Leader Lake

Due to extreme fire danger, all recreation and public access to DNR-managed lands in eastern Washington will be temporarily closed starting July 23, 2021, and lasting until fire conditions improve.

Located near Okanogan, Leader is now open year round.  There is a DNR campground at both sides of the lake with boat launching facilities.  A diverse population of spiny rays (bass, bluegills, crappie, yellow perch) and rainbow trout makes this lake a favorite among local anglers both in the summer and winter.  Expect to catch rainbow trout in the 11-14 inch range in the late spring and early summer, and crappie, bass, and bluegill in the summer, fall, and winter.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Good for ice fishing

Shoreline access: Good - Shore access is good from the DNR campgrounds to the lake edge.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Okanogan
Acreage: 155.00 ac.
Elevation: 2258 ft.
Center: 48.359905, -119.678267
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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

Smallmouth 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

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

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

Photos

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Image credit
WDFW