Top Activities on the Long Beach Peninsula
- Drive on the beach
- Ride a horse on the beach
- Discover a museum
- Fish on!
- Dig for Razor Clams
- Drop a Dungeness Crab pot
- Bring your dog
- Explore inexpensively
- Hunt birds ...with bincoculars
- Play a round of golf
- Get wise to shipwrecks
- Locate the "Clamshell Railroad"
- Brave a storm
- Take a hike
- Espy Oysterville - by foot or auto
- Stroll historic Seaview
- Sight Centennial Murals
- Meander Ocean Park
- Dip a paddle in pristine water
- Take a picnic
- Watch a whale spout
- Play safely on the beach
- Celebrate a special event
- Get pampered
- Worship at your chapel of choice
Top Attractions on the Long Beach Peninsula
- The Beach
- Long Beach Boardwalk
- Discovery Trail: Ilwaco to Long Beach
- North Head Lighthouse
- Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
- Cape Disappointment State Park
- Festivals & Events
- Fort Columbia State Park
- Leadbetter Point State Park
- Long Island
- Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
- Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
- Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
- Cranberry Museum
- Willapa Bay Interpretive Center
- Marsh\'s Free Museum / Jake
- Farms: cranberries, blueberries & more
- Astoria-Megler Bridge
- Day Trips: Astoria, OR & North Pacific County
- Back by popular demand:
We want to hear from you
- Halibut season will starts May 1st through May 31st. Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week. 1 per day.
- Bottom fish opens April through September. 7 days a week.
- Sturgeon season starts May 11 to June 30th. 7 days a week. 1 per day. Must comply with current size regulations.
- Special opener for Chinook Salmon tentatively set for June, two fish limit, in the ocean, 7 days a week.
- Salmon Chinook only season Starts June 8th to June 21. Coho, Chinook season Starts June 22 thru Sept 30th 7 days/week. 2 per day
- Tuna season starts in August and September. 7 days a week. No limit.
- Thanks to Milt Gudgell of Pacific Salmon Charters and
Butch Smith of Coho Charters, and from the Ilwaco Charter Association for most of the information on this list.
Buoy 10 (Columbia River Mouth) Conditions & Information from the National Data Buoy Center.
Ilwaco, known as the ‘Fishing Capital of the West’, boasts of having the nicest port basin on the coast. Most of the waterfront consists of a large boat basin, which will accommodate 1000 sport and commercial fishing vessels. Here experienced skippers continue a longtime tradition of this quaint fishing village: taking locals and visitors out on charter fishing trips.
Type of Charter
May & August
May through September
July through September
Contact your local charter office for prices and current information.
|Don’t forget to tip your deck hand! Tips average from $5 to $35 or more per passenger – reward good service!|
Sturgeon are the largest freshwater species Washington anglers are likely to encounter. This prehistoric fish is available in the Columbia and Willapa Rivers year-round. Both green and white sturgeon are caught locally, but whites are the most common and certainly the largest, sometimes measuring over eight feet and weighing several hundred pounds.
Sturgeon feed on the bottom, cruising along and picking up tasty morsels with their sucker-like mouth. Anglers usually fish for them with smelt, shrimp and other baits anchored on bottom. Hooked sturgeon, especially the larger ones, may jump completely out of the water, providing a spectacular show for anglers or anyone who happens by at the right time! Since sturgeon must be between 42 and 60 inches to keep, lots get caught and thrown back making it an exciting day. There’s nothing like seeing the twinkle in the eye of a youngster who pulls in a fish taller than she is!
A sturgeon fishing trip on the Columbia River is perfect for those who might be concerned about sea-sickness. Sturgeon and salmon trips start at 5am for 8 hours or until the boat limits.
The Pacific Northwest is known for its outstanding salmon fishing and the last few years have given outstanding runs. First and foremost among salmon-fishing trophies is, of course, the chinook. Chinook are the largest of the Pacific salmon, occasionally growing to over 100 pounds, which is part of the reason for their nickname, ‘king salmon.’ The biggest saltwater kings are caught in summer and early fall when mature salmon move toward freshwater spawning grounds. Spring-chinook fisheries in the mid-Columbia Washington tributaries are very popular with anglers.
Coho or ‘Silver’ Salmon are smaller than chinook, but their relative abundance and unpredictable fighting style make them a favorite among anglers. A typical adult coho weighs four to 10 pounds, but specimens of over 20 pounds have been caught from Evergreen State waters.
Pink Salmon or ‘humpies’ are a common catch during odd-numbered years. With a two-year life cycle, shorter than the other salmon, they don’t get as big, averaging three or four pounds at maturity and seldom topping the 10-pound mark.
The Chum Salmon’s nickname ‘dog salmon’ is not deserved, especially when you consider its fighting ability. Chum are the second-largest of the Pacific salmon, and Washington anglers catch many of them in the high-teens and low-20-pound range.
Sockeye Salmon are considered by many to be the best-eating of all salmon, but anglers catch relatively few of them on hook-and-line.
The ocean season begins in mid-July and runs through the end of October. ‘Buoy 10′ (Columbia River salmon fishing) starts at the beginning of August and runs into October. Each fisherman may catch two fish per day.
The heavyweight champ of Northwest saltwater fish is the Pacific halibut, which may grow to 400 pounds or more. Halibut populations boomed in the early 1980s, and the fish’s popularity also soared, to the point that halibut fishing has become extremely popular locally. Halibut like to feed on and around underwater mountains and plateaus. The best tends to be early in the season, which runs May through September.. Give it a try!
While the season runs May through October, Tuna fisherman are encouraged to call their favorite charter company every couple of weeks starting in August. When the tuna are in close enough, the charter boats will head out into the Pacific in pursuit of them. The fishing strategy usually involves trolling surface lures until a school is located, then drifting live anchovies. Albacore are incredibly strong, fast swimmers, and also excellent table fare.
Bottom fishing is fun for all ages with lots of action and liberal limits. Boats go out bottom fishing between May and September seeking more than 15 kinds of rock fish, including sea bass, yelloweye, canary, blue, copper, tiger, china, cabezon, kelp greenling, boccaccio, black, pollack and Pacific cod. Each fisherman can land and keep 10 assorted rock fish plus 1 ling cod. Lingcod are as prized by saltwater anglers as they are feared by smaller fish. Everything from herring, anchovies and crabs to other lingcod are considered fair game when a big ling gets hungry. Playing on its hearty appetite, anglers often use live bait to catch a big ling, but leadhead jigs, metal jigs and other artificials also will fool them. Lingcod are slow-growing fish, and the largest ones—sometimes over 60 pounds—are all females.
Surf Perch had become somewhat fished out in its no-limit days but the sport is making a comeback, thanks at least in part to being reintroduced to families during Long Beach’s Surf Perch Derby. Surf Perch fishing is open year-round with a daily limit of 15 (no minimum size). These round fish have an average weight is about 1-1/2 pounds (the Washington state record is hub-cap sized 4.05 pounds). Two or three average-size perch make a good meal for one person, each fish providing two delicately textured white fillets.
Perch seem to move out of turbulent water, so your best opportunity is when the water is clearest and calmest. Pull on your hip boots/waders, chase the rebound wave to the water’s edge, plant your feet and let fly as long a cast as you can. After casting, dash back up to the beach, allowing your line to free spool out as incoming waves crash in. Once you find your way back to the waters’ edge, flip the bail, reel in the slack line and wait for a perch to bite. You’ll likely be surprised at the strength of their strike and the excitement of their tenacity in the fight.
Beard’s Hollow, in Cape Disappointment State Park is a favorite Surf Perch fishing spot. You’ll find these exciting fish up and down the Long Beach Peninsula. Be careful out there in the surf! Read our page on Beach Safety.
People wishing to fish need to purchase a 2-day nonresident license. Ask when making your reservations whether you may also need a catch record.
Your charter captain and crew will assist you with bait, tackle and any help you may need while aboard as well as hot coffee. You’ll need to pack your own lunch and should dress warmly, regardless of land conditions.
When your boat returns to port, a number of fish processing companies are available to help you with cleaning and packaging your fish to take home.
Some charters also provide 2-hour scenic tours during the afternoons. The charter must be booked ahead and for a minimum of 6 people.
Some charters are available for burials at sea and normally work through the local mortuary, Pentilla’s By the Sea. Contact the charter offices for pricing on cremation remains trips and full burial services.
Much of the information on this page is from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife documents and is not the official document or regulations of the Washington Department of Fish and wildlife. The accuracy of the reproduction cannot be guaranteed by WDFW or the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau.
Boating & Fishing
332 Elizabeth St
Special Guided Lewis & Clark & Lower Columbia Scenic Tours.
237 Howerton Way SE
Slip D-5 @ Astoria Riverwalk Inn
Explore the magic of the Columbia River with Capt. Christopher Lloyd. Experience the newest attraction on the River.
191 Howerton Way SE
Call us to arrange special voyages for birding, Lewis & Clark trips, Lower Columbia scenic tours, or burials at sea.
185 Howerton Way SE
Visit A Port
165 Howerton Way SE
3311 275th St
Ocean Park, WA