The cool waters of the San Juan Islands support an amazing variety of wildlife and people come from around the world to look at some of them, and to eat others! Among the most popular species that sport fishers target are Pacific salmon, rockfish, lingcod, and the wonderfully delicious Dungeness crab.
The sport fishing seasons in the San Juan Islands vary from year to year so it’s best to talk to the professional fishing guides personally to see what is available. Every season provides different opportunities for sport fishing in the San Juan Islands. Normally Blackmouth (juvenile king salmon) are the target in the winter months. Spring Chinook or King salmon are fished from July through November. Silvers (Coho salmon) arrive late July providing good sport fishing through October. Halibut season varies but it normally opens in early April. Lingcod are fished May and June, and bottom fishing is open year-round. This is a great hands-on fishery with lots of action and fishing licenses can be purchased right here in town!
The closest thing you’ll find to ice fishing in the Anacortes area is winter fly fishing at Pass Lake on the Fidalgo Island side of Deception Pass State Park. This renowned catch-and-release-only lake is open year ’round, with a no-motor policy that guarantees a clean, quiet environment.
A recent entry from fisherman/blogger Zane Wyll reported: “I got up this morning and it was a beautiful winter day. The sun was out and the air was calm—seemed like the perfect day to head to Pass Lake and get some fishing in. I arrived at the lake around 9 a.m. and had the place to myself for the first hour and a half. I was fishing a green sparkle bugger and having no luck so I switched to a large black Zuddler cone head. On my second cast to the bank I hooked something large and it took me straight to the bottom. I gave the fish some line and some patience and it came unwrapped. After another five minutes I had a 19-inch brown to hand.”
For supplies and local information, visit Ace Hardware, located off R Ave in Anacortes. The shop offers rods, reels, flies, bait, tools, books, information, and more.