This article features a big handful of excellent fishing spots in the areas near Renton and Maple Valley, generally at the southeastern end of the wider Seattle metropolitan area.
This part of King County sits on the southern end of Lake Washington, simply one of the top all-around lakes in the state. It also features a favorite local trout stream and a half dozen small lakes that are nicely stocked with trout and also have good fishing for bass and panfish.
At the bottom of this article, look for links to fishing spots in other Seattle suburbs as well as to our original, comprehensive look to great fishing across King County.
We’ve also linked some basic how-to articles that will help you catch gamefish commonly found in this area.
Cedar River is like a mountain trout stream quietly hiding in a busy residential area.
Fly anglers and others enjoy the proximity to the wild cutthroat trout that swim here. Special tackle and catch-and-release regulations, along with a short season, help maintain this fishery despite its popularity.
We could tell you more, but our full guide already does so in detail.
More: Cedar River Fishing
This small Newcastle lake is moderately stocked with hatchery trout each spring.
We tend to see those plantings occur around the late April time period, but schedules can vary a bit year to year.
Definitely plan your fishing trip as soon as possible after it’s stocked, as these fish are easy to catch and anglers tend to thin them out within a few weeks. Not to say you can’t catch some after that for several more weeks, but it will get tougher.
The 16-acre pond, just north of Renton, also has native coastal cutthroat trout, the same species that’s popular to catch in Lake Sammamish. Fall can be a good time to catch these wilier trout.
As with most low-elevation lakes in King County, Lake Boren also has a population of warm water fish such as largemouth bass, yellow perch and bullhead catfish. These can be fun to catch and perch, in particular, are a favorite fish to eat.
The best option for fishing here is starting at Lake Boren Park off Coal Creek Parkway SE. You’ll have bank fishing access, including a fishing pier.
Located about midway between Renton and Maple Valley, Lake Desire is one of the better-stocked lakes in this part of King County.
Based on regular checks, we’d expect future stockings to bring about 8,000 trout to the lake sometime around the start of April. Trout fishing should be good for some weeks after that.
Other popular fish you can catch at Lake Desire, especially during the warmer months, including largemouth bass and yellow perch.
Our full lake guide has more about fishing here.
More: Lake Desire Fishing
This massive lake features some of the most diverse fishing opportunities, not just in King County but across the state of Washington.
The big lake in the middle of the state’s most populous county is famous for both cold water and warm water fishing.
For cold-water species, look for wild cutthroat trout as well as both kokanee (landlocked sockeye) and coho salmon.
For warm-water species, Lake Washington is known for some great bass fishing (both smallmouth and largemouth bass), as well as panfish including yellow perch and crappie.
More: Please check out our complete guide to fishing Lake Washington to learn what you can catch and where, when and how to do it.
As Tina Turner sang so forcefully, What’s Size Got to Do with It?
OK, I messed up the lyrics. But in the case of this Maple Valley lake, the answer is: not much.
Lake Wilderness is only about 66 surface acres, yet WDFW plants something on the order of 12,000-plus trout here before the lake opens to fishing in late April.
That’s a LOT of fish for a relatively small lake, so the early weeks of the season tend to be lights-out for trout fishing.
Besides trout, Lake Wilderness (a.k.a. Wilderness Lake) can be pretty good for largemouth bass. Kokanee fishing also has been available at times, although I haven’t heard recent reports on that.
We have a detailed article on this fishery.
Fishing at this lake northwest of Maple Valley tends to peak in the spring, when WDFW is likely to drop off more than 4,000 keeper-sized rainbow trout.
Fishing will be good for several weeks after that planting, which might occur toward the middle of spring.
Shadow Lake also hosts several warm water gamefish species, such as largemouth bass and yellow perch. These tend to bite best starting in spring, and they will hold up well after the trout fishing has faded away.
This lake is best situated for boaters. Look for the concrete boat launch on Southeast 213th Street just off 196th Avenue SE. That ramp actually connects boaters to the main lake via an L-shaped channel.
You can’t fire up a gas motor at this residential enclave, but a small electric- or human-powered watercraft will get you to the fish.
Shadow Lake is only about 20 minutes from Renton.
This is another lake between Renton and Maple Valley, just a few good casts south of Lake Desire we discussed above.
This lake is on the smaller side, only about 20 acres, but it’s typically planted with just under 4,000 hatchery rainbow trout. On a per-acre basis, that’s a whole lot of trout to catch.
This is a seasonally managed lake, and the trout are most likely to be stocked right before the late-April opener. Trout fishing should hold up a number of weeks before it fades at the end of spring and into the slow summer months.
While trout fishing slows, fishing for warm water species tends to pick up in the later spring, summer and early fall. Largemouth bass and pumpkinseed sunfish are among the most common warm-weather catches here.
As with several other lakes in this area, Shady Lake is mostly surrounded by private residences, and fishing with a small boat (no gas motors allowed) is a big advantage. WDFW has a concrete boat ramp off Southeast 196th Drive.
Bank fishing is limited to the boat launch area, which isn’t much.
Yet another neighbor to Lake Desire, just to the east, Spring Lake also is nicely stocked with rainbow trout in the spring.
Recent checks have shown nearly 7,000 trout have been planted in late April, and trout fishing should be good for well into May if not early June.
Later on, you are likely to have more success using techniques that work with largemouth bass, yellow perch and bullhead catfish, all of which are year-round residents of Spring Lake but tend to be most active in the warmer season.
Again, bank access is somewhat limited but you can fish from the boat launch area WDFW maintains on the west side. Get there from W. Spring Lake Drive SE.
This is another spot where a boat offers a sizable advantage to reach many more fish.