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The 5 best places to go bass fishing in Washington state

The 5 best places to go bass fishing in Washington state

The state of Washington is an outdoorsman's paradise with great fishing and hunting throughout. When it comes to fishing, most associate it with the annual salmon and steelhead runs as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers. But, it also provides excellent bass fishing across the state for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Let's take a look at the five best places to go bass fishing in Washington state.

1) Potholes Reservoir

Potholes is a fishery covering over 14,000 miles but appears to be much bigger because of the unique layout, with thousands of small sandy islands covered with grass, wood, and beaver dams. This section of the reservoir is known as "the dunes" and is a largemouth paradise with flipping, pitching, spinnerbaits, and frogs producing plenty of bass.

The main lake section features much more rock and includes the dam and several islands that are the perfect habitat for targeting smallmouth bass using finesse tactics, crankbaits, and jerkbaits. No matter what species you are after, expect plenty of action and the chance for big bass.

2) Columbia River

The Columbia is a jewel of the Pacific Northwest and it's a big river stretching from Canada down through Washington. It covers over 1,200 miles in total and serves as a border between Washington and Oregon. It forms reservoirs along the way, and each pool between different dams along the river fishes a little different from the one before or after it.

The smallmouth are big and plentiful throughout the river and can be fooled with a huge variety of techniques. Largemouth bass are also found in certain sections of the river and backwaters and marinas and get big, with fish over eight pounds being caught more frequently than many would expect.

3) Moses Lake

Located in the eastern half of the state, Moses Lake draws anglers from across the state as it provides excellent fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Anglers can scour the roughly six thousand acres and fish for whatever species they desire, but if you are in a tournament, you will need at least 20-pounds of either kind to have a chance at a good finish.

Some of the best ways to catch fish here are with crankbaits, but flipping, pitching and fishing Chatterbaits also put plenty of fish in the boat.

4) Lake Roosevelt

Another fishery in the eastern part of the state is Lake Roosevelt, which has an excellent population of big smallmouth bass. It gets the most attention from the excellent trout fishing and huge numbers of walleye, so the smallmouth bass flies under the radar at times.

It's a 21,000-acre riverine fishery that is heavily influenced by current from the Columbia and Spokane rivers. There are many different ways to catch the smallmouth here, but finesse tactics dominate along with reaction baits like spinnerbaits, topwaters, crankbaits, and jerkbaits.

5) Lake Washington

Located in the Seattle metro area, fishing Lake Washington is a unique experience in an urban setting. The amazing homes, yachts, float planes, and visible wealth from the many big corporations in Seattle and the Seahawks practice facility on the water make it an interesting setting to cast for bass.

Smallmouth are the predominant species in the 21,750-acre lake and finesse tactics rule in the deep clear water. Healthy largemouth can also be found in certain areas and often win tournaments because of their larger average size.

Article and images by: Tyler Brinks

Updated November 11th, 2021 at 3:26 AM CT