Fishing at Storm Lake

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Seasonally managed Storm Lake is one of the so-called Three Lakes, located northeast of Snohomish.

Of the three popular fishing holes, which also include Flowing Lake and Panther Lake, Storm Lake is the middle child by size and the easternmost in the trio.

Storm Lake has a little shoreline access, although the boat ramp (managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) is narrow, parking is limited, and gasoline-powered motors are prohibited.

If you’re planning to troll Storm Lake’s waters, it’s recommended to bring a car-topper or other small watercraft.

Trout Fishing at Storm Lake

For its size of about 78 acres, Storm Lake is stocked fairly generously with rainbow trout. About 10,000 rainbow trout are planted each spring in advance of Opening Day, which is the fourth Saturday in April.

The lake also has a smaller number of resident cutthroat trout native to this region.

The fishing season runs through the end of October, but as experienced trout anglers know, fishing opportunities for rainbow trout tend to dry up — no pun intended — in the high summer months of July and August.

May could be excellent and June still good, and then the fishing may improve again in September and October as the weather begins to cool.

Trout can be caught using many methods.

Still-fishing with a baited hook beneath a bobber is a simple and often productive approach, or move the bait to bottom-fishing if the trout are running deeper.

Fly fishing is also popular, especially as trout naturally prey on many of the insects that imitation flies are designed to mimic.

For more ideas on catching these fish, read our simple guide, Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.

Bass Fishing at Storm Lake

Aside from rainbow trout, largemouth bass are the other notable game fish at Storm Lake.

At most lakes, state game authorities recommend summer as the best time by far to fish for largemouth bass.

But Storm Lake offers good prospects just about its entire season, although you might have to work harder when the cooler weather of October arrives.

Bass are often described as “warmwater” fish, but while it’s true they tend to be at their most active in the summer, they are not at their most active in the heat and bright light of mid-day.

To improve your odds, fish for bass in the mornings or late evenings, when temperatures aren’t as warm.

Largemouth bass don’t vanish altogether at midday during the summertime, but they’re harder to find and may be less aggressive in attacking a lure.

To beat the heat, these fish typically head into deeper water or look for shade along the shoreline.

Don’t still-fish with a baited hook when fishing for bass unless you’re planning to keep what you take.

If you’re a catch-and-release angler, use a moving lure or jig instead.

There are many types of bass lures available, and they typically mimic prey species such as smaller fish, crayfish or frogs, or they are bright or noisy to provoke an aggressive response from these top predators.

The reason why many bass anglers eschew bait is that bass often swallow their prey whole in one mighty gulp, especially if it’s just sitting there.

The result is often that the hooks are swallowed deeply, causing internal injuries that can be fatal to the fish.

Where is Storm Lake?

Storm Lake is east of the other two lakes in the “Three Lakes” triad.

From Everett, which is about 15 miles to the west, take U.S. Highway 2 to Snohomish, then take South Machias Road north to Dubuque Road, which will be on your right. Storm Lake Road will be a right turn and the road heads south to Storm Lake.

Coming from Snohomish, you can take Three Lakes Road east to Storm Lake Road and then head north to the lake.

The state-maintained access area is on the northwest shore of Storm Lake. Note that parking availability is limited. Camping is not permitted.

The boat launch itself is unimproved and narrow, and motorized boating is prohibited on the lake.

The state-managed boat launch to Flowing Lake is immediately to the west, and it would be very easy to fish both lakes in the same trip.

Find more fishing spots in Snohomish County

Washington Resources

WDFW fishing and stocking reports
WDFW fishing regulations
National Weather Service forecasts