Top Places to Fish in the Pacific Northwest


Outdoor enthusiasts know that the Pacific Northwest is a great travel destination; true outdoorsmen and women just move here. We’re not sure if it’s the weather, the atmosphere, or if there’s something in the soil and water – but hiking, hunting, and fishing in the Pacific Northwest is unlike any other adventure you’ll ever experience. Honestly, there is tons to do here… so for the sake of overloading you with too much information we’ll focus on what we love the most: fishing. Even in this arena there are several options: Bass fishing in Washington? Yep, we have that. Fly Fishing for Salmon? Check. We’ve even gone fly fishing for bass… We’ll tell you that too! So we’ll play biased and give you our best places to fish in the Northwest; while you get ready to plan your next Pacific Northwest adventure vacation!

**Columbia River Fishing Charter**Columbia River

Sure, it’s the longest river in the Pacific Northwest… but we love fishing the Columbia River for its quality – not quantity. It is arguably the best place to fish for Smallmouth Bass in the country, and is home to plentiful of Largemouth Bass as well. We recommend scouting the river between dams for the best places to reel in your catch. Whether you’re spinning, trolling, or drifting – bass fishing in the Columbia is a great day. And while the fishing here is year-round, we typically plan our trip in Spring (April or May) or Fall (September or October). The Columbia River forms most of the border between Washington and Oregon.

Puget Sound

Seattle’s Fish Markets have these ample waters to thank for its popularity. Well… maybe the fish throwing has something to do with it? But seriously, Salmon fishing in Central Puget Sound is a thrill our family still talks about. There are so many channels and inlets that without our Professional Fishing Guide that knew the waters we would have missed the fish. Puget Sound is available for year round fishing, and the Salmon options are seemingly endless: get ready to fish for Chinook, Pinks, Coho, or Sockeye Salmon. Side note: trolling for King Salmon is our family’s favorite technique here. Puget Sound is located near Seattle, Washington.

Potholes Reservoir

We were a little concerned when we heard the name “Potholes Reservoir”. But after catching record numbers of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass on fly, we were no longer skeptical. Potholes Reservoir is a unique fishing ground for sure – the north side is filled with “The Dunes” and shallow waters. It was perfect for our fly fishing expedition – we just went super early (pretty much daybreak) during early summer. Fly fishing for bass can be tricky; we recommend hiring a Professional Fishing Guide to help with this technique. We’ve also been trolling at the Potholes; game fish include Crappie, Perch, and Bluegill. But the Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass will always get our attention here no matter what technique we use. Potholes Reservoir is located in Washington; mid-state near Moses Lake. Pacific NW Fish JumpingMoses Lake

Neighbors with Potholes Reservoir, Moses Lake is another of our favorite bass fishing locations in Washington. And while the Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass reign supreme in Moses Lake, you can also fish Walleye, Yellow Perch, and Crappies here. We’ve fished with crankbaits, spinners, and plugs here and always bring home big numbers in size and quantity. Smallmouth fishing in Moses Lake is definitely in our top places to fish in the Northwest!

CJ Striker Reservoir

A great family vacation destination, CJ Striker Reservoir is an awesome place to visit for the outdoor recreation enthusiast. We usually spend a few days here, camping, hiking and fishing the plentiful waters. The fishing here is year round, with a variety of warm water species and cold water species including Bass, Crappie, Perch, Sturgeon, Rainbow Trout, and more! Ice Fishing CJ Striker is without a doubt a fishing adventure of a lifetime. Our Professional Fishing Guide was able to show us this technique and we’re still talking about this incredible experience! CJ Striker Reservoir gets water from the Snake River and the Bruneau River; and is located in southwestern Idaho, south of Boise.

Bighorn Lake

Once you experience the wide open Wyoming sky – you really can’t ever go back to civilization. Well… you CAN; but you may start having claustrophobia (not really… but you get the idea). Bighorn Lake is a GREAT fishing location for anglers of any experience. Another amazing outdoor destination for family vacations, Bighorn Lake has something for everyone. Kayak fishing is an option here; but we tend to troll for Walleye or Perch. We’ve also gone fly fishing for Carp and Trout. The fishing techniques and species are almost endless at Bighorn Lake! Located in North Wyoming, Bighorn Lake also reaches into Southern Montana.

Pacific Ocean

We’ve focused mainly on the lakes and rivers of the Pacific Northwest, but we couldn’t finish this list without mentioning the Pacific Ocean. Deep sea fishing the Pacific Ocean is hard, and beautiful – if something can be both? It doesn’t really matter what city you stay in (let’s face it, there are a TON of great cities on our West Coast!); but we definitely recommend hiring a Professional Charter Captain that has a large boat capable of deep sea fishing. They’ll also take care of all the details; all you’ll need to bring is your fishing license (and tag if you want to target Salmon or Halibut). Whether you’re fishing for Rockfish, Halibut, or Tuna – fishing the Pacific Ocean is an experience you won’t want to miss in the Pacific Northwest.

Fishing in the Pacific Northwest

We may not have listed ALL of our favorite Pacific Northwest fishing locations; but these are definitely at the top of the list. When you’re planning your next family vacation in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming – don’t miss out on the amazing offers of the outdoors! Yes, we’re a fishing family… but we don’t shy away from trying something new. Which is why we almost always book a trip with a Professional Fishing Guide – because there’s no way we could know all the ins and out of every technique. Ice Fishing in Idaho? Fly Fishing in Washington? Both incredible experiences that our family is still talking about to this day! Now if we could only get the throwing the fish part that Seattle has mastered!


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