What’s one to do with all the water we have around us in the Pacific Northwest? One good answer is to get your fish-on! Here in Washington, you have the option of freshwater fishing on one of the numerous lakes or rivers or saltwater fishing in the Puget Sound or the Pacific Ocean. Depending on which you choose, you’ll only need to travel a couple hours or mere minutes from Seattle.
Last year, as a gift to my dad, my husband, my mom and I took to the seas from Westport with a company called Westport Charters. The boat departed early so we opted to stay in the small fishing town the night prior and enjoyed some great seafood to get us revved up for our following day of “fish hunting.”
The morning of departure we arrived at the dock dressed in multiple layers and added a head-to-toe layer of Gore-Tex to that for good measure. Our captain and deck hand shoved us off into the cold Pacific and off we went into the deep blue. After roughly an hour of pushing our way out through the four-six foot waves the captain killed the engines and nodded to us that it was time to fish. My husband was certainly the most excited for the boat to come to a stop as he had spent most of those 60 minutes hanging over the side of the boat, greener than a Granny Smith. But like the trooper he is, once the boat was at rest and the lines pierced the water he was good to go.
We were fishing for salmon and patiently waited for a hungry school to pass under our boat. From where we fished, there was no land in sight, just miles of rolling waves with a boat here and there on the horizon chasing after the same goal as us.
Then out of nowhere the silence broke and the boat erupted into sheer exhilaration as the tip of my mom’s pole dove straight down toward the sea and looked as though it was going to snap. She gave the pole a strong heave and secured the hook deep into the cheek of her catch. Then the fight was on. The fish swam under the boat, then from the stern to the bow and back again. Finally though, there it was; that strong glistening silver fish burst through the surface of the water and was just out of reach from the net. On its next pass-by and with one lofty scoop that fish was out of the water an on the floor of the boat. What a catch; a beautiful King Salmon!
The rest of the morning was spent in quiet hopes of recreating that same adventure but one would be our reward for the day and that was certainly enough to be thankful for.
Here is a link to fishing charters out of Westport as well as a link to Washington State’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. Visit their page to see what’s in season while you are here. Don’t forget to get a license!