Tacoma-Vashon Island - Marine Area 11

Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) is located south from the north tip of Vashon Island to the most Northern Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

This area provides plenty of shoreline and pier access for those without a boat, as well as protected areas for small boats to chase resident and migratory salmon and bottomfish.

Winter resident salmon fishing is a unique opportunity to catch salmon in the 'off-season' and typically runs from February through April. Fishing for squid in the winter is a popular activity at many of the piers (particularly at night).

Legal description

Major fishing areas

Browns Point

Migratory coho and pink salmon are accessible here for shoreline anglers using buzz bombs, jigs, and flies. In addition, sea-run cutthroat trout and resident coho can be caught here in the fall and winter using flyfishing gear or small spinning tackle.

Accessible by Shoreline
Park at Browns Point Light House Park and walk northwest to the beach to fish. Please be respect and be aware of private property or tidelands.

*DIRECTIONS Google Bing

This feature shows the general location of the selected shoreline. Directions may not include direct access routes. Please do not trespass on private property.

Species: Coastal cutthroat, Flatfish, Pink salmon

Browns to Dash Point

Fish between the two points within the bottom 10 to 20 feet between 90 to 140 feet deep with the current for migratory Chinook and coho, as well as for blackmouth. During odd years, troll for pink salmon 20-60 feet deep or even cast at them if they are jumping.

Accessible by Boat

Species: Chinook salmon, Pink salmon

Dash Point

Migratory coho and pink salmon are accessible here for shoreline anglers using buzz bombs, jigs, and flies. In addition, sea-run cutthroat trout and resident coho can be caught here in the fall and winter using flyfishing gear.

Accessible by Shoreline
Enter Dash Point State Park and park at the parking lot and walk north to the beach. A Discovery Pass is required. Please be respect and be aware of private property or tidelands.

*DIRECTIONS Google Bing
This feature shows the general location of the selected shoreline. Directions may not include direct access routes. Please do not trespass on private property.

Species: Chinook salmon, Coastal cutthroat, Pink salmon

Des Moines

Both blackmouth and summer Chinook are caught on the north and south side of Three Tree Point, typically on the outgoing tide. Later during the summer, pink salmon will be in the area and accessible if you decide to target them.

Accessible by Boat

Species: Chinook salmon

Pink Salmon Fishing

During odd years, pink salmon returning must first pass through most of Puget Sound, making them accessible to small boat and shore anglers that uses only basic fishing gear and techniques. Pink salmon are not the strongest swimmers, so they often hug the shorelines and stay out of big rip tides. Best catch rates often occur in the mornings and evenings. The color pink is most commonly used for all lures and flies by anglers. Pink salmon are often mistaken for small wild chinook or even wild coho so be sure you know to properly identify it.

Boat Fishing
There are two main methods of fishing for pink salmon from a boat, trolling and casting.

  • Trolling uses a downrigger to get your tackle to the depth you want to fish. Most pink salmon are caught in depths of 20-60 feet. The key to trolling is using a small flasher of any color, which is an attractor for the pink salmon to swim along and hopefully strike at your lure. The most common lure is a pink mini squid (hootchie), followed by a pink spoon. Feel free to scent up your lure, however bait is not needed. Tie the lure 16-24 inches behind the flasher (18-25 lb. monofilament) and deploy your gear 10-30 feet behind the boat. The boat speed moving through the water should be 2 to 4 mph.
  • Casting at pink salmon from a boat uses the methods and gear described in shoreline fishing.

Shoreline Fishing
There are two main methods used for shore fishing pink salmon, casting lures and flyfishing. Anglers using both fishing methods target the same type of water and can have similar success. As pink salmon are more prone to swim close to shore, most public parks and public piers throughout Puget Sound offer good fishing opportunities.

  • Casting Lures - The pink buzz bomb and a pink mini squid (hootchie) jig are most commonly used and are fished the same way by casting out away from shore and attempting to jig it as you reel it in. A medium to medium/heavy rod with 20-30 pound line is all you need to land these fish.
  • Flyfishing - The most common fly used is a pink clouser. A seven to eight weight fly rod and with either floating or a slow sink tip line will provide enough backbone to land the salmon and also create the necessary action on your fly to entice a few strikes.

Accessible by Boat

Accessible by Shoreline
Public access sites, such as parks and piers

Species: Pink salmon

Point Defiance

Troll for summer Chinook following the 100 foot contour along the shoreline. Later during the summer, you will likely encounter good numbers of pink salmon.

Accessible by Boat

Species: Chinook salmon

South Maury Island

English sole and sanddab can be caught on mud flats and soft bottoms in this region and throughout this marine area.

Accessible by Boat

Species: Flatfish