The state of Washington is famous for its steelhead and salmon fishing. But when it comes to bass fishing in Washington, most people won’t believe that the state also has an abundance of large and smallmouth bass in its lakes.
What’s more, you can truly get some big bass here, if not the biggest, often going over 10 pounds. The lakes here will offer you ample opportunities to catch the favorite game fish for Americans. On top of it, some lakes have mesmerizing beauty to make your fishing time even more fun.
However, not all lakes can fulfill your desire to catch bass at ease. Some lakes will offer more opportunities than others. Plus, you need to know the tips and state guidelines to catch bass and enjoy the angling session.
Bass Fishing Washington: Washington State Guidelines
For bass fishing in Washington, you need to follow the state government guideline. It allows anglers to know how many basses and what size bass they can catch or release for each day.
According to rules-
- There’s no daily limit for largemouth bass fishing in rivers and streams. However, it doesn’t have a minimum size limit. While that’s a piece of good news, you can’t retain more than one largemouth bass if it is 17-inches or greater. Also, bass sizes between 12 to 17-inches must be released.
- For smallmouth bass, there is also no daily for rivers and streams. Also, there’s no minimum size restriction. But you can’t retain more than one smallmouth bass of size 14 inches or more.
- However, you can catch only five largemouth bass and ten smallmouth bass daily for lakes and ponds.
So, when you plan for fishing in lakes in Washington, you must follow the daily limit and size limitations as prescribed in the Washington State Legislature.
Top Lakes in Washington to Catch Bass
There’re many lakes in and around Washington with plentiful bass, both largemouth, and smallmouth ones. However, you may not find all of them suitable for catching your desired size. We have researched the lakes and talked with anglers to find the top five lakes in Washington for bass fishing.
Let’s check them out-
If you are a fan of smallmouth bass, you get them in abundance in Lake Roosevelt. With 79000 acres of land, this is also the largest lake in Washington.
Its rocky shoreline stretches up to 650 miles offering stunning views as you fish around its crystal clear water. Plus, the lake isn’t as crowded as other lakes in Washington, so that you can roam around it peacefully without many gatherings.
The lake originates at Grand Coulee Dam and stretches through the basalt and sage for an amazing landscape. However, it doesn’t draw as much angler’s attention as it deserves. Thus, you can indeed enjoy its serenity and pay more attention to fishing more.
Smallmouth bass weighing 5 to 6 pounds are routing catch in the lake. If you stay around the shoreline, you can still get some 1-3 pounders at ease. However, we suggest you go 2 to 3 miles deep with your boat. This way, you can enjoy the serenity and get some big catches up to 10 pounds or more.
While Lake Roosevelt takes pride in smallmouth bass, Eloika Lake boasts of its largemouth bass. It is a 629 acres lake and is surrounded by weed beds. Plus, you will enjoy a brushy shoreline. Also, the presences of hollow trees and logs provide enough space for the bass to hide where you can try your angling luck. Trust us; you won’t be disappointed.
The lake isn’t more than 12ft deep in most parts. So, it opens up quickly during the spring, and the bass then hunts for their food. Local anglers reported that catching 5 to 6 pounds bass is pretty common in the lake, given that you are willing to go deep.
You can use jitterbugs and topwater frogs to allure these greedy bunch of bass. You can continue fishing in Eloika Lake throughout the early summer. But patience is the key to get big catches in the lake. But, you will get plentiful of 1-2 pounds bass within a few hours of angling.
The Potholes Reservoir is a favorite place for many Washington residents who want to enjoy the thrill of water sports and angling at the same time. The lake is spread at 30000 acres of land and offers exclusive biological diversity.
The best part about this reservoir is you can get both largemouth and smallmouth bass here. For largemouth bass, the northern part of the lake is an ideal place. And the impoundment at the O’Sullivan dam accommodates enough smallmouth bass weighing up to 5 pounds.
You will love fishing through the grassy sun dunes and the scenic beauty of the Potholes Reservoir, too, as you kayak through the lake.
Another fishing hotspot for smallmouth bass is Palmer Lake, and it is located in Okanogan County. It is close to the Canadian border and stretches 2032 acres of land, offering some exclusive angling spots for all.
The lake is so fertile and easy to fish that you can nearly get 1 to 2 bass in every foot of its shoreline. However, most basses are around 2 to 3 pounds here. Although anglers reported catching 5 to 6 pounds bass here, it isn’t common here.
Nonetheless, smallmouth bass junkies will still enjoy quality fishing time through the bushy water and the greens at its backdrop.
The last bass fishing lake on our list is Lake Washington itself. However, most anglers underrated it as a bass fishing spot, the lake breams with smallmouth and largemouth bass. It is only a few minutes of drive away from Seattle metro.
The lake has 21,933 acres of land. So, every angler can find his sweet spot and wait for their trophy catch. We have talked with several anglers who have caught 7-8 pounds of largemouth bass in the lake. But for this, you need to invest a few times and understand the lake structure closely.
But, it does worth the time spent as you can get some 3-4 pounders in the meantime.
Bass fishing Washington is a seriously underrated topic among American anglers. But, we found enough bass fishing hotspots in Washington that will prove most people wrong. Apart from our five top mentions for bass fishing lakes in Washington, you can also choose Silver Lake, Lake Kapowsin, or Lake Wallula.
However, make sure you have the proper license before plying through these lakes in search of bass. Or, counties can sanction fines and limit your angling for the time being.
Bass fishing Washington is fun when you know where to set your fishing line. You can opt for lake Washington or Lake Roosevelt to chase the trophy bass.