Horsethief Lake

2021 Trout Derby

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Horsethief has been planted with rainbow trout since the 1960s. Due to the fact that it is connected to the Columbia River, there is a wide variety of fish species that can be available to anglers. The lake is located in Horsethief State Park near Lyle between the Columbia River and Highway SR-14.

The lake is planted with thousands of catchable rainbow trout in spring, plus about 100 rainbow broodstock. Several thousand more catchable rainbow are planted before Memorial Day.

Horsethief Lake also contains largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullheads and an occasional walleye. A public boat launch, picnic, and camping facilities are available at the state park. A Discover Pass is required.Check with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission for park opening and closing dates.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Shore access is available in the park.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Klickitat
Acreage: 84.50 ac.
Elevation: 163 ft.
Center: 45.645527, -121.102979
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Fishing prospects calendar

Rainbow trout

Fishing success for Rainbow Trout is generally best in the spring when thousands of fish are stocked statewide, but they can be caught year-round in most waters with a little patience and persistence. Success remains high into June and gradually declines as water temperatures increase and fish move offshore to stay cool. Fish that escaped the spring harvest return to the nearshore areas in the fall as waters cool off. Some waters may also be stocked again in the fall further boosting catch rates.

Chart showing fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Largemouth bass

Fishing improves throughout the spring as waters warm and fish move onshore, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull though dawn/dusk hours can be very good. Catch improves in Fall as waters cool, vegetation begins to die back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is the hardest time because fish are offshore and slow moving.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Walleye

Fishing peaks before and after the spawn, with the spawning period (April) being more difficult. Summer fishing is excellent, with a lull during the heat of the summer, while Fall sees an improvement as waters cool, vegetation dies back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is tougher, but still fair, since Walleye are readily caught during the winter months in deeper water.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Yellow perch

Yellow Perch can be caught year-round. Fishing is best in the summer after they finish spawning in April-May. Fish can be readily angled through the summer from both the shore and boat. Catch begins to decline in the fall as water temperatures cool and fish move offshore forcing anglers to pursue them in boats. Successful fishing for Yellow Perch in the winter involves either targeting schools in deep water from boats or through the ice.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Black crappie

Fishing improves throughout the Spring, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull, while Fall sees an improvement as waters cool, vegetation dies back, and prey becomes more available. During winter, the bite is slower, but anglers can have great success fishing through the ice when conditions are safe.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Bluegill

Bluegill can be caught year-round, but fishing is best in the warm months of Summer. Fishing improves throughout the spring, peaking during the spawn in early-Summer. Fish move offshore into deeper waters through the fall as water temperatures cool making it more difficult to target them. Winter is the most difficult season in which to catch Bluegill, but persistent anglers can find them in schools of like-sized fish offshore.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed Sunfish are ubiquitous in most lowland lakes and readily caught year-round. Fishing is best in the spring and summer, peaking during the spawn in June. Fish move offshore into deeper waters through the fall as water temperatures cool making it more difficult to target them. Winter is the most difficult season to catch Pumpkinseed, but persistent anglers can find nice-sized schools offshore.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Brown bullhead

Fishing improves throughout the spring, peaking before the spawning period in May and June. Fishing may pick up in early Fall, followed by a decrease in action as waters cool. Winter is a difficult time to target this species.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Northern pikeminnow

Fishing success for Northern Pikeminnow increases in May and June as water temperatures increase, and generally peaks in late June, although fishing conditions can vary throughout the Columbia River. After a lull during the heat of summer, fishing success peaks again in late September-early October. Northern Pikeminnow congregate in rocky areas with fast currents near dams, islands, stream mouths, points, eddies, rows of pilings, and ledges or bars in the river. Sunrise, sunset, and night are generally the best fishing times. Studies show there are greater concentrations of Northern Pikeminnow in shallow water during low-light conditions.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Photos

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WDFW
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WDFW
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WDFW