It’s ok to miss the sunshine and all those days spent relaxing on the beach in a t-shirt and shorts. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss them too. But here’s a little Rockaway Beach secret: winter time in our tiny coastal town is equally as exciting as summer. There is a ton to do both around town and outside. Here are a few town favorites:
Fishing so good, we literally wait all year for it
Starting in December, the rivers surrounding Rockaway Beach start filling up with Steelhead. The frequent rain helps bring them in, and all you have to do is cast a line and bring them home. If Steelhead isn’t your game, Lake Lytle (our largest lake spanning 69 acres) is stocked annually with Rainbow Trout and is also home to Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Catfish.
Crab is king
Catching Dungeness crabs is hands down most rewarding in wintertime. Sure it’s always in season, but if you’re serious about your bounty then you want to be here in winter when it’s not uncommon to rake them in hand over fist. Try Kelly’s Brighton Marina just north of Rockaway Beach or the Jetty Fishery to the south.
Beachcombing for little beauties
Who doesn’t love finding little treasures on the beach? Everything from agates to seashells can be found at any time along the shore, but are most prevalent after a storm or heavy rainfall. (Spoiler alert: we get a lot of both during the winter.) That means your best chance for finding rocks, agates, or beautiful shells is right now when the waves have been pounding the surf and exposing what lies beneath and tossing things ashore. Just remember to always be cautious when near the ocean and never turn your back on the ocean.
Pro Tip: Manhattan Beach is our favorite for beachcombing. Every trip to this beach is different and you never know what you might find. Find more tips here.
Make some new winged friends
Because winter in Rockaway Beach is actually rather mild (for wildlife anyway), the colder weather and grey skies bring all kinds of migratory birds to both our shoreline and nearby forests. If you’re an avid bird watcher looking to mark a few off your list, consider a trip to our beach town, aka a bird lover’s paradise. Keep your eyes peeled for waterfowl, herons, ospreys, and even bald eagles as well as Western sandpipers, black-bellied plovers, sanderlings, and dunlins. Here are some tips on where to look.