Summit Lake

Summit Lake, located just off highway 101 between Olympia and Elma, is open the fourth Saturday in April through October 31.

This relatively deep lake is primarily managed for rainbow trout and kokanee but support naturally reproducing largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed sunfish, coastal cutthroat and northern pike minnow. Many anglers find success targeting rainbow trout in April and May then kokanee, yellow perch, and bass in the summer and fall months. Public access to the lake is available via the WDFW owned ramp located on the southwest end of the lake. Features of the access include a two-lane boat ramp, restrooms, and about 50 (15 for vehicles with trailers) vehicle parking stalls. The boat launch ramps and toilets were recently replaced. Shore fishing is limited to small areas on each side of the ramp and can be difficult when boat anglers are abundant. Additionally, the area within 100 yards of the shore is very shallow which limit shore fishing success. Anglers who target rainbow trout are successful either still fishing with bait or trolling with a combination of bait and or lure/fly. Angler who target kokanee report finding success while fishing with downriggers or leaded line with wedding rings, small squid, spoon, all tipped with corn or maggots. Rainbow can be found throughout the lake but anglers should target kokanee in the deeper portions of the lake. Kokanee are typically found at variable depths depending on water temperatures so anglers will need to experiment when targeting these fish. Overall Summit Lake is one of the most popular fisheries in South Puget Sound.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Shore access only at WDFW boat launch. About 100' of shoreline access.

WDFW water access areas on this lake

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Thurston
Acreage: 511.20 ac.
Elevation: 459 ft.
Center: 47.055823, -123.103347
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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

Coastal cutthroat trout (resident)

Fishing is best for Coastal Cutthroat in the spring and fall. There is a summer lull as fish move offshore into deeper waters to escape the summer heat in July and August. Catch is lowest in the late-winter while adults are spawning in tributary streams.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Kokanee

The Kokanee fishery typically lasts from April-October before the adults leave the lake to spawn in tributaries starting in late-October and early-November. Fishing is best in the spring before they move into deeper water to avoid warming water temperatures, but they can be targeted throughout the summer in deeper offshore areas near the thermocline. There may be a slight uptick in some waters in the fall as adults return to shallower water and move near shore towards spawning tributaries.

Chart of 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