockfish(10+ species) halibut, salmon and tuna. Lots of opportunity when you can get out.
     
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    A-K

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    Aaron
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    Welcome to Washington or like the old timers used to call it WaRshington.

    If you want a halibut charter I would suggest acting sooner then later. Halibut fishing is pretty popular and the 6 pack guys fill up fast.

    On halibut days you get to keep 1 Halibut, 2 Ling cod, and 7 rock fish. Sometimes we get lucky and a halibut day will over lap the start of the coastal salmon fishing opener, so you’ll get a bonus Salmon or 2 (typically June 20 for salmon opener).

    If your looking for a recommendation I have fished with the following captains and would recommend.

    All rivers charters, offshore NW, Anglers edge sport fishing, Mark Youngblood sport fishing.

    Good luck!
     
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    KimH

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    Mar 4, 2009
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    There is a group of guys that fish near shore halibut around the Neah Bay area from Kayaks. Not ocean per say, Strait of Juan de Fuca but East a bit of Neah. I'd assume they're catching some rockfish et cetera.
     
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    Elkfins

    Ungrateful Prick
    Aug 8, 2008
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    There is a group of guys that fish near shore halibut around the Neah Bay area from Kayaks. Not ocean per say, Strait of Juan de Fuca but East a bit of Neah. I'd assume they're catching some rockfish et cetera.
    I've seen them in Makah bay as well... out by Strawberry rock.
     
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    Odin7

    Doug Fir
    Apr 19, 2008
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    The Sunshine State
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    George
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    Soon
    X2 on the kayak out of Neah Bay. I'm fishing from an Old Town PDL 132 in the Atlantic now and have caught 21 different species so far.

    You can cover a lot of water in a good kayak and get into the kelp beds along the shore east and west of Neah Bay easily where you will find plenty of Rockfish, Ling Cod, cab drivers and some really big kings. Use a diver to get your gear down and paddle/peddle along the edges. Because the water is shallow, the Rockfish will fight all the way in and you can safely release any that you can't or don't want to keep. A little farther from shore, you will find your halibut.

    I looked at the guys such as Funnigan (?) doing some incredibly great work out of their kayaks thinking I needed to switch to that direction. (I finally did) He caught some pretty big fish out of his. I have too out here and I must say it is a whole different game when the fish is pulling you around the water.

    It is dry suit water there for sure in any season. EPIRB, strobe and hand held VHF highly recommended.

    The shoreline around the northwest corner of Washington State is some of the most beautiful you will find anywhere in North America. Hope you enjoy exploring your new state. I'm sure you will.
     
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    Goldenglory18

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    I'm definitely going the kayak route. Eventually we will get a BOAT, boat, but for now (wife and I are both in school and we have a 7mo filling our spare time) the kayak will be plenty.

    Thanks for the tips on the required gear. Most definitely will need to be ultra prepared if/when I decide it's time to get the kayak salty. Ocean fishing in SoCal is nerve wracking, I cant even imagine how wild it is up here.

    - Kenny
     
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    FVSerenity

    Tuna Boss FV HappyHours
  • Feb 27, 2012
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    Personally, there may be a few days out of the year to get your kayak out in the strait but I think you are out of your ever lovin mind. But then I’m old and appreciate living more than some of the younger folks out there.

    If you decide to do it, don’t be stupid, watch the weather

    Get on a charter, make some friends with fishermen with boats, get a sense of what you want to do before you buy a boat. There are so many opportunities and differing boat requirements to investigate before you spend half a million on the wrong boat.

    Get the regs and read that, you will see all the species and fishing zones (areas)

    Charters may look expensive but it’s cheaper than doing it all yourself, best way is to have a friend that knows what he is doing and just kick in some cash.
     
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    EJ Swanny

    Three Generations of Uff-Dah
    Nov 30, 2010
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    Personally, there may be a few days out of the year to get your kayak out in the strait but I think you are out of your ever lovin mind. But then I’m old and appreciate living more than some of the younger folks out there.

    If you decide to do it, don’t be stupid, watch the weather

    Get on a charter, make some friends with fishermen with boats, get a sense of what you want to do before you buy a boat. There are so many opportunities and differing boat requirements to investigate before you spend half a million on the wrong boat.

    Get the regs and read that, you will see all the species and fishing zones (areas)

    Charters may look expensive but it’s cheaper than doing it all yourself, best way is to have a friend that knows what he is doing and just kick in some cash.
    What he said....do you know how to operate down-riggers? Do you know how to fight a salmon/ling/hali? Do you mind fishing hard (5am to 9pm)? Do your way around a net and how to, know how to tie knots, etc...??? We all can use a competent deck hand from now to now, but most guys don't want to train one......
     
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    Goldenglory18

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    Personally, there may be a few days out of the year to get your kayak out in the strait but I think you are out of your ever lovin mind. But then I’m old and appreciate living more than some of the younger folks out there.

    If you decide to do it, don’t be stupid, watch the weather

    Get on a charter, make some friends with fishermen with boats, get a sense of what you want to do before you buy a boat. There are so many opportunities and differing boat requirements to investigate before you spend half a million on the wrong boat.

    Get the regs and read that, you will see all the species and fishing zones (areas)

    Charters may look expensive but it’s cheaper than doing it all yourself, best way is to have a friend that knows what he is doing and just kick in some cash.
    Eh, I'm not that much of a risk taker, especially since we have the little one now. Although I am worth more dead than alive, so there's that.

    For sure, even in SoCal my process was to get on the sport boats and learn as much as possible from the experts. After 6 years was I even remotely ready to get my own ride, and even at that point the cost wasn't worth experience. At least up here I have a place to store it.
     
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    Goldenglory18

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    What he said....do you know how to operate down-riggers? Do you know how to fight a salmon/ling/hali? Do you mind fishing hard (5am to 9pm)? Do your way around a net and how to, know how to tie knots, etc...??? We all can use a competent deck hand from now to now, but most guys don't want to train one......

    No, no/yes/yes, no, yes, mostly. Totally down to learn, that's for sure. It's the consistency thing that escapes me (hard to spend a lot of time on the water these days.)
     
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    FVSerenity

    Tuna Boss FV HappyHours
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    No, no/yes/yes, no, yes, mostly. Totally down to learn, that's for sure. It's the consistency thing that escapes me (hard to spend a lot of time on the water these days.)
    It’s mostly seasonal up here so when it’s open you got to go, one exception, if the weather is dangerous don’t go, we loose people and boats every year because a fishery is only open a couple days a week so folks are more likely go go when the weather says no, next thing you know your in a coast guard report and people are saying prayers for the family. Sad but true.

    But! If you go when it’s decent out it is a blast around here! Beautiful scenery, beautiful water and great times!

    Be safe and have fun!
     
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    thesaltyhooker

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    Fog Ducker!

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    Have not seen any GF pics yet!
    What's the deal!

    Ducker!
     
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    Goldenglory18

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    Wait just one damn minute....shrimping is a thing here??? Definitely on my list now for 2022...

     
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    thesaltyhooker

    Almost A Member
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    Wait just one damn minute....shrimping is a thing here??? Definitely on my list now for 2022...

    oh boy...hopefully not from the kayak.
    heavy pots, 300 ish feet of water, 400 ft shots of rope. its a lot for some people to deal with on a boat, let alone a kayak...not to mention if you plan to shrimp down in the seattle area for the VERY short opener its a total shit show and there is zero way id want to be out there in a kayak paddling for fun, let alone trying to manage shrimp pot gear.
     
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    Goldenglory18
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    Nah, not from a yak. I'd be happy to be an extra set of hands on someone elses boat. Always down to chip in for gas and bring some brews for a backseat.
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    EJ Swanny

    Three Generations of Uff-Dah
    Nov 30, 2010
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    Erik
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    "Riley-J" 2006 21' Proline Tourney
    VERY short opener its a total shit show and there is zero way id want to be out there in a kayak paddling for fun, let alone trying to manage shrimp pot gear.
    It's a TOTAL shit-show these days, especially the last couple years. Everyone is deciding...hmmm...I'm going to buy a boat, (especially Kali transplants) then they get wind of a "shrimp season", "how hard could it be"...... 3-4 hours of chaos later..... Idiots setting right on top of others' pots, using poly, motoring through the shrimp grounds at 25+....ugggh. Sorry for the rant, it is just ridiculous, and it will not get any better.....no particular anger against glory, just respect others. Not particularly good kali trait from my obs...and yes I get it it's not all Kali guys,,,,,
     
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    Captain Decent

    The Bert makes ‘em Squirt
    Nov 2, 2017
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    Ryan
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    The Bert Makes ’em Squirt
    Your buddies all came up here in the 90s and fucked our shit up so I wouldn’t bother. It’s like so cal but with shitty weather 10 months of the year.

    Anyone coming up here will be taxed and permitted into bankruptcy and the the first round of daylight savings time you won’t see daylight for 6 months unless you’re in construction.

    You’ll lose your fishing license because your lawyer can’t even figure out if you can fish for sand dabs with barbed hooks within the upper 2/3 of 20 fathoms or a line bisecting the Second piling seaward of mean high water and the south eastern edge of the 3rd yellow eye rockfish closure area. And if SRKWs show up you’re an asshole.

    Best industries here are tech and meth and I’m not good with computers
     
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