FOr those who want to experience a DIY sea fishing adventure and appreciate fresh fish tacos in real catch and cook form, Westport Jetty is a destination for avid fishermen. No problem with the boat, just park your car at Westhaven State Park, which requires a Discovery Pass, and pack your gear for a short, scenic walk toward Chehalis Point. There is a beautiful stretch of beach to enjoy the various activities to discover such as surfing, beach and bird watching.
When to go pier fishing in Westport
Spring and summer are the ideal times for bottom fishing. With the right bait, the right gear, patience, and a little luck, expect to catch rockfish – most commonly black sea bass – lingcod and sea perch. The Westport Jetty stretches for nearly a mile into the Pacific Ocean, and the North Harbor offers calmer waters to pour in. There is a large surf break on the south side that attracts surfers from all over the state. Finding the right spot along a 17,000-foot stretch of rock is a combination of intuition, physical adaptability, and visual acuity to find a rock flat enough to get as close to the water’s edge as possible while staying safe and keeping dry from the occasional large bulge. It’s not a crowded fishing destination, so there are plenty of opportunities to move sites if the sting is slow.
Selection of gear for fishing at Westport Jetty
Scott Turner with Silhouette Outdoors of Boise, Idaho has had a hit of jet-fishing in Westport and plans to return next spring to film the experience for his YouTube channel. “I love the challenge, and enjoy the dynamic nature of ocean fishing as well as the variety of fish that can be caught without paying for a rental,” explains Turner, who holds multiple fishing records in Idaho. “My setup is a ¼ ounce lead head with a ‘Gulp’ sandworm larva using 8lbs fluorocarbon fishing line on a light action rod. For the lingcod I like to setup a medium heavy salmon fishing with monofilament for a 30lb test using a head 1 ounce lead and a large white curly tail bait, usually 4-6 inches long. Be sure to bring a net for larger fish. Let the bait sink to the bottom and recover slowly.”
Scott offered the following tips for fishing in the Westport Jetty:
- Watch out for winds because anything over 15 mph makes casting difficult and blows hard to detect
- Take a 5-gallon bucket for the fish and add some salt water to keep it fresh.
- Black rockfish and amwaj perch are the meats of choice for tacos. Sticky cod filled with beer fried in hot oil is an excellent preparation for your catch.
Safety Considerations for Small Boat Fishing
Coastal weather changes quickly, so plan ahead by checking the weather forecast and always bring layers like rain gear and a hat. Reflection of water can cause severe sunburn on the face and lips, so apply sunscreen. Plan to bring everything you might need for the day with you because getting back in the car will be an important trip. Hiking shoes and comfortable clothing are best for hiking on the jetty, so wearing rubber boots or wading in the water is not recommended. Choose a day without rain as the rocks can be very slippery when wet. It is suggested to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) in case of throwing near water as there is always a risk of waves from sneakers, especially for youngsters who may join in the fun.
Regulations and Resources
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lists Westport Pier as a Marine Zone 2, so be sure to check the Marine Zone Fishing Regulations 2022/23 before heading out and note the daily limits. Bottom fish opening usually begins in mid-March and lasts until mid-October. Make sure you purchase the appropriate saltwater or compounding license in advance, which can be purchased at your local hardware store or online.