Best Bass Fishing in Oregon: Reelin’ Beaver State Bass

Coty Perry

For travelers and outdoor lovers, the breathtaking natural beauty of Oregon is a prime attraction. In fact, the state is one of my favorite skiing destinations.

With so many amazing things to do in Oregon, it can be hard to even find time for fishing. But, not for you!

Salmon and steelhead attract a lot of anglers but many still come for the bass fishing. 

That said, bass density and water conditions keep changing. So, for the best bass fishing in Oregon, you need to choose the right spot.

So, here’s our list of the top locations for Oregon bass fishing.

Going fishing in Oregon? Then give a read to our Oregon Fishing License guide.

13 Spots for the Best Bass Fishing in Oregon 

After gathering the fishing data and discussing it with the local anglers, we came up with this list of 13 water bodies that are the best options for Oregon bass fishing.

1. Crane Prairie Reservoir

Crane Prairie Reservoir - best bass fishing in oregon

This man-made lake is located in Deschutes County and has a surface area of around 3400 acres. The setting is spectacular, and the reservoir is a favorite hunting ground for the bald eagle and osprey.

The water is shallow, with a maximum depth of 20 feet. There are a large number of dead trees rising out of the water and plenty of weedy areas.

That makes the lake a great largemouth fishing destination. 

While most of the bass are of average size, the waters also have a large percentage of trophy largemouth.

Late spring and summer are the best months for bass fishing. The reservoir remains inaccessible in winter due to heavy snowfall.

2. Lake Selmac

Lake Selmac - best bass fishing in oregon

If you’re looking for a trophy largemouth bass lake in Southern Oregon, this is one of the best destinations. This is a smallish lake in Josephine County but has produced some award-winning bass in the past.

The lake has plenty of weedy and wooded zones that are the best spots for luring the large lunkers. In summer, soft plastics and poppers work great for topwater fishing  

Locals mention that the bass in these waters prefers larger meals. So, using larger baits can be a good idea.

Keep in mind that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has set the limits to one bass per day. Other species that are found include rainbow trout, panfish, and bluegill.

3. Ten Mile Lake

Ten Mile Lake - best bass fishing in oregon

The Ten Mile Lake is one of the largest lakes along the Oregon coast and an excellent largemouth bass fishery.

Actually, this is a combination of the North and South Ten Mile lakes with a total surface area of around 2700 acres. 

It’s not difficult to find bass of 15 inches or more in the waters in the period between early spring and fall.

The Black’s Creek arm in the North Lake and the Templeton and Coleman arms in the South Lake are some of the best spots.

Note, the water remains stained throughout the year, and visibility is between 2 to 4 feet. During the spawning season, surface lures, along with spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits are good choices.

4. Brownlee Reservoir

Brownlee Reservoir - best bass fishing in oregon

This reservoir is located on the Idaho-Oregon border, and has multiple warm-water as well as cold-water fish species. From the Oregon side, it can be approached from Baker City in Baker County.

The main attraction is largemouth bass, but smallmouth is available too. In summer, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch are also available in large numbers.

The spawning period in spring is the best time for bass anglers and surface baits can lead to a biting frenzy. For summer bass fishing, drop shot rigs work great.

Crankbaits and hair jigs are also good options near the rock piles and drop-offs. 

One thing is, the water level in the reservoir can fluctuate. Ideally, a week of stable water levels is needed to get the best bites. 

5. Columbia River

Columbia River - best bass fishing in oregon

Without a doubt, the Columbia River offers some of the best smallmouth fishing opportunities in Oregon. Largemouth is available too, but in the past few years, their numbers have dropped.

A few years back, I caught a smallmouth around 5 pounds near Chinook Landing Marine Park. But larger catches over 7 pounds aren’t uncommon.

The ledges, rocky shorelines, and drop offs are some of the best places to look for smallmouth bass.

In truth, the Columbia River is a year-round bass fishery. Still, summer is the best time as the water warms up and is crowded with shad and crawdads. 

Swimbaits that imitate shad work great in this period. Topwater lures are effective too, especially during the early morning or late afternoon hours.

6. Henry Hagg Lake

Henry Hagg Lake - best bass fishing in oregon

Hagg lake is a great destination for anyone looking for an excellent angling destination near Portland. The surface area is a little over 1100 acres and the water clarity remains good all through the year.

The lake holds a good population of bass, especially the smallmouth. The pre-spawn season around spring is the ideal time for bass fishing.

Other game fish like trout, brown bullhead and yellow perch are also present.

And guess what? 

The lake has registered the catch of a state record smallmouth bass 5 times in the last three decades.

Locals suggest using squarebill crankbaits and spinnerbaits in the grassy areas and around the fallen trees.

The areas around the creek arms and near the dam are some of the best spots during spring and summer.

7. Umpqua River

Umpqua River - best bass fishing in oregon

The 111-mile Umpqua River is one of the prime rivers on the Oregon Coast. But for bass anglers, it’s smallmouth heaven at its best.

In fact, the entire stretch between South Umpqua and the ocean is great for bass fishing

Admittedly, these aren’t the largest bass that you’ll find in Oregon. But some reports suggest an incredible fish density of 4000 per square river mile! 

Since these smallmouths are aggressive fighters, fishing in this river is great fun.

The drop-off structures and ledges are some of the ideal spots to look for bass. Try using crankbaits near the shallow water at the edge of a drop-off for the best results.

And make sure to check the latest guidelines before heading out.

8. Emigrant Lake

Emigrant Lake - best bass fishing in oregon

Located 5 miles away from Ashland in Jackson County, Emigrant Lake is a great destination for smallmouth bass fishing.

With plenty of other recreational opportunities, it’s also an excellent family fishing destination.

During spring, the bass can be found in the shallow areas around the bank. But come summer, the larger smallmouth will head into deeper waters.

To target the smallmouth, launch a boat and head towards the northern end of the reservoir and near the face of the Emigrant Dam.

Try using spinnerbaits and jigs that imitate the smaller prey fish. Dropping lures like plastic worms and crankbaits in the shallow and weeded areas of the reservoir arms also work for the largemouth.

9. Fern Ridge Lake

Fern Ridge Lake - best bass fishing in oregon

This lake is on the Long Tom River and its surrounding areas are a part of the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area. Being 15 miles away from Eugene, it’s a great spot for weekend angling trips.

With a large surface area of 9,000 acres, the lake offers multiple hotspots for largemouth bass fishing. Moreover, it has various creeks and tributaries that create coves and inlets where the bass haunts.

Bank anglers can use surface baits in the woody areas near the shallow spots. Locals suggest dropping jigs of different colors through the opening in the vegetation to lure the bass.

10. Triangle Lake 

Triangle Lake - best bass fishing in oregon

This 293-acre lake in Lane County isn’t among the largest in Oregon in terms of size. But when it comes to the bass population, it definitely ranks among the top ones.

A number of fishermen have caught largemouth weighing around 4 to 5 pounds here. The lake is also a great spot for fly fishing. Since the water is crystal clear, sight fishing is also possible.

If you’re planning to use a boat, make sure to use a depth finder. The lake can be 90 feet deep in some places. However, you may find quite a few recreational boaters on the lake during the summer.

11. Davis Lake

Davis Lake - best bass fishing in oregon

If you love fly fishing, the scenic Davis Lake is one of the best options to catch Oregon bass.

The lake is a part of the Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon and is a popular destination for both largemouth bass and rainbow trout fishing.

And the best part is, the waters produce large fish consistently. This is a shallow lake and the level can come down during summer. That makes spring and autumn the best times for bass fishing.

The early morning and late afternoon hours are the best times for bass. Topwater presentations like poppers work well for the largemouth in the reed beds.

12. Prineville Reservoir

Prineville Reservoir - best bass fishing in oregon

The 3000-acre Prineville Reservoir is a part of the Prineville Reservoir State Park. While this isn’t a lake for trophy bass, the higher number of bass makes it a great place for beginners.

Both smallmouth and largemouth are found in the waters. The bass fishing season peaks between May and October. The reservoir is ideal for both shore fishing and launching a boat.

Locals suggest using drop shots from the cliff faces is a good way to lure the bass. Texas-rigged worms are also good around the ledges and boulders.

Note, the water level in the reservoir fluctuates throughout the year. So, it’s best to check the latest status from the locals before heading there. 

13. Ollala Lake

Ollala Lake - best bass fishing in oregon
(photo source:

This miniature lake is around 5 miles from the city of Toledo in Lincoln County. Apart from rainbow and cutthroat trout, the 120-acre lake also has a strong population of largemouth bass.

Moreover, the setting is peaceful and has minimum fishing pressure.

The prime time for bass fishing is during spring when they head into the shallows for spawning. The lake is ideal for baitcasting or fly fishing and you can also launch a kayak. 

Note, many anglers have found the bass reluctant to bite during summer in this lake. The best option is to pick the right spots and use a wide variety of baits. If topwater baits don’t do the trick try jigs and jerkbaits.


So, these are the top spots for the best bass fishing in Oregon. No matter your level of expertise, the bass fishing opportunities in Oregon won’t disappoint you.

Let’s assume that you have already covered some of the top states for bass fishing like Texas, Michigan, or Georgia.

Then Oregon can always be your next angling destination.

Make sure to collect a general Oregon Angling License before you plan your trip.

And you’re good to go…

Let us know in the comments down below if you have a favorite spot in Oregon!

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