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Port Townsend, aka Mid Channel Bank

mid channel bank chart shows point wilson, port townsend, marrowstone point

Click on chart for bigger view
Troll area
Jig & Mootch area


Mid Channel Bank is located just off shore from Port Townsend.  It runs from Marrowstone Point on the east, to Point Wilson on the west.  Mid Channel Bank has become one of the most popular fishing areas in Puget Sound, as it offers year round Chinook action.  Winter blackmouth are there from September to May, followed by summer Chinook starting to show up in June and peaking in July and early August.

Be sure to check with WDFW regulations as it opens and closes to salmon fishing at slightly different times every year.

All methods of salmon fishing can be productive at Mid Channel Bank.  Moochers and jiggers usually fish the 60 to 100 ft depths.  Downriggers are most productive in the 90 to 150 ft depths.

Because of the strong tidal flow along the edge of the bank, trollers are wasting their time trying to troll against the tide.  Once you’ve reached the end of your troll, pick up your gear and run back to Marrowstone on an outgoing tide or Pt. Wilson on the incoming tide and start over again.  During the brief period of slack tidal current, the salmon will scatter along the bank and can be trolled in either direction.

The most common bait in the winter and spring periods are sandlance (candlefish) especially when they move in to spawn.  Keeping that in mind, use small spoons such as the Silver Horde “Coho Killer” and #3 Kingfisher.  They work very well here.  Also the Gold Star “Needlefish” and Ace Hi Fly’s match the dominant bait in the area.

When the summer Chinook fishing kicks off in early summer, larger bait (herring) will also start to move in and mix with the always-present candlefish.  Larger lures such as the Gold Star “Hoochie Hooker” tend to do better on large Chinook.  Silver Horde 4 and 5 inch Salmon plugs with glo and rattle, fished 40 feet behind the release clip, catch some of the largest Chinook of the year. 

In the summer fishery, Chinook move past Mid Channel Bank on the incoming tide, and unlike the winter fishery, don’t linger in the area.  The best tide to fish Mid Channel in the summer is the outgoing tide.

Moochers and Jiggers

Moochers and jiggers will do well by concentrating their efforts on either tide on the Marrowstone (east) side of Mid Channel Bank or off the Point Wilson Lighthouse.  In both of these spots, year round the strong currents will push the bait into more shallow water.

Watch for diving birds up on the bank itself.  There are holes and pockets that will hold diving birds up on the bank and they are most often over bait.  These 40’ to 60’ pockets will also shelter feeding salmon and produce exciting fishing.

Shore Anglers

Anglers who are shore bound can do very well fishing the shoreline at Fort Worden State Park, casting Buzz Bombs and bait under floats.  This fishery takes place mainly in the vicinity of the Lighthouse.

Boat Launches

Port of Port Townsend (Boat Haven) – 360-385-2355                     
Fort Worden State Park – 360-344-4400
Fort Flagler State Park – 360-385-1259
Fort Casey State Park (Whidbey Island) – 360-678-4519