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Port Angeles

port angeles chart shows halibut fishing in the straits of juan de fuca
Charts courtesy of Captn. Jack's
Click on any chart for a bigger view
Halibut & bottomfish

Port Angeles - Halibut fishing

Port Angeles is located at the perfect spot on the Strait of Juan De Fuca to intercept all the salmon runs returning to central and south Puget Sound. Port Angeles is also the launching point for the best halibut fishing in the eastern strait. A short boat ride takes you to legendary halibut banks and shoals such as Freshwater Bay, the Humps, 31-36 Bank, the Rock Pile, Coyote Bank, Green Point and many others. All places that consistantly hold salmon, but really come into their own during halibut season.

The halibut that inhabit the murky depths of Port Angeles are not as plentiful as Neah Bay, but are usually larger in size. The average halibut usually weigh in the 50 pound range, with several caught each year over 100 pounds and the occasional 200+ pounder.

Another plus for Port Angeles is the location of the town itself. Located on the edge of the Straits of Juan De Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains, this area offers spectacular scenery, miles of nearby beaches and hiking ranging from the alpine meadows of Hurricane Ridge to lowland river trails. This is a perfect place for your family (who arent fisherfolk) to entertain themselves while you are out on the water. The anglers in your family will find tackle shops, marine supply stores, launch ramps and moorage readily available.

Accommodations in Port Angeles range from upscale hotels (with moderate pricing) such as the Red Lion to quiet B & Bs and nearby campgrounds and R.V. Parks.

Port Angeles Launch Ramps:

Port Angeles Ramp: located on Ediz Hook. This is a good ramp with moderate grade. The east lane of the ramp needs repair. The west lane is in good shape. This ramp is protected from weather and has ample parking.

Boat Haven: located in the west sector of Port Angeles. There are actually two very good ramps, referred to as east and west ramps. A good grade and protected water. Both ramps share parking. During summer there is a conflict with customers of Boat Haven over use of parking. Moorage and business customers have a priority. Transit moorage is available at Boat Haven (360) 457-4505.

Freshwater Bay: a shallow ramp needing +5ft. tide to launch. No launch or retrieval available at low tides. Not a good spot to launch a large boat.
There is ample parking, however there is no dock.

Halibut Season Opens Area 6 May 9th, 2002

General Rules

The season is open May 9th to July 12, 2002. There is no catch quota for this area, which means there should be no early closure.

*Closed to halibut fishing Tuesdays and Wednesdays
*Daily limit is one halibut, no size limit.
*A catch record card is required
*Barbless hooks are required in the Strait for the first time this year for all bottomfish, including halibut.

Port Angeles Halibut Fishing Areas

Area 1: Observatory Point Troll or mooch along 120 ft. to 200 ft. ledge for halibut. You will find lingcod in the rocky areas.
Location: N48°09' x W123°38'.

Area 2: Freshwater Bay sand flat holding halibut in the 120 to 240 ft depths. This is an area that seems to have fewer dogfish.
Location: N48°10' x W123°35'.

Area 3: The Humps located 4 miles west of Ediz Hook and sometimes referred to as the 3 Humps or 1st Hump, 2nd Hump, 3rd Hump. Fair trolling for Halibut in 100 ft to 200 ft depths. Rocky in certain areas, so watch your downrigger depths. Moochers do best on the incoming tide. Drift parallel to the shelf or south of the first hump in 90 to 300 ft of water.
Location: N48°10' x W123°29'.

Area 4: The Rock Pile located 7 1/2 statute miles north of Ediz Hook. One of the premier spots for mooching or jigging for Halibut. Not a place to troll. Can be crowded, so use your kicker motor to hold against the tide. Keep your lines as straight down as possible. Drift from 100 ft depth out to 300 ft depth on the down side of the tidal flow. In other words, west side of the Rockpile on the ebb tide, east side on the flood tide.
Location: N48°14' x W123°20'.

Area 5: 31-36 Hole located 6 miles northwest of Ediz Hook. This bank is very heavily fished, but only because it is a consistent producer of Halibut. 31-36 Hole is a large bank with room for both drift fishermen and trollers. Drift fishermen should start on top of the bank in 180 ft of water and drift off until they can no longer stay on the bottom. Drifters should use their boat motors to hold against the tidal flow. Trollers should work the large sand flat on the northeast side. This is a deep slow troll in the 240 to 300 ft depths.
Location: N48°12' x W123°18'.

Area 6: Coyote Bank located 13 statute miles from Ediz Hook. The Canadian border intersects Coyote Bank. If you dont have a Canadian fishing license, watch your position. This is a great bank to fish, but is exposed to the weather. Coyote Bank has a rocky top that produces good lingcod fishing. Halibut can be caught as you drop off into the sandy bottom. The sandy flats in the southwest corner hold halibut.
Location: N48°17'30" x W123°14'.

Area 7: Green Point located 5 1/2 miles east of Ediz Hook. If you troll for halibut, this is the place! Green Point is only a name location. It is a long series of sandy flats. Starting about half a mile west of Green Point, troll the 120 ft depth line on the flood tide. You can actually troll all the way to the Bell buoy at the tip of Dungeness Spit. This is a six-mile troll path. Reverse your direction of troll on the ebb tide. (east to west). Halibut can be caught anywhere along here in 70 to 260 ft. of water. Spend some time here and stay within 5 ft. of the bottom.
Location: N48°09' x W123°17'.

Tom Nelson