Lake fishing for Sockeye Salmon is available in several states and provinces of the United States and Canada. The Great Lakes offer great Sockeye Fishing for Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Fishing for Sockeye in Lake Washington

First let’s get a few of the rules out of the way because no one wants their fishing gear to be seized. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sets catch limits from 1 to 6 fish daily. Most of the time fishing limits for sockeye are set to 2.


The best technique, unless you just want to enjoy a day on Lake Washington, is to troll slowly with the main motor turned off. Drift speed is sufficient.

You’ll find Sockeye between 30 to 60 feet down. Most of the time they’re around the 35 foot mark.

Great Lakes Sockeye Fishing

The Great Lakes are filled with Chum, Chinook and Sockeye Salmon, although Sockeye haven’t taken off nearly to the same extent of Chinook and Chum Salmon.


In the Great Lakes the average weight is 2.5 pounds and they’re 15 to 17 inches long on average. The best lake to fish for Sockeye Salmon is Lake Michigan.

Lake Washington Sockeye Rig

Locals refer to it as the ‘Lake Washington Sockeye rig’ and this is how it’s made.

  1. It’s made up of a flame red flatfish-type lure
  2. Then it’s tied on to 15 to 20 inches worth of 20 to 30 pound monofilament line
  3. This segment is tied to 20 inches more behind a 4 ounce mooching lead on 30 pound monofilament line.
  4. You can fix it up with reds, silver and gold colored lures.
  • Silver also works well especially when the Sockeye are deep down.

Baker River Sockeye

Baker River Sockeye are found in Baker Lake and Baker River, which are tributaries of the Skagit River. The Sockeye found in Lake Washington were originally taken from Baker Lake.


The population is healthy but like Lake Washington, there are catch limits. The same fishing techniques use on Lake Washington will work just as well with Baker Lake.


Reference for catch limits: Washington Dept of fish and wildlife