Guide To Great Fishing In Idaho
All about fishing in the Gem State
Idaho boasts an exceptional variety of fishing opportunities, with a diverse range of fish species inhabiting its warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Anglers can explore a vast array of fishing destinations, each offering its unique angling experiences.
Warm water fisheries in Idaho provide ample opportunities to target species such as bass, panfish, and catfish. Lakes like Brownlee Reservoir, Dworshak Reservoir, and CJ Strike Reservoir are renowned for their warm water fishing. Anglers can test their skills against feisty largemouth and smallmouth bass, hook into panfish like crappie and bluegill, or engage in exciting battles with catfish.
On the other hand, Idaho's cold water fisheries are renowned for their populations of trout and salmon. The state's numerous rivers and lakes, including the iconic Henrys Fork, Snake River, and Salmon River, offer exceptional cold water fishing experiences. Anglers can pursue native and stocked trout species such as rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and brook trout. Some rivers are also home to salmon runs, attracting anglers seeking the thrill of battling these prized fish.
Ponds are another excellent option for fishing in Idaho. Many ponds across the state are stocked with trout, allowing anglers to enjoy a more accessible and family-friendly fishing experience. These ponds are often found in city parks, wildlife management areas, or private properties, providing opportunities for anglers of all ages and skill levels to cast a line and enjoy the outdoors.
Idaho's lakes and reservoirs offer a diverse range of fishing experiences. From large reservoirs like Lake Pend Oreille and Lucky Peak Lake to smaller mountain lakes like Payette Lake and Priest Lake, anglers can discover abundant fish populations and stunning scenic backdrops. These lakes provide opportunities to target various species, including trout, bass, kokanee salmon, and more.
Idaho's rivers, such as the Snake River and the Boise River, are prized for their diverse fishing opportunities. From fly fishing for trout in crystal-clear mountain streams to float fishing for smallmouth bass and steelhead in the larger rivers, anglers can find a river fishing experience to suit their preferences and expertise.
Idaho offers a fishing paradise with its abundant warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Whether you're seeking the thrill of battling bass, the tranquility of trout fishing, or the excitement of catching salmon, Idaho's diverse fishing opportunities cater to anglers of all skill levels and interests. With its stunning natural landscapes and abundant fish populations, Idaho remains a premier destination for anglers seeking unforgettable fishing adventures.
Cold clear water creates ideal environments for trout, salmon and smallmouth bass. Idaho has lots of it. There are thousands of lakes and ponds and we cannot cover them all, but here are some of the major Idaho fishing impoundments.
The state of Idaho provides some excellent fishing opportunities. Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, steelhead, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, warmouth, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, coho salmon, northern pike and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. Year round options include ice fishing at many of the lakes in the state.
Major Idaho Lakes & Species
Lake & Fish Chart
This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.
For a detailed list of primary fish species in ID, plus state fish records, see the list below.
Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.
American Falls Reservoir is a 55,200-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at American Falls.
Anderson Ranch Reservoir is a 4,600-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 15 miles northeast of Mountain Home.
Arrowrock Reservoir is a 3,000-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 12 miles east of Boise.
Bear Lake is a 70,000-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Fish Haven.
Blackfoot Reservoir is an 16,900-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, near the Wyoming-Idaho border 5 miles southwest of Wayan.
Brownlee Reservoir is a 11,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, on the Oregon-Idaho border, 18 miles west of Cambridge.
C J Strike Reservoir is a 6,700-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 2 miles north of Bruneau.
Cascade Reservoir is a 27,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Cascade.
Chesterfield Reservoir is a 1,240-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at the town of Chesterfield.
Coeur D'Alene Lake is a 27,900-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Coeur D'Alene.
Crane Creek Reservoir is a 2,300-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, 7 miles southeast of Midvale.
Deadwood Reservoir is a 3,000-acre lake in the central part of the state, 12 miles north of Lowman.
Dworshak Reservoir is a 16,500-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, 1 mile north of Ahsahka.
Hayden Lake is a 3,800-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Hayden Lake.
Hells Canyon Reservoir is a 1,250-acre lake in the central-western part of the state, on the Idaho-Oregon border north of Oxbow.
Henry's Lake is a 6,000-acre lake in the northeast corner of the lower part of the state, 5 miles north of Macks Inn.
Island Park Reservoir is a 7,300-acre lake in the northeast corner of the lower part of the state, at Island Park.
Lake Lowell is a 8,800-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, immediately southwest of Nampa and Caldwell.
Lake Pend Oreille is a 84,000-acre lake in the upper northern section of the state, at Sandpoint.
Lake Walcott is an 8,200-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, 4 miles south of Minidoka.
Little Payette Lake is a 1,440-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, 2 miles east of McCall.
Lost Valley Reservoir is a 522-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, 2 miles west of Tamarack.
Lucky Peak Lake is a 2,800-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 8 miles east of Boise.
Magic Reservoir is a 3,600-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 10 miles southwest of Bellevue.
Mormon Reservoir is a 1,550-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 3 miles south of Fairfield.
Paddock Valley Reservoir is a 1,200-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, 18 miles east of Weiser.
Palisades Reservoir is a 16,000-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, on the Wyoming-Idaho border 5 miles southeast of Irwin.
Payette Lake is a 5,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at McCall.
Priest Lake is a 23,000-acre lake in the upper northern section of Idaho 1 mile east of Nordman.
Redfish Lake is a 1,500-acre lake in the lower-central part of the state, 5 miles south of Stanley.
Ririe Reservoir is a 1,400-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, 12 miles east of Idaho Falls.
Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir is a 2,700-acre lake in the southern part of the state, 5 miles southwest of Rogerson.
Spirit Lake is a 1,500-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Spirit Lake.
Upper Priest Lake is a 1,400-acre lake in central ID, 15 miles north of Nordman.
Warm Lake is a 410-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, 10 miles south of Thunderbolt Mountain.
Fish Species & State Records in Idaho
World record: 22 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 10.94 lbs
World record: 11 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 9.72 lbs
World record: 58 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 31.0 lbs
World record: 123 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 58.5 lbs
World record: 6 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 3.56 lbs
World record: 5 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3.80 lbs
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 17.88 lbs
World record: 42 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 30.13 lbs
World record: 42 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 20.0 lbs
World record: 41 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 18.94 lbs
World record: 14 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 7.06 lbs
World record: 40 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 27.31 lbs
World record: 72 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 57.5 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 3.5 lbs
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 0.67 lbs
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 0.88 lbs
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 0.60 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3.22 lbs
World record: 79 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 13.25 lbs
World record: 54 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 42.0 lbs
World record: 33 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 6.0 lbs
World record: 9 lbs 10 oz
State Record: 6.59 lbs
World record: 55 lbs 1 oz
State Record: 40.13 lbs
World record: 51 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 44.25 lbs
World record: Est 1,100 lbs
State Record: 394 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
State of ID Fishing Information
For regulations and additional information about fishing in Idaho visit the Idaho Fish & Game Department. Click here to apply for an Idaho fishing license. Click here for information about fishing boats in Idaho.
Fish for big bass
Excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers.
Fishing in all states