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Website: Darrell & Dads Family Guide Service

Phone: (509) 687-0709

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Area 11 Tacoma - Vashon Report



76° - 80°
Bottom Fishing From Boat

I’m always up for a new fishing adventure so when NWFR writer Hanna Pennebaker suggested showing me the Puget Sound flounder fishery around Vashon Island I was all in.

We met at 7:15 AM at the Redondo boat launch. I picked that launch as I didn’t want to drive through Tacoma to get to that launch, figuring to save time and frustration. Well, that didn’t exactly happen as to my surprise the parking lot was full of rigs. Little did I know, it was Opening Day for shrimping in Puget Sound! Surprise Number Two – no docks at the boat launch. Does anyone know, if this is a permanent thing? Not a huge deal but a bit of a surprise.

Anyway, the day was perfect, sunny and forecast of 85 degrees, calm winds, a nice slow incoming tide. It had all the makings of a great day of fishing.

We ran over to the south end of Vashon Island by the ferry landing and started fishing one of Hanna’s favorite spots. Fishing for flounder is pretty easy – get your bait on the bottom and wait for the bite. Puget Sound is blessed with a huge population of flounders that receive virtually no pressure. The fish run from 8” to 15” and can reach over 20”. Because there are so many it’s the perfect fish to take kids out for. We had one on board, Albert, brother of Hanna’s boyfriend.

Small chunks of shrimp on #4 hooks and 2-3 ounces of weight fished as a drop-shot were the ticket. We had non-stop action all day, including multiple doubles and several brutes in the 16” range. The limit is a generous 15 and we could easily have caught that many, but decided to limit our catch and release the smaller fish, keeping the little guys that were deep hooked.

End of the day total was 27 fish. Best size seemed to come in the 55-100 foot range. We only encountered a couple rockfish.

Remember to have your deep water release on board (new rule this year) and no fishing deeper than 120 feet to protect the rockfish.
Great fishery and thank you Hanna for showing Robbie and I your favorite spots!


5/12/2019 8:28:14 AM
The docks should be in by memorial day weekend. They take them out for the winter and store them by Des Moines marina. I launched out of Tacoma yesterday. Wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be.
5/12/2019 8:28:48 PM
Impressive catch. I have caught them while out crabbing using Berkeley gulp sandworms also.
5/13/2019 9:47:58 AM
I caught a couple of those tasty guys while trying for some lingcod as my shrimp pots were soaking as well. I little teaser strip of hearing on the hootchie, drifting and bouncing along the bottom. Pan fried up great with a little panko! Just a little tricky pulling off their skin.
I was having a hard time determining if they were flounder or sole. WDFW site said not much flounder in Puget sound, they are mostly on the coast? Their descriptions were so similar, what are key distinguishing features between sole or flounder?
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Darrell & Dads Family Guide Service

Phone: (509) 687-0709