Shark Fishing in Washington

Waves on a beach on the Washington coast.
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If you’re looking for an exciting and unique fishing adventure, look no further than the coastal waters of Washington. With its diverse range of shark species, stunning natural beauty, and world-class fishing opportunities, Washington offers anglers a chance to catch some of the ocean’s most powerful and thrilling creatures. But shark fishing can be a challenging and demanding pursuit, requiring careful preparation and attention to detail. That’s why we’ve created this expert guide to help you increase your chances of success on your next shark fishing trip in Washington. From the best gear and bait to the top fishing spots and seasons, we’ve got you covered. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time angler, read on to learn everything you need to know to make the most of your next shark fishing adventure in Washington.

Best Shark Fishing Spots in Washington

Washington is home to a variety of shark species, and there are several spots where you can go shark fishing. Here are some of the best shark fishing spots in Washington:

  1. Westport: Located on the coast, Westport is a popular destination for shark fishing. It is home to a variety of shark species, including thresher, mako, and blue sharks.
  2. Neah Bay: Neah Bay is located on the northwest tip of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. It is a great spot for shark fishing, with species such as sixgill, blue, and shortfin mako sharks.
  3. Ilwaco: Ilwaco is a town located on the southern end of the Long Beach Peninsula. It is known for its fishing charters, and shark fishing is a popular activity here.
  4. Grays Harbor: Grays Harbor is a large estuary located on the coast of Washington. It is a great spot for shark fishing, with species such as blue and thresher sharks.
  5. La Push: La Push is a small community located on the coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. It is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, including shark fishing. Species such as blue and mako sharks can be found here.

With its diverse shark species and beautiful coastal locations, Washington offers plenty of opportunities for a thrilling shark fishing experience.

Puget Sound Shark Fishing

Types of Sharks You Can Catch in Washington

Washington’s coastal waters are home to several species of sharks. Here are some of the types of sharks you can catch while fishing in Washington:

  1. Blue Shark: Blue sharks are one of the most common species of sharks found in Washington waters. They are known for their distinctive blue coloration and can grow up to 12 feet in length.
  2. Shortfin Mako Shark: Shortfin mako sharks are highly sought after by anglers due to their speed and acrobatic abilities. They can be found in Washington’s offshore waters during the summer months.
  3. Thresher Shark: Thresher sharks are known for their long tails, which they use to stun their prey. They can grow up to 20 feet in length and are found in Washington’s coastal waters.
  4. Sixgill Shark: Sixgill sharks are large, slow-moving sharks that are typically found in deep waters. They can grow up to 16 feet in length and are known for their six gill slits.
  5. Soupfin Shark: Soupfin sharks, also known as tope sharks, are a common species in Washington’s waters. They are smaller than some of the other shark species found in the area, typically growing up to 6 feet in length.

Whether you’re targeting the impressive shortfin mako or the more common blue shark, shark fishing in Washington’s coastal waters offers an unforgettable experience for anglers of all skill levels.

Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in Washington

The best time of year for shark fishing in Washington largely depends on the species you’re targeting. However, in general, the summer months (June-August) are the most productive for shark fishing in Washington’s coastal waters.

  1. Shortfin Mako Shark – Best season: Summer (June-August)
  2. Blue Shark – Best season: Can be caught year-round, but more abundant in summer (June-August)
  3. Thresher Shark – Best season: Summer (June-September)
  4. Sixgill Shark – Best season: Year-round
  5. Soupfin Shark – Best season: Spring-Summer (April-September)

It’s worth noting that the best time to target each shark species can vary depending on several factors, including water temperature, bait availability, and migration patterns.

Sharks Of Washington State

Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in Washington

When it comes to shark fishing in Washington, using the right bait and lures can make all the difference. Here are some of the best baits and lures to consider:

  1. Live bait – Sharks are often attracted to live bait, such as small fish or squid. Using live bait can increase your chances of a successful catch.
  2. Cut bait – If live bait isn’t an option, cut bait can also be effective. Cut up pieces of oily fish, such as salmon or tuna, and use them as bait.
  3. Chum – Chumming the water with chunks of fish or blood can attract sharks to your area. Just be sure to follow local regulations regarding chumming.
  4. Lures – While live and cut bait are typically the most effective, certain types of lures can also be successful when shark fishing. Large, heavy lures that mimic the movement of fish can be effective in attracting sharks.

It’s important to note that when shark fishing, it’s essential to use strong, heavy-duty gear and tackle. Sharks are strong and can put up a fight, so be sure to use equipment that can handle the challenge.

Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in Washington

Shark fishing can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it’s important to have the right gear to ensure your safety and success. Here are some recommended gear items to consider for shark fishing in Washington:

  1. Fishing rod and reel – When shark fishing, it’s important to use a strong, heavy-duty fishing rod and reel that can handle the weight and strength of a shark. A conventional reel with a high line capacity is recommended.
  2. Fishing line – Use a strong, braided fishing line with a high breaking strength. 80-100 pound test line is recommended.
  3. Leaders – A heavy-duty leader is necessary to prevent the shark from biting through the line. A steel or heavy fluorocarbon leader with a minimum of 300-pound test is recommended.
  4. Hooks – Use large, heavy-duty circle hooks with a gap size of at least 2 inches. Circle hooks are designed to hook the shark in the corner of the mouth, reducing the risk of injury to the shark.
  5. Wire cutters – In case you need to cut the line, be sure to have a pair of wire cutters handy to safely release the shark.
  6. Gaff or tail rope – A gaff or tail rope can be used to safely control the shark while removing the hook and taking measurements.
  7. Personal flotation device – Always wear a personal flotation device while shark fishing, especially when fishing from a boat.
  8. First aid kit – Have a first aid kit on hand in case of any injuries.

By using the recommended gear and following responsible fishing practices, you can enjoy a safe and exciting shark fishing experience in Washington’s coastal waters.

Halibut, Skate, and Shark Fishing Puget Sound

Best Shark Fishing Charters in Washington

If you’re looking to book a shark fishing charter in Washington, there are many options to choose from. Here are some of the best shark fishing charters in the state:

  1. All Rivers & Saltwater Charters – Based in Westport, All Rivers & Saltwater Charters offers full-day shark fishing charters with experienced guides and top-of-the-line equipment.
  2. Deep Sea Charters – Located in Westport, Deep Sea Charters offers half-day and full-day shark fishing charters on their well-equipped boats.
  3. Island Adventures – With locations in Anacortes and Port Angeles, Island Adventures offers shark fishing charters in the waters of the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  4. Big King Salmon Charters – Based in Ilwaco, Big King Salmon Charters offers shark fishing charters on the Columbia River, where anglers can target a variety of shark species.
  5. Tornado Charters – Located in Westport, Tornado Charters offers full-day shark fishing charters on their spacious and well-equipped boats.

These are just a few of the many shark fishing charters available in Washington. Be sure to research each company’s offerings, pricing, and customer reviews to find the best option for your needs.

Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in Washington

If you’re planning on shark fishing in Washington, it’s important to be aware of the state’s regulations and licensing requirements. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. License requirements – Anyone fishing for sharks in Washington state waters must have a valid Washington fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online or at various retail locations throughout the state.
  2. Size and bag limits – There are no size or bag limits for sharks in Washington state waters, but there are restrictions on the number of hooks that can be used per line and the use of chum or other attractants.
  3. Catch-and-release practices – Washington state encourages catch-and-release practices for sharks to help maintain sustainable populations. When releasing a shark, be sure to handle it carefully, avoid removing it from the water for too long, and use barbless hooks to reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Endangered species – Several species of sharks found in Washington’s waters are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the basking shark and the great white shark. These species are protected and cannot be targeted or caught.
  5. Other regulations – Additional regulations may apply to shark fishing in specific areas or during certain times of the year. Be sure to check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website for up-to-date information on regulations and restrictions.

Remember to always stay informed about the latest regulations and guidelines for shark fishing in Washington.

Fishing For Dogfish Sharks In the Puget Sound

Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in Washington

If you’re planning a shark fishing trip to Washington, there are several options for accommodations near the state’s top fishing spots. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Westport – Located on the coast of Washington, Westport is a popular destination for shark fishing and offers a variety of lodging options, including hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds.
  2. Ilwaco – Another coastal town in Washington, Ilwaco is home to several fishing charters and offers a range of accommodations, from hotels and motels to bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals.
  3. Anacortes – Situated on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is a great base for exploring the waters of the San Juan Islands and offers a variety of lodging options, including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts.
  4. Port Angeles – Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles is another popular fishing destination and offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds.
  5. Seattle – While not located directly on the coast, Seattle is within driving distance of many of Washington’s top shark fishing spots and offers a variety of lodging options for visitors, including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals.

No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak fishing seasons. With the right accommodations and easy access to Washington’s top shark fishing spots, you can make the most of your fishing trip to this beautiful state.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in Washington

Shark fishing in Washington can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it also requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Here are some expert tips and tricks to help you increase your chances of success on your next shark fishing trip in Washington:

  1. Know your fishing location – Research your fishing location ahead of time to learn about the specific shark species that are present, the best times to fish, and any potential hazards or restrictions.
  2. Choose the right gear – Make sure you have the right gear for the type of shark you’re targeting, including appropriate rods, reels, lines, and hooks.
  3. Use the right bait – Sharks are attracted to a variety of baits, including live bait, cut bait, and artificial lures. Experiment with different types of bait to see what works best for your target species.
  4. Practice catch and release – Sharks are important members of the ocean ecosystem and should be treated with care and respect. If you do catch a shark, practice catch and release by releasing the shark back into the water as quickly and safely as possible.
  5. Be patient and persistent – Shark fishing can require a lot of patience and persistence, as sharks are often elusive and can be difficult to catch. Be prepared to spend long hours on the water and stay focused on your goal.

By following these expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of success and have an unforgettable shark fishing experience in Washington.

Shark Caught While Salmon Fishing Washington

Conclusion

In conclusion, shark fishing in Washington offers anglers an exciting and unique opportunity to catch some of the ocean’s most powerful and awe-inspiring creatures. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time angler, Washington’s coastal waters offer a range of fishing experiences for every skill level and interest. By doing your research, choosing the right gear and bait, and practicing patience and persistence, you can increase your chances of success and have an unforgettable fishing adventure in this beautiful state. So pack your bags, book your accommodations, and get ready to experience the thrill of shark fishing in Washington!

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