Willapa Bay

20 Fishing Charters

Willapa Bay Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Willapa Bay

Next time you’re in Washington State, don’t miss out on the chance to check out the Willapa Bay fishing scene. Spanning over 260 miles, the bay is the second-largest estuary on the US Pacific Coast. It’s separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Long Beach Peninsula and fed by several coastal rivers, making it a fantastic habitat for a variety of fish.

The stars of the show here are without a doubt Chinook Salmon. They get big and aggressive, drawing in anglers between July and September every year. Come October, their Coho cousins swing through, adding a little more excitement to the fishery.

But it’s not just about Salmon in Willapa Bay. You can also go bottom fishing for Dogfish, Cabezon, Perch, and a variety of Flatfish. What’s more, setting up some crab fishing gear will see you go home with delicious Dungeness and Red Rock Crab.

When it comes to choosing a trip, the more time you have to spend on the water – the better. This is especially true if you’re trolling or mooching for Chinook and Coho Salmon. A full day trip is recommended to secure your limits. If you’ve only got time for a half day trip, not to worry, some great bottom fishing is in the cards for you.

Willapa Bay is a small boat fishery. Major access points include Tokeland and South Bay, with some local captains choosing to launch from the North River.

Rules & Regulations

You’ll be responsible for purchasing a fishing license if you plan to cast a line in Willapa Bay. Buying a Washington Shellfish License is also required if you plan on going shellfishing or clamming. We recommend heading out with a local guide, as the fishery is subject to strict regulations, especially related to Salmon fishing, that are subject to change on a yearly basis.

Willapa Bay
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.22
Based on 23421 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

It’s quiet on Willapa Bay, aside from a few anglers setting up crabbing gear. They’re braving the cold for a reason – delicious Red Rock and Dungeness Crab are in question.

February

One of the best things about the Pacific Northwest is the quality of the fishing in the winter. Head out into the bay for some bottom fishing or into the surrounding coastal rivers for Steelhead.

March

There’s still some good crabbing and bottom fishing to be done, but the bay is otherwise quiet. Leaving the bay and heading into the open waters of the Pacific may garner more results.

April

The arrival of spring brings us ever closer to Salmon season – only a few more months to go! Until then, head into the coastal rivers to try your luck against the last of the winter Steelhead.

May

Local anglers are on pins and needles awaiting the imminent arrival of Chinook Salmon season. While you wait, indulge in some oystering, clamming, and shellfishing.

June

The Chinook Salmon fishery officially opens in June! There aren’t many fish in the water just yet but it’s enough to get you excited for the upcoming high season.

July

There are more and more Chinook Salmon in the waters as we approach peak season. Try to hook your limits and get in as much practice as you can – trophy-sized fish arrive next month!

August

It’s peak Chinook Salmon fishing season and the bay is packed with anglers. If you’re after a trophy, Willapa Bay is where you want to be. Trolling and mooching are a recipe for success.

September

Chinook Salmon fishing winds down as the recreational fishery closes, switching over to commercial anglers. Not to worry though, Coho Salmon starts to arrive and gives you one last shot at a pink-fleshed fish.

October

Coho Salmon fishing hits its peak! Although these fish are smaller than their Chinook relatives, they’re just as fun to catch and equally delicious. 

November

The number of fishing boats on the water diminishes as we inch towards the holidays. November’s shining light, however, is excellent crabbing! Set up some gear and take home Red Rock and Dungeness Crab.

December

It’s definitely cold out there and there aren’t many vessels on the water. If you’re willing to brave the elements, it’s one of the best months for delicious and meaty Dungeness Crab.

Willapa Bay Fishing Calendar

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Columbia river w nilly
Kieran W. fished with BJ's Guide Service on August 30, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
This is a great trip for first timers. Billy is very knowledgeable and patient. Safety is his priority.
Full day trip with Captain Rod Shulley
Pamela H. fished with Reel Em Up Fishing - Astoria on August 16, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Expect a great adventure and good fishing!!
August fishing trip
Robert G. fished with Kevin Larson Guide Service - Astoria on August 12, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Check tide dates time plan for best results!!
Steelhead trip
FishingBooker Member fished with Hazen's Guide Service – Astoria on July 13, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Be sure to book with a LOCAL GUIDE, like Mike . Lots of out of area guides just don't know the area.
Best fishing guide on the river!
FishingBooker Member fished with Hazen's Guide Service – Astoria on May 21, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Book a guide and take the time to have fun in town.

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Willapa Bay

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Willapa Bay costs, the average price for an 8 hour private trip is $710. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Willapa Bay is 24 ft and the most common vessel type is a Aluminum fishing.

According to customer reviews, Play N Hooky Guide Service - Astoria, Woodys Northwest Fishing & Fun – Astoria, and Mk Sport Fishing - Astoria are some of the most popular fishing charters in Willapa Bay. Full list of top fishing charters in Willapa Bay.

Play N Hooky Guide Service - Astoria, Woodys Northwest Fishing & Fun – Astoria, and Mk Sport Fishing - Astoria all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Willapa Bay.

The best way to experience fishing in Willapa Bay is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Willapa Bay.

The most popular fish species you can target are Salmon (Chinook), Salmon (Coho), and Sturgeon. Top fishing techniques include trolling, jigging, and light tackle. River fishing, nearshore fishing, and inshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Coho Salmon fishing hits its peak! Although these fish are smaller than their Chinook relatives, they’re just as fun to catch and equally delicious.  Check availability for local fishing charters in Willapa Bay.