Fishing at Loon Lake

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Loon Lake is a very nice spot just inland from Reedsport near the Oregon Coast, attractive to anglers for its plentiful stocked rainbow trout, good-sized largemouth bass and impressive panfish.

The 270-acre lake is deep and curves roughly two miles in length, surrounded by forest.

While there are native cutthroat trout available all year, trout fishing is best after the hatchery stocking trucks make their stops.

Typically the first load of hatchery rainbows is delivered in the late winter, sometime near the first of March. Additional plantings will occur for most of the spring, and some of those might be larger as Memorial Day approaches.

The typical lake methods for catching trout in lakes and ponds certainly will do the job here, including trolling lures and bait or still-fishing with bait. 

If you’d like a bit more detail on ways to catch trout, read our article Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.

Loon Lake is not generally stocked during the summer, and angling attention tends to give way to warmwater species including the largemouth bass as well as crappie and bluegill.

Bass cover is plentiful and obvious around the edges. Look for downed logs, boat docks, lily pads and other bassy spots. Those shallow areas will be best in the spring as larger bass spawn and protect their nests.

After the spawn, bass tend to move into deeper waters, where the cover won’t be so obvious. It’s worth casting into open water or perhaps trolling to seek out these fish.

Try some soft plastics that imitate frogs, crawfish, worms and fish (including popular Senko-type lures), diving plugs and other lures. Large swimbaits can catch big bass here as well.

Some anglers look to “match the hatch” by throwing lures that imitate rainbow trout, which can be easy pickings for the biggest bass.

Bass are slow-growing fish; consider releasing them to fight another day, helping to maintain the trophy fishery here.

Loon Lake also can offer good to excellent fishing for panfish.

The late Pete Heley wrote in his newspaper columns that Loon Lake is one of the best places in this part of Oregon to catch exceptionally large crappie, including fish in the foot-long range.

Crappie are a schooling fish that can often be found in shallow water, especially around cover, during the spring. Look for crappie to move into deeper water during the summer and fall.

The most common way to catch these fish is with a crappie jig under a bobber or suspended into deeper water, but Heley had fished Loon Lake for bass and also suggested that larger swim baits are effective for the bigger specimens.

A fish finder might help located schools or likely cover. The docks belonging to private home owners on this lake offer very good crappie cover.

Bluegill are common at Loon Lake. They are often found close to the shore, especially in the shade of cover around and under lily pads or other weeds, or structures such as trees and docks.

Fish natural bait such as bits of nightcrawler, small worms, mealworms or crickets, often below a bobber. Sinking flies and small lures can also entice strikes. If bluegill are present, they are fun and easy for kids to catch.

If your natural baits are fished on or near the bottom, another likely catch here are bullhead catfish.

Loon Lake is located south of the excellent Umpqua River.

From Highway 38 (Umpqua Highway), take Loon Lake Road about eight miles to the lake. (We’ve been cautioned that online maps may give inaccurate directions to the lake.) 

Figure on driving a bit more than an hour from either Reedsport on the coast or Elkton farther up on the Umpqua River. It’s less than two hours from larger cities including Eugene, Roseburg and Coos Bay.

Loon Lake overall has fair angler access. Using a boat will get you near lots more fish here.

There is a bit of public bank access, including at the BLM Recreation Site on the north end of the lake, where there also is a public campground and other facilities.

Loon Lake Resort and RV Park (on the south end of the lake) also has good lake access for customers and other amenities including overnight options.

Both the BLM site and the resort offer boat launches and the resort also rents boats.

Find more fishing spots in Douglas County

Oregon Resources

ODFW trout stocking schedule
ODFW weekly recreation report and regulation updates
ODFW annual fishing regulations
National Weather Service forecasts