Right in the heart of Centralia is a good rainbow trout lake.
Fort Borst Lake, located in Fort Borst Park, is stocked at least a couple times per year with rainbows. It also is called simply Borst Pond or Borst Lake.
The lake is also has plenty of bluegill, and it’s maintained as a warmwater fishery in addition to being a trout lake.
Fort Borst Park makes up a respectable portion of Centralia west of Interstate 5. The park also has sports fields, batting cages, a dog park, picnic areas, playgrounds and more — fun for the whole family.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife typically stocks Fort Borst Lake with rainbow trout in the winter and then again a few times in the spring.
The lake is only about 5 acres in area, so the 7,000 or so trout that go into the water give it a pretty dense population.
The state’s stocking schedule also can call for a major stocking of “jumbo” trout in November, potentially about 2,000 of the big fish.
If you’d like to learn more about catching these fish, try our simple guide: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.
The best fishing for bluegill is in the spring and summer months, and they are particularly willing to strike bait and lures when the water tops 70 degrees. They spawn in warmer water.
Bluegill are aggressive and will try to steal bait if it’s not secured well enough on hooks. They have small mouths, so it’s important to use a small hook. They’re particularly attracted to live bait.
Where is Fort Borst Lake?
Even if you’re just passing through Centralia, it’s hard to miss Fort Borst Park.
At more than 100 acres in size, it’s the largest park in Centralia, and it’s easily visible from Interstate 5.
Fort Borst Lake itself is off to the west side of I-5, clearly visible to southbound traffic.
From Harrison Avenue (exit 82 off I-5), turn south onto Belmont Avenue, then turn left onto Borst Avenue and follow Fort Borst Park Road south to the lake.
Restroom facilities are available at Fort Borst Park. So are playgrounds, sports fields, an aquatic center, a fitness center and much more.
It’s a large and well-appointed park. Excellent fishing is just one of the many services and amenities it offers.
Fort Borst Park does have a concrete boat launch, but it’s not on Fort Borst Lake. The boat launch accesses the Chehalis River and can’t be used for fishing Fort Borst Lake.
The lake itself has a grassy shoreline, but the banks of the lake are steep in places, so use caution.