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What to Know About Fishing in the San Juan Islands

An angler looks off in the distance while fishing in the San Juan Islands.

Fishing in the San Juan Islands is intriguing because it offers the ocean’s excitement with the simplicity of freshwater inland lakes. As such, angling has become a popular thing to do for locals and visitors alike. From the shores of Cascade Lake to the Rosario Strait, you’ll find everything from bass to halibut. And whether you plan on enlisting the help of a fishing charter or going on a solo adventure, Northwest Islands Escapes has the perfect basecamp for angling adventures in the San Juans! 

Inland Fishing in the San Juan Islands

All three primary San Juan Islands (Lopez, Orca, and San Juan) have decent fishing lakes. Thanks to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, many lakes are stocked with rainbow trout before each season. In addition to stocked fish, you can also find native largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish. 

Egg Lake

With an abundance of lily pads, largemouth bass, and adequate shoreline access, Egg Lake is perfect for casual anglers hoping to wet a line on the northeast side of San Juan Island. You won’t need a boat to navigate this small waterbody at just under seven acres. Egg Lake also has a fishing pier and stocked rainbow trout.

Sportsmans Lake

Sportsmans Lake is significantly larger than Egg Lake and comes with more variety. Located only three and a half miles from Friday Harbor, anglers can try their luck targeting largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish in the summer. There is also a boat launch, but the shoreline is undeveloped, making it difficult to fish on foot.

Hummel Lake

Hummel Lake has an area of 35 acres and is the only actual freshwater lake on Lopez Island. Like many San Juan Islands fishing lakes, largemouth bass dominate Hummel. Still, eager anglers will also find rainbow trout during early spring and bluegill throughout the summer. Hummel Lake is also big enough for small watercraft that come in handy when navigating through heavy vegetation.

Moran State Park

Boasting four different inland lakes, Moran State Park on Orcas Island offers arguably the best freshwater fishing in the San Juans. For kokanee salmon and various trout species, check out the scenic Mountain Lake. If you haven’t had your fill of largemouth bass and rainbow trout, stop by idyllic Cascade Lake, which also has kokanee and cutthroat trout. Finally, if you want to mix in a bit of hiking, Twin Lakes is only accessible via a hike from Mountain Lake but rewards visits with a tranquil fishing experience.

3 Saltwater Fishing Charters in the San Juan Islands

With a healthy population of halibut, lingcod, and various salmon species, the San Juan Islands are teeming with excellent saltwater fishing opportunities! Although some fishermen and women would like to try saltwater angling on their own, there is no shame in finding assistance from a local charter service. 

Where to Stay on the San Juan Islands

Now that you know what to expect while fishing on the San Juan Islands, you’ll want to find a place to stay! Thankfully, NW Island Escapes offers a stunning array of vacation rentals awaiting your arrival. To start planning your angling escape, reach out online or call 800-391-8190.

What You’ll Find at the San Juan Island Farmers Market

A vendor at the San Juan Island Farmers Market assists a patron with some produce.

Warmer weather, longer days, and budding flowers are just a few of the things we at Northwest Island Escapes have on our minds as we anticipate the upcoming spring months. And of course, another sign of spring—the San Juan Island Farmers Market will be welcoming back weekly vendors presenting mouth-watering produce and unique artisanal crafts for all to enjoy. “Living like a local” is a goal shared by many vacationers, so what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than to peruse and sample some of their finest offerings?

Finding the Best Cup of Coffee on the San Juan Islands

A young woman blissfully enjoys a cup of joe from one of the many San Juan Island Coffee Shops.

By now, it’s no secret that Washingtonians love their coffee. After all, the largest global coffee chain, Starbucks, is headquartered in Seattle. When you think of coffee, it’s easy to imagine a busy café on a crowded city street. Still, our laid-back island community also boasts its fair share of coffee shops and roasters. For some, a caffeinated morning beverage goes hand-in-hand with vacation. Not only can a cup of joe give you a healthy burst of energy before each exciting day, visiting coffee shops is a keen way to immerse yourself in the local culture. As such, we at Northwest Island Escapes would like to point you in the right direction for finding the best cup of coffee on the San Juan Islands.

The Best Brewery on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Island

A bartender serves up a lager at a San Juan Island brewery.

San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island each have their own memorable brewery. There are some truly delicious and unique brews to taste when you stay in the San Juan Islands. Northwest Island Escapes has many rental properties scattered all over the islands, too, making it easy to find an exceptional brewery and beer nearby. Here’s our brief look at the best brewery on San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island.

The Best Washington Lighthouses in the San Juan Islands

A man wearing sunglasses smiles as he prepares to check out another one of Washington's lighthouses amid the San Juan Islands.

If you plan to spend any amount of time among the San Juan Islands, you are bound to see more than a few lighthouses on the Washington shoreline. These are an essential and exciting part of the history of the San Juan Islands. They also make for a fascinating attraction, which is why we encourage you to seek out some of the best Washington lighthouses in the San Juan Islands when you book your Northwest Island Escapes rental property. Add it to your list of things to do when you get here. Have a look! 

Find Kayak and Paddleboard Rental Near San Juan Island

A pair of outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a day on the water after finding the perfect paddleboard and kayak rentals on San Juan Island.

The San Juan Islands are a fantastic area to get out and see the sea. It’s a moment to reflect, visit the San Juan Islands’ wildlife, and absorb the natural beauty. Northwest Island Escapes has the best rental properties on the San Juan Islands, and you’ll be near many attractions. If you are staying on San Juan Island, a popular attraction is the kayak and paddleboard rental businesses. You’ll be able to rent and, if you want, get a guided tour of some of the best spots in the San Juan Islands. These are some of our favorite rental businesses for you to pick up your kayak or paddleboard.

See the San Juan Island Sculpture Park and More Art

Unique artwork stands in the foreground at the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park.

San Juan Island is a beautiful sight to see. It’s no surprise the art scene is full of unique talents to see as well. Walking among sculptures in a San Juan Island Sculpture Park or a community theatre production on the island shows off the wondrous works that the island offers. At Northwest Island Escapes, we encourage that you check out and bring a piece of the splendid arts back to your community. Here’s how to experience the arts on San Juan Island.

When Is Whale Watching Season in the San Juan Islands?

An orca whale breaches the ocean during whale watching season amid the San Juan Islands.

One of the biggest attractions in the San Juans is whale watching. Whales are an animal that many people rarely get to see up close. Staying at a Northwest Island Escapes rental property, we recommend you take advantage of this unquestionably great experience. But you might have some questions before you view these majestic animals.

6 Tasty Restaurants on Orcas and San Juan Island

A couple of tourists take a selfie while enjoying one of the many excellent San Juan Island Restaurants near their vacation rental.

There’s an intimidating amount of delicious spots to eat around the San Juan Islands. We suggest trying all the San Juan Islands restaurants if you have unlimited time, but that’s typically not the case. So we’ve done the hard work and found six total Orcas and San Juan Island restaurants that everyone should stop in for a bite. Even if you are here for a night, at least swing by one of these tasty establishments. It could be the highlight of your stay with Northwest Island Escapes.

Explore the 3 Best Wineries on the San Juan Islands

A group of friends give a toast to life at a San Juan Island Winery.

There’s nothing quite like leaning back and enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or partner. Whether that’s in one of the San Juan Vacation Rentals or at one of San Juan Islands’ wineries, you’ll be on track for a relaxing evening. Wineries are a great way to take a breather and enjoy the San Juan Islands’ sights, sounds and sip some tall glasses of wine while the afternoon slips by you.

We’ve compiled a list of the three best wineries you can find during your stay at Northwest Islands Escapes.