float tubes in the salt

what do i know, im just a rabid apache

anyone ever have any problems using float tubes out in the salt? for the first time i am boatless during the salmon season and it is killing me:bawling :beathead . i know of a nice little bay that would be a lot of fun to float tube, but i am still apprehensive. i did a search on the web and found a site where these guys gear fish for halibut in their pontoon boats off the coast of california! that kind of lit a fire under my arse to use my tube out here. anyone care to share any experiences?

I only tried in once. It really depends on how strong the tide is. You don't want to get pulled out on the outgoing tide. I had a good time when I did it and didn't have a problem!

Have fun.

I've had some sealions come real damn close when i was wading on shore.. i don't know how id feel with my legs dangling under water with those guys cruising around. But ive seen people out ther doing it.


I've wondered if it would be doable right at Lincoln park in west seattle. I've seen a lot of fish right by the ferry terminal before.
I had a real blast with a float tube at Hoodsport one year, hooked a dozen or so chums but only landed a few. It's a great way to fish, especially bays or any quiet water. Go for it!!!
You have to be crazy and rabid just wading in the sound can be like a river. There is some serious water out there and when it gets going you could get to know the coast gaurd really well if you are lucky. Be carefull there is alot of water moving out there and the slack only last a short time. :eek:

Craig M

Almost Senior Member
I was Coast Guard. There are some places where the current can get very strong ie. presidents point. be sure you are wearing a P.F.D. and really wash your tube when done salt is hard on every thing


Active Member
i used to fish out of my tube a lot in the salt and did very well in certain situations. I really liked it when the cutts or resident cohos were feeding in shallow bays and over oyster beds on euphasids and I could move quietly around and pick them off as they moved past.
Any area without current is prefered but light current is OK if you make sure to pay attention to the tides and wind which will take you out deep quickly.

I have also fished out of a tube down in CA for halibut, perch and other fish. It is quite fun but the wave action when coming ashore can be a little risky.

If i were you, I would use the tube without worry but make sure you know the tides and the area in which you plan to fish.

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
I would think that you would have to be careful, as currents in the sound can get mighty powerful, something the SoCal float tubers don't have to contend with.

I would make sure that the tidal change was not too big, and that the weather would not be windy before I went out.

To fish out of a tube when the salmon are running and there are a lot of boats around would qualify one for a trip to see a shrink!
I fish out of a small boat and the larger boats just don't see me very well. Have had some close encounters that were not fun. Plus the wakes that some boats throw could be a bad experience in a tube.
If the people fishing aren't bad enough then there are the ski do people and the hot doggers in their Mirages racing along the shore at high speed.
Sounds like a dissaster waiting to happen to me.

I think float tubes work well in the salt if used with a little bit of discretion. I've used my tube at Kayak Point, Potlatch and McAllister Creek without any problems from boaters, seals or other sea creatures. I don't keep fish so the seals and sea lions are merely curious instead of dogging me for a meal.
Current and wind direction can be an issue if both are running the same direction. Basically that turns the float into an aerobic exercise.
Good advice about wearing a PFD and washing down your gear-all of it-when you get home.
I talked with a guy at Kauffman's last Friday who said he has seen tubers off Lincoln Park-I've never fished there so have no personal info.
I don't think I'd have the "courage" to do salt in a float tube for several reasons, but if you do, I would also strongly recommend wearing a bright orange hat and carrying along a headlamp just in case.
I have wanted to put my pontoon boat in the sound but I am worried about the salt. Actually, I think it would be okay as long as I washed it real well... but the boat's manual advises against it. I would hate to have seams popping out while I am 100 feet from shore. I would not expect that to happen but I have no idea how the seams would respond to the salt.
Will salt dramatically reduce the life of a boat/float, even if it is washed after every use?

I really really really want to take my pontoon boat out in the sound for salmon, but I have the same concerns with the effects from salt as you! :hmmm

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