Fishing at Bay Lake in Pierce County

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Bay Lake is a nearly 130-acre spot on Key Peninsula.

It’s a nice getaway spot but easy drive from Pierce County’s far more populous Tacoma area.

The lake is open to fishing all year, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife usually only stocks it during the spring, typically around April and May.

However, those plantings can be quite good, with 10,000 trout possible during the spring.

Trout fishing will be very good during that spring stocking period but likely will slow down a fair bit when hotter weather arrives and many of the fish have been caught out at this popular spot.

Anglers catch trout with still-fishing, trolling and other typical techniques. You can pick up some more pointers in our simple guide, Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.

Besides trout, anglers here catch largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead catfish, and bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish.

WDFW said the shallow lake is known to produce some good-sized bluegill, which are excellent fighters for their size and fun to catch with natural baits and artificial flies.

A simple worm under a bobber fished near weeds or other cover is an easy bluegill strategy.

While lots of the lake’s shoreline is in private hands and not accessible, WDFW has a gravel boat launch where you also will find some bank access.

That access is at the north end of Bay Lake, located just off Sanford Avenue SW (the short access road to the lake is called 166th Avenue on maps).

Bay Lake is roughly a 45-minute drive from downtown Tacoma or about 30 minutes from Gig Harbor.

It’s just south of Lakebay and Penrose Point State Park and four miles north of Longbranch on the peninsula.

Find more fishing spots in Pierce County

Washington Resources

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