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5 Fun Facts About Priest Lake Fishing

There’s no debate, fishing is one of the most popular activities at Priest Lake in northern Idaho. With pristine waters and beautiful mountain scenery to complement, it’s easy to see why thousands of visitors come every year to fish these waters. Whether you’re new to fishing at Priest Lake or you’re a seasoned angler, here are some fun facts about Priest Lake fishing that you may not know!

About Priest Lake fishing

Priest Lake offers 40 square miles of “lucky fishing spots” with several locations to cast in a line. From the youngest fisherman to seasoned anglers, there is a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Mackinaw is the name of the game here, along with cutthroat trout and more.

What is the biggest catch-and-release fish ever caught at Priest Lake?

Just this year, in 2021, Madison Nackos set the record for catch and release state record. Nackos hooked a massive cutthroat trout while fishing at Priest Lake. The fish measured 24 inches long, beating the previous record by three inches.

What is the native fish at Priest Lake?

The native sport fish at Priest Lake are the cutthroat trout, bull trout, and mountain whitefish.

What is the predominant fish at Priest Lake?

Mackinaw is the predominant fish at Priest Lake, making it possible to catch trophy-size fish. The Idaho state record for Mackinaw was caught at Priest Lake in 1971 at 57 and a half pounds.

But you can also fish smallmouth bass, cutthroat trout, lake trout, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, and kokanee salmon.

Fishing year-round

Fishing is available year-round with great places for ice fishing. In the winter, when the ice is safe, anglers can brave the cold and ice fish at Priest Lake. The lake is open year-round with a limit of six lake trout per day. Cavanaugh Bay is the most popular place for ice fishing.

Best spots for fishing

Best spots for fishing at Priest Lake include Reeder Bay, near Elkins Resort, Cavanaugh Bay, Hunt Creek, and Granite Creek, plus many more!

Know before you go

Fishing in Upper Priest Lake and Upper Priest River is restricted to catch-and-release, no bait, and single, barbless hooks.

Stay at Elkins Resort on Priest Lake

One of the best ways to enjoy your fishing excursion at Priest Lake is to book your stay at Elkins Resort. Our resort is the perfect spot for anglers wanting to spend more time outside and offers convenient access to some of the best fishing in Idaho. Open all year round, Elkins Resort provides multiple opportunities to reel in your best catch. We also offer boat slip rentals so you can bring your own boat and enjoy the best of fishing on Priest Lake.

Fish all day and enjoy a restful night’s sleep in one of our cedar log cabins, with comfortable and tranquil accommodations to complete your wilderness getaway. So, start planning your next fishing adventure at Priest Lake, and be sure to book your stay at Elkins Resort.