Woahink Lake is a fairly large natural lake, at 820 acres, but is somewhat overshadowed by the larger and better known Siltcoos Lake just to the south.
Woahink is easy to get to, sitting just off Highway 101 just a few miles south of Florence on Oregon’s central coastline.
For anglers, Woahink offers a smattering of both cold- and warmwater fishing opportunities, including being known as one of the best places to catch yellow perch, sometimes to good size.
While yellow perch aren’t one of Oregon’s most popular gamefish, they certainly have their fans because these fish are very tasty and can be easily caught in good numbers when you can locate a school of decent-sized fish.
Yellow perch bite well on natural baits such as worms or pieces of nightcrawlers. Some anglers will tip the hook of small crappie jigs with bait to fool perch. Yellow perch can be caught all year long, and they often are the first warmwater species to really go on the bite in the late winter and into early spring.
One reason Woahink is good for yellow perch is that it’s the deepest lake on the central coast, with a maximum depth of 72 feet.
Warmwater anglers also find fair angling for other species. You might catch largemouth bass, bullhead catfish, crappie and sunfish here, but often in more modest numbers than in nearby coastal lakes. On the bright side, it’s a fairly big lake and you can find areas to fish with little pressure from other anglers.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also stocks a modest number of trout in Woahink Lake. Stocking schedules show some 1,000 trout planted there in March and again in April. While that’s not a huge number of trout for this size of a lake, take note that those trout tend to be the agency’s larger “trophy” sized fish, which are significantly bigger than the legal-sized trout stocked in bigger numbers elsewhere.
Woahink also has a population of native coastal cutthroat trout that are common to streams and many natural lakes in the region. These may be retained under trout bag limit rules for the lake.
Fishing for coho salmon is not allowed at Woahink, as anglers are permitted to do seasonally at Siltcoos Lake and Tahkenitch Lake. If you catch a salmon, whether an adult or trout-sized smolts, they must be released unharmed. (Young coho are sometimes confused with kokanee, a landlocked sockeye salmon that are not present in Woahink.)
Much of Woahink’s shoreline is in private property, and your best game plan for both bank and boat access likely will be heading to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park on the north side of the lake. Honeyman is one of Oregon’s biggest state parks, with hundreds of campsites for all types of visitors.
You’ll also find plenty of space space for bank fishing and picnicking and can launch your boat here to get around the full lake from the main park area on the lake. (Honeyman also provides access and amenities to the smaller Cleawox Lake on the other side of Highway 101.)
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area provides many recreational opportunities throughout this part of the coastline.