Marine Area 11 Chinook Salmon Fishing

Marine Area 11 Chinook Salmon Fishing

Trolling point defiance

For those of us in the South-Central Puget Sound, the annual chinook salmon fishing season is one of the absolute best times to be on the water!

Usually, nice weather and some really big fish can make for a great time.

Some years haven’t allowed a season during June when there are some greater numbers of metabolically hotter chinook salmon around and feeding.

Typically, these chinook/kings are arriving closer to their spawning/staging times in late July to mid-August and beyond.

This means you will often mark on your sonar far more chinook than you will hook, but you never know when that bite will turn on.

Being on the water just before daylight is what the serious chinook anglers do in MA11.

Additionally, using larger profile terminal gear and moving slower can be key to getting a staging (as opposed to feeding) chinook salmon to bite.

Often this shows up as hoochies as well as jigging. Those who jig for these staging salmon often out-fish other methods!

Checkout our page dedicated to Puget Sound Salmon Fishing here for more details on fishing techniques, gear and general tips.

Latest news / posts about Marine Area 11 Fishing

Updated Creel Report for Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon Chinook Salmon Fishing

As the salmon season gets going, the above chart will be automatically updated with the creel report numbers from the past month of fishing.

When to fish for Chinook Salmon in Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

This graph tells a fairly accurate story of Marine Area 11 Chinook salmon fishing.

That first week in June is often decent, followed by a lull and slowly building from late July into mid-August and peaking around about the 3rd week.

That early season in June involves fish from all over actively feeding and pushing into the South Sound.

Some will stay, but many will continue their migration. Even Columbia River chinook coded-wire-tags have been recovered there.

Permanent Regulations for Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

Please refer to the permanent regulations for Marine Area 11 as maintained by WDFW here.

Need more help understanding saltwater salmon regulations? Consult our guide to understanding saltwater salmon regulations in Washington here.

Emergency Regulations for Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

Please refer to WDFW’s emergency rules page.

Where to fish for Chinook Salmon in Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

This may seem like a lot of fishing spots, but there are many more! Think classic king depths of 90 to 120 ft up against steep slopes

Clay Banks

Clay Banks in MA11
Clay Banks in MA11

Fish from SE to NW on the ebb tide especially. Near the NW tip, you will lots of people jigging vertically for kings either on the bottom or suspended.

In front of Tacoma Yacht Club

Tacoma yacht club in Marine Area 11
Tacoma yacht club in Marine Area 11

Especially good on the flood and as the run really builds into the late July / August time period.

Gig Harbor

Gig harbor in Marine Area 11
Gig harbor in Marine Area 11

Many of these chinook salmon are headed for the deep south sound hatchery on the Nisqually and near Olympia will cruise this path and can be intercepted here.

Point Dalco

Point Dalco in Marine Area 11
Point Dalco in Marine Area 11

Consider fishing this on the flood, also, north of Point Dalco at the Girl Scout Camp.

Redondo

Redondo in Marine Area 11
Redondo in Marine Area 11

Good location for targeting king salmon headed for the Puyallup or other south sound hatcheries.

Dolphin Point

Dolphin point in Marine Area 11
Dolphin point in Marine Area 11

Dolphin Point can be a great place to fish early on in the main run of chinook as they will here often times before other parts of Marine Area 11.

Browns Point / Dash Point

Browns point to dash point in Marine Area 11
Browns point to dash point in Marine Area 11

Another popular place to intercept chinook.

Quartermaster Harbor

Quartermaster harbor in Marine Area 11
Quartermaster harbor in Marine Area 11

A less popular, but potentially great location to target Puget Sound Chinook, especially during the flood.

How to fish for Chinook Salmon in Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

Take a look at our parent page Puget Sound Salmon Fishing and key in on fishing with hoochies and jigging as the best techniques here.

Chinook Salmon Forecasts for Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

2023_all_fall-chinook_forecast-map
2023_all_fall-chinook_forecast-map

You will want to key in on the Puyallup and White River, but also the Nisqually as the biggest drivers of chinook abundance in Marine Area 11.

Nisqually or other deep south sound hatchery bound chinook will traverse all parts of Marine Area 11, but especially the Gig Harbor flats should be productive, and places like Point Evans just north of the Narrows Bridge.