Port Angeles & Freshwater Bay

 

It’s no surprise that good fishing attracts salmon anglers to this city located on the Northern Olympic peninsula.  Port Angeles is right on the Strait of Juan de Fuca salmon highway and withholds its reputation as a northwest destination for salmon anglers.

Winter Blackmouth

The spots I recommend are off Ediz Hook in 120 feet of water then out on the Humps and the Winter Hole. The Hook can be great trolling from the east tip down past the Coast Guard station and back to the boat ramp on the outside. At times it also provides good blackmouth fishing on the inside, giving good protection and calm waters in all but the East wind.

The Winter Hole is located north out in front of the Daishowa Mill where the water depth goes from 180 to 60 feet. This has always been one of the top producers for winter salmon. The first, second, and third humps are located out further and slightly west of the Winter Hole. To find them it’s best to get a chart and program the coordinates into a gps unit, or simply follow another boat out of the marina.

The Winter Hole and the Humps are great spots to jig Point Wilson Darts and Butterfly jigs in the smaller candlefish patterns. They can be deadly on these underwater hilltops, where hungry blackmouth hold and feed. I recommend the smaller sized Darts and use just the size needed to maintain bottom contact. Smaller is always better this time of the year, as the bait tends to run small.

 

Farther to the west is Freshwater Bay, another top winter blackmouth producer. Troll 120 feet of water from Observation Point down to Tongue Pt. Watch for an east wind when fishing here, as it can be a rough ride back to Ediz Hook ramp when it blows. There is a boat ramp at Fresh Water Bay, but it’s definitely a small boat show, and you need to back out on the beach in the water on a lower tide.

Fish the bottom at Freshwater Bay and bait is located work the gear near it. Best fishing will be first light and the tide changes.

 

Summer Kings

Port Angeles and Freshwater Bay can produce some big kings when these areas are open during the summer.  Most of the kings headed for rivers on the northern Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound have to pass by here, which makes it a great spot for targeting big chinook. There has been a limited fishery in recent years for summer chinook that have fin clipped adipose fin.  This fishery occurs in July and last one-two weeks or until the quota is met.  It can be very good if the chinook have started migrating into the area.  Fishing techniques here are similar to winter fishing but lengthen your leaders and slow down you’re trolling speed.

Coho

Coho fishing picks up here in August and peaks in September.  Work the offshore tide rips and any “rippy” water or eddies formed off the points, which all can produce good coho fishing.

Pink Salmon

During odd years millions of pink salmon enter Puget Sound and guess what, many of them have to pass right by Port Angeles. Massive schools of humpies will pass though this area. These are easily caught and usually taken in the top 60 feet of water. Those trolling with divers or kidney sinkers and a cut plug herring will catch a lot of humpies without the need of a downrigger.  Another great pink salmon technique is a small pink hoochie behind a white flasher.  The majority of the pink salmon will be in the top 60 feet of water.

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