Long Lake – Washington’s Late Season Gem

Spokane County’s Long Lake Still Producing Lunker Bass and Panfish

Through the middle of December, Long Lake, a long narrow reservoir on eastern Washington’s Spokane River has been producing some surprisingly good fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass and black crappie and yellow perch. With some of the best fishing located within the city limits of Spokane, the reservoir is easy to access during increasingly rare moments of nice weather.

While many of the largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught in water no more than 15 feet, the crappie and yellow perch are being pulled from much deeper water – sometimes slightly more than 30 feet deep. While the numbers of bass taken hasn’t been all that impressive, the numbers of smallmouths weighing more than three pounds has been – and largemouth weighing from four to seven pounds have dominated the otherwise unimpressive numbers of bigmouths taken.

However, the numbers of panfish caught on a given trip can be impressive and the numbers of good-sized fish make up a good portion of the catch. Yellow perch measuring from nine to 12-inches and black crappies measuring from ten to 13-inches seem to show up on a regular basis.

While Long Lake, sometimes referred to as Spokane Lake, has numerous fish species including brown trout and northern pike (Long Lake holds the state record for northern pike with a fish weighing more than 34 pounds), the other fish that seems to enter the catch of every recent trip is the northern pikeminnow and there seems to be a growing tradition of squeezing until it is incapacitated and chucking it overboard when a bald eagle flies near.

Walleye anglers fishing the Columbia River in water between 25 and 35 feet have recently, it seems, been catching more jumbo smallmouths than walleyes – with some of the smallmouths weighing more than five pounds.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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