Best Lake Fishing in Seattle
Seattle’s best kept fishing secret is its beloved Green Lake. North Seattle’s Green Lake is planted with trout by the tens of thousands. While most people think that Seattle’s best fishing is found off a boat in the Puget Sound, Green Lake offers everyone in the city an easy place to catch trout from the lake’s shoreline or docks. And if you can haul a small row boat or kayak down to the lake you will have access to it all!
Where is Green Lake?
Green Lake four miles north of Downtown Seattle, so close that the Seattle skyline is visible from the lake’s north shore. The lake is 259 acres. Its average depth is 13 feet and it is 30 feet at its deepest. It is completely surrounded by Green Lake Park, featuring play areas for children, a small boat center, restrooms and its most popular feature, a paved 2.8 miles walking path that circles the lake and is used by thousands of walkers and joggers daily.
Green Lake Fishing Map
Green Lake Trout Fishing
Green Lake is planted several times each year with catchable-size Rainbow Trout. While the lake is open to fishing all year, it fishes best in the springtime, especially after it is stocked. This year it was first stocked in mid-March, and anyone that wandered down to the waters’ edge found out just how easy it is to catch planted Rainbows.
When Green Lake is first stocked with trout in early spring, fishing can be easy and extremely fun. Many of Green Lake’s trout fishing enthusiasts fish around the lake’s Southwest corner near the Small Craft Center. There are multiple docks just a stone’s throw from the parking area. The best fishing action can be found here for weeks after the trout are put in the lake.
How to Catch Trout in Green Lake
Still fishing with Powerbait is the most popular way to catch trout in Green Lake. Use a small amount of Chartreuse, White, Yellow or Rainbow Powerbait dough or Power Eggs (Powerbait’s rubbery and less messy cousin). I use a lightweight trout pole matched with 6 pound test.
If you happen to get a small boat, canoe or kayak into the lake, fly fishing can be productive as can trolling with a small spinner or spoon.
Green Lake Trout Fishing Set-up
I use a sliding egg sinker threaded up my line, then I tie on a swivel. Then, tie a leader with a small hook to the swivel.
This allows the trout to grab your hook & bait and swim away, without feeling a fixed sinker holding them back. Use a 3′ to 5′ leader of 4 pound to 6 pound line and a small hook.
Powerbait is a floating bait, so while your sinker will lie on the lake bottom, your Powerbait & small size 10 to 6 hook will float up a few feet from the bottom. As a trout gobbles up the bait and swims along, you will notice that the portion of your line laying on the water surface will move well before you notice any sign of a bite in your rod tip. Stay alert!
Green Lake Fishing Tackle Suggestions
- Trout Rod: 5’6″ to 7’6″ light action spinning rod.
- Trout Reel: Spinning reel capable of holding at least 100 yards of line
- Fishing line: 4 – 6 pound test fishing line.
- Bait: Live Nightcrawlers, PowerBait, Salmon Eggs
- Lures: Small casting spinners and spoons.
I cant find Green Lake in the Fishing Rule Book!!!
Why is Green Lake not listed in the fishing rule book? It confuses many folks every year. After all, you would think that they would have it in the regulations since a million folks live around it, well it actually is in there!
Many anglers search in the Westside Lakes portion of the Washington Sport Fishing Rules. The actual name of that section is Westside Lakes – Special Rules. Green Lake doesn’t actually have any special rules and falls under General Statewide Rules.