What are the best fishing spots in Oregon this summer? The answer depends on the type of fish you’re looking for. Do you want to boost your self-esteem by catching a large salmon? Or are you hoping to connect with the environment during a leisurely day-catching panfish? You’ll have your pick on your Oregon fishing trip.
We’ve put together this fishing guide to help you with your fishing trip. We’ll explore the 6 best spots to check out this summer, along with a few tips about what fish to target. Keep reading to discover where to fish in Oregon this summer!
1. Henry Hagg Lake
Visit an impoundment of Scoggins Creek, Henry Hagg Lake. The lake has a capacity of almost 60,000 acre-feet of water. It also covers 1,113 acres. The reservoir sits on the northern coast of Oregon, a smallmouth bass hot spot! A typical size for an Oregon smallmouth bass is 7 pounds and 23 inches. There are also opportunities to catch yellow perch, rainbow trout, and brown bullhead.
Smallmouth bass prefer to stay around rocky ledges and deep holes. Areas with limited vegetation will be the most likely hot spots. What do smallmouth bass eat? As adults, they forage the waters for crayfish and other small fish. They eat a lot of lampreys too.
Similar to largemouth, smallmouth bass are almost impossible to catch when the water’s below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the waters reach 58 degrees and warmer, they become more active. Look around the rocky points, drop-offs, ledges, and other rocky areas.
The best lures to use include crankbaits, spinners, and plastic grubs. Once you start getting a few bites, stay in the same place. You shouldn’t leave fish to find fish, especially with bass.
2. Agency Lake
Are you going on your first fishing trip? Then Agency Lake is a great place to start your journey. The lake covers 9,000 acres and rests in Chiloquin, Oregon. Anglers will enjoy over 25 miles of beautiful shoreline. It’s an easy spot to navigate and provides access to easy-to-catch fish species, like panfish.
Where does the name panfish come from? It’s a non-scientific classification to describe pan-sized fish. Oregon is abundant in tasty pan-sized fish, thanks to their freshwater ways. It’s the perfect type of fish to target as a beginner. You won’t need the most expensive fishing gear or extensive angling knowledge. Once you catch a few, fry them up over an open flame with a bit of oil and salt.
Here are some of the best panfish to catch this summer:
- White bass
You can fish from the shore, go out on a canoe, or paddle a kayak. When the lake’s full, there are multiple spots to access the water. There are also campsites nearby as well as cabins. This is a spot the whole family can enjoy relaxing while still making a lot of catches!
3. Columbia River
Renowned for its abundance of fish, the Columbia River is a must-visit this summer. It’s on our list of the best fishing spots in Oregon this summer for a few reasons. For starters, the river is set up for your convenience. You can access the water from the beach, boat launches, or one of many parks. There are excellent fishing opportunities year-round, but the warmer weather makes it perfect for catching walleye. You’ll be able to avoid the frigid winter winds and instead embrace all the lush green scenery. Since walleye are mainly nocturnal feeders, dusk is an exceptional time for inshore fishing. Look for the fish around drop-offs, and focus on the edges.
4. Rogue River
Another must-see river in Oregon is the Rogue River. The mighty stream flows for 215 miles in a westward direction. Renowned for its salmon runs, this river is a steelhead haven. It’s also an outdoor paradise. You’ll be surrounded by wildlife, birds, and dream-like colors in the rugged outdoors.
Traditional bait and hardware will work best on the upper river section. An adjustable bobber like a pink worm will work great above the bait. When you’re in clear water, the smaller the presentation, the better. When you move towards murky water, use extensive offerings. You can also try casting spoons for steelhead and coho salmon. If you prefer bank fishing, you’ll want to access the river from Casey State Recreation Site or Rogue Elk Park. Both spots are right off Highway 62, and they’re easy to access.
5. Diamond Lake
This is a naturally occurring lake that sits on the southern part of Oregon. There are 9 miles of shoreline, and the lake covers 3,040 acres of water. Once you arrive, you’ll be impressed by the statuesque coniferous forest. If you decide to stay a while, you can book a room at the Diamond Lake Resort. The resort has been around since the 1920s, so it’ll be a historic trip too!
Diamond Lake is full of rainbow trout, and they get colossal in the summer! The abundance of bug hatches helps the trout reach impressive sizes. Along with rainbow trout, you’ll also be able to target brown and tiger trout.
Some of the best fishing in Diamond Lake takes place in early June. However, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities as you move deeper into the summer. Are you going out on a boat? Focus on the lake’s south end. Troll with different lures and get ready to start reeling in the catches.
6. Alsea River
Last on our list of the best fishing spots in Oregon this summer is the Alsea River. The river flows for 48.5 miles, and it’s gorgeous. Originating in Marys Peak (a high mountain range), the mighty river winds its way through farmlands and stunning forests. Eventually, the river flows into the Pacific Ocean at Waldport. Fun fact: Pat Boone had a resort on this river!
The Alsea River is named after Native Americans who originally inhabited the land. While there are a few rapids, the river is generally calm and shallow. There are limited trolling opportunities, but it’s the perfect place for drift boat fishing.
Look in the deeper pools for Chinook salmon. Once you find a good spot, bait and plugs work great on them. Chinook salmon have a reputation for playing tug-of-war after the hook sets. Take your time getting the fish on the boat, or they’ll unbutton themselves. Once you win the fight, you’ll have a tasty meal! Chinook salmon are the perfect fish to fry, bake, grill, or smoke!
|1.||Henry Hagg Lake||Smallmouth bass, yellow perch, rainbow trout, brown bulllhead||Scoggins Creek in northern coastal OR|
|2.||Agency Lake||Sunfish, bluegill, white bass||Chiloquin|
|3.||Columbia River||Walleye||Border between WA and OR|
|4.||Rogue River||Steelhead and Coho salmon||Casey St. Recreation Site , Rogue Elk Park|
|5.||Diamond Lake||Rainbow, brown & tiger trout||Southern OR, near Mts. Thiesen and Bailey|
|6.||Alsea River||Chinook salmon||From Mary’s Peak to Waldport|
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