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San Juan Islands Fishing: What you Need to Know

Fishing in the San Juan Islands is an exciting adventure! There are both saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities throughout the islands, as well as both boating and shore fishing options. Fishing charters are available, as well as shops that sell fishing gear.

Some of the main saltwater fish species include Salmon, Flounder, Ling cod, and Halibut. During your stay at Tucker House Inn, you can pick up a fishing license at Ace Hardware or King’s Marine in downtown Friday Harbor for your fishing escapades. Here is what you need to know about the best spots to go fishing in the San Juan Islands!

Saltwater Fishing in the San Juan Islands


If you’re looking for guidance during saltwater fishing expeditions in the San Juan Islands, consider booking a fishing charter. Most charters specialize in catching Salmon, Ling Cod and Halibut, but can be customizable! Charters are available in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island and in Eastsound on Orcas Island. You can choose between deep sea fishing and day cruises to Vancouver and the Canadian Gulf Islands and can even leave from San Juan Island if you desire. You can also add crabbing to your adventure!

Friday Harbor: San Juan Island Fishing Charter

Eastsound: Outer Island Excursions

Eastsound: North Shore Adventures


Saltwater Species Seasons

May 01- June 15: Ling Cod

Halibut: Limited Season Opening in May

Chinook, Coho, Pink Salmon: Early July to September

Crabbing: Dungeness, Red Rock, Tanner Crabs. Check this online resource for season details.

Freshwater Fishing in the San Juan Islands

Sportsman’s Lake

Just three-and-a-half miles northwest of Friday Harbor lies Sportsman’s Lake, host to some of the best freshwater fishing in the San Juan Islands. This lake is open to fishing year-round and includes species such as largemouth bass, yellow perch, and pumpkinseed sunfish. The lake and surrounding wildlife habitat sit on two-and-a-half acres of protected land. There is a public fishing ramp that serves as the access point. This lake is also used for the Friday Harbor Sailing Club.

Moran State Park

Some ideal fishing in the San Juan Islands can be found within Moran State Park. This park on Orcas Island features five different freshwater lakes that are all available for fishing. These include Cascade Lake, two Twin Lakes, Mountain Lake, and Summit Lake. Cascade Lake is one of the more popular freshwater fishing locations and is stocked annually by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. You can either bring a boat or rent a paddleboat or rowboat from the snack bar at Cascade Lake if you want to do your fishing from on top of the water. These lakes in Moran State Park are open to fishing from the fourth Saturday in April to October 31st each year!

San Juan Island Fishing Report & Regulations

When planning to go fishing in the San Juan Islands, be sure to check the fishing report as well as the regulations ahead of time. Here, you can garner some valuable insight about places and times to go and where the fish you are looking for can be found. Information from the knowledgeable fishermen in the area is also invaluable! If you plan on harvesting any shellfish on the San Juan Islands’ shoreline, please check the biotin safety mop found here.

Stay at Tucker House Inn

Friday Harbor’s Tucker House Inn is a great base camp for your fishing expeditions. You can enjoy some delicious seafood, at our dining house, Coho Restaurant. You will also receive comfortable accommodations. Sink down into your heavenly bed at the end of a long excursion fishing in the San Juan Islands. Then, wake up to a hearty breakfast to get your day started off right!

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Stay 2 nights (Sunday – Thursday) in Amethyst Chain or Jennie’s Cottage for $125/night. Not valid for holidays or for existing reservations. Valid through February 28, 2023)

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