Happy winter everyone, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with family, and I wanted to send out a reminder that there are still plenty of great fishing opportunities happening around town and across Washington State.
Puget Sound Crabbing
I feel blessed to be able to get another shot at Dungeness Crab, long after most people give up on launching their boats on Puget Sound. Crabbing has been steady and productive in open areas. Seattle and all points north are open to winter crabbing, 7 days a week through the end of the year, or until further notice. Check out: WDFW Crab Seasons. Keep an eye on the weather, but get out and enjoy a crab boil with the family!
Puget Sound Squidding
This used to be a “sleeper” opportunity, but no longer. Squid migrate into Puget Sound during winter months and mass around our local waterfront in great numbers. Boaters can motor around the Edmonds, Mukilteo, Seattle and Tacoma waterfronts and mark large schools and do some serious damage. After sunset, it’s all about the lights! These large schools migrate towards pier lights and become and easy target for pier based squidders. With a generous 10-pound-per-person limit, one or two successful outings puts you ahead with a freezer full of squid for calamari appetizers!
Washington Steelhead Fishing
December is traditionally the kickoff for the Washington winter steelhead season. We were recently served some harsh realities for the state of Wild Steelhead on our beloved Olympic Peninsula rivers, but there are some really promising fishing opportunities for those of us that are looking to hit the river. Early winter is primarily a time to target hatchery steelhead, those that we can catch and keep. On the Washington Coast, many of our favorites will be closed down to protect struggling wild stocks, but you can still get out and fish on the lower Hoh, lower Bogachiel, lower Calawah and lower Salmon Rivers. Check out this WDFW post for the full coastal view: Coastal Steelhead Season Update. Seattle area rivers offer another great opportunity. Hit up the Green, Snoqualme and Skykomish Rivers.
Local Seattle Lake Fishing
Seattle area lakes offer a great option for all of us to enjoy an easy fishing option without making a trek halfway across the state. Our largest local lakes, Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, have offered pretty darned good fishing for Cutthroat Trout. Trolling is the primary tactic, and fishing with a dodger and worm-harness, a small wiggling plug like a Maglip, Rapala or Kwikfish, or a trolling spoon have all been productive. While these are well known fishing locations, the boat launches are quiet and the few boats that head out can find solitude on these big bodies of water. Smaller local lakes have been recently planted with catchable Rainbow Trout, and you can easily get information on plants here: Fish Black Friday for big rainbow trout. Great for both small non-motorized boats and bank anglers alike.
Washington Coast Razor Clamming
Washington’s coastal beaches are loaded with Razor Clams. Due to the abundance, clam limits have been increased for the first time in decades, from 15 daily per person to 20. This abundance and favorable health of the population (no current concerns for biotoxins), has led to a very generous number of open days, basically every day that has a low enough tide level has an opener! Check out WDFW Razor Clam Seasons for openers on the Washington Coast.