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’s 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. Which 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.

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

Creel report graph showing chinook catch data between November and December of the current year.

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

Creel report graph showing data between June and September of the current year.

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.

Permanent Regulations for Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

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

SALMON
Entire Area
(see exception for Commencement Bay and piers below)
July 1-Sept. 30Open Wednesdays through Saturdays only. Chinook – min. size 22”. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Up to 1 Chinook may be retained. Release wild Chinook and chum.
Oct. 1-Oct. 31No min. size. Daily limit 2. Release Chinook and chum.
Nov. 1-Dec. 31Chinook – min. size 22”. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Up to 1 Chinook may be retained. Release coho, chum, and wild Chinook.
Commencement Bay
(see 6 on previous page for boundaries)
July 1-July 31CLOSED.
Aug. 1-Sept. 30Open Wednesdays through Saturdays only. Chinook – min. size 22”. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Up to 1 Chinook may be retained. Release wild Chinook and chum.
Oct. 1-Oct. 31No min. size. Daily limit 2. Release Chinook and chum.
Nov. 1-Dec. 31Chinook – min. size 22”. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Up to 1 Chinook may be retained. Release coho, chum, and wild Chinook.
Dash Point Dock, Des Moines Pier, Les Davis Pier, Point Defiance Boathouse Dock, and Redondo PierYear-roundChinook – min. size 22”. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Up to 1 Chinook may be retained. Release chum.

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 for a full list that are in effect until I can get the automation working fully again.

Regulations for Marine Area 11 – Tacoma / Vashon

From the north tip of Vashon Island to the Northernmost Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

WATERSEASONMIN.SIZEDAILYLIMITADDITIONAL RULES
Entire AreaJune 1 – Sept. 3022”2Chinook – min. size 22″. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Only 1 Chinook may be retained. Release chum and wild Chinook. Season may close earlier if Chinook quota is attained.
Entire AreaOct 1. – Oct. 31None2No min. size. Daily limit 2. Release chum and Chinook.
Entire AreaNov. 1 – Dec. 3122”2Chinook – min. size 22″. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Only 1 Chinook may be retained. Release chum, coho and wild Chinook. Season may close earlier if Chinook quota is attained.
Dash Point Dock, Des Moines Pier, Les Davis Pier, Point Defiance Boathouse Dock, and Redondo PierYear-round22”2Chinook – min. size 22″. Other salmon species – no min. size. Daily limit 2. Only 1 Chinook may be retained.

The above regulations are not “official” yet, but are in the list of agreed fisheries out of the North of Falcon process. You should always check WDFW for official regulations and at the very least look at the emergency regulations which should be automatically updated above if things are working correctly.

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 late July / August time period.

Gig Harbor

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

Many of this chinook salmon 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 another potentially great location to target puget sound chinook, especially on 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

Current-fall-chinook-forecast-map
Current-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.