A true sign of summer on the Fjord... Recreational crabbing is now open in Hood Canal waters. The limited opening is until September 3 and is only open from Thursday through Monday each week. Recreational crabbing will remain closed in South Puget Sound this Summer.
Dungeness and Rock crab can be found in the Hood Canal at depths between 30 and 300 feet. “In our area we recommend kayak crabbing in depths of 30 to 75 feet and provide 100 feet of line for each crab pot,” says Christina Maloney, owner of Kayak Brinnon, a company that promotes "kayak crabbing" with kayak rentals and gear, “what you catch depends on a variety of factors such as location, bait, length of soak, and the health of the population.”
At Brinnon Kayak, in addition to kayaks and crab fishing equipment, they offer advice on crabbing in the Hood Canal. “One of my favorite things about taking people out kayaking for the first time is watching their apprehension transform into pure joy and confidence,” replied Christina when asked what she loved about her job, “Most of our guests are new kayakers and they are nervous about it. Summer water conditions in the Hood Canal are, more often than not, very mild. It can feel more like kayaking on a still lake than on the big waters of other parts of the Puget Sound. “The kayaks we use,” adds Christina, “are stable. People learn to paddle confidently within minutes of leaving the beach.”
Hood Canal Locations with boat rentals:
Hood Canal Adventures offers a wide variety of boat rentals including kayaks, paddle boats, motor boats, electric boat, and a pontoon party barge. They offer a variety of activities and services that include geocaching, fishing, hiking, crabbing, and guided tours and group events.
Union Paddle and Row Center are a rental and retail business focusing on human powered watercraft, which offers something for all ages. The rentals include, SUPs, kayaks, water bikes and a variety of rowboats, such as rowing Wherrys.
Summertime Resort & Marina
15781 NE Northshore Road Tahuya, WA 98588 | (360) 275-9313
Lodging, RV hook-ups, kayaks, small vessels, crab pot rentals, and boat launch
Summertide, near Belfair, offers plenty of Hood Canal activities including boating, swimming, fishing, crabbing (in season), as well as campfires and Friday night cookouts. They provide boat, kayak, and crab pot rentals as well as a boat launch and parking for boat trailers so you bring your own boat and launch it right at your cabin. Kayak rentals run around $15/hour with crab pots just $10/day. Crab is also available off their dock.
Alderbook Resort Waterfront Center
10 E Alderbrook Drive, Union, WA 98592 | (360) 898-2252
Lodging & waterfront dining, SUPs, kayaks, motorized vessels, crab pot rentals, fuel available at Union Marina
Travel publications consistently rank Alderbrook among the state’s top resorts, thanks to its sumptuous dining, day spa, and stunning Olympic views—a wealth of attractions just a few steps from your boat. Rentals available include kayaks (starting at $25/hour), SUPs, hydrobikes, pedal boats, and motorized boats.
Mike's Beach Resort
38470 N US Highway 101, Lilliwaup, WA 98555 | (360) 877-5324
Lodging and rowboats, paddle boat, and a ocean kayak available for rent
Mike's Beach is one of the oldest resorts in Hood Canal with a unique blend of the rustic look of the Northwest and the relaxed, cozy, and charming chalet style clinging to the shores of the Canal. A dock and mooring buoys are available; rowboats, paddleboat, and a ocean kayak are available for rent. Pet friendly. Waterfront cabins and rooms. This is also a popular spot for scuba divers.
For most, a popular and convenient launch spot for your boat is at the Skokomish Tribe’s Boat Launch near Potlatch. During the days when shrimping is allowed, the lineup to get boats into the water begins extremely early, causing backups along Highway 101. If you use this launch, be prepared to show up early and to pay the small usage fee.
Twanoh State Park (Belfair / Union) State Highway 106, 8 miles south of Belfair
At this marine state park you’ll find a double boat launching ramp and parking area, as well as moorages, campsites, restrooms, showers and public picnic areas. The dock and shallow wading and swimming areas draw kids in droves. Plan ahead, as this popular launch site gets very busy during the summer months.
Hood Canal Marina (Union) State Highway 106 – Union (360)898-2252
In Union, near Annas Bay at the Great Bend of the canal, this privately owned marina is open to the public.
Rest-A-While Marina & Dive Center 27001 Highway 101 North – Hoodsport (360) 877-9122
Stop in at this privately owned marina that includes a sling boat launch, moorage, storage and rentals. Camping is available, and visitors can stock up on supplies at the grocery store and dive shop. Dig your own clams and oysters at the private beach here, or purchase them at Sund Creek Seafood Market.
Remember, All crab fishing gear must be removed from the water by one hour after sunset on the last day of any fishing period. Crab fishing gear may not remain in the water on closed days.