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|Fishing at Coe Park|
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Thank you! We rely on your generous support.