Take a close look at Point Defiance and Dalco Passage fishing spots you will know why it is considered one of the best places for salmon fishing in the South Puget Sound.
Current & Back Eddy
The rough, shallow waterway, called a sill is a remnant from the long ago glacial process. This is where water is squeezed through the narrow passage of the Tacoma Narrows waterway. The current speeds up as water is exchanged between southern basin and the Eastern Passage. These extremely fast currents cause a large back eddy. As they reach Point Defiance the currents reverse direction and push bait fish in and against the Clay Banks and Owens Beach.
As we all know, salmon will follow bait. And in some cases wait for the bait. The underwater topography of this area (see below) shows lots of underwater pockets. These underwater pockets will hold salmon. Much like in a river system where salmon or steelhead will find structure to rest behind, the same goes for the sea floor at Point Defiance. Given the unusually strong currents the salmon will generally pick the easiest path to move around. And then settle in when they find a pocket or structure to wait for bait and rest.
In the old days Point Defiance was a moocher’s paradise, but nowadays you will find it a jiggers paradise. On most days there are many more jiggers than moochers or trollers. Those back eddy, currents, and deep pockets make it perfect for jigging.
Jigging Point Defiance Clay Banks is relatively easy and very effective. Here are some tips on jigging this area.
Tips on Jigging the Point Defiance Area
- Once you arrive to your at Point Defiance use your electronics to spot bait and fish marks. Maybe you see a good bait ball on the bottom in 200 foot of water and you choose to target the top of the bait at 125 down. Or maybe there will be bait suspended and you want to jig underneath it.
- Determine the drift. Most of the time the drift and jigging will be east to west and anglers will line up somewhere around the 155′ mark and drift/jig going to the point and a little beyond.
- Next, pick the proper jig weight to reach your targeted depth. A weight that will keep your line straight up and down; taking into account the drift and wind.
- Add scent to your jig if there are no dogfish. Use a clean jig if there are dogfish.
- A lot of anglers will use a Shimano jig, Point Wilson Dart, or maybe a Gibbs Delta MacFish jig. But really any good salmon jig will work as long as the weight is right for the depth and current you are trying to jig.
- Now, free spool your jig down to your chosen jigging depth. Dropping your jig quickly is good as it can trigger a bite. More often than not, your jig will get hit on the drop and your line will go slack. If this happens, set the hook.
- When you reach the bottom or your desired depth you will want to jig somewhat aggressively by pulling the rod tip up about 2 feet.
- Move your jig up or down the water column until you find the fish. Be sure to reset as you drift and the water depth changes.
- When you retrieve, do so fast. A fast retrieve will often get hit.
Hook ’em Deep!