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Washington Fishing Opportunities

Fishing Opportunities Plentiful In May


WDFW's lowland lake trout derby continues in May and runs through Oct. 31. Anglers with a 2019-20 freshwater, combination fishing license, or Fish Washington license, who catch one of hundreds of tagged fish can claim prizes provided by license dealers located across the state. A list of lakes with prize fish and details on how to claim prizes is available at the derby website.

With the warmer temperatures heading our way, May is a great time to head outside for outdoor adventures.

Popular outings this month include fishing for:

Bass: May provides good fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass across western Washington as waters warm and adult fish prepare to spawn. Look for bass around grass lines, docks, pilings, and rock piles. On larger lakes, look for shallow shorelines with a southern exposure that will warm quicker than the main lake.

Trout: The lowland lakes fishing season is officially underway and anglers will have plenty of opportunities to reel in some nice-size fish in May, as well as in the months to come.

Shrimp: Recreational fisheries for shrimp are scheduled to begin May 11 in Puget Sound.

Halibut: The coast and several marine areas of Puget Sound open to halibut fishing in early May.

Sturgeon: Anglers can catch and keep white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary for eight days in May and three days in June.

Most people must have a valid 2019-20 fishing license to participate in those activities. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free. Licenses and permits are available by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.


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