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Tucked away along the northern Oregon coast, Garibaldi is a port town that every angler should visit at least once in their life. It’s located right where the protected waters of Tillamook Bay meet the mighty Pacific Ocean. Therefore, fishing in Garibaldi offers the best of all worlds, from rivers to bays, and the open ocean.
But what else makes this quaint fishing village so special? Maybe the rich maritime history and renowned harbor? Or, perhaps, breathtaking views paired with a gorgeous coastline, pristine beaches, and majestic mountains? Whatever it is that makes you tick, Garibaldi offers an idyllic escape from everyday life. You can do exactly what you came here to do – catch fish – in impressive surroundings.
This article will guide you through Garibaldi’s fishing opportunities so that you know what to expect. You’ll learn about what you can catch and where, as well as how to go about it, and when to come. So, without further ado…
What can I catch while fishing in Garibaldi?
In Garibaldi, you have the chance to hook into so many fish species that you’re practically spoiled for choice. The Pacific Ocean’s deep seas and the prolific waters of the bays, especially the Tillamook, are home to Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Lingcod, and Halibut, to name a few.
Then, there’s the Wilson River that flows past Garibaldi, as well as the smaller Tillamook River for you to enjoy. Here, on the freshwater front, anglers can hunt for Chinook Salmon in fall and Steelhead in winter. These are the jewels of the local rivers, along with Cutthroat Trout and Sturgeon. But let’s take a closer look.
Salmon: The Crown Jewel
Getting your hands on a majestic Salmon is the creme de la creme of fishing in Garibaldi. In fact, that goes for the whole North Oregon coast. Here, anglers can come across the incredibly sought-after Chinook and Coho Salmon.
The Salmon season begins in March and extends all the way through October. Of course, each species has their own peak season. Chinook, for instance, bite best from March to June, then again in September and October. Coho Salmon, meanwhile, thrive in summer.
But where are the most productive spots for catching Salmon? Venture into the bountiful Tillamook Bay or the Wilson River for the best chance of landing that dream catch. If you’re a fly fishing enthusiast, streamers and wet flies are essential to entice these elusive fish, while those who prefer trolling or mooching can experiment with live bait and various artificial lures such as spoons, plugs, and hoochies.
Halibut: Giants of the Deep
The impressive depths off the Garibaldi coast are the place to be if you’re after mighty Pacific Halibut. Anglers seeking the thrill of a deep sea hunt should equip themselves with a sturdy rod, a high-capacity reel, and a heavy-braided line.
When picking the right lures and bait for your Halibut hunt, consider preparing a selection of jigs and circle hooks, along with squid and herring. As you drop your line into the abyss for some bottom fishing action, get ready for an adrenaline rush. These creatures are huge and will require some serious heavy lifting.
The season typically runs from May through September, offering ample opportunities to target some pretty large behemoths. Some of the most productive Halibut spots are the waters near the Continental Shelf and Stonewall Bank.
Lingcod: Fierce Predators
Lingcod fishing in Garibaldi gives anglers a chance to unleash their adventurous spirit. These monsters are known for their voracious appetite, although they aren’t that easy to catch. When fishing for Oregon Lingcod, the key is to know the right spot and to stay vigilant for the moment the fish is ready to strike.
Arm yourself with a medium-heavy rod, a dependable reel, and abrasion-resistant lines. Locals usually stock their tackle boxes with a selection of jigs, soft plastics, and swimbaits. Then the fun can begin.
The season spans from April to October, which gives anglers plenty of opportunity to challenge Lingcod. These fierce fighters bite best around rocky reefs and underwater pinnacles, such as those near Cape Falcon, Cape Meares, and Three Arch Rocks.
Trout: Graceful Gems
As you step into Garibaldi’s freshwater fishing realm, get ready for cool, clear waters. Here, you’ll be able to get your hands on the elegant Rainbow Trout (known as Steelhead in saltwater) and the coastal Cutthroat Trout.
Explore the picturesque waters of the Wilson and Track Rivers or check the bite on Lake Lytle. However, the magic of Trout fishing in Garibaldi doesn’t end there. You can target both species in rivers, creeks, and lakes in the area anytime from May to October, when the prime season unfolds.
Trout fishing is normally done with a light to medium-action rod paired with a smooth reel and appropriate lines, such as monofilament or fluorocarbon. Since it’s Trout we’re talking about, fly fishing is always an option, too.
Sturgeon: Ancient Titans
Some say that fishing for Sturgeon lets you journey back in time. Why? Well, Sturgeon are prehistoric fish. Catching one in Garibaldi is a unique experience that any angler will enjoy – and not just because of their age. They grow to impressive sizes and thrash around like there’s no tomorrow, for good measure!
The Sturgeon season normally spans from January to July, especially in Tillamook Bay and the Columbia River with its deep channels. Anglers need to gear up with a heavy-action rod and reel combo, and braided lines that can withstand the strength of these fish.
Once you’ve conquered your Sturgeon, make sure to release it back into the water safe and unharmed. In fact, the same rules apply to all the fish species that may end up at the end of your fishing line. It’s not uncommon to practice catch and release in Garibaldi.
Where can I fish in Garibaldi?
Garibaldi’s waters let everyone embark on an unforgettable journey that promises a nice catch. No matter which fishery you explore, chances are you’ll end up with a lot of fish stories to tell.
The mighty Pacific Ocean offers various spots for you to enjoy, such as the Stonewall Bank and the Continental Shelf with giants that patrol the depths. That’s not to mention the lush rivers and lakes. Here’s a quick list of spots for you to consider:
- Garibaldi Harbor: This marina serves as the perfect launch point to venture out into the deep seas for Halibut, Tuna, Lingcod, and more.
- Stonewall Bank: This renowned destination is a must-visit for anyone looking to get a prized catch. Stonewall Bank is an underwater pinnacle, home to Halibut, Lingcod, and who knows what else.
- Tillamook Bay: This is a calm estuary, where anglers come to pursue Chinook and Coho Salmon, Sturgeon, and a selection of other fish species.
- Wilson River: The Wilson is known as an idyllic spot to cast a line for Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout.
- Trask River: The Trask River is another great freshwater fishing spot, perfect for a peaceful escapade. Oh, and Salmon and Trout bite well there, too.
- Lake Lytle: This lake is nestled between the coastal landscapes, known for its beauty and good Trout fishing.
How can I go fishing in Garibaldi?
For any fishing adventure in Garibaldi, be it along the coastline, in the middle of a local lake, or out in the deep waters, it’s never a bad idea to hire a local guide. They’ll not only help you with their local knowledge, but they’ll also keep you abreast of all local rules and regulations.
Speaking of which, most fish species are subject to bag and size limits. You can check them with your captain or on the ODFW website. You should also bear in mind that any angler aged 12 and over needs to have a valid Oregon license to fish in Garibaldi. This applies to those who hire a charter and fish by themselves. Find out how to get yours with our handy guide.
In any case, let’s look at some of the most popular ways to cast a line in Garibaldi…
On a Boat
Probably the best way to explore everything Garibaldi has to offer is aboard a charter vessel. An experienced captain will be able to provide you with all the gear necessary and local knowledge that will increase your chances of a successful catch.
Fishing from a boat allows you to navigate the expansive Pacific Ocean and try a variety of fishing techniques. You can try trolling with downriggers and planer boards to entice the elusive Salmon. If you’re after Halibut, you can try drift fishing with live bait or bottom fishing to tempt these monsters. For Lingcod, anglers try jigging and bottom fishing to lure the predators from their rocky lairs.
The waters of Tillamook Bay are ideal for some drifting action as you anchor up and target Sturgeon and Salmon.
Fishing from the rugged shoreline allows you to try surf fishing techniques, which can be pretty rewarding and carries your thoughts away. You can cast right into the rolling waves, targeting anything from Perch to the occasional Salmon. Of course, it goes without saying that you won’t hook a huge Halibut or Albacore Tuna from shore.
Ocean aside, anglers can discover Garibaldi’s rivers and lakes and try bank fishing and wading. The Wilson and Trask Rivers, as well as Lake Lytle, are perfect spots to try fly fishing and spinning for some elegant swimmers, such as Salmon and Trout.
If you’re a novice shore fisherman, consider checking out one of the local piers. Or, you can even hire a local guide to show you the “honey holes” and the most productive techniques from shore.
When to Go Fishing in Garibaldi
There’s an array of fishing opportunities throughout the year in the ocean, bay, rivers, and lakes. In spring, when the winter grip loosens its hold, you can start your Salmon hunt, as these fish make their way through the local rivers and Tillamook Bay.
When summer comes, there’s an abundance of offshore fish species at your disposal. If you know where to find them, that is. Tuna, Halibut, and Lingcod are all available miles from the coast, but you can also stay in the Tillamook and its surrounding rivers to fish for Trout and Coho Salmon. We suggest you do both!
The fall season sees the return of Chinook and Sturgeon in the bay, while winter allows you to pursue the mighty Steelhead and explore the depths of the Pacific – if the weather allows. If you’re lucky, you can come across some impressive catches. Be careful, though, as the winter ocean can be pretty unpredictable.
Fishing in Garibaldi: Every Adventure Remembered
Fishing in Garibaldi promises a unique experience, giving you the chance to write your own angling story. Northern Oregon’s coast and its fishing symphony will resonate with you so much that you’ll want to come back for more. We’re sure about that. But don’t just take our word for it; come and see it yourself. Book a charter, explore the waters, and earn some bragging rights. You’ll come back to shore with more than an ice chest full of memories!
Have you ever been fishing in Garibaldi? What made you fall in love with this beautiful spot on the northern Oregon coast? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!
Title: Garibaldi Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/garibaldi-fishing/
Published Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2023 09:07:15 +0000