Tips on Fishing the Potholes in Eastern Washington

Tips on Fishing the Potholes in Eastern Washington
The Potholes Reservoir in the state of Washington is formed by the O'Sullivan Dam and is fed by Moses Lake. The reservoir spans to the eastern side of the state and features several lakes that provide many angling opportunities for game fish such as walleye and bass. Before casting lines at the reservoir, there are tips to have a successful outing.


Levi Meseberg, a former fishing guide in the Potholes, advises that trolling with a combination of hooks, colored plastic beads and a small metal blade is effective when it comes to fishing at the Potholes. Crankbaits are good for catching smallmouth bass, and leeches (live or artificial) work well among the reservoir's tangle of willow roots for largemouth bass.

Game fish

There are 22 species of fish available at the Potholes Reservoir in Moses Lake, Grant County. The three major species are walleye, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Other game fish available are rainbow trout, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and bullhead catfish. advises that the reservoir's water is used to meet the local farmer's irrigation needs, so it is drawn down each summer. As the lake is always changing, a useful tactic is to move from one spot to another to find fish. Trolling with worm harnesses is the most effective way to chase Pothole walleyes.

Hot spot

Crab Creek Channel on the Potholes Reservoir is a hot spot for spring walleyes, according to "Washington Game & Fish Magazine." The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife surveyed that almost 60 percent of walleyes on the Potholes average 15 inches and 1.6 pounds. Also a high percentage number of 4- to 8-pound lunkers can be found.

Another hot spot is the Seep Lakes Region, which is just below the O'Sullivan Dam. This area features 50 small fishing lakes that are abundant with walleye.

Fishing license and regulations

All anglers age 15 and older are required to have a valid Washington fishing license. Anglers also are required to obtain and always carry a catch record card (CRC) for tracking numbers of harvested sportfish. A social security number is required as well as proof of state residency (driver's license, state identification card or military ID).

As of the 2009-2010 fishing season, regulations for largemouth bass have no minimum size. Only largemouth bass less than 12 inches may be retained. An exception to this rule is that anglers can retain one that is over 17 inches, and the daily limit is five. Smallmouth bass have no minimum size with a daily limit of 10. Only one smallmouth over 14 inches may be retained. Walleye have a minimum size of 16 inches and a daily limit of five. Only one walleye over 22 inches may be retained.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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