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Where to Fish in Seattle

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I've lived in Seattle my whole life and I can find fish everywhere I go in the area.

Sunset fishing on Green Lake

Sunset fishing on Green Lake

Fishing in Seattle

The word "Seattle" tends to bring certain things to a person's mind. The Space Needle, Starbucks, and the world famous Pike Place Market to name a few.

While the first two have their own reasons for existence, Pike Place has the region's rich fishing industry to thank for its global success. I've been a native to the Seattle area my entire life, which naturally means that fish (salmon in particular) is a pretty regular part of my diet.

Fortunately I can find fish everywhere I go. Furthermore, I have options! From perch to halibut, a unique fishing adventure is never more than a day trip away.

Here are places to find fish:

  1. Green Lake
  2. Lake Alice
  3. Lake Washington
  4. Cottage Lake
  5. Angle Lake

1. Green Lake Fishing

Located in the heart of north central Seattle and covering 255 acres, Green Lake offers an array of fishing options. Rainbow and brown trout, largemouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch and brown bullhead catfish are all available for fishing in Green Lake. A bonus plant of large triploid rainbow trout is also scheduled for 2012. Channel catfish is sometimes stocked in Green Lake to add diversity to the population, and common carp can be abundant. In late 2000, tiger muskies were planted to control the less desirable fish population. In May 2008, the 36 inch limit for tiger muskies was increased to 50 inches.

Boats can be rented at the northeast corner of Green Lake and small boats can be carried in. The relaxed fisherman who likes to drop a hook, sit back in a chair and read a book, can find several piers placed around the lake. Green Lake is open to fishing year-round, and is typically stocked several times year round for a total of about 12,000 catchable rainbow trout. Milfoil is a nuisance however, so the best fishing conditions in Green Lake are from November through March.

2. Lake Alice Fishing

Alice Lake is a smaller body of water covering only 33 acres and has a maximum depth of about 30 feet and is only populated by largemouth bass and rainbow trout. Thanks to the size and depth of the lake, trout fishing holds up late into the season. Largemouth bass provide good fishing in Alice Lake as well, as long as the angler is ok with smaller sized bass. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife controls access to this lake, although they provide ample parking space and a good boat launching ramp. Internal combustion engines are prohibited on Alice Lake at all times.

3. Lake Washington Fishing

Lake Washington covers over 21,000 acres making it the second largest natural lake in Washington State. Size and location also make this the state’s most popular lake for all sorts of recreational activities. Fishing on Lake Washington is plentiful as the size provides habitats for dozens of fish species. The popular catches are black crappie, brown bullhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, sockeye salmon, steelhead and yellow perch. There are various size regulations and seasons on these fish, so it is important to check up on that before heading out. There are ramps scattered up and down both sides of Lake Washington.

Lake Washington is far too big to limit fishing of certain species to any particular areas; however there are a few popular "hot spots."

  • The floating bridges or Seward Park are popular areas to troll for rainbow trout.
  • Perch are often caught near Kirkland and Renton.
  • The arboretum and UW area offer excellent conditions for bass to thrive.
  • Exploration is half the fun. One could spend years developing their favorite "secret spots" on Lake Washington.

4. Cottage Lake Fishing

Three miles east of Woodinville offers anglers 63 acres of lake. Access is through the county park on the north shore, along the highway. Small boats can be carried in, or one can enjoy fishing on the pier. Cottage Lake is known to yield a lot of shorter but fatter rainbow trout. Other opportunities at Cottage Lake include yellow perch, largemouth bass, black crappie, and brown bullheads. Open season on Cottage Lake runs from the last Saturday in April until October 31st.

5. Angle Lake Fishing

Angle Lake is a 102 acre lake located about 12 miles south of downtown just off of Highway 99 not far from SeaTac Airport. Rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, perch, bass, and catfish are all available from the waters of Angle Lake. A boat launch is provided within the county park.

World Record Humpy (Pink Salmon)

World Record Humpy (Pink Salmon)

Guided Tours

Seattle is full of fishing charters for all sorts of different fishing adventures. You can plan anything from a deep sea fishing adventure, to a ride on a small craft catching salmon down the river. Each charter will provide you with all the gear you need, a guide to teach you the ropes, and maybe even some food to keep you going.

Guided tours provide anybody with a good chance at going home with a catch, thanks to the master anglers that fish these waters for a living. My own stepmother even caught the current world record pink salmon with the help of a guide (who is unfortunately no longer in business).


Mary Wickison from USA on January 20, 2013:

Good information and I like the fact you put the locations on the map, it's a great idea. I will be sharing this.