Fishing in Puget Sound
October 22, 2010 6:15 AM   Subscribe

When is really the best time to fish for salmon in the Puget Sound / Georgia Straight area? Is it exclusively a late fall/early winter sport?

Family members have recently purchased a 24' cabin cruiser type powerboat and would like to try fishing for salmon. They've gone through the appropriate training courses and safety info and have been using the boat with great sucess in the San Juans since spring of this year. Nobody has tried catching a fish yet, however...

This would be in Puget Sound off the coast of Skagit or Whatcom counties in WA state. I'm looking at the WA state government's fish & game website which has some recommended schedules:

What are our realistic chances of catching a fish in November, assuming we're totally clueless?
posted by thewalrus to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
I like reading DC Reid in the Times Colonist, who states emphatically that salmon trawling is over for the year.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:12 AM on October 22, 2010

I was out last Friday on the Puget Sound out of Shilshole Bay on a charter that had reliably delivered salmon on two previous outings and we had no success. (But the orcas were out in force which took some of the sting out of it). Good luck.
posted by donovan at 7:43 AM on October 22, 2010

in case you are Googling, the correct name is The Strait of Georgia or informally The Georgia Strait
posted by Neiltupper at 10:55 AM on October 22, 2010

Kokuyru, there is no salmon trawling and anyway the OP isn't looking to go commercial fishing.

Short answer, yes there are always salmon I'm nearshore pacific waters. As long as the season is open and your gear is legal there is no good reason not to put a line in the water and see how you do.
posted by fshgrl at 1:29 PM on October 22, 2010

Make sure you can tell the species apart BTW. There are 5 salmon and (maybe, I don't know the specific area) 2 kinds of sea going trout you could conceivably encounter all with different seasons and limits. And know how to ID a hatchery fish vs a wild one. In other words don't be That Guy.
posted by fshgrl at 1:33 PM on October 22, 2010

Trolling for salmon is what you'll be doing, motor running, line in the water, waiting for something to happen but you're fishing so it doesn't matter when. At this time of year you would have to be very patient. The orcas are eating the seals which are eating the salmon the orca can't find.

Have you thought about other types of fish that inhabit Puget Sound - There are many other species that do not take trolling, in the cod and perch varieties. Tie up to a kelp bed and drop a line and listen to the lap of the waves against the side of the boat. Much calmer than trolling since no one has to steer. It helps if it's foggy.

posted by ptm at 11:46 AM on October 23, 2010

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