This smallish lake tucked at the base of towering dunes on the central Oregon coast is popular for many reasons, including some pretty good trout and largemouth bass fishing.
For anglers, the 87-acre lake is most enthusiastically fished during the spring.
This is in large part because the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly dumps hatchery-reared rainbow trout in the lake.
The plants often begin in February and continue a couple of times per month into May, often resulting in some 10,000 or more trout provided for anglers. Better yet, many of those thousands of trout are often ODFW’s larger “trophy” trout, which fight robustly and make a bigger meal than the legal-sized trout also planted here and elsewhere.
Trout fishing will be best during the stocking season through spring and into early summer.
Spring is also when fishing improves substantially for largemouth bass as well as other nonnative warmwater fish found in Cleawox. At this time of year, largemouth bass tend to move into shallower water for spawning, and they can be aggressive in feeding and defending their territory at this time.
Cleawox Lake also has populations of crappie, bluegill, yellow perch and bullhead catfish. Fish for some of these species can be good at time and they are fun to catch for kids. Bait or small jigs can be effective.
Most of Cleawox Lake is located on public property, and lakeside trails and dunes provide excellent access for bank anglers. Small boats also can be launched for access to the entire lake.
Cleawox Lake is well-known in part because it is in part of Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, one of the most popular state parks on the Oregon coast. The state park offers hundreds of campsites and many other amenities and also provides access to larger Woahink Lake nearby.
The lake also provides access to parts of the sprawling Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Cleawox Lake is located just four miles south of Florence and is just off Highway 101.