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Elliott Bay Public Fishing Pier in Seattle

Elliott Bay Public Fishing Pier in Seattle

“Thru these portals pass the world’s best liars — our fishermen. Welcome.” Seattle is surrounded by water, so there are plenty of liars — er — fishermen in the area. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the city offers several public fishing piers for everyone to enjoy. The big question is — which public fishing pier in Seattle is the best?

Public Fishing Pier Seattle

Elliott Bay fishing pier at Terminal 86

Those hallowed “world’s best liar” words are plastered above the entrance of the popular Elliott Bay fishing pier at Terminal 86. Perched above the Puget Sound, many area fishermen would be quick to tell you the Elliott Bay fishing pier is their favorite public fishing pier in Seattle. The pier is known to be prime for catching salmon, rockfish, lingcod, squid and Dungeness crab.

The 400-foot Elliott Bay fishing pier is located in Centennial Park (between Smith Cove and the Louis Dreyfus grain elevator). It’s open daily from 7am-11pm. There is parking somewhat near the pier, but you still have to stroll through the park to get there. I live in Lower Queen Anne, so I can actually walk and/or bike to the public fishing pier from my place along the Elliott Bay trail. There are two pedestrian bridges from Lower Queen Anne that take you into Centennial Park. You can cross at the West Thomas Street Overpass (3rd Ave. W. and W. Thomas St.) and the Amgen Helix Pedestrian Bridge (W. Prospect St. and Elliott Ave. W. — which is an attraction of its own).

Public Fishing Pier Seattle

A view from the Elliott Bay fishing pier

Everyone (who is licensed, of course) can have fun at the Elliott Bay fishing pier at Terminal 86. You can lug all of your own gear to the pier, or you can stop by the Fish On Bait & Tackle Shop (at the entrance of the public fishing pier) to buy or rent everything you need to get started. The tackle shop also sells ice cream, soft drinks and snacks if you get hungry.

NOTE: You couldn’t buy a fishing license at the Fish On Bait & Tackle Shop in the past, but that’s not the case anymore. Tove and I ran into the owner recently and he told us that he does sell licenses now. If you’d like to get your license before heading to the Elliott Bay fishing pier, you can buy them online as well.

Because of its location, the Elliot Bay public fishing pier has spectacular views of Mount Rainier, and some obstructed views (because of the grain elevator) of downtown Seattle. You might also have to contend with wildlife at the public fishing pier. I saw a seal chomping down on a hardy fish no more than 30 yards away from the fisherman last time I was there.

Public Fishing Pier Seattle

Elliot Bay fishing pier at Terminal 86.

The Elliott Bay fishing pier is one of several public fishing piers in Seattle. There are other piers on the Puget Sound, but there is also fresh water fishing on Lake Washington, Green Lake and Lake Union. Click here for a full list of public fishing piers in Seattle. I’m sure your pier preference all depends on what you want to catch, and how close the public fishing pier is to where you live. No matter where you choose to fish, we hope you come away with plenty of stories — true or not!

Have you ever fished at the Elliott Bay fishing pier? What did you catch when you were there? If the Elliott Bay fishing pier isn’t your favorite, what is your favorite public fishing pier in Seattle? We’d love to hear from you about this! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun recreational activities in the Emerald City.

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  1. The place was closed 28 July 2016. Restrooms horrible!! Place is a dump in the middle of a nice park. Don’t waste your time walking there.

    • it aint the Edgewater, you cant fish out the window of your hotel room. it might even be chilly out there but it functions as it is supposed to.Pansy asses will avoid it dont worry.

  2. Have you heard that the Port shut this pier down the other day?? They claimed that it was “unsafe”, but there were no tests done on the pier to determine safety (plus it’s steel and concrete, and definitely doesn’t seem unsafe). I’m hoping to bring people together who care about this location (and the little fish restaurant/bait shop next to it) so that we can ask the city to do any necessary repairs and reopen it to the public. Lemme know if you or anyone you know is interested in voicing your opinion! 🙂

  3. The lack of maintenance there was appalling. Didn’t look like whatever agency owned it cared about it at all. Unpainted railings rotting, cool fishing chairs falling apart, graffiti not removed, shelter windows broken, etc. Seattle bums/losers destroy another cool public space. People just accept it. Part of the landscape of the city I guess. A real shame, that place was neat.

  4. I heard that the pier was sold off to Expedia for their use as a private facility. Is that true?

  5. Man when first moved here from new orleans”that was the place. 1970s”. I’m go there and see for myself. Hope it ain’t too bad. Love to crab fish


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