Coos County packs a ton of fishing opportunities into an average-sized county. Highlights including the excellent fishing and shellfishing of Coos and Coquille bays, superb fishing for hatchery winter steelhead in several smaller streams, and the largemouth bass and panfish mecca that is Tenmile Lakes.
Within the article itself as well as after the list of major fisheries, look for links to more resources to get the most out of Coos County’s fishing options, including links to fishing areas in neighboring counties.
Fishing regulations for Coos County can be found in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Southwest and Marine Zones.
Incorporated cities in Coos County are Bandon, Coos Bay, Coquille, Lakeside, Myrtle Point, North Bend and Powers.
Additional communities and landmarks here include Barview, Bullards Beach, Cape Arago, Charleston, Riverton and Tenmile. Part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area also is in Coos County.
Here are some of the best fishing spots in Coos County:
This is one of several lakes in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area north of Coos Bay, between Highway 101 and the beach.
Beale Lake is primarily fished for warm water species such as largemouth bass, yellow perch and other fish.
This is a coastal lake of about 35 acres in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area just north of Coos Bay is occasionally stocked with good numbers of hatchery rainbow trout.
Bluebill Lake is located off Horsfall Beach Road south of the larger Horsfall Lake. There also is a Bluebill Campground here.
This small lake is located just a few miles south of Bandon is generously stocked with rainbow trout.
Bradley Lake also has good numbers of bullhead catfish and some largemouth bass.
You’ll find Bradley at the southern end of the Beach Loop, near Bandon State Natural Area.
This small coastal lake just off Highway 101 between Coos Bay and Tenmile Lakes is on ODFW’s trout stocking schedule, which will give you a good idea when trout fishing is best.
Butterfield Lake also contains bass, bluegill, warmouth and possibly other warmwater species for year-round angling.
Take Riley Ranch Lane to the county park and campground adjacent to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
See: Butterfield Lake Fishing.
Coos Bay and Rivers
Oregon’s largest bay has a tremendous fall Chinook salmon fishery and some good opportunity for coho salmon some years on top of it.
The bay also offers a variety of other fishing opportunities, including a very good jetty fishery at the mouth and modest opportunities for sturgeon and striped bass.
After the rains come, fall Chinook are caught into the lower sections of tributaries, including mainstem Coos and Millicoma rivers and South Fork Coos.
Winter steelhead fishing is better in the forks, with high catches in the South Fork Coos and both the East and West Forks of the Millicoma.
Cutthroat trout are available in season.
There can be a modest shad fishery in the river during the late spring and early summer.
Coquille Bay and River
This is an excellent salmon and steelhead system.
Fall Chinook salmon are caught in the small bay near Bandon and tidewater areas in very good numbers during September and early October, and modestly in the rivers.
Wild coho runs overlap with the Chinook and can be kept only when special regulations allow it.
The bay also has jetty fishing and there are a fair number of striped bass around.
For winter steelhead, the South Fork Coquille can offer some of the best success rates for hatchery (keeper) fish around, and the North Fork can be quite good as well.
Try cuttroat trout fishing soon after the opener in late May or when the searuns come back with salmon in the late summer and early fall.
There also is a growing smallmouth bass fishery in the Coquille River, and in recent years fishing for them has been excellent.
Other warmwater fish you might find in part of the lower river and Fat Elk Slough include some largemouth bass, panfish and bullhead catfish. There’s no harvest limit on bass on the Coquille system.
This is a skinny lake with two long arms, with William M. Tugman State Park located on the south end near the bottom of its U-shape, on the Coos County side of the line.
Eel Lake is just north of the famous Tenmile Lakes.
Nearby Hall Lake, just across Highway 101, is a 14-acre water with largemouth bass fishing.
See: Fishing at Eel Lake.
These small lakes located in the city of Coos Bay are most popular for the good numbers of hatchery rainbow trout planted here, especially in the late winter and spring.
There also is a modest warmwater fishery, with largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch and bullhead catfish present.
The ponds are easily accessible in the Empire area in the city of Coos Bay.
See: Empire Lakes Fishing.
A 250-acre lake among the dunes just north of Coos Bay, Horsfall has plenty of yellow perch and also contains largemouth bass and bullhead catfish.
Johnson Mill Pond
This 100-acre log pond is a very good warmwater fishery with largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch and bullhead catfish.
The pond is located along the Coquille River off Highway 42 between Coquille and Myrtle Point (closer to Coquille).
It has excellent bank access and a gravel boat launch.
This is a tiny pond set aside for kids only at the Millicoma Interpretive Center located on East Fork Road along the Millicoma River in the Allegany area, east of Coos Bay.
Fishing is best soon after a periodic stocking with hatchery trout.
ODFW recommends calling ahead at 541-267-2557 to make sure the gates are open.
Mingus Park Pond
This small pond within a Coos Bay city park is occasionally stocked with hatchery rainbow trout.
After a planting, fishing will be very good for a short period. Family fishing events are sometimes held here.
You also will find modest numbers of bass and panfish.
This is a 30-acre pond is regularly planted with hatchery trout.
Powers Pond is located near the South Fork Coquille River in the community of Powers, along Highway 542 south of Myrtle Point. Access is excellent.
The pond also has fair fishing for bass and panfish.
See: Powers Pond Fishing.
This is a pretty good-sized dune lake between Coos Bay and Lakeside that borders the west side of Highway 101 and has a county park named after the lake.
Saunders Lake can be generously stocked with hatchery trout from late winter well into spring and may get a good dose of large “pounder” trout in the fall (about October).
Coastal lakes including Saunders also can have pretty good fishing for largemouth bass, yellow perch and other warm water game fish.
See: Saunders Lake Fishing.
This smallish lake is tucked between dunes just north of Coos Bay, west of Highway 101.
It is primarily fished for warm water fish. You might catch largemouth bass, yellow perch, bullhead catfish and perhaps sunfish.
This small lake in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is in the upper drainage of the South Fork Coquille in the southeastern corner of the county, almost due east of Port Orford.
This lake has the potential for very good rainbow trout fishing after ODFW stocks it with hatchery fish.
Sru Lake Campground is here.
It is reached by National Forest roads upstream from Coquille River Falls.
This is one of Oregon’s premier fisheries for warmwater species that also has trout and a rare opportunity to keep a wild coho salmon.
Tenmile is the No. 1 largemouth bass fishing destination on the Oregon Coast, if not anywhere in the state.
The coho arrive in late fall and head toward the major tributaries.
Trout include native cutthroat and stocked rainbows, and catches can be surprisingly good for a place known for warmwater species.
These two lakes, connected by a thin channel near Lakeside, total 1,700 acres and harbor tons of great warmwater fish cover in long creek arms, islands, weeds and structures including railroad trestles.
Bank access is limited overall, but there is ADA access available.
Boat access is excellent, with rentals available locally in Lakeside.
See: Fishing at Tenmile Lakes.
Fishing in Neighboring Counties
Douglas County: To the north and east, a variety of great fisheries from coast to Cascades, including the versatile Umpqua River and incomparable Diamond Lake.
Curry County: To the southwest: This South Coast county includes the lower Rogue River and bay’s great salmon fishery, along with the Chetco, Elk and Sixes rivers’ productive salmon and steelhead runs.
More Fishing Resources:
In addition to other sources, the following websites were very helpful while compiling these county fishing pages, and the information there is valuable to all Oregon anglers.
For current regulations, trout stocking, weekly angling reports and more, find links on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing Resources Page.
For boating information about these waters, see the Oregon State Marine Board’s launch locator map.