Fishing On The Hood
Chinook & Coho Fishing
Lower Hood Canal salmon fishery opens July 1
but the good fishing usually starts in the first
weeks of August.
The Chinook are first with weather & water temperature
dictating how early they start. A little
rain and cooler temperatures is a good sign.
Every couple years, by the first week of August,
there is usually a run of Pink salmon in the Canal.
Near the shoreline, you can often see them
finning on the surface.
After these fish have entered their respective
rivers, the upper canal will be opened. There is a
great Coho fishery in DaBob Bay later in September
when the hatchery fish return.
Most Hood Canal salmon fishing is by trolling at
depths from 20’ to 40’ depending upon depth,
conditions and location. Local outfitters like
Verles ( Shelton) or Hood Canal Marina ( Union)
are great resources for current conditions.
You can also visit the wddfw.wa.gov site for
details on opening dats, boundry lines and
For many anglers, the fishing year starts on the
last Saturday in April, when trout season opens
on lowland lakes. Although dozens of lakes are
open for fishing year-round, those opening in
April are heavily stocked with hatchery trout,
greatly improving anglers’ chances of catching
fish. Trout generally bite well until mid-summer,
but tend to lose interest when the water temperature
gets too warm. In Puget Sound, fishing for
resident blackmouth salmon winds down in
April.Fisheries for wild steelhead run through
mid-April on several Olympic Peninsula rivers.
Anglers continue to reel in trout from lakes and
ponds, most of which remain open to fishing
through October. The salmon fishing season off
the Washington coast generally opens in late
June and runs through early fall. By late July,
as more salmon move in from the coast, fishing
heats up in the Puget Sound and Hood Canal.
The chinook season on the Skokomish River is
always busy with these “kings” ranging 20 lbs
plus as they move up river.
September is a prime time for coho and chum
salmon fishing.Coho can be found in Hood Canal
and the Puget Sound areas of Mason County.
Fishing for chinook salmon tapers off in October,
but coho fishing is still good in the Skokomish
and other Puget Sound rivers. By November,
the main catch in Puget Sound is blackmouth
salmon, which remain in nearshore waters
throughout the year.
Winter (December -February)
Many lakes close for trout fishing Oct. 31, but
some remain open throughout the year, like Lake
Isabella and Island Lake, providing good fishing
for anglers willing to brave colder weather.
Opportunities to catch salmon are limited during
the winter months. The best bet is to fish in
Puget Sound nearshore areas for blackmouth
salmon. Anglers can also fish for chum salmon
in the Nisqually River in December and January.
Hatchery-reared fish return to rivers in the Puget
Sound area and on the Olympic Peninsula
throughout the winter months.