Fishing in Westport, WA: The Complete Guide for 2024

Feb 14, 2024 | 10 minute read
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Sticking out into Washington’s Grays Harbor, Westport is a place where the Pacific Ocean throws a party and everyone’s invited! It’s no surprise, then, that fishing in Westport is a big deal. Chasing Albacore Tuna and King Salmon is a way of life here. For anglers looking for a real-deal fishing experience, Westport is the jackpot.

A view towards the jetty in Westport, WA, on a sunny day, with the city visible in the distance and a beach visible across the reeds

Other than the Salmon and Tuna, there are hundreds of reasons why Westport has anglers hooked. First, there’s the variety of fishing trips – from nearshore hunts to deep-sea thrills. Then, there are mean big fish – and we mean big. Imagine a 150 lb Halibut on the end of your line! That means big fights, too, and even bigger memories to be created.

In this guide, we’ll dive hook, line, and sinker into what makes Westport an angler’s paradise. We’ll uncover the top fish to target, the best spots to cast your line, and give you some insider tips to make your fishing trip one to remember. Are you ready to hook some memories? Read on…

Best Fish to Catch in Westport, WA

Westport’s waters are brimming with more than just bottom dwellers and sea speedsters. These fish might not grab headlines like Tuna or Salmon, but they add both fun and flavor to every visitor. Let’s break the top catches down, species by species, concentrating on the top game in town:

Albacore Tuna: Oceanic Sprinters

A man in full fishing gear standing on the deck of a boat in the Pacific waters of Washington state while holding a large Albacore Tuna
Photo courtesy of Pacific Bluewater Sportfishing

If one fish stands out worldwide for their meat qualities, it’s Tuna. But in Westport, Albacore Tuna steal the headline for their impressive speeds and incredible game qualities. Mid-July to September is your chance to chase these beauties. Venturing 40–100 miles offshore, where the ocean stretches endlessly around you, you’ll get to experience hardcore angling. And the taste of victory (and Tuna) will be so sweet. 

Albacore Tuna often weigh around the 20–40 lb mark. Trolling is the most effective method of enticing the bite of these athletic aquatic animals. You’ll need robust gear capable of withstanding their power – think sturdy rods, heavy lines, and lures that mimic their prey. Oh, and plenty of strength!

Salmon: The Kings of Westport

Three youthful anglers, including one woman, holding up four Salmon between them on a river fishing charter in Washington, with fall foliage visible on either side of the river
Photo courtesy of Miller’s Sportfishing

Westport and Salmon are like peanut butter and jelly – a perfect match. “King Chinook Salmon arrive by mid-June, followed by “SilverCoho Salmon in July. The fishing usually looks like this: You’ll be off Westport’s coast with your rod in hand, and suddenly – wham! A 30–40 lb King Salmon almost whips you overboard. 

Chinooks in Westport grow to impressive sizes, while Silver Salmon are slightly smaller. Success in Salmon fishing in Westport involves a mix of trolling and mooching. Troll with bait or lures for the best chance of a bit but, for a more hands-on experience, mooching is the way to go. This technique lets you feel every nibble and strike as you drift your bait through the water column up to 20 miles offshore.

Halibut: Deep-Sea Giants

Three anglers standing aboard a fishing charter on a sunny day and showing off two Halibuts each
Photo courtesy of Valley Bay Sportfishing

Halibut fishing in Westport is like going on an underwater treasure hunt. These flat bottom dwellers lurk 25–50 miles offshore, ready to test your muscles and resolve. Hauling a Halibut from the deep waters is a feat of strength and patience, but the bragging rights (and delicious dinners) make every tug worth it.

The key to catching Halibut is bottom fishing with heavy tackle. These giants reside right on the bottom of the ocean, so be prepared for a strenuous battle pulling them up. Halibut can grow to impressive sizes, with average catches ranging from 50 to 150 pounds. The continental shelf’s edge, about 25–50 miles from Westport, is where you’ll find the most Halibut. Their season is short – typically peaking in May – so plan and book your Westport Halibut charter in advance.

Lingcod: Aggressive Predators

A smiling man in sunglasses standing on a fishing charter and holding two large Lingcods on a cloudy day, with the water visible behind him
Photo courtesy of Pacific Bluewater Sportfishing

It feels almost illegal not to mention Lingcod. These always-hungry fish patrol Westport’s nearshore playground and brighten up every angler’s day. They range from 15–40 pounds and are especially photogenic thanks to their formidable teeth and cool colors. They’re ambush predators, often lurking around rocky structures waiting for prey.

That’s good news for those of you wanting a big haul! Jigging is an effective method to land one, using lures that mimic smaller fish or squid to force these predators to strike. Fish near reefs and rocky outcrops just a few miles off the coast, as this is where Lingcod like to hide. While they lie in wait for their next meal, make them yours!

Rockfish: Residents of the Reef

An elderly angler in a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a bright blue raincoat holds up a bright orange Rockfish on a fishing boat in Ucluelet, with the wake of the boat visible behind him
Photo taken by Westcoast Fish Expeditions

Rockfish might not have the same fame as Tuna or Salmon, but they’re a staple of Westport’s fishing scene. They come in various species (over 30 to be precise), each adding a unique flavor to your fishing experience. These fish typically weigh between 2 and 5 pounds, but what they lack in size, they make up for in sheer numbers and delicious meat.

Light tackle is your friend when targeting each species. Locals hunt for them in the same areas as Lingcod, so a mixed bag is a common thing. Check out shallow reefs and structures within 6 miles of the coast. Patience and a gentle touch are key!

How to Go Fishing in Westport, WA

As the fishing scene in Wesport includes a diverse spectrum of species, it naturally comes with a range of different techniques Let’s dive into the different methods of landing fish, from adrenaline-pumping trolling to patience-testing bottom fishing…

Trolling

Trolling in Westport is your ticket to bagging some serious Salmon and Tuna. Here’s the deal. Early in the season, lures are your go-to bait. They’re like a secret sauce for attracting these fish. But, when peak Salmon season rolls around, switch up your game to mooching. It’s a bit like playing a waiting game with bait. When you get that strike, though, it’s straight-up exhilarating.

Now, let’s discuss strategy. Trolling isn’t just about throwing your lines in and hoping for the best. It’s about knowing your fish, where they like to hang out, and what gets their attention. The waters off Westport are like a fish magnet. They’re deep, rich, and full of Salmon and Tuna just waiting to bite. So, when you’re out there, trolling away, remember it’s about combining speed, the right lures or bait, and a bit of know-how.

Bottom Fishing

Two young girls in wheelchairs fish over the side of a boat on a suny day in Westport, WA, with a man in a hat standing on the right of the image looking over them
Photo courtesy of Pacific Bluewater Sportfishing

Dropping a line for bottom fishing in Westport lets you uncover the secrets of the deep waters. Whether you’re hunting Halibut offshore or going after Lingcod in shallower areas, the excitement is real. What’s the bait of the day? Anchovies, shrimp fly lures, or herring are your best bets. The continental shelf and nearshore reefs are where it’s at. These spots are buzzing with Halibut and Lingcod, offering a diverse and plentiful catch. 

You’ll want to know the seabed like the back of your hand and choose the right bait and tackle for the job. The key is to be versatile – adapt to what the ocean’s dishing out that day. Just get ready for a serious workout – you’ll feel muscles you didn’t even know existed!

Deep Sea Fishing

Heading offshore in Westport? Now you’re in the big leagues. This is where seasoned anglers go to test their skills against the ocean’s heavyweights. The deep waters off the coast, up to 100 miles out, are a playground for Albacore Tuna and even Sharks. It’s in these waters where you’ll find out what you’re really made of as an angler.

Deep sea fishing in Westport is about mixing tactics – a bit of trolling here, some bottom fishing there… You’ve got to understand the ocean inside out, including depth, temperature, and currents. As for gear? It better be tough as nails because deep sea fishing is no walk in the park.

Freshwater Fishing

A man wades next to an aluminum sportfishing boat in a river in Washinton on a cloudy day as he casts his fly fishing line
Photo courtesy of Big Fish Washington

Let’s switch gears from the high seas and talk about Westport’s quieter side – its freshwater fisheries. It’s like stepping into a different world, where the rush of the ocean gives way to the gentle flow of rivers and calm lakes. Try casting a line in the Wynoochee and Humptulips Rivers, where Steelhead and Salmon play hide and seek with your bait. Or, you can pop by Duck Lake for that playful tug of a Trout or Bass.

The real party starts in the rivers with the Steelhead and Salmon runs. You never know when that big catch will decide to make your day. If rivers aren’t your jam, the lakes around Westport are perfect for a laid-back day. 

Westport, WA Charter Fishing

A view across the water to a center console fishing charter offshore from Westport, WA, on a cloudy day, with people hanging out on board
Photo courtesy of Pacific Bluewater Sportfishing

Booking a Westport fishing charter is an excellent choice for those seeking a hassle-free experience or some advice from a local expert. Professional captains and guides provide not only the necessary equipment but also invaluable knowledge of the local waters.

Whether it’s pursuing Salmon close to the shore, Halibut on the continental shelf, or Tuna in the deep sea, Westport’s charter offer provides a diverse range of fishing experiences. Each trip is a unique adventure, guided by experts who know these waters like the backs of their hands. They bring a wealth of local knowledge, from the best fishing spots to the most effective techniques for the current conditions.

Westport, WA Fishing Spots

A view of a fallen tree on the Lower Satsop River with calm waters visible among green trees

Every angler can find their sweet spot in Westport. Whether you’re after the deep blue’s big game or the graceful swimmers of the rivers and lakes, there’s a place calling your name. Let’s cast a closer look at these spots – there are no tall tales here, just straight-up good fishing!

  • Westport Marina. If you’re heading out to the paradise of the Pacific, there’s a good chance you’ll start your journey here. Just off the Westport Marina, the ocean opens up for a thrilling offshore fishing experience. From May to November, this is prime territory for Albacore Tuna, Chinook Salmon, and Halibut.
  • Humptulips River. Known for its robust Salmon runs and elusive Steelhead, the Humptulips River is a must-visit for any serious angler. These waters provide a challenging yet rewarding experience, perfect for those looking to test their skills against some of the best river fish in the state.
  • Satsop River. A hidden gem, the Satsop River offers a more tranquil fishing environment. It’s ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and enjoy a peaceful day by the water. Here, you’ll find Salmon and Steelhead, especially during peak seasons.
  • Chehalis River. This is a versatile fishing spot, offering opportunities for both fly fishing and traditional angling methods. Known for its Salmon and Steelhead runs, the Chehalis River presents a dynamic fishing experience for anglers of all skill levels.

When to Go Fishing in Westport, WA

Let’s talk seasons in Westport – not just spring, summer, fall, and winter, but Salmon, Halibut, Tuna, and Steelhead seasons. 

A view towards Westport Marina at sunset, with calm waters visible in the foreground and the sun rising among the clouds in the distance beyond the boats

Come spring, Westport turns into Halibut heaven. From late April through June, these Flatfish giants become the talk of the town. It’s also prime time for Lingcod. Head out to the continental shelf or nearshore reefs, and you might just land a brag-worthy Hali or a snarling Lingcod. And hey, let’s not forget the rivers, where Steelhead are still hanging around, giving fly fishers some late-season action.

From July to September, it’s all about Salmon and Albacore Tuna, making summer a prime time to visit. Chinook and Coho practically jump onto boats, and Tuna embark upon their epic migration. And, if you’re more of a lake person, the nearby Duck Lake, song others, is buzzing with Trout and Bass.

Salmon are still biting in fall, especially Coho, giving anglers a last hurrah before winter. But here’s a twist – it’s also a great time for bottom fishing, since Lingcod and Rockfish are still around!

Winter might sound like downtime but, in Westport, it’s more like the time for a quiet pursuit. It’s when the rivers really come alive with Steelhead – a dream for those who love the challenge of winter fly fishing. Sure, the ocean is a bit quieter, but that means more space and peace for die-hard anglers chasing after resident species!

Westport, WA Fishing Tournaments

Westport, WA hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year, drawing enthusiasts from all corners of the country. One of the highlights is the Westport Charter Boat Association’s Salmon Derby. Then there’s the famous Tuna Classic, a late-summer event focusing on – you guessed it – Albacore Tuna. 

Westport, WA Fishing Regulations

An infographic featuring the flag of Washington, a vector of a boat, and the FishingBooker logo, along with text stating "Westport, WA Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" against a blue background

Fishing in Westport requires a Washington state fishing license for anglers 16 and older. Remember, the type of license – saltwater, freshwater, shellfish, or a combination – depends on where you’re planning to drop your line. 

Each species is also subject to its own set of rules regarding size and bag limits, and they can change faster than Coho Salmon on a run! It’s crucial to stay updated, especially with species like Halibut, Salmon, and Crab, where regulations can vary by season and area. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website is your go-to resource for the latest info.

Fishing in Westport, WA: A Veritable Treat

A view towards the jetty separating the ocean from Half Moon Bay in Westport, WA, on a clear day with the waves crashing in from the right

In Westport, WA, fishing turns every catch into a memory etched in salt and spray. From the river to the sea, via several lakes, there’s enough to keep everyone on their toes – year-round! So, what are you waiting for? Book a charter, set your sights on Westport, and get ready to write your chapter in this fishing paradise. See you out there where the big ones are waiting!

Tell us about your Westport, WA, fishing adventure! Are you a saltwater or a freshwater enthusiast? Let’s talk in the comments below!

Author profile picture

Lisa traded the lecture hall for the vast expanse of the world's waters, transforming her love of teaching into an insatiable passion for angling and storytelling. She would sail through oceans, lakes, and rivers, reeling in the world’s fish stories one catch at a time.

Leave a reply
NameRequired *
Your comment Required *