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9 Tips From Locals on Where to Fish in Pierce County

Community Post Professional Headshot of Community Post March 19, 2018

In Pierce County, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by gorgeous scenery and opportunities for getting outside and staying active. And with the Puget Sound and a long list of lakes right in our backyard, fishing is a popular activity for many people in our region!

We asked several local Tacomans where they recommend going fishing in Pierce County, and they shared a few of their best tips with us:

American Lake

Located at 9222 Veterans Dr SW, Lakewood, Washington 98498

Jaron Witsoe recommends heading to American Lake in Lakewood to fish for rainbow trout. Open year-round for fishing, American Lake is stocked with rainbow trout and kokanee, and there is also a large population of other natural fish. Not only does American Lake have some great fishing, but it’s also home to some truly beautiful scenery! We recommend taking a look at this handy “Fishing Prospects Calendar” to help plan your fishing trip.


The Puget Sound & Slag Pile Area by Vashon Island

“Love fishing in the Puget Sound! You can rent boats at the Point Defiance Boat House,” shares Maggie Feagin-Schauble. “[There’s] great fishing just off the Slag Pile Vashon Island. It's a good day when you catch a 30-pounder—normally they're more like 12 to 15 pounds.”

Right next to the Vashon Ferry Terminal at Point Defiance, there’s a public boat launch that’s open all year long from sunrise to sunset. You can get an annual pass or punch card, or pay per launch.


Ruston Way Docks

Located at Ruston Way Waterfront Tacoma, Washington 98402

Want to go fishing for squid? Jaron Witsoe says that the Ruston Way docks during the colder months at night are the place to be! The Les Davis Pier is conveniently open all year long, 24/7.


The Puyallup River

Dreaming of salmon fishing? Good news—the Puyallup River offers an excellent opportunity to try your hand at catching a beautiful salmon. “[I recommend the] Puyallup River for coho salmon and steelhead fishing!” shares Jaron Witsoe. Fishing begins on the first Saturday in June, and you can take a look at a map of recommended fishing spots along the Puyallup River here.

“Even if you're not fishing you can see the schools of salmon traveling along the bays edge on their way to the Puyallup River,” recommends Michael McNiel. “These fish like to jump out of the water, so they're easy to spot. If you own waders, head to the Puyallup River for more fish concentration.”


Silver Lake

Located at 40724 S Silver Lake Rd E Eatonville, WA 98328

Patience Colkitt recommends Henley’s Silver Lake Resort in Eatonville to go fishing for trout, perch, crappie, and bass. Plus, there’s also a neat resort there—you can stay in cabins, RV sites, and campsites. There are also bathrooms, a bait shop, a dock, and a boat launch to take advantage of.


Dash Point State Park

Located at 5700 S.W. Dash Point Road Federal Way, WA 98023

Michael McNiel recommends checking out the pier at Dash Point State Park for fishing. This incredible 398-acre park is packed with a ton of things to do, from biking and hiking to camping and boating as well.


Browns Point Lighthouse Park

Located at 201 Tulalip St. N.E. Tacoma, WA 98422

Browns Point Lighthouse Park is a nice spot for bank fishing,” shares Michael McNiel. This 4-acre park shows off stunning views of the Puget Sound, and in addition to fishing and a great picnic space, this park also has a long history.


Lake Ohop

Located at Ohop Lake, Washington 98328

Recommended by Patience Colkitt, Lake Ohop is located in Eatonville just south of Northwest Trek. The lake is open all year, and has especially good fishing during the summer months. Check out their “Fishing Prospects Calendar” for the best fishing times!


Lake Kapowsin

For a relaxing day of fishing, Patience Colkitt recommends heading to Lake Kapowsin, just off of Kapowsin Highway E via Highway 161. This great spot is open all year, but the best fishing starts in May and slows down in September. The lake is stocked each year with rainbow trout and has a boat ramp, a dock, and parking.


Here’s one last tip from Michael McNeil: “Pink salmon runs happen on odd years, so 2017 is fishing time. [It’s the] smallest of the salmon family and [they] average a few pounds or more. Very aggressive and attack anything pink in color.” Don’t miss out on catching a delicious salmon this year!

Curious to check out some other fishing spots in Pierce County? Take a look at the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s guide to Pierce County’s fishing spots here, and view their Sport Fishing Regulation Pamphlet for even more helpful information.

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