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Old 04-04-2019, 09:02 PM   #1
yeep740
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Default San Juan info

Looking for any kind of info for a trip up to the islands the end of June.

Trying to talk the wife into staying up there for a week. It would be a family trip and wanted to get them into all sorts of outdoor stuff. thinking of renting a house and taking the boat and just finding things to do. Figured some of you salts have done this trip or live up there to start me in the right direction...

Thanks for any intel!


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Old 04-05-2019, 10:59 AM   #2
cntrydude
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Default Re: San Juan info

We do this almost every year. Would help if you would tell us:


1. How big is the boat?
2. Do you plan on trailering onto the island?
3. Which island are you considering?
4. Do you want to include fishing in the activities?
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:46 PM   #3
yeep740
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Default Re: San Juan info

Quote:
Originally Posted by cntrydude View Post
We do this almost every year. Would help if you would tell us:


1. How big is the boat?
22’ searunner, full electronics, ocean worthy setup

2. Do you plan on trailering onto the island?
Probably, as it would be easier, but if there is a cool place that we have to boat to I am open to hear options...

3. Which island are you considering?
No idea

4. Do you want to include fishing in the activities?
Yes. Kids are 7 and 10, and like to harvest just as much as their old man. Fishing, clamming, crabbing, shrimping. What ever we can to make mama happy!

Thanks for the reply. I hope this helps with more info. I am just starting my research so really open to suggestions.




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Old 04-05-2019, 02:58 PM   #4
bendavis
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Default Re: San Juan info

Ive spent a bunch of time up there with my boat and grew going to the islands and gunkholing around in friends boats. We camp every year on Lopez (the best and mellowest island IMO) at spencer spit state park which is a great campground. Its part of spencer spit which is possibly the highest quality anchorage in the islands (huge sandy shelf, protected from wind, easy public beach for launching and storing your tender). I launch from Washington park west of the ferry landing in anacortis and drive the boat over, store the trailer at the park, and the wife and kids drive the van to ferry over with the gear. The crab pots are in before the ferry lands at at Lopez. other places to stay with free anchorage: moran state park on Lopez, Shaw county park Shaw island. Tons of houses to rent on all of the islands. San juan island is busy and the towns are crowded. Orcas is pretty busy but has lots to see and do including nice freshwater lakes with epic rope swings. you can't go wrong with any boat adventure there! go fish the west coast of san juan and you'll see the orcas. cruise through wasp passage, past Speiden island with its weird african ungulates left over from some previous weird owner to go to Stuart island for a visit to the lighthouse and one room school house. cruise the west coast of orcas and explore sucia state park, a paradise like island. Check out Johns sporting goods "salt water journal" for excellent fishing and rigging maps. don't forget to rig up for pink salmon because they should be there. its a great place.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: San Juan info

We chartered a sailboat and spent a week cruising around the San Juans last 4th of July. Our favorite islands were Stuart and Sucia. We didn't fish but saw numerous sport boats trolling for salmon on west side of Sucia as well as in the channel between Spieden Island and the north side of San Juan Island. Not much of a report but you might look at those spots if your wanting to fish.

I second the recommendation to hike to the school on Stuart and all over Sucia!
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: San Juan info

Quote:
Originally Posted by bendavis View Post
Ive spent a bunch of time up there with my boat and grew going to the islands and gunkholing around in friends boats. We camp every year on Lopez (the best and mellowest island IMO) at spencer spit state park which is a great campground. Its part of spencer spit which is possibly the highest quality anchorage in the islands (huge sandy shelf, protected from wind, easy public beach for launching and storing your tender). I launch from Washington park west of the ferry landing in anacortis and drive the boat over, store the trailer at the park, and the wife and kids drive the van to ferry over with the gear. The crab pots are in before the ferry lands at at Lopez. other places to stay with free anchorage: moran state park on Lopez, Shaw county park Shaw island. Tons of houses to rent on all of the islands. San juan island is busy and the towns are crowded. Orcas is pretty busy but has lots to see and do including nice freshwater lakes with epic rope swings. you can't go wrong with any boat adventure there! go fish the west coast of san juan and you'll see the orcas. cruise through wasp passage, past Speiden island with its weird african ungulates left over from some previous weird owner to go to Stuart island for a visit to the lighthouse and one room school house. cruise the west coast of orcas and explore sucia state park, a paradise like island. Check out Johns sporting goods "salt water journal" for excellent fishing and rigging maps. don't forget to rig up for pink salmon because they should be there. its a great place.
Interestingly, that weird prior owner who put African game on the island was named John Wayne.

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Old 04-10-2019, 03:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: San Juan info

Is it just me or do the crabs taste a little better up there?
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default

+2 for Lopez. Been going there for family vacations since I was a little kid in the 70’s -it doesn’t really look that much different.

I took my dory up a few years ago (August) on the ferry, Rented a slip in fisherman’s bay for ease with the family and little kids. We caught a bunch of pinks near cattle point which was great fun for the kids. My brother got lucky with this chinook. Everybody uses downriggers. We went PC style with divers. You can’t fish rockfish, very limited ling cod season. Bring the boat for the scenery and the exploration.
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:01 AM   #9
cntrydude
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Default Re: San Juan info

Great info so far!
We trailer the boat to Orcas. Research the ferry cost, it's not cheap and I highly recommend using the ferry reservation system. If you're going, better get reservations soon, the good houses book up fast. The islands are not very friendly to trailer boats. Only one public launch on Orcas and it's on the east side of the island. I've launched at every ramp (6 that I know of) on the island. Once you decide (if you go to Orcas) on what part of the island your going to I can help with which ramp. They all have their nuances.
Another factor is, if you're going to leave your boat in the water (we always do) then you either need a house that has a mooring buoy, bring your own or get a slip in a marina. If you get a slip then you need to contend with traveling back and forth to the marina and parking. A buoy then you need to get back and forth from the boat to the house and some areas have a very difficult shoreline for this.
When you research the houses on-line, most do not consider that you're bringing a boat and don't give much information that would be relevant to someone with a 30 ft long trailer that may need to be turned around. Last year we pulled down the driveway of our rental home (first time to this one) and there was no way I could turn around or back up. Had to disconnect the boat and spin it in the driveway.
Fishing, other than salmon, we have given up on fishing in WA. We now get our Canadian license (online) and head across the border to catch a meal. If you do this, you need to stay on the north side of Orcas, or on San Juan island to make the distances manageable.
We love the islands. The pace is slow and most of the people are great. You routinely see people hitchhiking to where they need to go. Everyone is on "Island Time" so embrace it, slow down and relax.
There's lots to see and we routinely spend about half of the daylight hours on the boat, cruising the islands, hiking and fishing. Hope this helps!

Highly recommend http://orcashomes.com/vacationrentals/ for the house. Karen is the best!

Last edited by cntrydude; 04-06-2019 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:48 AM   #10
yeep740
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Default Re: San Juan info

Thanks for all the info! Great stuff to look at! Need to do more research and figure out best fit for the family!

Thanks again, and if anyone else has suggestions, would love to hear them!
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: San Juan info

I fully expect that the spot prawn season will still be open at the end of June but crabbing won't be open up there (Areas 7S) until a few weeks after your trip. The short ling season will likely be closed and rockfish are closed year around. Salmon seasons still not set but my guess is nothing open in June and with all of the hype over starving Orcas lots of fishers have hauled out their crystal globes and Ouji boards for guidance. Wish I had better news for you on the fishing aspect of your trip. Perch and flatfish will be open.....
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: San Juan info

Quote:
Originally Posted by cntrydude View Post
Great info so far!
We trailer the boat to Orcas. Research the ferry cost, it's not cheap and I highly recommend using the ferry reservation system. If you're going, better get reservations soon, the good houses book up fast. The islands are not very friendly to trailer boats. Only one public launch on Orcas and it's on the east side of the island. I've launched at every ramp (6 that I know of) on the island. Once you decide (if you go to Orcas) on what part of the island your going to I can help with which ramp. They all have their nuances.
Another factor is, if you're going to leave your boat in the water (we always do) then you either need a house that has a mooring buoy, bring your own or get a slip in a marina. If you get a slip then you need to contend with traveling back and forth to the marina and parking. A buoy then you need to get back and forth from the boat to the house and some areas have a very difficult shoreline for this.
When you research the houses on-line, most do not consider that you're bringing a boat and don't give much information that would be relevant to someone with a 30 ft long trailer that may need to be turned around. Last year we pulled down the driveway of our rental home (first time to this one) and there was no way I could turn around or back up. Had to disconnect the boat and spin it in the driveway.
Fishing, other than salmon, we have given up on fishing in WA. We now get our Canadian license (online) and head across the border to catch a meal. If you do this, you need to stay on the north side of Orcas, or on San Juan island to make the distances manageable.
We love the islands. The pace is slow and most of the people are great. You routinely see people hitchhiking to where they need to go. Everyone is on "Island Time" so embrace it, slow down and relax.
There's lots to see and we routinely spend about half of the daylight hours on the boat, cruising the islands, hiking and fishing. Hope this helps!

Highly recommend http://orcashomes.com/vacationrentals/ for the house. Karen is the best!
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: San Juan info

I second everything Cntrydude says.
I have been dragging a boat up to Orcas for 30+ years. I also do not fish Wa and go to Canada. Remember you need a passport to cross the border in a boat but you can fish and not go through customs as long as you don't go to shore in Canada. Make any reservations you want soon. about 80% of the traffic up there happens in June, July & August .during peak season almost everything books up early. I prefer time on the water as opposed to time on land. It feels a lot less crowded when you are on the water.
Have fun and good luck. Feel free to PM if you have specific question.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: San Juan info

Pretty slim fishing in MA 7 this year. Chinook protection for the Orcas. I don't know what the rules are on the BC side but I suspect just as restrictive.


https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/fi...2020190417.pdf
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: San Juan info

Salmon can be hit or miss there in the summer, the fish seem to move through the islands most of the time feeding on bait as they pass so you have to be there at the right place and the right times. Pink salmon aren't expected to have a banner year but you should be able to find schools of them for some quick action in late July or so. It's a downrigger game, and the fish can be from 40-180 ft deep depending on the structure and where the bait is. I always randomly catch a few sockeye at daybreak in early July but you can improve your chances by reading the BC sportfishing forum and John's Saltwater Journal- lots of flashers in the water, slow trolling and micro hoochies seem to do the trick. Many places are incredibly difficult to fish at peak tide flows and can result in tangled lines and d/r cables. Wind can pick up on the outer islands as well so mind the conditions as tide rips combined with swell from the straight can make for some real scary boating.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: San Juan info

Lots of cool stuff to check out in the San Juan Islands! But at the end of June there won't be much fishing opportunity. Shrimp may be open still in MA-7W. Someone mentioned fishing up in Canada... heard a rumor just yesterday that there June fishery may be going away, so don't count on that. Plenty to do aside from fishing though!
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: San Juan info

NOF outcome as posted on the WDFW website:

Marine Area 7 is closed to salmon fishing in August, October, and January.

For more information see: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/manageme...es#puget-sound
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