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Notable Lakes

Lake Terrell (Whatcom Co)

Take I-5 North of Bellingham to Ferndale and head West and a little North. This lake is shallow and has many boat hazards so be careful. A no wake speed limit helps identify these hazards before they become a problem. The lake is almost half covered in in lilly pads where not only bass but many perch as well like to shade themselves on warm sunny days. I have had success fishing for bass using a pumpkin colored plastic lizard. Jigs and spinner baits are also good options. Topwater action can be good at the correct times. Stay away from various types of crank baits as the lake is very weeded and you will spend most of your fishing day freeing snags and cleaning lures free of these weeds. Contact: Lake Terrell Wildlife Area: (360)384-4723
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Lake Whatcom(Whatcom Co)

Take I-5 to Bellingham and head East. This is a Fairly large lake very notable for it's smallmouth fishing. I personnaly am not much of a smallmouth fisherman, o.k. I suck at it. This lake does also have largemouth fishing although not a great deal of action. I have used about all types of lures and methods to catch the ever-elusive largemouth here with limited success. There are some quality largemouth bass in this lake if you have the time and patience to fish it effectively.
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Clear Lake (Skagit Co)

Just south of Sedro Woolley. This lake is open all year and has some excellent largemouth fishing. It is a small lake with many reeds along the shore line, a few docks and many left over pier poles to fish. I have had all my success on this lake using plastics (worms and lizards).
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Big Lake (Skagit Co)

South of Clear Lake and southeast of Mt. Vernon. This is a long skinny lake with all types of bass fishing areas. This lake has Personal docks that hold bass on sunny days, fallen trees to provide good cover for bass, reeds, gravely shores, Overhanging trees, and some good open water fishing as well. A good lake to pull out all the tackle in the 'ol box and put in some time and stand by for the next state record. There is a resort, or was one. I'm not sure if it's still open or not. Contact: Big Lake Resort: (360)422-5755
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Lake Erie (Skagit Co)

Located Off of HWY 20 on Fidalgo Island. Right near Lake Campbell it is a good alternative if you get tired of Lake Campbell. It has many weeded areas and many stumps and other types of cover. A few docks line the shore as well. Also a nice lake to fish for trout.

Lake Campbell (Skagit Co)

Also located just off HWY 20 on Fidalgo Island. This is perhaps my favorite bass lake in the state rivaled only by Long Lake. There is an Island in the middle which almost any literature you find will claim it an excellent spot. I disagree. I never waste my time on this small island. There are a few docks along the shore but not many. Plenty of reeds to fish and some good lilly pads. I suggest jigs early in the year moving on to plastic worms then on to spinner baits as the season progresses. In each case I recomend a blue, black or combination blue/black color choice. I have caught many largemouth in the 3 to 5 pound range here, not huge but hey this is Washington we're talking about.

Long Lake (Kitsap Co)

Located just off HWY 16 near Port Orchard. Maybe my favorite bass lake in all of Washington. I grew up here and this is where I "cut my teeth" on bass fishing. My best friend and I spent many days fishing this lake when we should have been in school (perhaps that's why I didn't have any scholarship offers). I have fished this lake when it was so cold my friend and I had to pour lake water on the boat storage compartments to thaw them enough to get them open. I lost a very nice spinning rod and reel in this lake when it blew out of the boat on my way to get a hot cup of coffee. I had a boat motor call it quites on me in this lake and broke my fishing line countless times. I love this place. Oh ya, the fishing. Lots of docks along the shorline, lilly pads cover the south end, a small canal runs into the north end, there are plenty of grasses and reeds to fish, an adequate amount of logs and stumps for cover, and some gravely shore as well. Early in the year I have had alot of luck using a brown and orange colored Magnum Wiggle Wart. My best friend has had as much success with a green and chrome Magnum Wiggle Wart, Go figure. As it warms up swith to black plastic worms. Not blue, not dark purple, not green, BLACK. I prefer and recomend Berkley brand worms for this lake.

Silver Lake (Cowlitz Co)

Take I-5 to Castle Rock then head east on HWY 504. This is a fairly large shallow lake. Among many anglers it is arguably the best bass lake in the state. It has some docks along its expansive shore line, and tons of stumps and tangles to fish, many of which make for boat hazards, some of them are marked. There are alot of lily pads, reeds, shallows, and a couple of canals to fish. There is camping near the lake if you have to drive a long way to get there like I do. This lake does receive alot of pressure from anglers all over the state so be prepared to see other boats and fish bass that have seen it all. All my trips to this lake have been disasterous, I think it might be cursed, from rain that won't stop, 6 foot swells, trolling motors breaking, and one time I went, the dam had broke and the lake was so low no one was getting a boat out on it. All in all I have not had alot of success on this lake but I always have adverse conditions to deal with, either that or it really is cursed. This lake also has some very large grass carp and a few locals even claim some Sturgeon call the lake home. There is a great local bar and the people here are very friendly. Contact: Silver Lake Resort: (360)274-6141

Lacamas Lake (Clark Co)

Watch how you pronounce this lake around the locals. Located near the Oregon boarder it is east of I-5 off of HWY 14 and just north of Camas, WA. There are some big bass in this lake. Many lily pads in the lake make for some excellent top water action if you have the equipment, I mean balls and tackle. This lake is also home to many live lizards so you can figure out for yourself if plastic lizards are a good option. I prefer waiting for the top water action to pick up and yes, I have the necessary equipment. There is no camping near this lake so plan accordingly and the locals are strange, again mind the pronunciation of the lake's name around the locals.

Duck Lake (Grays Harbor Co)

Located near Ocean Shores. This lake is also among an honorable mention of perhaps the best bass lake in the state among many anglers. It is located near the ocean so be prepared for wind. There is camping near by and it makes for a great get away location. This lake is pretty small and shallow but has miles of shorline due to the endless canals. There are alot of docks along the canals, many lily pads and many large grass carp, there is a fine for catching grass carp in this lake. I have no idea why. Because of all the shoreline along the canals I believe you could spend a life time fishing this lake without effectively fishing all of its shoreline. I have had success with white spinner baits in this lake as well as some plastics. Be very careful of the no wake speed limit through the canals. Take my word for it the locals do not appreciate flying through the canals on plane in your bass boat, my friend and I almost got our asses kicked because of my disrespect for the speed limit on one trip when someone was waiting for us to return to the boat ramp. After yelling and threatening physical harm the man then asked how we did. So As long as you obey the rules I believe the locals here to be friendly.

Banks Lake (Grant Co)

Located on the boarder of Grant and Douglas Conties just off HWY 2. This is the only Eastern Washington Lake to make my notable lake list, not that I have anything against Eastern Washington, I just don't make it over there to fish often. Hunting is another story. I am sure there are plenty of other notable lakes in Eastern Washington and I hope to discover them all. This is a very large lake formed by the Grand Coulee Dam packed with rock piles and ledges. Also a great smallmouth lake, if you have half a clue, which I don't. This lake is also home to some great lergemouth fishing. I find jigs work well here for largemouth as well as small mouth. Trolling for smallmouth can be productive and you will catch some Walleye while trolling. There is camping on the lake but you are out in the desert so bring water and don't plan on building a camp fire, unless you like to disobey the rules.

State Records!

largemouth bass 11 lbs. 9 oz. Carl Pruitt Banks Lake, Grant Co. 4 / 9 / 77
smallmouth bass 8 lbs. 12 oz. Ray Wonacott Columbia River, Hanford Reach 4 / 23 / 66
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State records as of Jan 2003...


I have found "Washington Fishing" by Terry Rudnick a decent reference and guide. The book provides directions to most all Washington Lakes, Rivers, and Saltwater fishing areas.

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