Tag Archives: Dungeness Crab


Seattle Salmon Fishing Report July 14

Although the large returns of ocean Chinook and Coho wait until mid-summer to return to the Puget Sound, there is a healthy number of resident Coho and Chinook swimming around Possession Bar, Kingston and Jeff Head. There are always a few mature Chinook that return from their open-ocean feeding frenzy a little early and will be caught and released. Puget Sound’s tidal flows push the herring up into the tide rips, and that is exactly where the salmon stack up to feed.

The first two week’s worth of fishing for Resident Coho has been a little challenging in the Central Puget Sound. Small tidal exchanges during the first week really made searching for a concentration of bait and salmon difficult. We focused on catching Coho for our guests, but did spend a little time scouting for Chinook, which we found with regularity around Jeff Head and Kingston (some large mature Chinook and plenty of smaller blackmouth). Most of the charters that fished the early weeks of July spent their time working the shipping lanes for shallow Coho. We fished the south side of Jeff Head most days, trolling with herring or lures behind chrome dodgers. Size 0 dodgers, 20”-22” 30 pound leader, trailed by 2”-3” Silver Horde Kingfisher Spoons, Ace Hi Needlefish Flies, Gold Star Mini Squid, or small firecracker herring rigged in an anchovy helmet. Most of the Coho that we came across were three to six pounds. It seemed to be an early morning bite for most, but we also picked up a few salmon later in the day as well. I received several really good reports from friends that were focusing on Catch & Release Chinook fishing, catching a few nice fish at Mid Channel, Posession Bar and Kingston. We came across a few nice Chinook at Kingston and Jeff Head, even though we spent very little time overall targeting them.

During our last few days of Coho fishing, the tidal exchange was great enough to really build some nice tide rips around the south side of Jeff Head. One morning I cruised up to find several charter boats working a line, so I scooted over to find a textbook rip, the tide rip that I had been searching for all week! All the grass and debris was pushed into a tight line in the flat water. On the outer edge was a wide stretch of choppy water clear of eelgrass. Small herring were jumping everywhere and the gulls were actively circling and diving. Like I said, textbook. We started our troll and quickly picked up a few fish. Two younger guys in a small Boston Whaler quickly limited on Coho; they were mooching herring tight to the rip. We worked the rip and were rewarded with six fish on and three fish to the boat. Fishing for a few days was consistently good, and we caught fish during every trip. Really enjoyed the early season, but I am looking forward to keeping a few Chinook once the Sound opens for retention on July 16. Best of luck out there everyone!

We are just wrapping up the first two weeks of our Seattle salmon fishing season, so I figured that it was high time for a quick fishing report. Marine Area 10 has been open for Coho Salmon fishing since the first of July, and even though our Chinook fishing season begins on July 16, we have been finding a few big ones to battle and release. The early season (July 1 thru 15) is an interesting time to fish the Puget Sound near Seattle, and it has its highlights and its challenges. Here is a quick shakedown.


Seattle Crabbing Report July 5

As the locals say, our Seattle summer always officially begins on July 5, because it always rains on the Fourth. For us Puget Sounders, its our way of poking fun at the misfortune we all have when it comes to the weather; April showers brings May…. Showers, then we enjoy a little June gloom, but the day after we get rained out during our Independence Day celebrations… Then summer unofficially begins.

I, on the contrary, consider the opening day of crabbing on the Puget Sound to be the official kick off to MY Seattle summer. Thursday was the day!

We have set and pulled four pots just outside the Shilshole Bay Marina breakwater on Thursday and Friday. Results were mixed. My go to zone is 65′ to 80′ around the Ballard zone, that is where I have always done well and that is where we focused this week. I found a keeper or two per pot on the northern breakwater, and two or three keepers per pot on the southern end near the ship canal channel markers, which I was happy with.

Plenty of folks in all manner of watercraft were pulling pots in the area as well, many were doing poorly but I think almost everyone found at least a couple.

We moved over to Bainbridge today and found the mother load! It was common to find three to five keepers per pot, so we reached our boat limit quickly. The eastern side of Bainbridge doesn’t get fished as hard as the areas
close to Ballard due to the close proximity to the marina and boat launch. We alternated baiting with raw chicken, salmon carcasses and flounder. It didn’t seem to matter, all baits produced about the same. On average we kept about eight or ten crab per mornin g or afternoon outing! Lots of happy faces on our boat these past few days!




Puget Sound Dungeness Crab Season 2014

The sweet taste of freshly caught Dungeness Crab is one of the uniquely Northwest experiences that help define our region. And guess what? The Puget Sound Crab Season is going to open here on July 3. Puget Sound is Seattle’s summer playground, it is where thousands of us go to, or yearn to be, when we wish to escape the grind that is everyday life. And while our metropolitan fishery seems to be getting ever more popular each year, recent test fisheries show that the bounty of Dungeness Crab in Puget Sound is as healthy and plentiful as ever.

Crab Season Basics

All marine areas of the Puget Sound share some basic regulations.

  • Daily Limit for Dungeness Crab: 5 Males Only. Hardshell. Min. carapace 6.25″
  • Daily Limit for Red Rock Crab: 6 Male or Female. Hardshell. Min. carapace 5″
  • No Pulling or Setting Gear: 1 Hour after official sunset to 1 Hour before official sunrise.
  • Puget Sound Crab Catch Card required. Must fill out immediately after retaining crab.
  • 2 Pots/Rings per licensed person.

Puget Sound Crabbing 2014

The vast majority of crabbing effort occurs in Central Puget Sound, North Puget Sound and the Hood Canal. Catches close to Seattle, Everett and Tacoma can be excellent early in the season but limits of Dungeness can become a little more difficult to find later in the summer.
[table caption=”Puget Sound Dungeness Crab Season 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100″
colalign=”left|center|center|center|center “]
Location,Marine Area,Season,Open,Closed
Sekiu,MA 5,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
East Straits,MA 6,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
Deception Pass,MA 8-1,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
Port Gardner,MA 8-2,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
Admiralty Inlet,MA 9,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
Seattle,MA 10,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
Tacoma,MA 11,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed
Hood Canal,MA 12,July 3 thru Sept 1,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed

San Juan Islands & Bellingham Crabbing 2014

The southern extent of Marine Area 7, including most of the San Juan Islands and the Bellingham area, is a popular area to plan a summer getaway. One of the main reasons that this area has a later opening date is due to the condition of the crab in the area. When Dungeness Crab start to molt, their shells are soft and the quality of the crab meat is lower. Typically, crabbing is only allowed after the majority of crab in the area molt and return to their hardshell condition, and the further north you go… the later in the summer that occurs.
[table caption=”San Juan Islands South Crab Season 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100″
colalign=”left|center|center|center|center “]
Location,Marine Area,Season,Open,Closed
San Juans & Bellingham,MA 7S,July 17 thru Sept 29,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed

Strait of Georgia Crabbing 2014

This is one of Western Washington’s more remote areas, with scattered islands that are dotted with seasonal cabins and beach homes. Crabbing can be excellent in this area but the season is short.
[table caption=”San Juan Islands North Crab Season 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100″
colalign=”left|center|center|center|center “]
Location,Marine Area,Season,Open,Closed
Gulf of Georgia,MA 7N,Aug 15 thru Sept 29,Thurs – Mon,Tues & Wed

South Puget Sound Crabbing 2014

Crabbers in Puget Sound’s southern extent get a season that is a month longer than other areas. Angler effort in the Deep South Sound isn’t that great, and since Dungeness Crab can be found in hardshell condition early on, crabbing opens on June 1. The Dungeness Crab may seem to be less abundant here than in other parts of the Sound, but local crabbers seem to do just fine.
[table caption=”South Puget Sound Crab Season 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100″
colalign=”left|center|center|center|center “]
Location,Marine Area,Season,Open,Closed
Deep South Sound,MA 13,June 1 thru Sept 1,7 Days a Week,-


Puget Sound Crab Season 2013

Puget Sound’s 2013 summer crabbing season has just kicked off! Get in on some great summertime fun out on the Sound. Early reports are rolling in and crabbing in all areas of Puget Sound has been great! Here is a rough outline of the 2013 Puget Sound Crab Season, always consult the Washington Fishing Rules Pamphlet before heading out on the water… Good Luck out there folks!


Puget Sound Crab License

Anyone 15 years or older is required to possess a Washington State Shellfish License or Combination Fishing License. In addition, anyone fishing for Crab in Puget Sound is required to get a Puget Sound Crab Endorsement (regardless of age). All Dungeness Crab that are kept must be recorded on a Catch Record Card.

Crab Limits & Size in Puget Sound

The daily limit for crab in Puget Sound…

  • 5 Dungeness Crab (males only, hardshell condition only); Minimum Size is 6 ¼”
  • 6 Red Rock Crab (either males or females); Minimum Size is 5”

Puget Sound Crabbing Areas & Seasons

Marine Areas in Puget Sound (Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11, 13) and Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) will be open for crabbing from July 1 (7am) through September 2.
San Juan Islands will open at a later date. Marine Area 7 South opens July 15 (7am); Marine Area 7 North opens August 15 (7am). San Juan Islands will remain open for crabbing until September 30.

When is Puget Sound Open for Crabbing?

Puget Sound crabbing is opened for crabbing Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

  • There are strict rules and guidelines for crabbing in Puget Sound, please use this page as a rough guide. Consult the official Washington Fishing Rules Pamphlet for all regulations & seasons.
  • There are strict rules on crab pot/trap/ring construction: please consult the Washington Fishing Rules Pamphlet
  • All crab gear must be removed from the water at the end of the weekly open days.
  • Crab gear can be left overnight only when the following day is open.
  • Crab Catch Record Card must be returned to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at the end of the crabbing season.