Moses Lake

Species:
Rainbow Trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Blugill, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Brown Bullhead Catfish, Lake Whitefish
Location:
Immediately west of the town of Moses Lake
Directions:
Take interstate 90 to Moses Lake. Exit on Wapato Drive or Broadway (between the two freeway bridges) to reach the south end of the lake or follow the signs to state park just west of the first bridge, To reach the upper portions of the lake, exit north on Highway 17 and follow it three miles up the east side of the lake.
Facilities:
A Washington State Fish and Wildlife boat ramp is located on Pelican Horn, near the south end of the lake, with another located at Moses Lake State Park (day use only), which is just north of the freeway on the lake’s west side.
There’s a city ramp off Adams Street downtown Moses Lake. Cascade Valley County Park, just off of Valley Road near the county fairgrounds, is a decent mid-lake launch. McConihe Park, still known to many as Airmen’s Beach, is the best launch facility on the lake, with a two-lane paved ramp, float, restrooms, and lot’s of parking. It’s well marked on the west side of Highway 17, about two-thirds of the way up the lake. There are a lot of decent restaurants and motels for all types of budgets in Moses Lake, as well as several camping and RV facilities.
Contacts:
Cascade Park Campground http://www.cityofml.com/index.aspx?NID=432
Suncrest Resort http://www.suncrestresort.com/
Hallmark Inn http://www.yelp.com/biz/best-western-hallmark-inn-moses-lake
Latest 2013 Fish Plant:
April 19th WDFG planted 2,550 9″ to 11″ rainbow trout from the Columbia Basin Hatchery.
Fishing Moses Lake:
Located in its namesake City, this body of water has a year-round fishing opportunities for warmwater fish and Rainbow Trout. WDFW fish surveys indicate a high abundance of Walleye and Smallmouth Bass. Walleye in Moses Lake can reach and exceed the 10 pound mark. Smallmouth Bass can reach and exceed the 5 pound mark. Largemouth Bass fishing can be excellent in select areas of Moses Lake. During certain times of the year anglers also catch Rainbow Trout up to 20 inches. Bluegill Sunfish and Black Crappie fishing at times can be very good, but is usually not consistent year-to-year. Yellow Perch fishing is usually very good during the fall through winter when they bunch up into large schools. During certain winters, Moses Lake freezes over offering a good ice fishery for Yellow Perch and Rainbow Trout. The most popular ice fishing location is near Blue Heron Park.

The personality of 6,800 acre Moses Lake has changed a lot over the years. It has been a prime rainbow producer, one of the state’s prime panfish lakes, a place where hefty largemouth bass provide top-notch action, and a place to go where anglers could have a crack at trophy sized smallmouth bass if they did things right. N ow perhaps is best known for its fine-eating walleyes, even though you still have a chance to catch all of the previously mentioned species and more.

Walleye fishing has really come on here since the late eighties, and many anglers agree that Moses Lake is now a better walleye lake than the Potholes Reservoir to the south or Banks Lake to the north, both which have been long recognized as eastern Washington’s top walleye producers. Trolling with spinners and nightcrawler rigs account for a lot of fish at Moses, but don’t hesitate to work small leadheads with tube skirts or three-inch grubs around the submerged rock piles and boulder patches. You shouldn’t have to go to heavy with those sinkers or jigs, since the lake has few spots where the depth goes beyond 15 feet deep. Early spring provides some of the best walleye action on this lake.

While walleye reproduce on their own in Moses Lake, most of the rainbows come from local fish hatcheries. The WDFG typically stocks the lake with 150,000 to 180,00 small rainbows every year, and they provide plenty of good fishing in the spring and fall. Anglers who troll and stillfish share the action, and tend to spend more time around the south-end of the lake than in the northern portion.

There was a time when anglers came from all over the state to catch Moses Lake’s panfish, especially crappies and bluegill. They enjoyed fantastic fishing, and some where pigs about it. Reports of anglers catching 150, 200, and even 300 or more crappies in a given weekend, then taking them home to Seattle and selling them illegally, prompted limit reduction here several years ago. Although there are still some bluegills and panfish, five-fish daily limits are now in effect to help spread the catch around. There is a minimum size limit of eight inches for bluegills and ten inches for crappies also apply here. The best way to catch bluegills here is to work a small BeetleSpin lure, half a worm, a Berkley Power Wiggler, or other small bait in and around heavy brush cover. A small with a red and white Mini Jig suspended three or four feet below it is a good medicine for crappies. Panfish action warms up in April and continues right through summer and the fall.

Smallmouth bass fishing at Moses can be great at times, but the Largemouth can be a little on the tough side at Moses, and you’ll have to work for every fish you hook unless you fish the lake regularly enough to keep abreast of where the fish are located and what they’re hitting. I would work spinnerbaits around the rock piles and submerged reefs on the northern half of the lake, but decent numbers of bass are also caught around the islands and the shoreline structure at the south end of the lake. Spring fishing here is the best for bass.

Fishing Tournament Dates:
05/04 & 05/05 is the Nixon Marine Bass Tournament Open to the public.
05/11 & 05/12 is the Coastal Bassmasters Tournament members only, on that same date is the Potholes Bass Club’s tournament also members only.
05/18 is the Al Baker Memorial which is open to the public and is an all game fish tournament.
06/01 & 06/02 is the Central Washington Fish Advisory Committee’s Walleye tournament open to the public.
06/01 is the Fishing Kids Moses Lake Trout tournament for Juveniles
09/28/2013 & 09/29/2013 is the Northend Bass Club Bass Tournament for members only.
10/05/2013 & 10/06/2013 is the Long Lake Bass Club Bass Tournament for members only.
10/05/2013 Potholes Bass Club Bass Tournament for members only.

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