Tillamook Bay holds a special place in my heart as a fishing guide and charter operator. The bay is teeming with a diverse array of fish species such as salmon, various bottom fish, and crabs. The salmon fishing is particularly outstanding, and I have enjoyed numerous successful outings here with my clients. For those in search of an excellent fishing location, Tillamook Bay is a must-visit. Your expectations will surely be met.

Tillamook Bay is renowned for its large king salmon, particularly plentiful in the fall months, especially around September and October. During this period, anglers can anticipate catching Chinook salmon, as the salmon run reaches its zenith, offering an excellent opportunity for fishing in Tillamook Bay.

Tillamook Bay is in Oregon and is surrounded by coastal mountains. Several rivers and streams feed the bay, which drains the nearby mountains. The waters of the bay are quite diverse, with shallow mudflats, eelgrass beds, and rocky reefs. These habitats provide cover and food for various fish and wildlife.

What rivers flow into Tillamook Bay?

Tillamook Bay is where the Wilson, Miami, Kilchis, Trask, and Tillamook Rivers meet. These rivers are well-known for their salmon runs, which include Chinook, steelhead, coho, and chum salmon.

Tillamook Bay salmon fishing

Spring Chinook salmon are some of the largest Chinook salmon you’ll find anywhere, and Tillamook Bay is known for them. These salmon start entering the bay in May, and the season usually runs through June. May and June are a great time to do a salmon and bottom fish combo, as the ocean is usually very favorable in the spring. Salmon and rock fishing are great days out of Tillamook Bay. Book a fishing guide to help you find the best spots.

Guided salmon fishing in Tillamook Bay

I’m a seasoned fishing guide and charter that fishes Tillamook Bay. I typically start my charter fishing trips in September to fish for fall Chinook and coho salmon. Tillamook Bay is famous for its king salmon fishing in the fall, especially in September and October. But it’s also an amazing time to go crabbing. That’s why I offer salmon-crab combo trips during those months. If you’re searching for an unforgettable fishing experience, I’d love to take you out on the water and show you the best fishing spots in Tillamook Bay.

I will offer my salmon fishing charter trips inside the bay at what is widely known as the Ghost Hole. This is an area located right alongside Highway 101 near the town of Garibaldi, Another one of my favorite places to fish is right along the jetties by the Coast Guard tower, which is where Tillamook Bay leads into the ocean.

It’s not uncommon to catch a 20-pound Chinook salmon in Tillamook Bay. In fact, some salmon that are reeled in are much bigger! September and October are the best months for landing a 20-pounder.

If the weather is good, we will fish in the “bubble zone” outside the Tillamook Bay Bar. The bubble zone is a great place to catch salmon and bottom fish. We will be fishing from my 27 foot boat and using various techniques, including trolling, casting, and jigging. If you are interested in joining us on this fishing adventure, please contact us to reserve your spot.

Tillamook Bay Coho salmon 

In addition to Chinook, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will allow anglers fishing inside the bay to keep a single wild coho on Wednesdays and Saturdays for part of September and October. Be sure to check with ODFW for current fishing regulations to stay up-to-date, as every year is different.  The 2024 season has not yet been set as of June, when I updated this post.

Tillamook Bay crabbing

Tillamook Bay is a great place for fishing, including salmon and crabs. When the weather is nice, I like to set crab pots in the ocean. However, if you don’t like the ocean, you can drop your crab pots at Crab Harbor in Tillamook Bay. The best time of year for crabbing in Tillamook Bay is during the months of October and November. You may keep 12 legal-size male crabs each, as that is the Oregon limit.

Tillamook Bay Marina

When fishing Tillamook Bay, the main marina to use is the Garibaldi Marina, located in Garibaldi, Oregon. This is really the only marina on the bay.

If you’re looking to hire a Tillamook Bay fishing charter, you can click here.

Hotels when fishing with a Tillamook Bay fishing charter

If you hire a Tillamook Bay fishing charter, you’ll want to book a hotel in Garibaldi. The Garibaldi Inn at the Bay, Harborview Inn & RV Park, and The Hotel Garibaldi are all good options.

Garibaldi Inn at the Bay: 227 Garibaldi Ave., Garibaldi, OR 97118. Phone: 503-322-2552

Harborview Inn & RV Park: 302 S 7th St., Garibaldi, OR 97118. Phone: 503-322-3251

The Hotel Garibaldi: 502 Garibaldi Ave., Garibaldi, OR 97118. Phone: 503-322-3338

Some of the top attractions around Tillamook, Oregon.

After a day of fishing, I like to relax and enjoy the scenery. Here are a few of my favorite places to visit in Tillamook, Oregon.

If you like a short hike, I highly suggest Munson Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall in a picturesque setting. The falls are located in Tillamook State Forest, which is an easy drive from Tillamook Bay. website

I’m a big fan of the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in this area. The cheese factory is located in Tillamook, Oregon, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. It’s a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning about how cheese is made. The factory offers tours that take you through the production process, from the cows to the finished product. The best part is that you get to sample some of the cheese at the end of the tour! The factory also has a gift shop where you can purchase a variety of cheeses, including the famous Tillamook cheddar. If you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out!  website

Another place I like to go when I’m in Tillamook is Tillamook Smoker; they have fresh jerky and pepperoni that are out of this world! If you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out. You won’t be disappointed! website

Three clients holding up three Chinook salmon and one coho salmon caught in Tillamook Bay

I’m a fishing charter who works in Tillamook Bay. I recently took some clients out fishing, and they had a great time. They caught Chinook salmon, which is a great fish to catch.


Last Updated on by Marvin




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