Fishing at Coe Park

 

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Coe Park has great fishing  for largemouth bass, green sunfish, crappie, and bluegill in its lakes and ponds. 

It's important for you to know that:

  • Coe Park has no lakes or creeks to which you can drive. 
  • The park has very steep, rugged terrain, and can be very hot and dry in the summer months.

Most fishing ventures into Coe's backcountry require a considerable expenditure of time and energy.  To go beyond the relatively close-in lakes (Bass Pond and Frog Lake), you'll be faced with elevation gains (and losses) in thousands of feet.  Some of the best fishing is on the far east side of the park, at Jackrabbit Lake and Mustang and Kingbird Ponds, but it takes at least two days of hard traveling to get to those destinations and at least two days of even harder traveling to get back.

Coit Lake and Mississippi Lake, two well known fishing destinations, are relatively easier to reach.  But, to get from park headquarters to Coit Lake and back, you have to travel at least 23 miles and climb at least nearly 5000 total feet, and to get to Mississippi Lake and back, you have to cover more than 22 miles and climb about 5,700 total feet.

If you'd like to fish in the less accessible areas of the park, without regret, you should be in excellent physical shape and should plan to spend one or two nights camping on the way in and one or two nights camping on the way out.

Spring is a very  pleasant season in the park, and it's possibly the best season for fishing.  Fall and winter, between storms, can be quite nice, but fishing is usually slow during the cooler months and during the hot months of summer.  If you visit the park in the winter, keep in mind that winter rain storms can quickly turn tranquil creeks into raging, impassable torrents.  If you visit in the summer, be well prepared for extremely hot, dry conditions.  Carry extra water; find out which springs, creeks, and reservoirs are reliable sources of summer water; wear a hat; and avoid hiking during the middle of the day.

The following table provides information about popular fishing lakes and ponds in the park.

 

Water Resource

Round-trip mileages and total elevation gain for most commonly used routes

Fish


From Coe HQ

From Hunting Hollow


Bass Pond

4.7 mi, 480'

*

Bass, bluegill

Coit Lake

23 mi, 4950'

27½ mi, 4250'

20 mi, 3795'

Bass, bluegill, green sunfish, crappie

Frog Lake

3.3 mi, 1000' (via monument trail and Hobbs road)

6 mi, 500' (via Corral and Flat Frog trails)

*

No fish at present

Hoover Lake

18½ mi, 3500'

*

No fish

Jackrabbit Lake

44 mi, 8000'

*

Bass

Kelly Lake

25 mi, 3700'

18 mi, 3220'

Bass, bluegill, green sunfish, crappie

Kingbird Pond

35 mi, 7600'

*

Bass

Mahoney Pond

15½ mi, 2350'

*

Bass

Mississippi Lake

22 mi, 5700'

37 mi, 6800'

Bass

Mustang Pond

40 mi, 8550'

*

Bass

Paradise Lake

44 mi, 8000'

*

No fish at present

Redfern Pond

*

10.7 mi, 1450'

Bass, bluegill, crappie

Tule Pond

*

10½ mi, 2120'

Bass

Wasno Pond

*

13.3 mi, 2470'

Bass

Will’s Pond

33 mi, 7400’

*

Bass

* Impractical to reach from this access point

 


Fishing for Rainbow Trout. These lovely native fish can infrequently be found in Coyote Creek and in the South Fork of Orestimba Creek in the northeast corner of the park. They can only survive in cool water, and so are not found in most of the water resources of the park.  Nearly all of the Park's streams dry up and the ponds get warm in the summer.  The best trout fishing in Coyote Creek is in the upper stretches of the Middle Fork above Poverty Flat, where the water tends to run cool all year.

All California fishing regulations apply in the park. If you're 16 years old or older, you must have a valid California fishing license. All park rules and regulations also apply. If you're going to stay overnight in the backcountry, you must register and get a backpacking permit at the Visitor Center or at Hunting Hollow.

Please note that we strongly encourage catch-and-release fishing with barbless hooks.  Fishing in the park depends upon self-sustaining populations.  There is no restocking program for the waters within the park.

You can buy the 40-page, color-illustrated booklet Fishing Guide to Henry W. Coe State Park at the Visitor Center.
If you'd like, you can order the booklet by mail (allowing two weeks for delivery).
Send a check for $6.75, which includes tax and postage.

No self-addressed envelopes, please. We have custom sized envelopes for the booklet.

Make your check payable to the Pine Ridge Association and send it to:
The Pine Ridge Association
9100 East Dunne Ave.
Morgan Hill, CA 95037


 

 

Become a Volunteer

Coe Park Volunteer Ranger

Are you interested in learning more about Henry W. Coe State Park and sharing your knowledge with park visitors? How about helping out with annual events or maintenance of springs and trails? If so, visit our Volunteer page.

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