Kitsap county fishing

Kitsap county fishing DEFAULT

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Kitsap County, a short ferry ride across Puget Sound from Seattle, is largely defined by the saltwater that surrounds its major land masses, the Kitsap Peninsula and Bainbridge Island.

Kitsap County has more than 250 miles of saltwater shoreline around Puget Sound and Hood Canal, providing a sometimes-complicated mix of fishing and shellfishing opportunities in the region.

Salmon and sea-run trout pass through the area within reach of Kitsap County ports, and crabs, shrimp, clams and oysters inhabit the waters of Puget Sound and Hood Canal and may be harvested when and where permitted.

Of particular interest, the Admiralty Inlet management area can have very good saltwater salmon fishing, with Chinook passing through in good numbers in August and sometimes high numbers of coho, likely peaking in September.

A modest pink salmon fishery may also occur in odd-numbered years, likely peaking in August when the run is worth fishing.

Hood Canal on the other side offers moderate fisheries for migrating Chinook and coho salmon, plus some of the state’s best chum salmon fishing later on in the fall.

There also are some seasonal and permanent closures due to toxins in some shellfish species and due to protections on some other fish and shellfish, so always check regulations and health advisories carefully.

We’d point shellfishing enthusiasts to Port Gamble on the northwest side of the peninsula, where you can pick lots of oysters and dig several species of clams in good numbers.

Freshwater lakes by contrast are more straight-forward and listed separately in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual regulations whenever they deviate from statewide rules.

In fact, Kitsap County has a fair bit of freshwater fishing in several excellent lakes well-stocked with trout and also home to bass and other game fish, and this article will focus on those while future coverage will include broader Puget Sound and Hood Canal saltwater fishing and shellfishing options.

Kitsap is one of Washington’s smallest counties by land area but has a good-sized population nearing 300,000, with most people living in the central part of the county around Bremerton, Port Orchard and Silverdale.

Other cities in the county include the city of Bainbridge Island on the well-known island of the same name, just off the east bank of Kitsap Peninsula, and Poulsbo in north Kitsap County.

What follows is a quick look at some of the (mostly freshwater) fishing options in Kitsap County, along with links to more detailed information about some spots.

Before we get there, it’s clear that Kitsap County is at the middle of a much larger area with countless places to drop a line.

When you get to the end of the Kitsap fishing spots, stick around to check out the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” listing that will get you to honey holes throughout the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula areas.

Buck Lake

This smallish lake (just under 20 acres) is where to go if you want to catch trout on the northern Kitsap Peninsula.

It is stocked with a fair number of hatchery rainbow trout during April and May, possibly with a few larger “trophy” trout thrown in for fun.

Fishing season opens on the fourth Saturday in April and trout fishing will be best through May or into early June before slowing for summer.

Buck Lake is located near the northern tip of Kitsap Peninsula in the Hansville area. It’s about a half hour’s drive from Poulsbo or 45 minutes from Bremerton.

From Hansville Road NE, take Buck Lake Road west to Buck Lake County Park for lots of bank access and nice day-use amenities for a family trip.

WDFW maintains an access that includes a boat launch the east side of the lake, on the north side of the county park.

Horseshoe Lake

This south county lake is about 40 acres in size and popularly fished during the spring for stocked rainbow trout.

Horseshoe lake is stocked with around 3,000 catchable rainbow trout per year, before the late April opener and likely again in May. A smaller number of larger “trophy” trout are also likely to be planted.

April and May will be the top months for catching trout limits, with trout fishing slowing into June and likely poor by the time the hottest months arrive, warming this shallow lake a bit too much for trout.

This Horseshoe Lake (a common lake name in Washington) also has a good population of bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish.

These panfish are fun to catch with small natural baits or flies.

Sunfish start biting best in June, when the trout fishing is fading, and continue providing lots of action throughout summer into the first weeks of fall before colder weather and lake closure put an end to it.

Horseshoe Lake also has a decent population of largemouth bass, which strike lures that look like prey including smaller fish, crayfish and frogs.

Horseshoe Lake Park off Sidney Road SW provides some good bank access as well as a wealth of other park amenities open for daytime use.

You also can launch a boat at the WDFW access just north of the park.

The lake is about 20 minutes south of Port Orchard, five minutes west of SR 16 near Burley. It’s a similar drive time heading north from Gig Harbor.

Island Lake

This Silverdale-area lake is popularly fished in the spring but also has some good fall fishing when it’s stocked again with some larger hatchery trout.

While most of the trout stocked here are hatchery rainbows, WDFW also will sometimes supplement the plants with hatchery-reared coastal cutthroat trout. You may also catch resident cutthroats, but in small numbers compared to the rainbows.

There also are some largemouth bass in Island Lake and likely a few other warmwater fish, such as bullhead catfish. These species bite best starting in mid-spring, through summer and into early fall.

There is excellent seasonal access at Island Lake Park, including bank fishing and a fishing pier, along with swimming, picnicking and other park activities at the lake, which is just over 40 acres.

At this writing, access at the park is limited for the colder half of the year, and the restrooms are probably locked. (Go to Island Lake Park for current details.)

On the north side of Silverdale, use Bennington and Island Lake roads to reach the county park.

Kitsap Lake

One of the largest and closest lakes to Bremerton, 240-acre Kitsap Lake is open to fishing year-round and produces well during the cool seasons.

Kitsap Lake is stocked with roughly 9,000 trout during the year, with large plantings often occurring both around March for spring fishing and then again with one or more plants around September and October to boost fall and winter angling.

Better yet, recently all of the trout stocked here are WDFW’s larger “trophy” trout, so this is a great place to catch a stringer of hefty fish.

When the trout fishing slows for summer, you still can find good fishing here in the form of nice populations of largemouth bass and bluegill.

Koeneman Lake

This small South Kitsap walk-in lake is a good destination for fly anglers, because selective gear regulations prohibit bait-fishing and require barbless, single-point hooks. Lures that meet the hook requirements also may be used.

Also, catch-and-release rules allow trout to grow bigger and wilder and more fun to catch.

Koeneman, also known as Lake Koeneman and Fern Lake, is primarily stocked with rainbow trout fry during the fall, when fishing is prohibited at this seasonal fishery. That gives a chance for these fish to acclimate and grow on natural foods.

Those trout may be joined by some larger ones stocked in the late winter.

There also are some warmwater species including largemouth bass in the 19-acre lake, but trout are the main attraction.

You’ll have to work for this one a bit, especially if bringing your float tube and gear, as Koeneman is reached by hiking about a mile from a trailhead near Carney Lake. Carney Lake is about a half hour’s drive from either Bremerton or Gig Harbor.

Long Lake

Kitsap County’s largest lake is also perhaps its best warmwater fishery, with good angling for largemouth bass and panfish.

Long Lake isn’t stocked with trout these days, although you might be able to catch a resident cutthroat trout or two here, especially during the spring.

The shallow 320-acre lake just southeast of Port Orchard lives up to its name by being close to two miles long but relatively narrow.

It provides great habitat for largemouth bass, which have been caught to 9 pounds here.

Other popular game fish available in good numbers including yellow perch, black crappie and bluegill, which like the bass will bite best starting in spring and into summer and early fall.

Much of the shoreline is lined with private homes, especially in the middle section, but Long Lake Park on the north end offers good access (including a fishing pier) and amenities for your visit.

Boaters should instead head to the WDFW boat launch near mid-lake on the west bank, just off Clover Valley Road SE. Take SE Brook Street to the launch.

The lake can get pretty weedy, especially later in the warm season.

Mission Lake

This lake of roughly 85 acres near the Mason County line offers excellent early season fishing for stocked rainbow trout.

The lake has good boat access, which will improve your odds at catching your share of more than 6,000 trout typically planted in April and May.

Mission Lake is located close to similar fisheries at Tiger and Panther lakes. (See Panther Lake below for a link to additional information.)

Panther Lake

This 100-acre lake straddling the Mason County line gets planted with a ton (well, more than 8,000 at last check) of hatchery rainbow trout during April and May.

This lake is among a trio of excellent spring trout-fishing spots southwest of Bremerton that also includes Mission and Tiger lakes.

More:Fishing at Tiger, Panther and Mission Lakes

Wildcat Lake

This 111-acre lake is thoroughly planted with hatchery rainbow trout during April and May, when fishing will be best.

The easy fishing makes this a popular (and sometimes crowded) fishing hole close to home for many Kitsap County residents.

Wildcat also has some cutthroat trout, largemouth bass, bullhead catfish and has at times had land-locked coho salmon.

More:Wildcat Lake Fishing

Wye Lake

This 36-acre South Kitsap Lake is nicely stocked with nice-sized hatchery rainbow trout and is a very good spot to spend a spring day or fall day.

It is stocked most heavily with a few thousand trout in the spring, around April, and fishing will hold up well through May and possibly into June. A small number of those spring trout are likely to be bigger “trophy” trout for the occasional thrill.

The lake also might be scheduled for a September stocking with hundreds of those larger trout, making this a great early fall bet when that happens, so check the links below for current stocking plans.

You might also catch some warmwater fish, such as largemouth bass and bullhead catfish. Fishing for those is best in warmer months.

The lake, which is named for its upside-down “Y” shape, is located just off Carney Lake Road, about a mile north of Carney Lake.

There is a residential community around most of the lake that limits bank fishing, but there’s a WDFW access and boat launch at the southern end on Wye Lake Boulevard SW.

It’s about a 25-minute drive southwest from Bremerton or a similar drive time heading northwest from Gig Harbor.

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

Island County: To the north, Whidbey Island in particular has a wealth of saltwater fishing options in addition to some very nice trout lakes.

Snohomish County: To the northeast, lots of lakes filled with trout and other game fish, plus salmon and steelhead rivers near Everett.

King County: To the east, the home of Seattle may have lots of people but it also has scores of excellent fishing lakes and streams from the city to the high country.

Pierce County: To the southeast, from salmon and trout near Tacoma to hike-in lakes in the high mountains, surprising number of fishing spots for such a populous county.

Mason County: To the southwest, lots of trout, bass and kokanee in lakes, plus access to the lower Puget Sound including Hood Canal.

Clallam and Jefferson Counties: To the northwest, the Olympic Peninsula offers some of the state’s best steelhead and salmon fishing in rivers and saltwater, and mountain lakes have trout and more.

Washington Resources

WDFW Fishing and Stocking Reports
WDFW Fishing Regulations
National Weather Service forecasts

Sours: https://www.bestfishinginamerica.com/washington-county-kitsap-fishing-near-bremerton.html

Catch a cheap day of fishing in waters close to home

Sun | Outdoors

— Apr 21st, 2005

With gas prices soaring these days, there are still many options that exist in a low-budget fashion for folks living on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Luckily, we live in an area virtually surrounded by water. Every direction you look we have recreational fishing, ranging from lakes to secluded estuaries. Each type of fishery presents challenges to the angler, and every fishery is special in its own way.

Let's start with our annual Western Washington lowland lake opener. Kitsap and Mason counties are full of lakes to fish — many of them year-round. All you need for this type of fishery is a freshwater license, which costs about $20.

Decent lakes to try in Kitsap County include Kitsap, Buck and Wildcat. Each lake has a public boat launch where anglers can fish from the bank. Of course owning a boat never hurts, but you don't need anything fancy to fish these lakes. A simple 8-foot car topper or blow up raft will allow you to reach waters away from the boat launch and improve your success rate.

In Mason County, Cady Lake is a catch-and-release paradise for anglers looking for a great time on the water and not necessarily limits of hatchery stocked rainbows. This lake has gained popularity over time and a quality reputation for pumping out some fat rainbows.

In my opinion, one of the best and overlooked fisheries existing right at our own doorstep is our very own sea-run cutthroat fishery throughout Puget Sound and particularly Hood Canal.

A few years back, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife turned this fishery into catch-and-release only. The fishery has rebounded incredibly and turned into a great low-budget outing for anglers looking to escape for a few hours.

The beauty about fishing for sea-run cutthroat is that they aren't hard to catch. These are aggressive, reel-burning fish that love to jump once hooked. Because of the fishery's catch-and-release status, you will need to carefully release these fish once landed.

Fly or gear will work when fishing for sea-run cutthroat, but fly fishing is my favorite. Candlefish and sculpin patterns work well, and I generally fish these with a slow-sinking line or intermediate line when shallow conditions are present.

Sea-run cutthroat will hang close to shore in water of 20 feet or less. Focus your time around points, oyster beds and areas where there is decent tidal flow.

Top access points include Misery Point boat launch, Belfair State Park boat launch and Evergreen Park boat launch in Bremerton.

That's just a few inexpensive opportunities; I hope you get a chance to get out and experience them.

Sours: https://web.kitsapsun.com/archive/2005/04-21/43318_catch_a_cheap_day_of_fishing_in_.html
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Fishing at
Kitsap Lake Kitsap County


Kitsap Lake is a large freshwater lake located in Kitsap County, Washington. At an elevation of 159 ft. and 238.4 acres, it's home to a couple species of fish, including bluegill, rainbow trout and largemouth bass. Kitsap Lake provides good shoreline access and a number of boat launches.

Stocked Fish:Rainbow
Lake Size:238.4 acres
Elevation:159 ft.
Boat Launch:Yes (2)
Kitsap LakeKitsap Lake Park
Shoreline Access:Good


Kitsap Lake Stocking Reports

Kitsap Lake has been historically stocked with rainbow. The largest rainbow ever stocked is 1.67 lbs. This year so far, there has been 3 stockings of rainbow at an average of 0.87 lbs. In the past, Kitsap Lake stocked tens of thousands of rainbow averaging 0.87 lbs.

DateQuantityFish
September 28, 20213453Rainbow @ 1.02lbs
March 22, 20212106Rainbow @ 0.77lbs
March 18, 20212730Rainbow @ 0.77lbs
November 24, 2020 1720Rainbow @ 1.19lbs
September 30, 2020 1750Rainbow @ 1.1lbs
March 9, 2020 4836Rainbow @ 0.77lbs
April 11, 2017 300Rainbow @ 1.67lbs
March 16, 2017 4828Rainbow @ 0.77lbs
April 12, 2016 390Rainbow @ 1.49lbs
March 21, 2016 4828Rainbow @ 0.77lbs


Get a next-day email alert when this lake get stocked!


Kitsap Lake Fish Species

Kitsap Lake provides excellent opportunities for rainbow trout and largemouth bass. There is also a chance to catch bluegill throughout the year.


JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
Bluegill
Rainbow trout
Largemouth bass


Kitsap Lake Fishing Reports

An modestly traveled lake, there has been some successful reports by anglers at Kitsap Lake over the past few years.

Anglers reported the most success with rainbow trout. Largemouth bass is also a popular species to fish for at Kitsap Lake.


Kitsap Lake - Rainbow Trout Fishing Tips

At Kitsap Lake, the best time for catching rainbow trout is afternoon. Anglers also reported success with rainbow trout around morning. Popular baits used include power bait and power eggs for rainbow trout. Trolling and bottom fishing from shore are the common and successful methods used at Kitsap Lake to catch rainbow trout.


Kitsap Lake - Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips

The most popular time for catching largemouth bass at Kitsap Lake is morning. Anglers also reported success with largemouth bass around evening. Anglers often fish by bottom fishing from boat and top fishing from boat for largemouth bass.




Kitsap Lake Pictures & Media

Image of Kitsap LakeImage of Kitsap Lake

Kitsap County

3.7 mi. away
108.9 acres
elevation: 381 ft.
Somewhat Popular

Wildcat Lake

Stocking:
May 24, 2021 - Rainbow - 4013 @ 0.4lbs
April 21, 2021 - Rainbow - 3285 @ 0.44lbs

For October:
Coho salmon Rainbow troutLargemouth bass Coastal cutthroat trout (resident)

View Fishing Details

Kitsap County

6.2 mi. away
85.6 acres
elevation: 520 ft.

Mission Lake

Stocking:
May 10, 2021 - Rainbow - 870 @ 0.47lbs
April 14, 2021 - Rainbow - 2354 @ 0.42lbs

For October:
Rainbow trout

View Fishing Details

Mason County

7.1 mi. away
106.6 acres
elevation: 500 ft.

Tiger Lake

Stocking:
May 10, 2021 - Rainbow - 1090 @ 0.47lbs
April 20, 2021 - Rainbow - 2932 @ 0.48lbs

For October:
Yellow perch Rainbow trout Largemouth bass Coastal cutthroat trout (resident)

View Fishing Details

Kitsap County

7.6 mi. away
100.9 acres
elevation: 501 ft.

Panther Lake

Stocking:
May 10, 2021 - Rainbow - 1300 @ 0.47lbs
April 20, 2021 - Rainbow - 2775 @ 0.46lbs

For October:
Rainbow trout

View Fishing Details

Kitsap County

8.2 mi. away
320.9 acres
elevation: 122 ft.
Somewhat Popular

Long Lake

For October:
Black crappieLargemouth bass Coastal cutthroat trout (resident)

View Fishing Details



Sours: https://www.washingtonfishinglakes.com/lakes/wa/kitsap_county/kitsap_lake

Island Lake (Kitsap County)

Rainbow trout

Fishing success for Rainbow Trout is generally best in the spring when thousands of fish are stocked statewide, but they can be caught year-round in most waters with a little patience and persistence. Success remains high into June and gradually declines as water temperatures increase and fish move offshore to stay cool. Fish that escaped the spring harvest return to the nearshore areas in the fall as waters cool off. Some waters may also be stocked again in the fall further boosting catch rates.

Chart showing fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Coastal cutthroat trout (resident)

Fishing is best for Coastal Cutthroat in the spring and fall. There is a summer lull as fish move offshore into deeper waters to escape the summer heat in July and August. Catch is lowest in the late-winter while adults are spawning in tributary streams.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Largemouth bass

Fishing improves throughout the spring as waters warm and fish move onshore, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull though dawn/dusk hours can be very good. Catch improves in Fall as waters cool, vegetation begins to die back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is the hardest time because fish are offshore and slow moving.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year
Sours: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/locations/lowland-lakes/island-lake-kitsap

County fishing kitsap

Horseshoe Lake (Kitsap County)

Rainbow trout

Fishing success for Rainbow Trout is generally best in the spring when thousands of fish are stocked statewide, but they can be caught year-round in most waters with a little patience and persistence. Success remains high into June and gradually declines as water temperatures increase and fish move offshore to stay cool. Fish that escaped the spring harvest return to the nearshore areas in the fall as waters cool off. Some waters may also be stocked again in the fall further boosting catch rates.

Chart showing fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Largemouth bass

Fishing improves throughout the spring as waters warm and fish move onshore, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull though dawn/dusk hours can be very good. Catch improves in Fall as waters cool, vegetation begins to die back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is the hardest time because fish are offshore and slow moving.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Bluegill

Bluegill can be caught year-round, but fishing is best in the warm months of Summer. Fishing improves throughout the spring, peaking during the spawn in early-Summer. Fish move offshore into deeper waters through the fall as water temperatures cool making it more difficult to target them. Winter is the most difficult season in which to catch Bluegill, but persistent anglers can find them in schools of like-sized fish offshore.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed Sunfish are ubiquitous in most lowland lakes and readily caught year-round. Fishing is best in the spring and summer, peaking during the spawn in June. Fish move offshore into deeper waters through the fall as water temperatures cool making it more difficult to target them. Winter is the most difficult season to catch Pumpkinseed, but persistent anglers can find nice-sized schools offshore.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year
Sours: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/locations/lowland-lakes/horseshoe-lake-kitsap
HOW TO SALMON FISH IN NORTH KITSAP

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