Salmon Fishing In Washington (A Complete Guide)


Are you ready to embark on an exhilarating salmon fishing adventure in Washington? Look no further, because this complete guide is here to provide you with all the essential information you need.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, salmon fishing in Washington is a popular and thrilling activity that shouldn’t be missed. In this guide, we’ll show you where to find the latest updates and reports, such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and websites like

We’ll also delve into the importance of understanding fishing regulations, which you can easily access through WDFW’s website and the Fish Washington Mobile App. Plus, we’ll cover licensing requirements, the different types and sizes of salmon you’ll encounter, state records, and much more.

Get ready to dive into the world of salmon fishing in Washington and make unforgettable memories along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • There are several reliable sources for updates and reports on salmon fishing in Washington, including the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW),, and Facebook groups like Fishing Washington State and Washington State Fishing.
  • It is important to familiarize yourself with Washington State’s fishing regulations, which can be found on the WDFW website and through the Fish Washington Mobile App. These regulations may include emergency rule changes, so it’s important to stay updated.
  • Both residents and nonresidents age 15 and older need a recreational fishing license to fish for salmon in Washington. Additionally, anglers of all ages must carry a catch record card for salmon and steelhead fishing.
  • Washington offers salmon fishing opportunities for all five Pacific salmon types, including King salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, and sockeye salmon. Each type has its own average and maximum size, with King salmon being the largest and pink and sockeye salmon being the smallest.

Where to Find Updates

To stay informed on the latest updates and reports for salmon fishing in Washington, you should check sources such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) website, the WDFW Weekender Report,, and fishing Facebook groups like Fishing Washington State and Washington State Fishing.

The WDFW website is a valuable resource for finding current information on regulations, fishing seasons, and any emergency rule changes.

The WDFW Weekender Report provides detailed information on salmon action, helping you plan your fishing trips accordingly. offers up-to-date fishing reports, tips, and regulations, giving you insider knowledge on the best spots to catch salmon.

Additionally, fishing Facebook groups like Fishing Washington State and Washington State Fishing are helpful for connecting with fellow anglers who can provide real-time reports and tips based on their own experiences.

By utilizing these sources, you can stay up-to-date on the latest updates and reports for salmon fishing in Washington.

Fishing Regulations

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in the state of Washington before you head out on your fishing trip. Being aware of the fishing seasons and catch limits will ensure you have a successful and compliant experience. Here is a handy table to help you understand the fishing regulations in Washington:

Fish Species Fishing Season Daily Catch Limit
King Salmon May – October 2 per day
Chum Salmon October – December 3 per day
Coho Salmon June – September 4 per day
Pink Salmon July – August 6 per day
Sockeye Salmon June – July 2 per day

By following these regulations, you can enjoy your salmon fishing trip while also contributing to the conservation efforts. Remember to always check for any updates or emergency rule changes before you go fishing. Happy fishing!

Licensing and Record-Keeping

Ensure you have a recreational fishing license and carry a catch record card at all times while engaging in salmon fishing in Washington. These requirements are essential for both residents and nonresidents, and they help to ensure the sustainability of our salmon populations.

Remember, all anglers, regardless of age, must carry a catch record card. It’s a simple way to keep track of your catches and contribute valuable data for fisheries management.

As for the fishing license, it is required for anyone aged 15 and older. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, make sure you meet the age requirements and have your license and catch record card with you.

It’s your responsibility as a salmon fisherman and helps to support the conservation efforts in Washington’s waters.

Salmon Types and Sizes

Carry a catch record card while salmon fishing in Washington to accurately track your catches and contribute valuable data for fisheries management. By documenting your catches, you play a vital role in understanding salmon migration patterns and ensuring sustainable fishing practices.

To increase your chances of a successful fishing trip, it’s important to know the best fishing techniques for each salmon type. For king salmon, try trolling with downriggers or using herring or anchovy bait. Chum and coho salmon can be caught using spinners, spoons, or flies, while pink and sockeye salmon are often targeted with small lures or flies.

By mastering these techniques and being mindful of salmon migration patterns, you can enhance your fishing experience and contribute to the conservation of this magnificent species.

State Records for Pacific Salmon

To break the state records for Pacific salmon in Washington, you’ll need to catch a Chinook weighing more than 68.26 pounds, a Chum weighing over 25.97 pounds, a Coho weighing more than 25.27 pounds, a Pink weighing over 15.40 pounds, or a Sockeye weighing more than 10.63 pounds.

These records represent the largest specimens caught in the state and serve as a testament to the impressive size and strength of these fish.

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However, it’s important to remember that these records are not easily attained. They require skill, patience, and adherence to fishing regulations. By familiarizing yourself with the fishing regulations set by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, you can ensure that you are fishing responsibly and within the bounds of the law.

So, get out there and chase after those state records, while respecting the rules that protect our precious salmon populations.

Miscellaneous Information

Explore the different names for northern pike from around the world and discover the fascinating diversity of this species. Did you know that northern pike goes by various names depending on where you are?

In Europe, it is known as ‘snoek’ in Dutch and ‘hecht’ in German. In North America, it is commonly referred to as ‘northern’ or ‘jackfish.’ This shows the widespread popularity and recognition of this formidable fish.

Now, let’s dive into some fishing tips and information on ice fishing for northern pike. When ice fishing for pike, it’s important to use large, flashy lures to attract their attention. Drill multiple holes and move around until you find active fish. Remember to always check ice thickness and safety precautions before venturing out.

With these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful pike fishing experience.

Best Fishing Spots

Check out the best fishing spots in Washington for an unforgettable angling experience. Here are four top-notch locations that will fulfill your salmon fishing dreams:

  1. Puget Sound: Known for its diverse salmon species, Puget Sound offers excellent fishing opportunities. Try trolling with downriggers or casting with spoons and plugs to maximize your chances of a big catch.

  2. Columbia River: This mighty river is a prime spot for salmon fishing. Use techniques like back-trolling with bait or drifting with cured salmon eggs to entice the fish. Don’t forget to bring heavy-duty fishing equipment to handle the powerful currents.

  3. Olympic Peninsula: With its pristine rivers and streams, the Olympic Peninsula is a haven for salmon anglers. Fly fishing with streamers or using float fishing techniques can yield great results in this picturesque location.

  4. Strait of Juan de Fuca: This narrow strait boasts abundant salmon populations. Try mooching or jigging with herring or anchovies as bait to attract the attention of these magnificent fish.

Prepare your fishing techniques and equipment, and get ready for an incredible adventure at these top fishing spots in Washington.

Tips and Techniques

Max, the passionate author, shares valuable tips and techniques for maximizing your chances of a big catch while salmon fishing in Washington. When it comes to salmon fishing techniques, it’s important to have a variety of strategies in your arsenal. Here are some of the best fishing techniques that can help you reel in that prized salmon:

  1. Drift Fishing: This technique involves casting your bait or lure upstream and allowing it to drift naturally with the current. It’s a great way to cover a large area and target different depths.

  2. Trolling: Trolling involves dragging bait or lures behind a moving boat. Varying the speed and depth can help you find the perfect spot where salmon are biting.

  3. Jigging: Jigging is a technique that involves using a weighted lure and giving it quick, jerky movements to mimic injured prey. This can entice salmon to strike.

Remember, each technique has its own nuances, so experiment with different baits, lures, and depths to find what works best for you. Good luck and happy fishing!

Technique Description Tips and Tricks
Drift Fishing Casting bait or lure upstream and allowing it to drift Vary bait depth and speed to target different salmon
Trolling Dragging bait or lures behind a moving boat Change speed and depth to find the perfect fishing spot
Jigging Using a weighted lure with quick, jerky movements Mimic injured prey to entice salmon to strike

Equipment and Gear

To ensure a successful salmon fishing trip, it is important to have the right equipment and gear. Having the best fishing gear is essential to maximize your chances of a great catch. Here are some essential fishing equipment you should consider:

  • Rod and Reel: Invest in a high-quality rod and reel combo specifically designed for salmon fishing. Look for a rod with medium to heavy power and a fast action for better control and sensitivity.

  • Fishing Line: Use a strong and durable fishing line with a test strength of at least 20 pounds to handle the strength of salmon. Fluorocarbon or braided lines are popular choices for their durability and low visibility.

  • Lures and Baits: Carry a variety of lures and baits such as spoons, spinners, and plugs to attract salmon. Experiment with different colors and sizes to find what works best in your fishing location.

  • Terminal Tackle: Stock up on hooks, swivels, and sinkers of various sizes to accommodate different fishing conditions.

  • Fishing Vest or Tackle Box: Keep your gear organized and easily accessible with a fishing vest or tackle box. It should have multiple pockets for storing your equipment and essentials like extra hooks, line, and pliers.

With the right equipment and gear, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful salmon fishing adventure.

Happy fishing!

Safety and Conservation Measures

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the necessary safety and conservation measures to protect the environment and ensure a safe fishing experience. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) emphasizes the importance of practicing catch and release to preserve salmon populations. Additionally, they recommend using barbless hooks to minimize harm to the fish. In terms of safety, it is crucial to wear a properly fitting life jacket at all times, especially when fishing from a boat. Always be aware of your surroundings and weather conditions, as the waters can be unpredictable. Remember to dispose of any trash responsibly and respect the natural habitat by leaving it as you found it. By following these safety measures and conservation efforts, you can enjoy your salmon fishing adventure while protecting the environment for future generations.

Safety Measures Conservation Efforts
Wear a life jacket Practice catch and release
Be aware of surroundings Use barbless hooks
Dispose of trash responsibly Respect the natural habitat
About the author

Kimberly is an experienced angler and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for all things fishing. She has been honing her skills on the water for over 7 years, mastering various techniques and tactics for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

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