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Bass Fishing In Washington

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Guide to fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass in Washington State.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Washington Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Washington is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Washington

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Washington. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 4 to 8-pound range are common in Washington. The state record largemouth bass is over 12 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Largemouth bass can be found in various lakes and rivers throughout the state, including lakes like Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and Lake Tapps. The lush vegetation and structure of Washington's lakes provide ideal habitats for largemouth bass, creating exciting opportunities for anglers to test their skills.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Washington

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 8 pounds.

Smallmouth bass are prevalent in rivers and reservoirs across Washington. The Snake River, Columbia River, and Potholes Reservoir are renowned for their excellent smallmouth bass fishing. Anglers often target smallmouth bass with lures such as crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics, as these fish are known to aggressively strike at moving baits.

The best time to fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass in Washington varies depending on the season and weather conditions. Generally, spring and fall are considered prime seasons for bass fishing, as the fish are more active and feeding heavily. During these seasons, anglers often find success by targeting shallow areas with cover, such as weed beds, fallen trees, or rocky structures. However, bass can be caught year-round in Washington, and dedicated anglers are often rewarded with successful catches during the summer and winter months as well.

Bass fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Washington

All about fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Bass fishing lures

Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing. Alder Lake, American Lake, Banks Lake, East Rapids Lake, Lake Bryan, Lake Chelan, Lake Mayfield, Lake Sacajawea, Lake Sammamish, Lake Tapps, Lake Umatilla, Lake Wallula, Lake Washington, Lake Whatcom, Moses Lake, Osoyoos Lake, Ozette Lake, Palmer Lake, Potholes Reservoir, Riffe Lake, Rock Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Rufus Woods Lake, Silver Lake, Vancouver Lake and Wanapum Lake are some of the major lakes in Washington with healthy populations of bass. Bass can also be found throughout the state in ponds, creeks, parks, rivers and smaller lakes. The Columbia River has a quite significant bass population.

Whether you prefer the excitement of chasing largemouth bass in the lakes or the challenge of battling smallmouth bass in the rivers, Washington offers a wealth of opportunities for bass fishing enthusiasts. The diverse landscapes and abundance of lakes and rivers make it a prime destination for anglers looking to pursue these prized game fish.

Fishing Boats For Rent In WA

Bass In Washington

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 12.53 lbs

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 8.85 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Washington this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

The state record largemouth bass was taken out of Lake Bosworth.

The state record smallmouth bass was caught from the Columbia River, Hanford Reach.

Washington Smallmouth caught by Julie Jackson

These two quality smallies were caught out of Lake Goodwin, by Julie Jackson.

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Washington.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Evergreen State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing
The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Washington bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.