Closure Notice (1/20/2023): Due to hazardous conditions, Henry W. Coe State Park is closed until further notice. Creeks are high with swift flowing water, trees may fall, and there are mudslides throughout the park causing unsafe conditions.

Please refer to the Henry W. Coe State Park page on California State Parks website for the latest news on park restrictions and closures.


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

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, Mustang and Kingbird Ponds. If you'd like to fish in these less accessible areas of the park, you should be in excellent physical shape because 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.

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

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


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



From Coe HQ

From Hunting Hollow

From Dowdy VC (Check for seasonal closure)


Bass Pond

4.7 mi, 480'



bass, bluegill

Coit Lake

23 mi, 4950'

27½ mi, 4250'

18.6 mi, 3380’

11.0 mi,  3390’

bass, bluegill, green sunfish, crappie, catfish

Frog Lake

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

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



bass, bluegill

Hoover Lake

18½ mi, 3500'



No fish

Jackrabbit Lake

44 mi, 8000'

46 mi, 7460’

24 mi, 4140’


Kelly Lake

25 mi, 3700'

16 mi, 2790’

15.3 mi, 3560’

bass, bluegill, green sunfish, crappie

Kingbird Pond

35 mi, 7600'

33 mi, 6840’

15 mi, 3320’


Mahoney Pond

15½ mi, 2350'

14.2 mi, 1900’

23 mi 4400’


Mississippi Lake

22 mi, 5700'

37 mi, 6800'

18 mi 3330’


Mustang Pond

40 mi, 8550'

43 mi, 7570’

19.6 mi, 3690’


Paradise Lake

44 mi, 8000'

47.5 mi, 7950’

24 mi, 3970’


Redfern Pond


10.7 mi, 1450'


bluegill verified 

(Needs to be checked for other species formerly reported present.)





4.4 mi, 1050’

green sunfish

Tule Pond


10.5 mi, 2120'

13.6 mi, 3080’

bass? (Needs to be checked. Fish may not have survived drought.)

Wasno Pond


13.3 mi, 2470'

11.6 mi, 2450’

bass? (Needs to be checked.  Fish may not have survived drought.)

Will’s Pond

33 mi, 7400’

30.2 mi, 6740’

12.4 mi, 3160’


Other entrances offer shorter or less difficult approaches


Fishing Regulations

The lakes and ponds in the park are open all year for fishing for all species.

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.

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.  The streams are open for trout fishing only from the last Saturday in April through November 15.

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.

Fishing Guide to Henry W. Coe State Park , a 40-page, color-illustrated booklet is available for purchase at the Visitor Center.

If you'd like, you can order the booklet by mail (allowing two weeks for delivery). The price, $6.75, includes tax and postage. 

Make your check payable to the Pine Ridge Association. Address your request and payment to: 

The Pine Ridge Association
9100 East Dunne Ave.
Morgan Hill, CA 95037 



Coe Park Volunteer

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.

Support Coe Park


We rely on your generous support. Thank you!