4.5 million Americans over 6 reported fishing in 2022, with 14.3 million fishing in salt water. Of freshwater fishermen, 85% expressed an interest in trying saltwater fishing, but location and cost can be barriers to entry in trying this quickly expanding sport.
That’s according to fan research compiled by Sport Fishing Championship and Wasserman.
There are several lesser-known fishing destinations on the coast of Washington State and recipes for the commonly caught fish in this region.
Recreational fishing is popular in Washington state, with over 850,000 anglers buying licenses yearly.
Washington State Saltwater Fishing Locations
One of the best things about Washington State is that you can fish in many different areas. While much of the state has freshwater fishing available, today we are highlighting saltwater fishing, which is available in the Western region of the state on the coast and in the Puget Sound.
You don’t have to go to the ocean to catch fish. A much wider variety of species is available on the ocean, but you’ll have less water and weather to deal with if you stay inland, on the Sound.
Common Puget Sound Species
- Salmon – Chinook and Coho
- Spot Prawns
Popular Puget Sound Fishing Locations
The entire Puget Sound contains a bounty of fish, depending on the time of the year you hope to go fishing. Many different charter options are available depending on what side of the Sound you’re staying on and what species you’re hoping to target.
Want to stay on shore? There are many fishing options from piers around the Puget Sound. Check out the WDFW site for more pier fishing information.
Popular Coastal and Straight of Juan de Fuca Fishing Spots in Washington State
The Washington Coast is not well-known nationally as a travel destination for sport fishing. Still, with the variety of species you can catch combined with the beautiful scenery, budget-friendly accommodations, and professional charter options, it should be. The Washington coast is a fishermen’s paradise at a fraction of the cost of a similar trip in Alaska.
Common Washington Coast Ocean Species
- Albacore Tuna
- Black Cod/Sablefish
- Kelp Greenling
Pronounced “see-queue,” this tiny town comes alive during the fishing season when the waterfront area has more boats and campers than people. Fishing bibs and rain boots are a necessity, and make sure to bring your supplies with you. The nearest grocery store is 20+ miles away, and the nearest box store is 1 ½ hours away.
What you will find is friendly locals, a couple of hometown restaurants that will keep your belly full when you get sick of camp cooking, and several options for accommodations that range from a motel that requires you to bring your bedding, tent camping sites, RV sites, and fully loaded rental homes for opportunities that fit any budget.
Sekiu is on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with most of the fishing inside. Depending on the wind and the water, it tends to be more accommodating and comfortable inside the straight, but the swell can still get wild, so check the reports and ask the locals for current weather and water prediction updates.
There are excellent charter options out of Sekiu if you don’t have a boat. Check out Outlander Charters for options.
About 20 miles down the road from Sekiu is Neah Bay. Located on the Makah Indian reservation, this small town has a grocery store, several restaurants, several accommodation options, and a popular boat launch. It is also close to Cape Flattery, the Northwestern point of the continental United States, and makes a great day hike.
Neah sits near the mouth of the Straight of Juan de Fuca, so many boats launching out of Neah Bay head out to the ocean to popular fishing destinations ranging from close to shore near Tatoosh island, out to 50+ miles into the Pacific for species like Albacore Tuna. A good charter will have great locations for targeting specific species and can get you on the fish and fill your coolers.
For charter options, try Seawalker Charter or Windsong Charters.
Just minutes away from the city of Forks, made famous for being the fictional home of the Cullens in the Twilight series, lies La Push. Located on the Quileute Reservation, this oceanside city features a small marina, boat launch, and a few resorts and accommodations.
La Push sits on the ocean and is a convenient launch for many offshore fishing destinations.
Top Notch Charters and All Ways Fishing Charters are great options for fishing out of La Push.
Recipes for Common Puget Sound Fish
The species you will target when fishing in the Puget Sound and Pacific Coast make excellent meals.
Grilled Lemon Pepper Lingcod is a simple recipe that is quick to prepare and highlights the flaky, moist texture of the fish. This recipe can also be used with Halibut and Rockfish.
If you love lobster rolls, you will flip over how amazing a fresh Dungeness Crab Roll can be. Get cracking after you get crabbing, and you won’t miss lobster one bit.
If you are fortunate enough to visit during salmon season, save part of your catch for a big filet of maple smoked salmon. It is the perfect preparation to highlight the incredible flavors of this treasured fish.
Washington State is not just a rainy, gray state. It also has beautiful scenery in our numerous mountains and volcanos visible from almost all directions and incredible opportunities for affordable, approachable fishing that is genuinely world-class. Bonus: you might see some Orcas, Humpbacks, Mola Mola, Dolphins, Blue Sharks, or Gray whales while dropping those lines in the water.
This article was produced by Or Whatever You Do and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.