A local lake that sees some good-sized rainbow trout caught, Long Lake is a good experience for the novice and experienced angler alike.
The lake is located in Lacey, a quick drive from Olympia and right near a couple of other Lacey-area fishing spots, Hicks Lake and Pattison Lake.
Along with rainbow trout, Long Lake offers fishing for largemouth bass, common carp, and more.
Fishing is allowed year-round at Long Lake. There is shore access from Long Lake Park as well as a boat ramp that gives anglers access to the water.
Long Lake is fairly good sized at a little over 300 acres, in two main sections connected by a 200-foot-wide channel. It’s fairly shallow, with only a few areas deeper than 20 feet and much of the lake closer to 10 feet in depth.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is generous with Long Lake when it comes to boosting the fishing.
Recent fish plantings at Long Lake have included some 30,000 hatchery rainbow trout, nearly twice as many as in neighboring Hicks Lake, which is smaller than Long Lake.
Trout are planted in April and May. In November, a smaller number of “jumbo” trout are likely to be planted as well and make up for the smaller numbers with their hefty size.
April into about June offer excellent fishing for trout at Long Lake.
Trout can hold over in Long Lake and may be catchable into summer and early fall, but their numbers will be thinner as the season progresses and trout aren’t as easy to catch in warmer water.
Many anglers will still-fish with bait. In cooler weather, trout will often feed right near the surface, so you might try suspending bait below a bobber.
In warmer weather, trout may seek out the slightly deeper water at Long Lake, and fishing them closer to the bottom with a sliding sinker is a good option.
Trolling for trout is also effective if you have a boat, using either lures, bait or combinations of both. Remember, you won’t want to add much weight due to Long Lake’s shallow waters.
Casting or trolling flies and casting spinners and spoons are all options as well.
For more information about catching trout, read our Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.
Bass and Panfish Fishing
There are at least two species with the name bass that inhabit Long Lake.
Fish for largemouth bass in the warmer months starting in spring. The early to mid-summer months (June and July) can be excellent but bass can be caught fairly reliably into late summer and early fall.
Largemouth bass anglers use lures that look like smaller fish, crayfish, frogs, worms and other prey, and some anglers like to use larger lures to catch larger bass.
Nightcrawlers are also effective bass bait, but anglers who practice catch and release (and lots of bass anglers do) often shy from natural baits because bass tend to hoover them deep into their mouths, making fatal hookups more likely.
There’s lots of good bass cover here, especially along the lakeshore edges where bass can hide under private docks, overhanging and fallen trees and some aquatic vegetation in some of the shallow coves.
Rock bass are actually a sunfish. They smaller, less popular and less plentiful than the largemouth bass at Long Lake.
Rock bass resemble a slightly rounded smallmouth bass (including the red eyes) and strike smaller baits and lures.
May through October offer good prospects for catching rock bass.
Yellow perch are another species often caught at Long Lake.
As with bass, perch are often caught in the biggest numbers during the warmer weather, but perch will continue biting in colder seasons if you can locate them and present them with some tasty bait, like a small worm or piece of nightcrawler.
Yellow perch are excellent eating if you can find specimens large enough to fillet. These schooling fish are less structure-oriented than bass.
Pumpkinseed sunfish, brown bullhead catfish and maybe a warmouth are other warmwater fish you might catch while fishing at Long Lake.
Like a number of lowland lakes and slow-moving rivers in western Washington, Long Lake supports a population of common carp.
These fish are not native to Washington waters.
Many anglers consider them a nuisance species, in part because many local anglers consider them unfit to eat. (They do have some fans in that department around the world, however.)
Carp are incredibly hard fighters when hooked, and in some places people hunt them with bows or even commercially fish for them.
Carp are the largest fish you’re likely to catch at Long Lake, where at least one person says they caught carp tipping the scales at 40 pounds. That would be a heck of a carp but doable for Washington, where the record is just shy of 50 pounds, but thick-bodied carp far into the double-digits are not uncommon.
Carp can really be caught year-round, although they tend to feed more vigorously and therefore bite for anglers more when the water is a bit warmer.
Common carp start getting easier to catch in the spring and fishing continues good throughout summer and into the fall before tapering off in the coldest months.
Carp are principally bottom-feeders and prefer bait to lures, like catfish.
State authorities recommend casting, letting your hook or lure sink to the bottom, and keeping the line slack.
Carp don’t like it when their bait puts up a fight, so dough balls on a treble hook kept on a slack line are a popular and effective method for catching them.
Where is Long Lake?
Long Lake is east of Olympia, in the community of Lacey.
From Interstate 5, take exit 109 onto Martin Way East, then turn right onto Carpenter Road Southeast and follow it several miles.
Long Lake County Road, as you might guess, accesses the lake and the park.
Boat Launch Street, as you might guess as well, leads to the state-operated boat launch.
The lake is in a suburban setting and almost completely surrounded by homes, but the mostly forested park makes a nice close-to-home getaway.
Besides fishing, Long Lake Park is a good spot to have a picnic, play sand volleyball, walk through the woods or take advantage of the lake’s swimming area.
Washington State University maintains an extension office near the park and boat launch. There are apartments, condominiums and houses along the lake shore as well.
Long’s Pond Fishing
Very nearby, in Woodland Creek Community Park, this 9-acre pond is set aside just for kids, seniors and people with disabilities.
The pond is nicely stocked with thousands of hatchery trout each year.
Expect it to be stocked most heavily during the spring (about March to May), when catching trout will be easiest. Parking and bank access are excellent.
Fishing at Long’s Pond is open year-round and there may also be a smaller number of trout stocked during the fall.
Some of the fall or spring plantings might include larger “jumbo” trout, which are a thrill to catch on typical trout gear.
Long’s Pond also features some fishing for warmwater species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch and carp.
Fishing for bass and panfish is best from mid-spring through summer and into early fall.
Woodland Creek Community Park is along Pacific Avenue Southeast and also includes Lacey’s community and senior centers.