North Idaho Warm Water Fish
North Idaho is a veritable haven for warm-water species. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are found in numerous lakes along with crappie, perch, bullhead and the tenacious water-wolf, the northern pike. The chain lakes on the Coeur d' Alene River are particularly popular for northern pike and largemouth bass. Special regulations have protected the bass during spring spawn, helping their numbers despite the long cold winters that impede growth. The pike, as well as the bass increase by the abundant aquatic vegetation that provides both shelter for protection and ambush sites for preying on smaller fish, frogs and birds. These chain lakes, named, Anderson, Black, Blue, Cave, Killarney and Thompson, have limited access, and are best fished by boats launched from nearby St. Maries. Cour d' Alene Lake proper, and it's adjoining sister chain lakes of Chatcolet and Benewah, off the St. Joe River, are also excellent fisheries for warm-water species.
Northeast of Coeur d' Alene you will find one of Idaho's largest natural lakes, Lake Pend Oreille. This large expanse is home to largemouth bass and crappie. There are numerous launching sites, and accommodations along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. The Pend Oreille River is teaming with large and smallmouth bass as well as crappie, perch and bullhead. Both the Kootenai River, and Clearwater River have smallmouth bass; and, the Kootenai is home to the largest fresh-water fish in Nother America, the White Sturgeon. This once anadramous prehistoric fish is protected by "catch and release only using barbless hooks" regulations. A smaller, but one of the more popular lakes for bass, is Hayden Lake, which is inhabited by both large and smallmouth bass as well as crappie, perch and bullheads. Like all of the North Idaho lakes, Hayden is surrounded with mountain beauty filled with towering pines scenting the fresh clean air. Few places in the country can you experience the beauty of North Idaho while fishing for your favorite warm-water species.
For more information about the north Idaho region, visit our North Idaho Information Page, or our
North Idaho Services & Accommodations Page.