San Juan Islands fishing is an activity that even the most seasoned of anglers will enjoy. This island chain off Washington State's northwest coast offers both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities, and as far as what you can catch, the list is both long and varied. While bottom fishing out on the open waters, for example, you can hope to snag chinook salmon, ling cod, halibut, and cabazon, while fishing at a freshwater lake can see you catching cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. It's not all about the fish, however. Some of the San Juan Islands fishing charters venture out in search of dungeness crab, and you might find yourself hunting for prawns as well.
If you are interested in enjoying some San Juan Islands fishing, there a few things that you might consider before you start planning your adventure. For starters, the fishing season is year round, though July through November is when you can expect to encounter the widest range of species. Also worth considering are fishing licenses. There are different licenses for saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing, and they can be obtained at places such as the Kings Marine and the Ace Hardware store, both of which can be found in Friday Harbor. You can also look to obtain San Juan Islands fishing licenses through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
One of the advantages to booking an angling adventure through one of the San Juan Islands fishing charters is the fact that you won't have to worry about fishing licenses, as they supply them for their guests. The charter companies also supply their guests with fishing equipment, and since they essentially do all the work, you don't have to be an experienced angler to have a good time.
The Friday Harbor fishing charters are in especially good supply if you are looking for options, though you can also arrange excursions at other San Juan Island destinations. Orcas Island is also home to fishing charter companies, and fishing trips that venture into the area can always be arranged on mainland Washington. The options are numerous, and if you don't want to book an arranged outing, you can plan self-guided excursions. Boats can be rented in the San Juan Islands for those who are without their own private watercraft.
San Juan Islands fishing can fill hours on end, and should you wish to take a break from saltwater fishing, you can always see what the freshwater scene has to offer. The best place to do some freshwater fishing in the San Juans is San Juan Island. This island features two freshwater lakes that are stocked with fish. One is known as Egg Lake, and it can be found on the island's northeast end. The other lake is known as Sportsman's Lake, and you can find it a few miles northwest of Friday Harbor. As for saltwater adventures, you will often find that fishing isn't the only activity that is highlighted. Many of the San Juan Islands charter companies combine fishing with other activities, such as whale watching, so you might look to weigh all the available options.
Image: Paul David Gibson (flickr)