Explore America's Campgrounds
Recreational opportunities abound around Puget Sound, from hiking and biking along the shore to boating and fishing on the water. In the Tacoma area, you can fish from one of several public access points and piers, including saltwater fishing on the sound and freshwater fishing on nearby lakes.
Fish any day of the year at any time of the day from Les Davis fishing pier on Commencement Bay. Shelters provide cover during the rainy months and picnic tables are ideal places for a summer meal by the bay. Another fishing pier open to the public is the Boathouse at Point Defiance Park, open every day from sunrise to sunset. Fish cleaning stations are available at both of Tacoma's public piers.
On Tacoma's western shores, the Narrows Marina has moorage and a launch for those seeking public access to fishing by boat. A bait and tackle store and a fuel dock are available to anglers. Six miles north of the Narrows Marina, the Point Defiance Marina is another spot anglers will be interested in. A tackle shop and guest moorage for boats is available. Foss Harbor Marina in downtown Tacoma is one of the more convenient locations for anglers in the area.
In the nearby city of Lakewood, which borders Tacoma to the south, boat launches and fishing piers are available to the public. Harry Todd Community Park on American Lake features a fishing pier and swimming beach. Near the intersection of Pine and 84th streets, Wards Lake Park also has a fishing pier, as well as trails and picnic areas.
All anglers in Washington over the age of 15 are required to hold valid fishing licenses issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Licenses are available for saltwater, freshwater and shellfish in single-day, multi-day or annual passes. Discounts are given to state residents, youths, military members and seniors.
If the public piers aren't yielding great catches for you, head for the open sea. Many fishing charter companies exist around Tacoma. Captain Jerry's Charters meets anglers at Foss Harbor Marina with its 28-foot cruiser that accommodates six passengers. Anglers catch mostly salmon and bottom fish on these excursions. Any fishing charter company worth its salt will also provide gear for those hoping to try their hand at shrimping or crabbing, when the season opens.
Michelle Hornaday lives in Edmonds, Washington and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Washington State University and a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University. She is currently a freelance writer for various websites.