July is one of the most epic months in the Seattle area and Washington State for fishing opportunities. You might as well burn all your vacation time because this month is going to be a doozey for fishing. July is by far my favorite month on the fishing calendar. We have a lot to cover, but I’ll try and keep it as brief as I can.
New 2020/2021 Fishing Regulations are published! Download the new pamphlet here… and if you are new to understanding how to decipher how the published regulation pamplet should be used along with emergency openers/closures… check out this WDFW page.
Salmon fishing season is in full swing during the month of July state wide! Marine Area 10 will be open for resident Coho for the first half, and a great opportunity to head out and iron out your mooching and trolling game for the big show mid-month. Central Puget Sound’s Chinook opener is scheduled for July 16th this year, and both Marine area 9 and 10 have healthy quota’s, so we should have a pretty solid season. Pacific Ocean salmon fisheries have been building and coastal ports are buzzing with great fishing already!
Westport is open for business and Chinook fishing has been decent. The Makah Reservation, gateway to Neah Bay’s fisheries is still closed due to Covid concerns, but the neighboring port of Sekiu is open and folks have been seeing great fishing! For another great adventure, head north to the San Juan Islands which open for Chinook fishing July 1.
A great snowpack in the Cascades have been fueling promising water flows in our Skykomish River and the Chinook fishing has been good, for those that want to his a nearby river!
Albacore Tuna season is on our doorstep, and warm waters in the Pacific Ocean near the ports of Ilwaco and Westport mean that we should see the first recreational catches of tuna any day. If you’ve never fished offshore for Albacore, you need to make this the year you make it out. This unique fishery starts sometime in July and will run until September or October, weather dependent. If you are looking for a tuna charter, check out my friends at All Rivers & Saltwater Charters.
Dungeness Crab season has been announced for Puget Sound, scheduled for July. Marine area 10 (Seattle) opens July 12, weekly crabbing Sundays and Mondays through Labor Day. Marine Areas to the north, 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Everett) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet) will be open weekly Thursdays through Sundays through Labor Day. This is one of my favorite fisheries and a popular one for everyone that wants to make the most of Puget Sound’s summer season. Other areas are also open for crabbing, so check out WDFW Crabbing Seasons and Areas for all options.
Lake fishing around the state is a great option. Lowland lake fishing for trout starts to fade with the warmer water, but bass fishing really starts to pick up! Especially early mornings and evenings with poppers and frogs. If you still have the itch to catch trout, lace up those hiking boots and hit the high country! Some of my favorite lowland lakes are located in the Snoqualmie Valley, but if you want some tips on catching fish in the mountains, check out this post.
River fishing in the Seattle area is a prime option. Summer Chinook and Steelhead in the Skykomish River peaks in July. Anglers looking to fly fish for trout should consider the forks of the Snoqualmie River or the Cedar River; if you are up for a little road trip, jump over Snoqualmie Pass and hit the Yakima.
Spot Shrimp sure are tasty and you can still target them in July in the Western San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Keep an eye on catches and remaining quota. Please check WDFW Shrimping Page for more details.
Fishing in June was amazing, and I’m hoping that July shows us all great days on the water and good fishing! Have fun out there everyone!
Andrew Moravec, Riptidefish.com