Whidbey Island Beach Steelheading
Thanksgiving week traditionally marks the start of the winter steelhead fishery off the beaches of Whidbey Island. Though this fishery is not extremely productive at least it allows one to go and wet a line when a great many of our other Puget Sound fisheries are closed at the present time. This is a very unique fishery as it is the only place where saltwater fishing for steelhead exists to any extent. The fishery at this time of the year relies upon returning hatchery steelhead migrating to their various streams from which they were released. Though the numbers of hatchery steelhead being released from Puget Sound streams has diminished greatly over the years there is still a chance of catching a fish if you put in the time.
The fishery for hatchery fish occurs now through the end of January and then the catch and relaese fishery on wild steelhead occurs and will continue into May. You are able to retain two hatchery steelhead per day (those with a missing adipose fin). Wild steelhead are strictly a catch and release fishery. You are required to have a saltwater lisence and a steelhead punchcard. Also make sure that you fish barbless hooks.
As far as tackle goes it requires a very minimal amount. A nornal steelhead outfit with a reel spooled with 10 -15 pound test line will do just fine. The terminal tackle consists of a "Bush Point Rig". Which is a Spin N Glo followed by hoochie skirt. You can stop by and we'll be glad to show you how to set your gear up as well as send you to some of the traditional beach fishing areas.
With many of our fisheries lacking this season this is one to consider.