The Washington crew and I have been cruising around fishing some of Washington’s lowland, city bound lakes. Lake Ballinger is one of them. A surprisingly large lake it is reported as covering about 110 acres just north of the King County border in Mount Lake Terrace. I have to honestly say that the first time I was out there in my little float boat I was a bit surprised at its size. Especially since after I had rowed over to the far side, I realized one of my pontoons had a slow leak.
So far I have only been targeting trout here, although my sources say that there are Bass and perch here as well. When it comes to trout, there seem to be plenty of planters in here, at least early in the season. Ballinger gets stocked fairly heavily every year, so at least for part of the year there are some scrappy fish to catch, though hold overs are not uncommon.
Lake Ballinger can be fished from the shore or the public fishing pier with some success. The one shore access on the East side of the lake is situated between the in and outflows over a sandy stretch that the Trout seem to cruise. The fishing pier offers a little more range, but from either location patience and timing are key. Remember these fish don’t just sit in one place. They cruise from feeding area to resting areas throughout the day. Bring your power bait, bobber, a chair and just get comfy, it is a waiting game.
You can bet my last beer though that the best way to fish this lake is to get out on the water. Whether in a small boat, or float tube, your prospects for catching more and better fish are greatly increased. Want some fun? Drag a spinner or small stick bait across the water just under the surface in the morning hours. Remember the wildlife programs that show the Great Whites rocketing out of the water as they munch a Seal? I am not lying when I say that these planters were doing the same thing, sending them and my lure a foot or so out of the water. Great fun!
In conclusion I won’t tell you that Lake Ballinger is worth driving hours out of your way to get to, but if you are in the area don’t discount it because it is ‘in town’.
Resources for Lake Ballinger
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife – Always check the fishing rules!
Washington Lakes – Check up on any fishing reports for Lake Ballinger