Fishing At Payette Lake
AKA: Payette Reservoir
What to fish for...
Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout, yellow perch and kokanee salmon at Payette Lake in Idaho.
Stunning, natural beauty surrounds Payette Lake, a 5,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at McCall, ID. This fertile fishery has over 20 miles of shoreline, some of which is accessible for fishing from the bank.
The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites that each offer select bits of information, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Idaho Fish and Game, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.
Payette Lake, nestled in the heart of the Payette National Forest in central Idaho, is a beloved destination for fishing enthusiasts. This pristine mountain lake offers a tranquil setting and excellent angling opportunities. Anglers are drawn to Payette Lake for its diverse fish populations and the chance to catch some of Idaho's popular fish species.
One of the prized catches in Payette Lake is the lake trout, also known as mackinaw trout. These large and elusive fish provide an exciting challenge for anglers, with their powerful runs and deep dives. Payette Lake is also home to other popular species such as rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and smallmouth bass. Anglers can employ various techniques such as trolling, fly fishing, or bait fishing to target these sought-after species.
Payette Lake is a true gem in Idaho, captivating anglers and nature lovers with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Whether you're casting a line for lake trout, cruising the lake's pristine waters, or spending nights camping under the starry sky, Payette Lake promises an unforgettable experience. Its diverse fish populations, boating amenities, and picturesque camping areas make it a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor adventures in central Idaho.
Anglers mainly target rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout and kokanee salmon, often hooking trophy-size fish. Bass enthusiasts are happy to enjoy the quality smallmouth fishing. Ponderosa State Park, plus the north and east portions of the lake afford the best opportunities for bank fishing. Boat are ramps are open for boats, with no limit on horsepower. Canoes, kayaks and row boats can be portaged from the park as well as several areas around the lake. Mile High Marina serves the boating public with docks, a store, gas, boat rentals, hot food, fishing gear and supplies for camping, boating and fishing.
Primary fish species residing in Payette Lake
Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.
Payette Lake Amenities
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Today's Weather & Forecast
Beyond fishing, Payette Lake offers ample opportunities for boating enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking mountain vistas, boaters can enjoy leisurely cruises, engage in water sports, or explore the lake's secluded coves and bays. Whether you prefer sailing, powerboating, or kayaking, Payette Lake provides a serene and picturesque environment to enjoy a day on the water.
Fishing Boat Rentals
Mile High Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings
Mile High Marina Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast corner of the lake, off E lake Street, this is a five-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
Ponderosa State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the main lake, off State Park Road, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
Mile High Marina
1300 E Lake St
McCall, ID 83638
Click here for a Idaho Fishing License.
Camping is a popular activity for those looking to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Payette Lake. The area offers several campgrounds, both public and private, where visitors can set up their tents or park their RVs. Camping near Payette Lake allows anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to wake up to stunning lake views, enjoy evenings under starry skies, and have convenient access to the fishing hotspots along the shoreline.
Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby
Tower Rock Recreation Site Campground - 208 756-5400
Golden RV Park - 208 634-5389
Payette River RV Park - 208 634-5646
Payette Lake ID Map - Fishing & Camping Areas
Mile High Marina
1300 E. Lake Street
McCall, Idaho 83638
Fishing lakes in each state.
Payette Lake in ID
General Fishing Info
Fishing for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout and kokanee salmon in west-central ID.