If you’re new to fishing and crabbing or if you just moved to our area, we have some great fishing and crabbing spots along with some resources to help you get started. Here in Kitsap County, we have a number of beautiful places to enjoy water sports and outdoor activities. The Pacific Northwest is the perfect place to catch and enjoy your own fresh fish or crab dinner.
Crabbing and Fishing Rules
Puget Sound offers a picturesque background for all fishing and crabbing-related activities. First and foremost, any new sportsperson needs to stay up to date on all regulations put in place by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Their site offers a wealth of information about fishing and shellfishing rules.
In addition, always keep an eye out for the release of emergency fishing and shellfishing rules. Conditions and animal populations shift throughout the season, and it is best practice to monitor their site to ensure you continue to follow all laws. The Fish Washington mobile app is another useful tool to keep abreast of current conditions.
Getting Your License to Fish and Crab
The summer 2023 salmon fishing season is projected to see an increase in coho salmon, so now is the time to grab your gear and start fishing!
Fishing and crabbing licenses can be purchased through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) online licensing system or through a local licensed dealer. Everyone who is fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut, or Puget Sound Dungeness Crab will need to track their harvests on a catch record card and return it to the WDFW by the appropriate deadline.
Now that you know the rules and have all the appropriate licenses, check out these popular spots to begin your fishing and crabbing in Puget Sound.
Three Hot Crabbing Spots
Kingston: Appletree Cove
The fastest way to reach this cove is to launch a boat from Kingston’s marina. It’s best to allow the pots plenty of time to sit in the water, at least four hours if your schedule allows it.
Vashon Island: South and East Side
There are many areas where you can drop crab pots along Vashon Island. Crabs are typically caught at depths of 30-120 feet.
Port Madison Bay
The waters are calmer in this bay, and it is usually less windy. You might luck out and catch sight of orca whales that frequent this area. Be sure to Be Whale Wise and follow all boating regulations regarding whale sightings.
Three Great Fishing Spots
Kingston/Jeff Head: Salmon
Just a few miles from Kingston’s marina and near Point Jefferson, Jeff Head is a popular place for salmon fishing. During the season, you will see hundreds of boats in this area either fishing for coho or king salmon. They are typically trolling for salmon with down riggers.
South Side of Blake Island: Lingcod
Lingcod is arguably one of the best white fish in Puget Sound. They are usually caught by jigging in 60-110 feet of water during the short season. As an added bonus, enjoy a nice view of downtown Seattle.
The Clay Banks at Point Defiance: King Salmon
This small area is a hot fishing spot. From shore, the crowded boats often look like bumper boats. King salmon is generally caught in this area by jigging or trolling.
Making Fishing & Crabbing Connections in Kitsap and Beyond
Boats are often the best way to access any of the fishing and crabbing areas in Puget Sound. However, if you don’t have a boat, there is always the option to charter one and allow a local guide to show you the ropes.
Bremerton’s Messin Around Fishing Charters and Seattle’s Cut Plug Charters and All Star Fishing Charters take customers out daily when the season is open. Another strategy is to look around for areas where there are a lot of fishing boats and watch what they are doing.
In addition, you can join fishing groups on social media or attend a Puget Sound Anglers meeting. The ESPN Outdoor Line also has a podcast that comes out every Saturday. Fishing experts discuss Puget Sound fishing opportunities that are currently available, along with valuable tips.
Wherever your fishing and crabbing adventures take you, we hope you enjoy exploring the great outdoors in Kitsap County and beyond. And, if you’re looking for other fun things to do, check out our Guide to Kitsap.