GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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There's world-class fishing in the Puget Sound from July through September. Local salmon runs have been improving in recent years, and populations of pink (humpy) and coho (silver) salmon are actually booming. Most salmon fishermen fish from small boats throughout the Sound, but shore fishing is also popular throughout the region. Seattle has public piers along Shilshole Bay in Ballard's Golden Gardens Park, and Elliott Bay has public piers at Waterfront Park, near Downtown and Pioneer Square. Shilshole Bay charter-fishing companies offer trips to fish for salmon, rockfish, cod, flounder, and sea bass.
Lake Washington has its share of parks department piers as well. You can fish year-round for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and large- and smallmouth bass. Chinook, coho, and steelhead salmon can also be fished, but often are subject to restrictions. Popular piers include the Reverend Murphy Fishing Pier, located at Seward Park, and the East Madison Street dock, located at the far eastern end of East Madison Street.
Additional freshwater fishing can be found at Green Lake, which is stocked with more than 10,000 legal-size rainbow trout each year. Anglers can also vie for brown trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead catfish. The parks department maintains three fishing piers along Green Lake's shores: East Green Lake Drive at Latona Avenue Northeast, West Green Lake Drive North and Stone Avenue North, and West Green Lake Way North, just north of the shell house.
All anglers age 15 and older are required to purchase licenses, which are sold at more than 600 locations throughout the state. Check regulations in the "Sport Fishing Rules" pamphlet (available at most sporting goods stores) when you buy your license. A one-day license for saltwater and freshwater fishing is around $20. Visit fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov for a list of locations.
Adventure Charters. Adventure Charters takes private groups out on six-person trolling boats to fish for salmon, bottom fish, and crab—depending on the season. The guided trips from Shilshole Bay Marina last for six or seven hours. The price per person is $165, plus $10 for a license; tackle and bait are included, and your fish will be cleaned or filleted and bagged for you. 7001 SeaView Ave., Ballard, Seattle, WA, 98117-6006. 206/789–8245. www.seattlesalmoncharters.com.
Fish Finders Private Charters. Fish Finders Private Charters takes small groups of two or more out on Puget Sound for guided salmon and ling cod fishing trips. The cost is $200 per person and includes a fishing license. Morning trips last about six hours; afternoon trips are about five hours. All gear, bait, cleaning, and bagging are included in the fee. 6019 Seaview Ave. NW, Ballard, Seattle, WA, 98117. 206/632–2611. www.fishingseattle.com.