Fishing in Washington is a glorious opportunity to soak up vistas and try your luck (or flex your expertise) catching plentiful fish populations. If you are a Washington resident or just next door in Idaho or Oregon, add these stops to your next fishing trip.
Making the Most of Fishing Season in Washington State
These bodies of water have beautiful views, serene surroundings, and catches you’ll want to show off.
If you’re looking to make the most of trout fishing in Washington, these destinations offer plenty of Rainbow, Brown, Lake, and Coastal Cutthroat Trout:
- Rock Lake* is known for some of the biggest trout around!
- Blue Lake* is a perfect opportunity to catch your next trophy fish.
- Lake Washington is a Seattle-adjacent freshwater lake.
*denotes one of Washington’s high lakes.
When salmon is more your speed, Lake Chelan, the largest natural lake in Washington, is a renowned destination for relaxing both on the water and on land. Anglers should watch for land-locked Chinook (King) salmon for their next noteworthy trophy catches.
You could also spend a day or two visiting the Columbia River. This river is home to plenty of King salmon who visit the spot from May through October before heading back to the Pacific.
For a Variety of Species
Over in the eastern part of the state, Lake Roosevelt has a collection of species, including Smallmouth bass, White Sturgeon, Walleye, Kokanee, and Rainbow trout.
For Taking Young Fishers
If you’re bringing newer folks fishing in Washington, your best bet is to head to one of the state’s “getting started” lakes:
For Trout: Bear Lake, Knuppenburg Lake, Goose Lake
For Salmon: Baker Lake
For a Variety: Ross Lake (this accessible lake has almost 30 species!)
What’s the Difference Between Washington’s High Lakes and Lowland Lakes?
Washington’s 1,600 “high lakes” are at least 2,500 ft. above sea level. They’re known for their self-sustaining or stocked fish populations, with plenty of camping and hiking opportunities nearby. Because these lakes are so elevated, they’re often better suited for experienced anglers.
Conversely, the accessibility of Washington’s lowland lakes are perfect for family-friendly fishing.
How Much is a Fishing License in Washington State?
Washington fishing license prices vary depending on fresh- or saltwater preference, how long you’ll be fishing for, and whether you plan to harvest shellfish, among other factors.
This comprehensive chart can help determine which license type best meets your needs. Always check that you have the proper license before you head out on the water.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with Washington’s 2022-2023 fishing rules and regulations.
The Fish Washington app also offers up-to-the-minute updates on Washington fishing regulations.
Soak up the Sites With Smooth Moves Seats
Once you’ve gone through the trouble of planning a top-notch adventure fishing in Washington, the last thing you’ll want to do is turn back early. Smooth Moves boat seat suspension systems support your back, neck, and joints all day long. Easy to install on various boat types, you won’t want to take your next journey without this must-have.
Here’s a snapshot of our Washington-based Smooth Moves Dealers:
Want to connect with more boat enthusiasts? Check out our Smooth Moves Facebook Page for updates, noteworthy catches, angler news, and more.