Best Bass Fishing Lakes in US

True or false? In the Pacific Northwest, you fish for salmon and trout. If you want sea bass, go to the southern US. If you said “true,” then you may be missing out on some of the best bass fishing in the nation in Washington’s many lakes, reservoirs and rivers.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes in US
Best Bass Fishing Lakes in US


better habitat

Largemouth bass live in warm waters of lakes and ponds, as well as in calm backwaters and muddy streams. Prefers clear water with good cover, such as grass beds, reeds, lily pads or flooded stumps, and entrances to beaver communities.

Black bass, while less abundant, inhabit cold, clear lakes and streams with rocky bottoms.

Best Lake for Largemouth Bass

Don’t miss the fish at Potholes Reservoir. While your day is filled with 2 and 3 pound beauties, it’s always possible to land a 6 or even 7 pound trophy bass. Still, you’ll be able to enjoy peace and quiet no matter how many other boats are out on the 28,200-acre lake. The best fishing is found in the hundreds of beaver shacks along the coast, each with bass in water that fluctuates throughout the year. Minnows are attracted to huts where they are eaten by sea bass. You can also try the shallow waters along the islands and sand dunes that are found along the western side of the lake.

To get to Potholes Reservoir, follow Interstate 90 east from Seattle or west from Spokane to Moses Lake. Follow Highway 17 south to its junction with Highway 262. Turn west on 262 and follow to the reservation.

Best river for largemouth bass

Sometimes half the fun is getting there. Tucked away in the northeastern corner of the state, the Pend Oreille River is a fantastic place to fish for largemouth bass. Before swimming with the current to spawn in deeper water, perch gather to feed on calm, warm flats 4 to 8 feet deep. Focus on any side canal with a variety of cover such as submerged trees, hydrilla, and lily pads.

To get to the Pend Oreille River, take Highway 2 north of Spokane until it joins State Route 211. Continue north to its junction with State Route 20. Continue north to the town of Tiger. State Route 31 parallels the river for several miles between the Tiger and Metaline.

Best lake for black bass

The next time you pass Floating Bridge 520, you can spend time on Lake Washington. There are black bass up to 8.5 pounds around the 22,138-acre lake of crystal blue waters where they love to forage for crayfish and yellow perch.

Best river for black bass

If you can stay afloat on the treacherous Hanford Reach of the Columbia River, you’ll experience some of the toughest fishing in the nation. Just below the 51-mile-long Priest Rapids Dam is the last free-flowing, non-tidal stretch of the Columbia River. The best black bass in Washington state, weighing in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces, was pulled from this stretch by a man wading off shore in water just 4 feet deep. The coast and islands are closed to the public unless you get permission from the Department of Energy. Sailors fight strong eddies and rip currents. Also, the size and remoteness of the river mean that a shipwreck could be fatal.

For a slightly slower pace, try Wallula Pool, from Richland to McNary Dam.

To get to the boat ramp at Vernita Bridge go east out of Yakima on Route 24, cross the river on Route 243 and the location is half a mile on the left. You can also try entering the Ringold Fish Hatchery. From Basin City, go south on County Road 170 for 8 miles. Turn right onto Ringold River Road to the T, then right and left on the right side of the canal.