Is Night Fishing Legal In Washington State? All Things To Check Before Fishing

Night fishing is a great experience that every angler wants to try, but is night fishing legal in Washington state? 

In this article, we will discuss fishing rules within the state and some extra information about your trip. Let’s follow our post and learn how to have the best fishing experience in Washington! 

Is Night Fishing Legal In Washington State? 

The night fishing restriction regulation is active in most parts of Washington. It claims you can fish from one hour before dawn and one hour before nightfall.  

However, some areas in the state do not have any specific regulations about fishing timings. Hence, you can fish all day. 

is night fishing legal in washington state
The regulations are different from place to place

Fishing Regulations In Washington State 

Night fishing is not the only issue to care about. Before heading to the fishing spot, please check the newest guidelines regulated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). 

New rules 

The following lines show you how to fish and use your angling gear properly in Washington. 


  • When open, freshwater areas are available 24 hours per day.
  • Angling for game fish is legal year-round in ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.
  • From the Saturday before Memorial Day to October 31, rivers, streams, and beaver reservoirs are available to the public. 


  • Only angling with a hook and line is legal. You can use a single-point, double-point, or triple hook. Yet, each angler may only use one fishing line with no more than three hooks.
  • You must have barbless hooks when angling in “fly fishing only” areas. 
  • When angling, you must keep your gear under immediate control and watch over them all the time. Using rod holders is fine as long as you can remove them quickly. 
  • You can use a dip net or a club to assist in your fish landing. Yet, do not use a gaff hook. 
  • The fish taken from the water must be hooked on its head or inside its mouth. Otherwise, you must not possess it. 

Mobile app

The Fish Washington application should be available on your cellphone or other mobile gadgets. It will benefit both beginners and seasoned anglers. 

The free software aims to provide the most up-to-date angling guidelines for all fishing areas across the state. It comes with a lot of beneficial features, such as:

  • Interactive tracking to help you find the nearest fishing spots. 
  • Detailed descriptions of permitted gear and harvest limits for every angling location. 
  • Subscription to the Fish Washington official website, which includes informative videos on how, where, and when to fish in the state.
  • Guides to boat launches and angling access sites
  • Ability to mark waypoints on the map and track poaching. 
  • Easy-to-update functions and offline mode for those who can’t access cell service in isolated areas. 

WDFW builds the app for internal and external anglers. You can easily download it from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

is night fishing legal in washington state
Check for the rules before angling

Fishing Record Cards In Washington State 

WDFW uses catch record cards as management tools. The cards will save and measure the number of recreational catches of some species, including Halibut, salmon, sturgeon, Dungeness crab, and steelhead. 

Anglers must report their catch on this card before starting another catch of the species listed above. 

Due date

The due dates for the cards may vary based on the season. For example: 

  • Fish: April 30, after the license year
  • Summer crab: October 1, after the summer season
  • Winter crab: February 1, after the winter season


You must first fill out the area code to use the record card. It’s about the area where you fish. Then, fill in the date. Here are some guidelines for filing the card:

  • Salmon: Check the salmon type and clip type (wild or hatchery) you caught. 
  • Sturgeon: Fill in the species code with its type (green or white) and its length. 
  • Dungeness crab: Note the number of crabs that you caught a day. 
  • Halibut: Inform if you used a private boat or a charter for your angling trip. 


After filling in all the information, you must hand in the record card before the due date. The WDFW uses the average amount of fish and crab caught per record to calculate the postseason estimates.

WDFW also counts the cards that have a value of zero. Otherwise, they may inflate the figures for the state average. 

You’ll need to sign up for an account or log in to your existing one on the WDFW website. The reporting page is only active until the due date for submission. 

Other State-Wise Night Fishing Regulations 

Night angling across the USA requires anglers to check their state’s regulations carefully. 


There aren’t many state-wide angling regulations in Alaska. Night angling, on the other hand, looks pretty similar to day angling.

Always check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game webpage for any urgent orders that may affect the area where you intend to fish – it’s complex and always updating.


One hour after sundown till one hour before dawn is night hours. Except for where special rules apply, you can angle any time of night or day in any spot. 


There are no official state-wide rules concerning night angling in Florida, so you’ll have to look into it for your local waterbody.


Night angling is legal in some parts of Hawaii, but not everywhere. Although some spots, such as Kauai Wailua, allow night angling, others, such as Wailua Reservoir, do not.


Throughout the night or day, a person can gig or catch fish from the side of a stream. The rough gigging season goes from February 1 to May 10. From November 1 to January 31, it is illegal to have a gig on a river, lake, or in a boat. 

New Jersey

New Jersey has no particular state-wide regulations for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Water bodies and beach areas, on the other hand, have their own set of rules. 

New York

In several lakes and rivers, there are regular tackle restrictions as well as night fishing bans. For species not covered under particular regulations, state-wide angling rules apply.

There are no specified timeframes established anywhere when it comes to sea fishing. However, it’s a brilliant idea to double-check the rules in your region.

is night fishing legal in washington state
Each state has a specific set of regulations


You can fish at night in some places in Washington. Yet, since a few places do not allow this timing for angling, you need to check the regulation of your fishing spot before heading to it. 

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