Great News for Washington State sport halibut anglers. Sport Halibut season begins April 22 in Areas 6 through 10 this year and should be productive. Last year the season was set early too but Covid restrictions delayed the halibut opening. As a result of a delayed season WDFW continued adding halibut days into the summer in an effort to allow sport anglers to catch their quota of halibut.
Last season Neah Bay and Lapush remained closed to shore access due to Covid which forced anglers to launch from Sekiu. This season Neah Bay will likely remain closed with no launching or shore access. Access to Neah Bay Marina via water will remain closed to non-residents as well. Rumor has it th Makahs might open Neah Bay July 1st but that decision is far off and exceeds the current halibut season structure. La Push, however might allow access to their launch and marina but nothing has been decided for sure yet so plan accordingly.
Anglers planning to fish Area 4 (Neah Bay & Ocean) should plan to launch from Sekiu. Last year Sekiu was a boom town with every available room, moorage, trailer parking spot and camping spot filled to capacity. I made nine trips to Sekiu last year and every trip was awesome but crowded on shore. The North Coast Covid closures gave Sekiu an economic boost it needed and helped local businesses from closing forever. This year Mason’s has announced they will take reservations at 9 a.m. March 1st so be ready to plan your halibut adventures in advance if you want moorage, rooms or a camping spot. They can be reached at 360-963-2311
When Puget Sound halibut fishing opens April 22 in Areas 6 thru 10 the waters near Port Angeles should be productive. Last season when halibut opened Port Angeles was the hot spot. Freshwater Bay, The Rockpile, 31/36, Green Point, Ediz Hook & Coyote Bank all produced halibut. Deciding which area to fish will be difficult because all of the mentioned areas were excellent last year. Some anglers anchored while others drifted. Typically the anglers who fished shallow, in 120 feet or less anchored. Deep water halibut anglers mostly drifted with excellent success last year.
The North Coast halibut opener on May 6th will attract bigger boats but weather permitting should provide lots of action. Anglers who don’t want to make the run from Sekiu to the ocean can stay local and fish Pillar Point to the east or drift the flats in front of town. Or they can run to Neah Bay and fish the Garbage Dump. Last year the Garbage Dump was red hot later in the season but should produce halibut on the opener. Of course, everything depends on weather so remember to play it safe — no fish is worth risking your life. When possible try to buddy boat when venturing to the ocean.
My next post will feature a halibut fishing map for the Garbage Dump so subscribe to Halibut Chronicles today so you don’t miss out on any halibut fishing maps. I will also be posting some ocean maps prior to the ocean opener.