Oregon is a state that is well known for its fishing opportunities, and one of the most popular types of fish to catch is bass.
Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, bass fishing in Oregon is an experience you will want to experience. With the many lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, many opportunities exist to reel in a big catch.
Some of the best places for bass fishing in Oregon are Central Oregon, where you can find lakes like Davis Lake, Paulina Lake, and East Lake.
These lakes are stocked with a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and lake trout. The best time to fish for bass in these lakes is during the summer when the water temperatures are warm and the fish are active.
There are many options if you want a great fishing trip in Oregon. The Columbia River is a popular spot for Willamette and Rogue Rivers bass anglers.
Coastal lakes like Siltcoos Lake and Tenmile Lakes also offer excellent fishing opportunities. With so many great spots, Oregon is a great place to plan your next fishing adventure.
In this article, we will explore the best lakes and rivers to catch bass, plus you will learn about some tips and best practices for fishing for bass in Oregon.
Best Bass Fishing Locations in Oregon
Oregon boasts a wide variety of lakes that offer excellent bass fishing opportunities. Some of the best places to catch largemouth and smallmouth bass include:
- Crane Prairie Reservoir
- Henry Hagg Lake
- Lake Selmac
- Cullaby Lake
- Brownlee Reservoir
- Prineville Reservoir
- Tenmile Lakes
- Siltcoos Lake
- Tahkenitch Lake
These lakes are known for their clear water and easy access, with many public boat ramps available. To catch big fish, anglers can use various techniques, including plastic worms, surface lures, and crankbaits.
Crane Prairie Reservoir
The lake is relatively large, with over 4,000 acres of water, and offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to find a good spot to fish. Several public boat ramps are available, making it easy for anglers to access the lake and explore different areas.
Other than bass, Crane Prairie Reservoir is also home to other fish species, such as rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and brown trout. Anglers can fish for these species using a variety of techniques as well, including using live bait and small lures.
Henry Hagg Lake
Henry Hagg Lake is another popular spot for bass fishing in Oregon. The lake is located in the Tualatin Valley, just west of Portland, and is known for its clear water and easy access. Anglers can use a variety of techniques to catch bass here, including surface lures and crankbaits.
The lake is relatively large, with over 1,113 acres of water, and offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to find a good spot to fish. There are two public boat landings on this lake, Eagle Point and C-Ramp.
Other fish species in Henry Hagg Lake include crappie, bluegill, and catfish.
|Fish Species||Best Time to Fish||Best Fishing Techniques||Notes|
|Largemouth Bass||Spring, Summer, Fall||Topwater lures, Spinnerbaits, Plastic worms||Look for areas with structure such as weed beds, rocks, and fallen trees|
|Smallmouth Bass||Spring, Summer, Fall||Crankbaits, Jigs, Drop-shot rigs||Concentrate on rocky areas and points|
|Spotted Bass||Spring, Summer, Fall||Jerkbaits, Swimbaits, Ned rigs||Found in deeper water near structure|
Lake Selmac is a popular recreational lake located in Josephine County, Oregon, USA. It is situated in the Siskiyou Mountains and covers an area of approximately 200 acres. The lake is known for its clear blue water and scenic beauty, making it a popular destination for camping, hiking, and fishing.
Bass fishing is one of the most popular activities at Lake Selmac. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, and crappie.
Largemouth bass are the most sought-after fish species in the lake, and the lake is known for producing some trophy-sized fish.
The best time to fish for bass at Lake Selmac is during the spring and fall seasons when the water temperature is cooler.
During these seasons, the bass are more active and easier to catch. Anglers can use a variety of fishing techniques, including casting, trolling, and jigging, to catch bass at Lake Selmac.
To fish at Lake Selmac, anglers need to have a valid Oregon fishing license. The lake has a boat launch area, and anglers can rent boats and fishing gear from the nearby Selmac Lake Resort. There are also several campsites and picnic areas around the lake for visitors to enjoy.
|Month||Best Techniques||Largemouth Bass||Smallmouth Bass||Notes|
|April||Spinnerbaits, Plastic Worms||Excellent||Fair||Spawn|
|June||Drop Shot, Jerkbaits||Good||Good||Post-spawn|
|July||Carolina Rig, Jigs||Fair||Good||Summer|
|August||Deep Diving Crankbaits, Swimbaits||Fair||Good||Summer|
|October||Lipless Crankbaits, Jigs||Excellent||Good||Fall|
|November||Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits||Excellent||Good||Late Fall|
Cullaby Lake is a popular destination for bass fishing in Oregon. The lake is located in the northwestern part of the state, near the coast, and is known for its largemouth bass fishing. With several public boat ramps available, it’s easy for anglers to access the lake and find a good spot to fish.
One of the best times to fish for bass at Cullaby Lake is in the early morning or late afternoon when the water is cooler, and the fish are more active. Anglers can use various techniques to catch bass here, including plastic worms, jigs, and spinnerbaits.
The lake is relatively small but offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to catch big fish. Some bass caught here can weigh over 7 pounds, making for an exciting and challenging fishing experience.
In addition to bass, Cullaby Lake is also home to other fish species, such as crappie, bluegill, and perch. Anglers can fish for these species using a variety of techniques as well, including using live bait and small lures.
Cullaby Lake is a great destination for bass fishing in Oregon, with its easy access, clear water, and abundant fish population. Whether a seasoned angler or a beginner, you will have a great time fishing for bass at this beautiful lake.
|January||Jig and Pig, Jerkbait, Lipless Crankbait|
|February||Jig and Pig, Jerkbait, Lipless Crankbait|
|March||Spinnerbait, Crankbait, Jig and Pig|
|April||Spinnerbait, Crankbait, Jig and Pig|
|May||Topwater Lures, Spinnerbait, Crankbait|
|June||Topwater Lures, Spinnerbait, Crankbait|
|July||Topwater Lures, Spinnerbait, Crankbait|
|August||Carolina Rig, Texas Rig, Jig and Pig|
|September||Carolina Rig, Texas Rig, Jig and Pig|
|October||Lipless Crankbait, Jerkbait, Jig and Pig|
|November||Lipless Crankbait, Jerkbait, Jig and Pig|
|December||Jig and Pig, Jerkbait, Lipless Crankbait|
Brownlee Reservoir is a popular fishing destination located on the Snake River in eastern Oregon. The reservoir is known for its excellent bass fishing opportunities, with smallmouth bass being the most commonly caught species.
Anglers can fish for bass from the shore or by boat; the best areas to find them are in backwater areas.
Brownlee Reservoir is home to various other fish species, including crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, and perch. The reservoir covers 11,000 acres and offers plenty of space for fishing and boating.
It’s worth noting that Brownlee Reservoir is a popular destination, and it can get crowded during peak fishing season.
Anglers should be prepared for busy boat ramps and competition for prime fishing spots. However, with a little patience and persistence, the reservoir can provide an excellent fishing experience for bass and other species.
|January||Jigs, Drop Shot Worms, Crankbaits|
|February||Jigs, Drop Shot Worms, Crankbaits|
|March||Jigs, Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits|
|April||Jigs, Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits|
|May||Topwater Baits, Spinnerbaits, Jigs|
|June||Topwater Baits, Spinnerbaits, Jigs|
|July||Topwater Baits, Spinnerbaits, Jigs|
|August||Topwater Baits, Spinnerbaits, Jigs|
|September||Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits, Jigs|
|October||Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits, Jigs|
|November||Jigs, Drop Shot Worms, Crankbaits|
|December||Jigs, Drop Shot Worms, Crankbaits|
Prineville Reservoir is a popular recreational lake located in Central Oregon, USA. It is about 16 miles southeast of the town of Prineville and covers an area of about 3,000 acres.
The Crooked River feeds the lake and is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including rocky cliffs, juniper trees, and sagebrush.
Prineville Reservoir is a popular spot for fishing, with various fish species available including bass, trout, catfish, and crappie. Bass fishing at the lake is particularly popular, with largemouth and smallmouth bass being the most common species caught.
The best time for bass fishing at Prineville Reservoir is spring and fall when water temperatures are cooler.
Several boat ramps and fishing docks are available for visitors, and the lake is also popular for water sports such as boating, kayaking, and swimming.
The lake is surrounded by a state park offering camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy the area’s birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and photography opportunities.
Tenmile Lakes is located about ten miles south of Reedsport and covers about 2,700 acres with a combined shoreline of about 43 miles.
The lakes are known for their excellent largemouth bass fishery and have a special regulation that requires the release of all largemouth bass 15 inches in length or larger.
Anglers can keep just one bass longer than 15 inches per day and five total bass daily. Most Tenmile bass anglers practice catch and release. The lakes are also home to panfish and trout. Tenmile Lakes offer some of the best largemouth bass angling in Oregon and is the site of bass tournaments.
Siltcoos Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the central coast of Oregon, United States. The lake is about 5 miles south of Florence, Oregon, and is one of the largest lakes in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Siltcoos Lake is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts due to its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.
The lake has many fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and bluegill. Largemouth bass are the most sought-after species by anglers, and the lake is known for producing some trophy-sized fish.
The best time to fish for bass at Siltcoos Lake is spring and fall when the water temperature is cooler.
Anglers typically use a variety of baits and lures, including spinnerbaits, jigs, and plastic worms. The lake has several areas with good bass habitat, including weed beds, submerged logs, and rocky points.
It’s important to note that Siltcoos Lake has specific regulations for fishing, including bag limits and size restrictions. Anglers are advised to check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website for the most up-to-date information on fishing regulations and licensing requirements.
Tahkenitch Lake is a beautiful freshwater lake located in the coastal region of Oregon. It is situated in the Siuslaw National Forest and is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping. The lake covers an area of around 1,674 acres and has a maximum depth of 19 feet.
Bass fishing is one of the most popular activities at Tahkenitch Lake. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and bluegill.
Anglers can use various fishing techniques to catch bass at Tahkenitch Lake, including topwater lures, spinnerbaits, jigs, and soft plastic baits. The lake has plenty of cover, including submerged logs, weed beds, and rocky areas, which provide excellent habitat for bass.
The lake has a catch-and-release policy for all bass; only artificial lures are allowed.
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Best Rivers For Bass Fishing in Oregon
Oregon’s rivers offer excellent bass fishing opportunities, with the Willamette River and Umpqua River being two of the best places to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass.
The water temperatures are perfect for bass fishing during the early spring and summer months. The Columbia, Smith, Coquille, and John Day Rivers are also worth exploring.
Bass fishing on the Columbia River in Oregon can be a thrilling experience for both novice and experienced anglers. The Columbia River is home to various bass species, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass.
When planning a bass fishing trip on the Columbia River, it’s important to consider the time of year and weather conditions. Spring and early summer are typically the best times to catch bass, as the water temperatures are warmer and the fish are more active.
Some popular techniques for catching Columbia River bass include jigs, spinnerbaits, and soft plastic baits. It’s also important to pay attention to the structure of the river, such as rocky areas and drop-offs, as these are often prime locations for bass to hide and feed.
General Bass Fishing Regulations on the Columbia River:
- Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass have different regulations. For largemouth bass, the daily bag limit is five fish, and there is no size limit. For smallmouth bass, the daily bag limit is 10 fish, and there is no size limit.
- Spotted bass are considered a non-native species in the Columbia River and are not protected under Oregon fishing regulations. There is no bag limit or size limit for spotted bass.
- Fishing for bass is allowed year-round on the Columbia River, but there may be seasonal closures or restrictions in certain areas. It’s important to check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website for specific regulations and closures.
- It’s also important to note that catch-and-release fishing is strongly encouraged for bass on the Columbia River. This helps to ensure the sustainability of the fishery and allows for future generations to enjoy the sport of bass fishing.
The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River, located in the state of Oregon in the United States. It is approximately 187 miles long and flows through the Willamette Valley, known for its fertile agricultural land.
Bass fishing is popular on the Willamette River, particularly for smallmouth bass. The river is home to a healthy smallmouth bass population, which can be caught using various techniques, including topwater lures, crankbaits, and soft plastics.
Some of the best places to fish for smallmouth bass on the Willamette River include the stretch of river between Salem and Eugene and the area around Portland.
Anglers can also find good fishing opportunities in the tributaries flowing into the Willamette River, such as the Santiam River and the McKenzie River.
General Bass Fishing Regulations on the Willamette River:
- The daily bag limit for bass is 5 fish per day.
- There is no minimum size limit for bass on the Willamette River.
- Bass fishing is open year-round on the Willamette River.
- Barbless hooks are required when fishing for bass on the Willamette River.
- Certain areas of the Willamette River are closed to bass fishing during certain times of the year to protect spawning fish. It’s important to check with local authorities for specific regulations and closures.
The Umpqua River is a beautiful river in southern Oregon known for its excellent bass fishing. The river is approximately 110 miles long and is home to several species of fish, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, steelhead, and Chinook salmon.
Bass fishing is particularly popular on the Umpqua River, and anglers come from all over the country to fish for smallmouth and largemouth bass. The river has many different fishing spots that offer a variety of fishing experiences, from deep pools to shallow riffles.
One popular spot for bass fishing on the Umpqua River is near Roseburg. This area is known for its smallmouth bass fishing, and anglers can often catch fish weighing up to 3 pounds. Another popular spot is near Elkton, where anglers can catch smallmouth and largemouth bass.
The Umpqua River is a great place to go bass fishing, and anglers of all skill levels can enjoy the experience. Just follow all local fishing regulations and guidelines to ensure that the river remains healthy and sustainable for future generations of anglers to enjoy.
The Smith River is located in southwestern Oregon. It is a tributary of the Umpqua River and is approximately 25 miles long. The river is known for its clear waters, scenic beauty, and abundant fish populations, including bass.
The river is home to smallmouth and largemouth bass, with smallmouth being the more common.
It is important to note that the Smith River is a designated Wild and Scenic River, meaning certain fishing regulations and restrictions may apply.
Anglers should check with local authorities or the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for the latest regulations and guidelines before fishing on the Smith River.
General Bass Fishing Regulations on the Smith River:
- Bag limit: The daily bag limit for bass on the Smith River is 5 fish per day, with a minimum size limit of 8 inches.
- Catch-and-release: If you catch a bass that is less than 8 inches long, you must immediately release it back into the water. Additionally, if you have already caught your daily limit of 5 bass, you must release any additional bass you catch.
- Artificial lures only: The use of bait is prohibited when fishing for bass on the Smith River. Only artificial lures are allowed.
- No snagging: It is illegal to snag or attempt to snag any fish on the Smith River.
- No fishing from bridges: Fishing from bridges on the Smith River is not allowed.
It’s important to note that these regulations may change occasionally, so it’s always a good idea to check with the ODFW or local authorities for the latest regulations before fishing on the Smith River.
The Coquille River runs about 50 miles (80 km) from its headwaters near Myrtle Point to the Pacific Ocean. The river is known for its scenic beauty and popular destination for fishing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.
Bass fishing is a popular pastime on the Coquille River, particularly in the lower stretches of the river near Bandon. The river is home to smallmouth and largemouth bass, with the best fishing typically occurring in the summer when the water is warmer.
The river also has several tributaries and backwaters that can provide excellent bass fishing opportunities.
General Bass Fishing Regulations for the Coquille River:
- The daily bag limit for bass is five fish.
- The minimum size limit for bass is 8 inches.
- There may be seasonal restrictions on bass fishing in certain river areas, so it’s important to check with ODFW before fishing.
- Anglers must have a valid Oregon fishing license and follow all other state fishing regulations.
John Day River
The John Day River is a tributary of the Columbia River, located in north-central Oregon. It is approximately 284 miles long and is known for its scenic beauty and excellent fishing opportunities.
The river flows through a diverse landscape of canyons, grasslands, and forests, providing a unique and beautiful backdrop for anglers.
Bass fishing on the John Day River is popular among anglers, particularly in the river’s lower reaches. Smallmouth bass are the most commonly targeted species, but largemouth bass can also be found in some areas.
The best time to fish for the John Day River bass is typically from late spring through early fall.
Anglers can access the river from several points, including boat ramps and campgrounds. Several guide services and outfitters in the area offer guided fishing trips on the river.
It is important to note that there are regulations regarding fishing on the John Day River, so be sure to check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website for up-to-date information before you go.
General Bass Fishing Regulations for John Day River:
- Fishing season: Bass fishing is open year-round on the John Day River.
- Bag limit: The daily bag limit for bass on the John Day River is five fish per day, with a minimum size limit of 8 inches for smallmouth bass and 12 inches for largemouth bass.
- Gear restrictions: Only artificial lures and flies may be used for bass fishing on the John Day River. Bait fishing is not allowed.
- Catch and release: ODFW encourages anglers to practice catch-and-release fishing to help maintain healthy fish populations. If you decide to keep fish, ensure they meet the size and bag limit regulations.
- Fishing license: All anglers over 12 must have a valid Oregon fishing license to fish on the John Day River.
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Best Time to Go Bass Fishing in Oregon
Oregon is home to some of North America’s best bass fishing spots. With various fish species and excellent fishing opportunities, it’s no wonder why so many anglers flock to the state every year.
However, knowing the best time to go bass fishing in Oregon is important to maximize your chances of catching trophy fish.
Early spring is one of Oregon’s best times to go bass fishing. Water temperatures rise as the weather warms up, and largemouth and smallmouth bass become more active. Spring is also when many lakes and rivers are stocked with rainbow trout, making it an excellent time for trout fishing.
Some of the best places to go bass fishing in the spring include Crane Prairie Reservoir, Davis Lake, and Henry Hagg Lake. These lakes offer good numbers of bass and are open year-round, making them a great spot for a fishing trip.
The summer months are also a great time to go bass fishing in Oregon. With warm water temperatures and clear water, bass become more aggressive and more likely to take surface lures.
Summer is also an excellent time to target other fish species, such as yellow perch, kokanee salmon, and black crappie.
Some of Oregon’s best bass fishing spots during the summer include Diamond Lake, Emigrant Lake, and Prineville Reservoir. These lakes offer easy access, public boat ramps, and boat rentals, making them a great place for bass anglers of all skill levels.
Whether you’re fly fishing or using conventional gear, Oregon has something to offer every angler. With a list of the best fishing lakes and rivers, including the Columbia River, Willamette River, and Rogue River, there’s no shortage of great places to go bass fishing in Oregon.
So, the next time you plan a fishing trip in the Pacific Northwest, consider heading to Oregon for a great experience on the water.
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Tips for Bass Fishing in Oregon
Bass Fishing Techniques
Oregon is home to some of the best bass fishing spots in North America, with a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. To catch the big fish, anglers should use various fishing techniques.
Fish tend to be in shallower waters when water temperatures are still cool in the early spring. Anglers can use surface lures to entice the fish to bite. Fish tend to move to deeper water during summer when water temperatures rise. Anglers should use jigs and worms to catch fish in deeper water.
Bass Fishing Tips
- Choose the right time to fish: Bass are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, so plan your fishing trip accordingly. Also, avoid fishing during the hottest part of the day when the water temperature is high.
- Use the right bait: In Oregon, bass can be caught using a variety of baits, including plastic worms, jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. Experiment with different types of bait to see what works best in the area you’re fishing.
- Focus on structure: Bass like to hang out near structures like rocks, logs, and weed beds. Look for these areas and cast your bait near them.
- Pay attention to water temperature: Bass prefer temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They may not be as active if the water is too cold or warm.
- Practice catch and release: Oregon has strict regulations on bass fishing, so make sure you know the rules before you go. Consider practicing catch and release to help preserve the bass population in the area.
Understanding water conditions is key to successful bass fishing in Oregon. The water conditions for bass fishing in Oregon can vary depending on the time of year and location. Generally, bass prefer clear water with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In Oregon, the best time to fish for bass is in the spring and early summer when the water temperature is warming up. During this time, bass can be found in shallow water near structures such as logs, rocks, and weed beds.
In the summer, bass tends to move to deeper water and can be found near drop-offs, ledges, and other underwater structures. It’s important to pay attention to water clarity and temperature when fishing for bass in Oregon, as these factors can greatly affect the fish’s behavior and feeding patterns.
Anglers should be aware of fishing regulations set by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Most lakes and rivers are open year-round, but some have specific fishing seasons.
Some lakes and rivers restrict the size and number of fish caught. Anglers should also know bag limits and fishing methods allowed in certain areas.
Public boat ramps and boat rentals are available at many fishing lakes and rivers, making it easy to access the best fishing spots.
Conclusion – Best Bass Fishing in Oregon
Oregon is home to some of North America’s best bass fishing spots. From the Columbia River to the coastal lakes, there are plenty of great places to catch largemouth, smallmouth bass, and rainbow and brown trout.
Follow these guidelines, and you will catch your bass limit next time you visit the great state of Oregon.