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San Juan Islands
salmon fishing in puget sound for chinook and coho at the san juan islands and spring pass
Chart courtesy of Captn. Jack's

San Juan Islands

Salmon are caught all over Marine Area 7, from the nooks and crannies of the interior Islands, to the outer banks of the Straits. The 'Juan's can be a hard nut to crack, but it helps to think of the Islands like a big rock pile in the middle of a river. It's all about tide. When the tide is flooding it pushes in from the Straits of Juan De Fuca, and when it ebbs, it flushes down the Straits of Georgia, and back out. This creates a "river" flowing through structure. Behind points, over drop offs, in trenches, pockets, and seams, anywhere bait can get out of the current, Blackmouth will be there to feed. When the tide goes slack, salmon attack!


This is a downrigger fishery. Trolling is mostly done with the tide, shooting for around 2 mph.The fish will mainly be holding on the bottom. What you use for terminal tackle is not exotic. Spoons, hootchies, herring. The main food source for these salmon is small Herring and Sandlance. Matching the size of baitfish is important, and it's usually smaller. Rig your offering behind a flasher, which mimics a salmon slashing through bait, and the lure looks like it's a stunned baitfish just ready to be chomped! There is no substitute for experience on the water, so getting out there in the San Juan Islands is not only enjoyable, but it will make you a better fisherman. The scenery isn't bad either!


Fishing the San Juan Islands can be very productive.


There are links on the above map and below to click on and explore.


Pile Point
Lime Kiln Point
Salmon Bank
Thatcher Pass


[ Salmon Bank ] [Pile Point ] [ Lime Kiln Point ] [ Thatcher Pass ]