Tillamook Bay is not only the end point for 5 major tributaries (Trask River, Wilson River, Kilchis River, Tillamook River and Miami River) but also the home destination to tens of thousands of chinook salmon, coho salmon, chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout every year! This rich coastal bay is one of Oregon's most popular destination points for anglers and fish in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Sturgeon also inhabit the bay and the port of Garibaldi is home to a large charter boat fleet that pursues halibut and bottomfish! With rich coastal destinations like this one, why go anywhere else?
Although fishing can be done year-round, Tillamook Bay is most known for its fall run of chinook salmon that begin entering the bay in late August and run through December. Peak Tillamook Bay fishing months are September and October. Fishing on Tillamook Bay usually means long hours of trolling herring or spinners in pursuit of the rare 60 pound chinook that swims its waters. More likely for a day's efforts are salmon in the 20 to 40 pound range but don't count on bonanza fishing if you don't have the proper equipment and knowledge or experienced fishing guide.
Tillamook River fishing is a favorite way for Tillamook County residents to pass time in the early fall. The Tillamook River offers up a fine opportunity to catch a large fall chinook salmon starting in September. Fortunately, the Tillamook River offers the bank angler many opportunities to fish in the lower reaches. The Tillamook River also offers relatively few obstructions for the boat angler in tidewater that wishes to troll hardware in pursuit of salmon. This relatively short watershed is home to one of the highest salmon per river mile ratios on the coast and that is why it is a favorite among salmon fishers.