Central Puget Sound is the most populated stretch of Puget Sound, with Seattle smack dab in the middle of the region. The Central Puget Sound offers very good fishing for chinook, coho, pink, chum and sockeye salmon, as well as sea-run cutthroat trout, steelhead, green sturgeon, Pacific halibut, cabezon and lingcod. Major river basins include the Cedar River/Lake Washington watershed, the Sammamish, the Duwamish, the Snoqualmie/Skykomish watershed, the Green River, and the White River.
As one would expect from a highly populated region, the Central region of the Puget Sound has a storied history. Elliott Bay, located on the doorstep of Seattle, lays claim to the rights of the birthplace of a popular salmon fishing technique known up and down the West Coast as “mooching.”
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish on Central Puget Sound:Point Monroe on the south side of Port Madison can be good for winter blackmouth. Troll the 90 to 120 foot zone, keeping trolling gear within 10 feet of the bottom. Look for bait on the depth sounder.
Jeff Head is one of the most reliable king salmon spots in the Central Puget Sound. Besides year-round chinook, Jeff’s also has odd-year pinks, coho and chums during the summer into early fall. Troll or motor-mooch the south end of the bar off Jeff Head on the outgoing tide working northwest. Work out towards the shipping lanes on the slack tide. Start out in 90 to 120 feet of water and increase the depth of your gear all the way to 200+ feet as the sun gets high in the sky. Concentrate on the depth where you mark bait.
West Point can be good for winter blackmouth and fall coho. Look for herring to get pushed to the lee side of the point on each tide. Fish the north side of the point on the ebb tide and the south side on the flood. Troll the 90 to 120 foot zone for blackmouth, keeping trolling gear within 10 feet of the bottom. Fish the rip lines at 30 to 60 feet at the tide changes for coho.
Shillshole Bay can produce blackmouth year-round and coho in August and September. Early morning bite is best on a slack tide. Deep trolling is often preferred at this spot over mooching cut plug herring to keep away from pesky dogfish that are notoriously abundant in the bay.
The Shipwreck is visible on shore at the south end of the Humpy Hollow area. The shipwreck is a great landmark for all kinds of good salmon fishing as pinks, cohos and kings all come through the area from July-October. Target odd-year pinks from right on the surface to 30 feet down with a white dodger and small pink squid 16″ behind the dodger. Troll coho out in the shipping channel towards Possession Pt. Target chinook in 200 feet of water or less. Look for suspended bait in 60 to 120 feet of water for chinook.