Fishing On The Hood

Hood Canal 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 fishing tips.

Spring (March-May)

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.

Summer (June-August)

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.

Fall (September-November)

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.