View Full Version : Relocation to Tacoma (Fife) - help me choose where to land!

05-28-2007, 12:31 AM
My company has asked me to relocate to the Tacoma area, the office is actually in Fife. I'm looking for advice on where to look for less expensive rental houses that will minimize travel time and traffic. I wouldn't mind being "outside of town" with a bit of property. If there's someplace that would afford easy/regular access to spearing and/or mountain biking I'd definitely like to get all the suggestions I can! What would the commute be like from somewhere like Gig Harbor? Puyallup?
I know I am also looking at a bit of a re-gear situation for the diving up there compared to SoCal. Will I ever need to use my 55" Wong Magnum Hybrid again? :( After the move, I'll start the begging for people to share some hunting spots with me.... ;)

Any help will be VERY much appreciated!

05-29-2007, 05:30 PM
I am up here right now for vacation. SOrt of home for me. Don't live in Gig Harbor. New bridge will cost you 3.00 a day to commute. Puyallup is OK and growing. Not a bad commute, especially to Fife. You can get stuck in some trashy areas over here if you are not careful. North end of Tacoma is nice but it has gotten pricey. University Place is also nice. All these places are close to the water compared to Lake Elsinore.

You will probably have to take up SCUBA spearing more often than not. If you can swing it, the best freediving spearfishing is up in Neah bay but its a hike. Over there you can shoot your limits in rockfish (like Calicos) everyday. Be careful diving esp. freediving on extreme tidal exchanges. There are downcurrents that can get you in places, esp. South end of Vashon Is. and in the San Juan Is. area.

Gear is more for shorter guns, but not too short. A lot of idiots around here think you can drive a 3/8" shaft accurately with power on a midget gun. However, lingcod and Cabezon die easily compared to YT and WSB. They are pretty dumb too so you just sneak up on them and shoot them in the head. They rely on Camo. I always use a 90cm Euro gun of some kind and do fine.

Bewary of lingcod SEASON. Violate and you will get it. They have Rangers hiding in the bushes from shore with binoculars.

Its all 7mm weather and drysuit in the winter. You need to find someone with a boat , bottom line. A good starter orientation spot is a perserve. Titlow Beach at the very end of 6th Ave. in University Place. Its just all about dving the slack tide, which is not necessarily at the split of the tidal exchange. Its several minutes different for every dive spot.

Hope this helps. PM with any other questions.

05-29-2007, 07:20 PM
I did already find out about the new toll bridge, bummer.
I have extended family in Puyallup, and it is up there on my list of places to check out. You're now the second person to mention University Place, so I'll start looking around there too.

I don't know yet if my company will fly me up there to check it out, or if we'll just end up hitting town and throwing everything in a storage unit until we find a home. But it looks like this could happen pretty quickly.

Thanks for your suggestions, I'll be looking forward to lots of new places to explore.

06-26-2007, 11:57 AM
We have our boat in Gig Harbor and live about 10 miles away. We do the commute from there to Bellevue and Issaquah (and yes we are crazy!) Commute time and conditions from Gig Harbor to Fife would be something like 20 min at 4:30 - 5:00 am later than that and it can be more in the 45 -60 min range. SO MUCH around here is dependant on what time you are talking about. Also, having another person in the car can make a difference. When we head home, we can run the back roads through Tacoma and jump on the bridge using the last on-ramp which is car-pool only.

The dive community here is rather funny (IMO). There is a VERY vocal "take only pictures and leave only bubbles" group here so don't be surprised if you find other divers PREACHING at you. But also you will find that there is are quite a few sportsmen and women here. Several of the dive charter boats run hunting trips up to Neah bay. Also, although a boat is best, there is some good shooting to be had from shore - east of Neah Bay at the "mile markers". When you get here check out the shore diving book which lists the different mile markers.

Boat diving here is really the best way to go because of the currents. Tidal changes can run 12-16' making slacks pretty short. We usually run live boats and do a lot of drift diving.

RE affordable housing - Maybe being from So.Cal. you'll view our housing as affordable - most from there do. Currently, Kitsap County (just beyond Gig Harbor) is in a slump and most homes have reduced prices. Not sure about Pierce Co. (Tacoma). Puyallup may have even cheaper housing. Where-ever you look CONSIDER your commute. Traffic is very land locked and accidents can really increase your drive time.

06-27-2007, 07:00 PM
carvendive -

Thanks very much for the info. It looks like I'll be settling into a house out at Lake Tapps, and commuting about 12 miles in to Fife. I will have extended family up in Silverdale, so I plan on getting to know the area in between home and there pretty well.

I haven't even begun to research the regs up there, but I'm betting there's no spearing for fish in the lake, or good enough visibility for it to be possible?

Once I get settled in and get regeared with a 7mm suit, I'll start the exploring. Hope I can get up to Neah before the end of summer. If you need an extra anchor puller sometime, let me know.

06-28-2007, 11:16 AM
Lake Tapps is a nice area and should be a easy commute to Fife - consider yourself lucky regarding your commute. Not sure about the freshwater regs. http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/2007/2007sportregs.pdf

Many of the shops and dive clubs can hook you up with local shooters but you may also find this link to have LOTS of local information. http://www.northwestdiver.com/forumdisplay.php check out the Hunting section.

Silverdale may prove convenient as a jump off spot for you when you want to do the Neah Bay thing (it'll eliminate some traffic and put you that much closer).

We have 6 and 7 gill, Salmon sharks and I guess Whites way off shore. I've NEVER heard of ANY problem with sharks but I'd recommend that you dive with someone famaliar with Neah Bay before doing anything solo. We also have Orca pods which hunt salmon. I know one diver who was mistakenly targeted by an Orca. When he finally saw the Orca he flaired and blew a bunch of bubbles and the Orca stopped dead, turned and left the area. Again, I've never heard of any attacks beyond this ONE. Are you familiar with Lion's Main Jellies? That's about the only jelly you have to be carefull of here.

Have you done any hunting from a kayak? I hear that's popular in Cal. There is a resort on the way to Neah which rents sit-on-top type kayak's with the tank moldings. So if you know how to rig that might be a good way to get started and still be a bit safer with the currents. I've dove Neah several times now and it's a fantastic site. Colors and viz can be spectacular.

Do you free dive or scuba? If you scuba, how many dives do you do in a year? Do you dive other than for fishing? Do you do repetative dives. The reason I ask is because of your suit, and the water temps. You might want to consider going dry. (However, I personally feel that diving dry requires MUCH MORE attention to bouyancy.) Most hard core divers here use dry - even the shooters. Most of the fish don't require a lot of finning and depth changes - they are not use to much hunting pressure. Mostly I do photo dives and I'm on this board because I'm thinking of getting a stick and learning to shoot. I'm getting ready to retire and move back east where I'll be able to dive Carolina, Georga and Florida.

The boat is a 38' Nova sundeck trawler so the windless does all the anchor duties. It's SLOW - 8k cruise speed. Because of that we mostly travel with it. I have done some diving off of it in areas where I can anchor and don't have to worry about current. Let me know when you get here and if I get the chance to do a couple of dives I'll give you a call. They'd be south sound dives but to me any dive is a good dive. You can send me an email at carvendive@comcast.net and we can exchange phone numbers.