5 Secret Bass Fishing Spots in Washington

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The bass fishing opportunities in Washington are often overlooked, with the popularity of our salmon, steelhead, and deep-sea fishing often taking the spotlight from other fishing prospects in our state.

In recent years, bass fishing has become more popular, the rise in tournament participation, the endless amount of information on the internet, and the readily available videos on YouTube have drawn attention to the rivers, lakes, and reservoirs that hold healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass.

It’s not uncommon to run into fellow bass anglers at the dock these days, but a few lesser-known spots still exist.

The places I am mentioning are not secrets, per se, just not broadcast all over the web.

  1. Long Lake (Kitsap)
  2. Panther Lake (Mason)
  3. Liberty Lake (Spokane)
  4. Lake Lawrence (Thurston)
  5. Windmill Lake (Grant)

Long Lake

Located in Kitsap County, it is home to a healthy population of largemouth bass, yellow perch, and trout. Houses cover most of the bank, fishing from a boat or a kayak would be your best bet, there is a park with space for bank fishermen. The shoreline of the park does offer plenty of possibilities to catch fish.

If you head right from the launch, you will find lily pads, tall grass, and fallen trees, it’s tough to fish but produces good top water action in the summer. Catching a largemouth PB is a possibility, early spring and late fall is the best time to fish Long Lake but it will produce bites all year long.

Throwing Jerk Baits over the submerged grass, on both ends of the lake, has been successful for me in the past.

Panther Lake

This lake doesn’t have much as far as shore access, you can fish from the launch area and have success.  The shoreline is covered in houses, all the way around the lake, and dock fishing in the summer is a lot of fun. 

It’s not considered a “numbers” lake but has a good population of bigger bass. The water level on the north end is shallow, take caution when trolling that area.

The west side of the lake has a good amount of lay down and brush piles, green pumpkin craws Texas rigged, has been successful in this area of the lake.

The parking lot is on the other side of the street from the boat launch and tickets have been given to vehicles that park in the launch area. Bluegill are everywhere in this lake and are a lot of fun to catch.

Liberty Lake

Like most lakes in Washington, shore access is limited and the shoreline is littered with homes. 

This is a fun fishery and is home to many different species. The largemouth population is strong and catching a PB here is a good possibility. Summer in the Spokane area is sweltering, reaching the 100s in the middle of summer.

With the amount of docks on this lake, summer fishing is still good, just stay hydrated.  I fished this lake for the first time on my way home from Idaho a few years ago, and I go back to it a few times a year now.

This lake has cover, and structure, and is spread out along the lake, it is a fun one to explore.

Lawrence Lake

This lake is on the outskirts of Yelm and is not a well-known location, I have fished it a lot and have never seen anyone else on this body of water.

Largemouth numbers are good, the largest one I caught was under 3lbs, it’s fun a lake for action.  Ned rigs, spinner baits, and drop shots have been successful in the summer and fall months.

Fishing the ledges has been the most productive on this lake. The bank access is minimal on this lake, the launch area does provide some bank area for fishing.

Windmill Lake

Located next to Potholes Reservoir, is Windmill Lake. Plenty of bank access and lots of fish are caught from the bank here. This lake has good-sized largemouth, and the number of bass is also good.

I found this lake by chance, Potholes was busy with tournaments, and decided to check this lake out, I was not disappointed, and I have been back to fish it recently.

There isn’t much shade from the sun on this lake and it gets really hot here as well. 

The water level does drop in the warmer months, so I would recommend a kayak instead of a boat.


This is just a small list of the smaller lakes that have bass fishing opportunities.

I have found that lakes on the WDFW website, that don’t mention having bass in them, still produce good numbers of bass.

Don’t rely on the website, if you find a lake, there is a good chance that it will hold bass. 

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