Lake Lytle is the body of water hugging the east side of Highway 101 at the north end of Rockaway Beach, a popular tourist beach town between Tillamook Bay and Nehalem Bay.
The 65-acre lake is popular with anglers during the spring, when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plants it with hatchery raised rainbow trout, which are easy to catch from the bank or small boats and make a nice fish dinner for beach visitors and residents alike.
Lytle also has a worthwhile fishery for largemouth bass, an aggressive species that is fun to catch and which we suggest you release to fight another day.
Lake Lytle is often very generously stocked heading into Oregon’s spring break, which happens in the latter part of March when the waters are still cool and trout friendly. It likely will get at least one more trout planting, probably with fewer fish, into about the middle of spring. The usual bait and lure tactics will catch fish here. (More detail: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.)
When warmer spring and summer temperatures take hold, anglers switch to bass fishing. Largemouth strike lures that imitate all kinds of prey, including small fish, crayfish, frogs and worms. Try fishing near the docks, shoreline weeds and especially submerged logs, because bass like to hold near structure and dart out to ambush any meal that might swim past. They can often be found in very shallow water, especially during the spring spawn. In the brightness of day or heat of summer, bass move into deeper waters and might be enticed by a diving crankbait or soft plastic lure.
Both species can be caught from shore. A small boat or float tube also can give anglers an advantage to reach productive water, especially the best bass habitat.
You might also catch a few other warm water fish species here. Yellow perch have been reported.
Lytle also is one of a handful of north Oregon coast lakes that is sometimes planted with excess hatchery steelhead during the winter months. These giant ocean-going rainbows (with some topping 8 or 10 pounds) might be enticed into striking by casting spinners and spoons, slow-trolling wobbling or wiggling lures or fishing sand shrimp or other bait beneath a bobber. Use stronger line, tackle, rods and reels than you might for the trout and bass.
Unlike trout, the steelhead plants aren’t scheduled far ahead and only happen when hatcheries on northwest Oregon steelhead streams have plenty of fish for their propagation programs. Your best plan is to watch the ODFW’s weekly recreation report during the winter months for news of steelhead plantings. (See link below.)
There is some parking on the east shoulder of Highway 101 but also a developed parking area on the north side of the lake from Northeast 12th Avenue. There are fishing docks in both areas, including access for people with disabilities, but if you want to launch a small boat definitely head to the 12th Avenue access.