Photo by Denise Meade
If you’re heading to the beautiful state of Washington and want to fish Puget Sound without a boat, you are likely to end up at the Edmonds Fishing Pier. Edmonds is a small town located off the East coast of the sound, just a 30-minute drive north from Seattle. The pier is found next to the Visitor Station at Olympic Beach, just next door to Edmonds Marina (one of the largest public marinas in the Puget Sound area). It’s an “L” shaped pier that totals 944 feet and runs parallel to the coast, offering anglers plenty of room to reel in their catch. The pier is open to the public 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year.
Built in 1975, the Edmonds Fishing Pier is among Puget Sound’s most popular fishing spots, with over 100,000 anglers visiting each year. Non-anglers such as bird watchers or marine-life enthusiasts also visit the pier to witness the beauty of Washington’s nature that is visible from the pier. Watching the ferries pass is another favorite among locals and tourists alike. The Edmonds Fishing Pier has been a fishing hot spot for years, with its fantastic salmon fishery drawing anglers from around the world.
Anglers who visit the pier will have the opportunity to fish for salmon year-round; a fact that seems to go unnoticed by many in the fishing community. Keep in mind: there is a two-bag limit for salmon caught off the pier. Salmon species caught at Edmonds Pier include Chinook, Coho, Pink, and Chum. Other fish to catch at Edmonds Fishing Pier include Rockfish, Flounder, Cabezon, Sculpin, Greenling, Dogfish, Ratfish, and Ling Cod.
The Ling Cod specifically is another favorite for anglers at the pier, second only to the Salmon. They can be found on the bottom of the Sound, and are known for having sharp teeth. Anglers looking to tangle with a Ling Cod should be sure to have a 7-8ft medium action rod paired to a large reel with at least 15lb abrasion resistant line and a steel wire leader. Again, be mindful of the toothy mouth on these fish. It’s recommended to use pliers and protective gloves when it’s time to dehook.
Crabbing is another favorite activity for visitors to the pier. To experience this unique technique: Get yourself a crab pot or two baited with raw tuna, sardines, or chicken. You’ll also want 50’-150’ leaded line to drop the pot to the bottom. Once you’ve let the pot sit there for a few hours, pull your dinner back up! Take note: there is no crabbing on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at Edmonds Fishing Pier.
The species of Puget Sound crab include Dungeness crab, Red rock crab, and Tanner crab. They all have pretty tasty meat, and the excitement of pulling in your pot for your treasure never gets old! The seconds leading up to the moment the crab pots breach the surface are the most exhilarating… “This trap feels heavier than when I first lowered it, there’s gotta be a crab or two in there!”. Whether it’s the heartbreak of an empty trap, or the unparalleled excitement of a full pot, crabbing is a fun way to spend the day on the pier.
It’s indisputable that “luck” plays a slight factor in any fishing outing. There are some days that no matter which lures you throw, or how efficiently you jig your swimbait, the fish just aren’t biting. To combat these days, the gung ho fishing enthusiasts looking for a sure-fire trip to bring home fresh dinner are known to bring both crab pots AND their favorite rod to Edmonds Fishing Pier. After dropping a baited crab pot or two to the bottom of Puget Sound, they head to a different section of the pier to begin the hunt for the delectable salmon and lingcod hiding near the pylons of the pier.
After a few rod-bending hours securing their bag limit, the anglers return to the crab pots to see how they fared. On the best days, these efficient anglers head home with a cooler full of fish fillets and crab! Before you head out, you’ll want to make sure you have your Washington state fishing or shellfishing license (depending on if you’re looking to cast for Salmon or go crabbing). All catch records must be returned to WDFW by the appropriate deadline, even if you didn’t catch anything. Conservation of the fisheries is important for the health of all of Washington’s wildlife.
After your day of fishing Edmonds Fishing Pier, be sure to check out the rest of this quaint town. While visiting Edmonds, Washington you should also check out the nearby waterways and beaches. Hiking and bird-watching are favorites among the tourists and locals in the area. It’s a great destination for any family looking for an outdoor getaway away from the bigger cities.