“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?

UPDATE: The Elliott Bay Public fishing pier is closed. But it sounds like there is a plan to possibly rebuild and reopen the pier. Unfortunately, no timeline is available.

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.

Public Fishing Pier Seattle
Elliott Bay fishing pier at Terminal 86

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).

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.

Centennial Park Seattle
A view from the Elliott Bay fishing pier

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 Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun recreational activities in the Emerald City.