Washington State’s 2020 proposed sport halibut fishing season looks extremely good. The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife recently proposed a far better sport halibut season than the past few years. In past years sport anglers had fewer scheduled days and no fishing days between two open days. Seasons also typically began in early May. This year Puget Sound will open April 16th. The 2020 proposed season for Areas 5 to 10 allows anglers to fish Thursday, Friday & Saturday. Having three days in a row allows anglers more opportunity and convenience. Here’s the proposed season that still needs approval at upcoming PFMC meetings.
Puget Sound could have as many as 33 days to fish for halibut in 2020. The bag limit will stay the same at four fish. Puget Sound will be fishing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with an additional 6 days in April for MA 6-10. The only change for Puget Sound and the North coast (MA 3 and 4) will be a closure on May 21. We’ll fish Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Memorial Day weekend).
The North Coast (MA 3 and 4) will open on April 30 with a Thursday and Saturday schedule. MA 5 will open April 30 with a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule. The South Coast (MA 1 and 2 and Columbia River) will fish a Thursday and Sunday schedule as they have in the past.
As in the past, catch rates could drive an earlier closure. Last year, Puget Sound left over 39,000 lbs on the table. Below is the proposed dates.