Gone Fishin’

Here’s where you can cast a line this summer

In the summer, hordes of hopeful fishers head to the lakes to try to catch dinner. Or maybe they just go to catch some sun, hang out, and have a reason to drink beer.

Could this be the year you learn to fish? Has your only previous fishing experience been buying a Big Mouth Billy Bass at the height of its popularity in the early 2000s? There are some lakes nearby stacked with fish where you can throw in a line.

Remember: When you tell people about your catch, estimate the length with your hands and add about 6 inches (or several feet) to the actual size of the fish. And be sure to add, “It was this big” to the story at some point.

Before You Go:
You’ll need to make sure you have a fishing license before you head out. You must have a freshwater or combination fishing license; apply online.

You’re also probably going to need some gear. Tom Sawyer might have just had a stick and some line, but that’s not going to cut it. Check out Creekside Angling in Issaquah, or hit up REI to rent some equipment.

Finally, you’re going to need to have a good attitude, because the fish might not always bite.

A 425 Fishin’ Trip:
Beaver Lake, Sammamish: The yellow perch in Beaver Lake can exceed 8 inches in length, and the largemouth bass are big, too. Beaver Lake has a main lake and two smaller lakes connected by waterways. Most fishing happens in the larger lake. You can catch: largemouth bass, rainbow trout and yellow perch.

Pine Lake, Issaquah: Here you can angle from the shore off a pier. The boat ramp is restricted to car-toppers and float tubes – no outboard motors. You can catch: largemouth bass, yellow perch, rainbow trout, pumpkinseed sunfish.

Cottage Lake, Woodinville: This lake offers a fishing pier if you’re shore-bound. You can catch: rainbow trout and coastal cutthroat trout, as well as yellow perch, largemouth bass, black crappie, and brown bullhead.

Lake Wilderness, Maple Valley: Accessible through Lake Wilderness Park, this spot has a boat ramp that opens at 6 a.m., and boat rentals are available. You can catch: largemouth bass, rainbow trout, kokanee.

Lake Washington, Bellevue and Seattle: You’ve been staring at that view from your window or from I-405 all winter, but did you know it has fishing zones? You can catch: black crappie, brown bullhead, carp, Chinook salmon, Coho, crawfish, green sunfish, kokanee, Sockeye, and more.

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