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Bass Fishing on Panther Lake, Kent WA

by Big Red on Aug 3, 2015

Bass Fishing is the activity of angling for the North American gamefish which also known as the black bass. There are many black bass species that are being considered as the gamefish in North America which includes the Guadalupe bass, Kentucky or Spotted bass, Smallmouth bass and Largemouth bass. Modern bass fishing, a multi-billion dollar industry in the US, has only a few spenders for Panther Lake in Kent, WA. Although it is surrounded by an urban environment, it is not on the City Of Kent’s Parks Inventory. 

Bass Fishing BoatBass fishing has changed a lot on Benson Hill since the 19th century when the area changed from green forest to stump farms. Later,  agriculture flourished and  the lake became surrounded by cherry orchards and dairy farms.

The Black bass has become the 2nd most sought-after game fish in the US. The sport includes specialized bass boats, float tubes, drift boats, fish-finding instruments, electronic depth, lures, lines, reels, rods and fishing gears. Old-timers from the Benson Hill area swear the Panther Lake in Kent WA is the best largemouth bass fishing hole in the State.

Black Bass are known as the strong fighters and are fished recreationally as well.  The Largemouth Bass found around SE King County have a distinct appearance, they are olive green having dark strips in a jagged strip that is horizontal along each flank. Some of the bass in Panther Lake are more than  ten years old.  Even in the worst of conditions they can live up to 16 years in the wild reaching a length of maximum 29.5 inches and weight of 22 pounds. They also depend on the other factors such as availability of food, water quality, and temperature.  Years ago, bass could be found in Panther Creek, the exit stream  that you will find crossing  under SE 196th St  just a few paces East of The Benson.

Local area residents claim that Largemouth bass were found in roadside ditches, creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, reservoirs and lakes. Largemouth bass are popular on Panther Lake and are known for their great sizes and resistance, powerful runs, favoring the short escape, they seek  cover under  the White Lilies, weed beds and submerged logs. Their diet consists of bait fish, snakes, small fish, shrimp, scuds, insects, frogs and crawfish. They can catch and eat their prey who are as large as 25 to 50 % of their body length. Smallmouth bass jump more and also fight aggressively on the surface especially when they are hooked. Bring extra fishing gear in case they take you from the vegetation on the surface through the  roots in the ground. A well know tactic on the lake covered with Largemouth Bass defense.

Black Bass are visual and smell predators so care should be taken no foreign scents are present. Bass are fileted when taken for dinner, the flesh is white, flaky and a wild taste.

The Bass Fishing in the United States has largely evolved on its own. Here we will discuss largemouth bass and fishing tips for bass.

Know the Habits of Bass:

The type of weather that is suitable for bass fishing, when sun is out the bright bass will look for shelter. When there is no sun or cloudy, the bass come out from their protective shelter hence then is the best time for fishing. On Panther lake the largemouth bass hide under the white lilies that cover seventy percent of the lake surface. Tough on fishing gear for the inexperienced. The fish are starved for oxygen in August so look closer to the deeper parts of the lake.

Fish for Bass during the Pre-Spawn:

It is called as the Holy Grail of Bass fishing during the largemouth pre-spawn. The pre-spawn starts usually in spring when temperature reaches between 55 to 65 degrees. With the recent weather anomalies I’m curious to see what bass production the lake provides.  Or will the lake become so starved for oxygen that the fish float on top.   

Fishing for Bass at the Right Time of Day:

The best time for Bass fishing is first few early hours of morning or the last few hours of the evening during sunset.

Size Matters

Well, not to a Largemouth Bass who will strike prey that is 25% to 50% of its length. The large mouth comes in handy.  

Study the Map

Everyone who go for Bass Fishing should have a map available online from local resources or state. This is the best way to identify different depths and mark your reference points as well.  On Panther Lake in Kent, WA. there is only one public entrance, that is near the North End of the Lake. From the Benson (WA 515), 108th Ave SE, turn East on SE 196th St. If you are on a bicycle, there is a safe, well marked bike path.  Follow past a beautiful view of  Mount Rainier to the south framed by quiet rural setting.  Turn South on 116th Ave SE and follow it to the end.  If you are driving you need a Discover Pass for parking. Otherwise, follow the sign marked “Public Fishing” and cross the private driveway to the lake. 

Take Live Bait and Try it

Fishermen on Panther Lake don’t  not like using  live bait.  They should remember,  it is a great way to produce a nice bass when lures are not producing. Frogs, crayfish and worms are great artificial bait alternatives.


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Article Summary:

The Black bass has become the 2nd most sought-after game fish in the US. The sport includes specialized bass boats, float tubes, drift boats, fish-finding instruments, electronic depth, lures, lines, reels, rods and fishing gears.

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Big Red





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