The best fishing and boating experiences in the Pacific Northwest

In and around the city limits of Seattle, Washington has an abundance of fishing opportunities. From halibut and salmon to cod and trout, there is a season for every fish.

Whether you are a beginner or a serious fisherman, Seattle is a world-class fishing destination that offers incredible natural beauty. Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and Green Lake are just a few areas in the Seattle area that should be explored regardless of your skill level.


Fishing adventure off the coast of Seattle, Washington (Image via Tegra Stone Nuess Photography)

As someone who has never fished before, I took the opportunity to be part of the Women Making Waves initiative of The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation of Take Me Fishing. RBFF’s goal is to spread the fun of fishing and boating to everyone of all ages, genders and cultures.

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In this year’s campaign, Women Making Waves, the focus is on expanding the diversity of the industry, specifically on increasing the number of goldsmiths in the sport. Nearly 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, a slight increase from 2019 (pre-pandemic), and the hope is to continue this momentum going forward.

First things first, whether you decide to venture out on your own or book a charter or tour (more on that below), you’ll need a fishing license. When it comes to proper gear, styling is key and be sure to bring protective clothing for rainy weather.

The Pacific Northwest is home to five different types of salmon including Chinook salmon, coho salmon, chum salmon, sockeye salmon, and pink salmon. When it comes to salmon fishing, Cut Plug Charters is one of the best companies to help you not only fish but also bring out the best that Puget Sound has to offer.

Minutes from the downtown area, their fishing charters help you plan the perfect day on the water. From the moment you leave the port, you are greeted with stunning views of the Seattle skyline giving you a fresh view of the bustling city.

It’s a hands-on adventure where you learn how to fish for salmon using the “mooching” method, an active style and fishing method where everyone gets their own fishing rod, and you constantly work on your bait in an effort to lure the fish.

Using this technique, fishermen lure the fish to bite and they will feel it when it does. Bite and fight fish are felt from start to finish. Cut Plug Charters makes sure that even if you don’t catch a fish, you get a satisfying experience on the water.

Another popular fishing trip is fly fishing. This may sound like a scary sport, but with the right guides, you’ll be enjoying it in no time. With the help and instruction of Emerald Water Anglers, Seattle’s top fishing experts, our group has successfully learned basic fishing techniques, including casting and safety guidelines.

Fishing off the coast of Seattle, Washington
Fishing off the coast of Seattle, Washington (Image via Tegra Stone Nuess Photography)

Journeys begin in a field where you work on the right technology until it becomes second nature. Once anglers are comfortable with the rod and casting, they can test their skills in the water.

Although this method of fishing can be tried-and-true and not for the faint of heart, the staff of Emerald Water Anglers are exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable, making even the novices an enjoyable fishing trip. Getting into the water physically to throw can be intimidating, but with the right technique and support it can definitely be a calming and unique experience.

Whatever trip you choose to take on the water, fishing is about more than just what you catch. As someone who recently experienced her first fishing trip, I can say that fishing is a calm, peaceful and even meditative activity. I felt a real connection with nature and that sense of comfort and peace. Fishing is as much about the holistic experience and bonding with the people around you as it is about technology and actually fishing.

And even if fishing isn’t your thing, being on the water in and around the Seattle area is a treat. Keep your eyes open as the area is filled with wildlife from seals and otters to a variety of whales and eagles. From your ship, views of islands, landscapes, and mountain ranges in the distance make for a worthwhile fishing trip no matter what ends up on your line (or not!).

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