Beach fishing seems to be a mystery on Whidbey Island, except for the few spots that are well known and crowded.
I am constantly asked, “Where can I fish from the beach?” In this week’s column I’ll try to remove a little of the mystery and help you get out on your own and try a new spot.
Starting at the south end of the island and working up, the first spot to try is the new waterfront park adjacent to the Clinton ferry landing.
This is a good spot for easy access to the water and there is a good chance for sea run cutthroat north of the park.
Possession Waterfront Park off Possession Road is an area seldom used for beach fishing. However, it can be an excellent spot when both salmon and cutthroat are in the area. There is a paved parking area, boat launch and porta-toilets.
Double Bluff Park, at the end of Double Bluff Road, is another area not generally fished from the beach.
However, the beach at the extreme end of public access to the north can be excellent for salmon. It’s a long walk from the parking area, which is probably why it isn’t better utilized.
Bush Point and Lagoon Point are well known and the home of Whidbey Island combat fishing, when the salmon runs are on. These two spots aren’t fly fisher friendly because of the crowds during the salmon runs. However, during the winter, steelhead fishing with a fly rod is possible, because the crowds don’t come out in the rain and cold.
South Whidbey State Park is just north of Lagoon Point. It is seldom fished and just as productive as Lagoon Point. It’s a classic beach fishing area and the same fish that travel by Bush and Lagoon Points cruise through its waters. There is about a half-mile hike to get to the water and there’s plenty of room for fly rods.
After you pick up your latte in Langley, stroll across the street and find the stairs, near the boy and his dog statue, that take you down to the beach. Stand by the boy for a while and look for the sea run cutts that feed in the area. It couldn’t be any easier than that.
Then, after a hard afternoon fishing right there in town you can relax at one of Langley’s bistros or taverns with a brew and a burger. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
There is a secret spot in Greenbank that is owned by the county. It’s off North Bluff Road, at the bottom of Neon Lane and Hidden Beach Drive. (Just keep going downhill.) Public access is north of the parking area. This spot can be very good for sea run cutthroat.
I’ll continue this discussion next week, as we move further north into the red area of the island.
In the meantime, check out the book “Getting to the Water’s Edge” by the Beach Watchers. It is available in local bookstores for about $14 and has more details about how to get to the beaches, amenities, size of the public access and other helpful information.
See you on the water.
Neal Sims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.