No boat? No problem! Washington is lucky to have so many lake shorelines, fishing docks and riverbanks to fish from. Whether you’re looking for an all-day adventure or if you only have an hour, chances are there’s a fishing spot with your name on it. Be sure to check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules for the most current limits and seasons before heading out.
With the warmer summer temperatures, fish earlier in the morning or later in the evening for the best success, whether fishing from the bank or from a boat. With lower temperatures in the fall, successful fishing can be found throughout the day.
Here are a just few fishing sites around the state that might just be in your area.
Badger Lake, Spokane County
This 217-acre lake is located just 45 minutes southwest of Spokane. This popular trout fishing lake is stocked with rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee. The WDFW water access area has 300 feet of shore fishing, a boat launch, and ADA accessible parking and fishing pier. Badger Lake is open for day-use only. Fishing is closed from Oct. 1 through late April.
Badger Lake is stocked with fish tagged for the 2020 Trout Derby, which ends on Oct. 31, 2020.
Liberty Lake, Spokane County
Liberty Lake is open for fishing March 1 through Oct. 31. The WDFW water access area on the north side of the lake has a fishing platform and over 200 feet of shoreline. Across the 700-acre lake is Liberty Lake Park (Spokane County), which has a fishing dock and limited shore fishing access near the swimming beach (see county website for entrance fees). Stocked with rainbow and brown trout, Liberty Lake also has a respectable warmwater fishery, with healthy populations of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, and bluegill. In addition, WDFW has also stocked channel catfish in Liberty Lake as funding allows. These catfish can be caught throughout the day and at night.
Horseshoe Lake, Cowlitz County
With plenty of shoreline, Horseshoe Lake provides year-round fishing opportunities. The lake, which used to be part of the Lewis River, is stocked with trout in the late fall and late spring. Bass and panfish are popular during the summer months. Grass carp have also been stocked in the lake for weed control. However, fishing for or retaining grass carp is prohibited.
According to the City of Woodland’s website, Horseshoe Lake also offers swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and a public boat launch.
Horseshoe Lake is also stocked with fish tagged for the 2020 Trout Derby.
Lake Entiat, Chelan/Douglas County
Located on the Columbia River upstream of Rocky Reach Dam to Wells Dam, this reservoir is known for steelhead, Chinook salmon, and sockeye salmon fisheries. Seasons for these species are based on the abundance of the various fish runs. Fishing rules on the Columbia River vary by location. Please consult the Washington Sport Fishing Rules book and check the emergency rule changes online. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye are also available.
There are many public access areas along this stretch of the Columbia River, including Lincoln Rock State Park, located just north of the Rocky Reach Dam. The state park has camping, hiking and biking trails, and boat ramps. The state park also has multiple shoreline fishing areas and a dock, which offer great freshwater fishing opportunities. The park is open year-round for day use. Camping is available March-October.
Rotary Lake, Yakima County
Located off the Yakima GreenWay Trail, this almost 20-acre lake has excellent bank fishing opportunities. It is approximately a 1/3-mile hike from the parking lot near Harlan Landing (Selah Gap) and the parking lot behind the old Boise-Cascade Mill (next to I-82).
The lake is stocked with catchable and jumbo size rainbow trout and 3- to 12-pound broodstock (mature fish that are stocked to ensure breeding) in the fall. This year-round fishery has produced largemouth bass up to seven pounds and channel catfish weighing up to 20 pounds. Try fishing for catfish on the bottom with bait during the spring and summer months.
Rotary Lake is stocked with tagged fish for the 2020 Trout Derby, which ends on Oct. 31, 2020.
Lake Padden, Bellingham, Whatcom County
This 147-acre lake is located in Lake Padden Park. There’s ample bank fishing access next to the boat launch and an ADA accessible public fishing pier. This family-friendly lake is stocked with rainbow trout, coastal cutthroat trout, and kokanee. Resident largemouth bass are also found in Lake Padden.
Spring is the best time to catch trout, but there will be some holdover trout that will make it to the fall months. These fish grow all summer and will be more active when fall temperatures start to drop. There are seasonal fishing closures in the late fall to early spring, so be sure to check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules before fishing Lake Padden.
Lake Padden is also stocked with fish tagged for the 2020 Trout Derby.
Deep Lake, Millersylvania State Park, Thurston County
Only 20 minutes from Olympia, this 62-acre lake is open year-round. Ample shore fishing and a fishing dock provide plenty of rainbow trout fishing opportunities. Naturally reproducing populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, and pumpkinseed sunfish shouldn’t be overlooked when fishing at Deep Lake. While at Millersylvania State Park, you can also get in a walk on the trails and have a picnic lunch. There is also a campground at the park.
Deep Lake is stocked with fish tagged for the 2020 Trout Derby.
For additional information on fishing locations in Washington, visit WDFW’s Places to Go Fishing webpage, to find a spot that works for you.
WDFW’s YouTube page has over 50 videos about fishing in Washington. New or returning anglers may want to check these out:
#BassWeek 2020 (Introduction to simple bass fishing techniques)
As hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts, all of us here at the WDFW share your desire to get outdoors. Please practice physical distancing when in the field. Thank you for doing your part to keep Washingtonians safe and healthy. Also, please pack out what you pack in. For more information on responsible recreation, visit recreateresponsibly.org.