Henry Hagg Lake Fishing Reports

Fishnsleep

Active member
You know spring is here when it’s time to visit Henry Hagg Lake. Met my friend John there at 7:30 a.m. and fished out of his 19’ Duckworth. We launched from boat ramp A and trolled towards the dam. The action was fairly fast, and we had our limits in an hour or so. It was very interesting that once the sun came out, the bite almost died, we were fishing small spinners near the surface. I put on a heavy spoon to get a little deeper, and this caught the last three trout. It was a great day, and the ODFW has stocked some very nice trout in the lake.

Also, the park is very nice, I have not visited in quite a while. I plan to do more fishing, as well as some hiking and biking in this very scenic park over the summer. Annual passes can be bought at the Lake Stop Grocery, which is on your right, before entering the park, 8015 SW Old Highway 47, Gaston, OR 97119. They also have fishing licenses, bait, tackle, and food for sale.

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troutdude

Moderator
Excellent report. Thanks for sharing.

Yes the sun does bring the bite to a stand still there. Gotta go deep and into the channel drop OFF's when that happens.

Good of you to give a shout out to the folks, at the Lake Stop Grocery. Wonderful people who have been there for decades!
 
I have noticed the same when I fish Hagg. The morning or evening bite is hot but as soon as the sun is up the bite dies.

Man I never fish by the dam or Boat ramp A. I don't have luck there i do the no wake zone area around C with a ton of success!

Looks like you guys got a nice and fat one too.
 

bass

Most Featured
Great report and congrats on the nice catch!

I have not had too many problems getting bit at Hagg when the sun is shining. What I do is start letting out an extra 10' on my rods (while trolling) until I find them again. In low light I am often 30-50' back. In the sunshine I often have to go to 80-100' back. Sometimes I will add more weight but usually just getting deeper by trolling a longer line is all it takes.

They don't just have food at the Lakestop store, they have the best fried chicken in Oregon :)
 
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troutdude

Moderator
Great report and congrats on the nice catch!

I have not had too many problems getting bit at Hagg when the sun is shining. What I do is start letting out an extra 10' on my rods (while trolling) until I find them again. In low light I am often 30-50' back. In the sunshine I often have to go to 80-100' back. Sometimes I will add more weight but usually just getting deeper by trolling a longer line is all it takes.

They don't just have food at the Lakestop store, they have the best fried chicken in Oregon :)

Yep. Ya gotta go deep.

And I'll add that the store has the nicest owners too!
 

Admin

Admin
 

Golfbum

Member
Hagg Lake
March 23rd

Until further notice all Washington County Parks facilities restrooms, shelters, indoor rental facilities, playgrounds, and sport courts and disc golf courses are closed.

Lake and boat ramps still open.
 

bass

Most Featured
I was sick and tired of cleaning grass of my lures so I decided to skip the Willamette and hit Hagg instead. It had been a really hot week but we were on 2nd day of a cold front so I was not expecting a great day. I was tempted to bring some trout gear but I knew that if I did I would do the easy thing and just fish for trout. I made my plans to fish for bass and stuck with it.

I was surprised when I got to Hagg and saw that the water temp was ~67 degrees. The Willamette the week before had only been in the mid-50s and I figured Hagg would be a little warmer than that but I was way off.

I launched at boat ramp C and started fishing towards the Scoggins arm. On my 2nd cast I hooked a nice-sized smallmouth on a hard swimbait. I was pretty fired up since I was expecting the fish to be in a neutral to negative mood at best and not really chase hard baits very much.

Turns out that the first fish was one of those well-known liar fish. I did not catch a fish on a hard bait all day long.

After a dozen more casts I decided to pick up a wacky-rigged 3" senko and go back over the area. I caught a small smallmouth (first fish on the video). If you watch carefully you can see it puke up a decent-sized little perch right before I land it.

After that first flurry of action I probably spent an hour or so without a bite. I kept cycling through my takcle box looking for something that the bass would find appetizing. I tried a spinnerbait, a 1.5 crankbait, hard swimbait, jerkbait, soft swimbait, 3" wacky rigged senko, and a ned rig.

Eventually as I worked my way down the bank I came to a min-cove where I have done well in the past. I dropped my anchor and decided to cycle through eveything I had tied on to see if it was a problem of me not finding fish. There should be some fish in this spot.

I went through all my rods except for the ned rig without a sniff. I picked up the ned rig and on my 3rd cast to the same spot I caught a nicer smallmouth. I had probably made half a dozen casts with 5 different lures to that spot before I even picked up the ned rig.

I was amazed that all that action had not spooked that fish and that it had taken 3 casts to get it to bite. At that point I realized that the fish were in a negative/neutral mood and that if I wanted to catch something I would need to fish slowly and carefully.

So that is what I did. I alternated between the wacky rigged Senko and the ned rig and carefully combed the water. I got to another favorite spot of mine and within a handful of casts I caught my first largemouth of the year!

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Decent in length but really skinny with no signs of spawning (tail looks perfect).

I kept working my way down the stretch being as quiet and stealthy as I could when I felt another pick up on the ned rig and saw my line moving out. I set the hook with a little too much pepper and POP goes the weasel.

I passed the time while re-tying by berating myself. With all that out of my system I calmed myself and carefully eased myself back to where I broke the fish off.

First cast and I start working the lure back when I seem to lose contact with it. I reel a little trying to regain contact with the ned rig when I see that the line is once again heading out towards deeper water. I set the hook firmly but definitely more controlled and I have my second largemouth of the year!

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To be honest at that point I had already caught more bass than I had anticipated for the entire day (given the cold front).

I made a few more casts to the spot without a bite so I decided to change my presentation angle. First cast from a different angle and the same thing once again. While my ned rig was sitting still on the bottom a bass picked it up and started to swim into deeper water.

I once again made a good crisp hookset and this time I could feel some shoulders on the fish. She put up a good account for herself against the light spinning rod but after a short battle she was mine. She was extremely skinny and only weighted 2lbs 14oz. I really have to believe if that fish was fat she might have been pushing 3 3/4lbs but the scale doesn't lie.

In the video you can see me weight the fish and release it. As soon as I did I said "oops, in all that excitement I forgot to take a picture". At least the video is OK.

I fished that spot for a while longer without any more action. I kept working my way down the bank fishing slowly with the ned rig and picked up a little guy a ways down the bank.

For the rest of the day I only landed one more bass (another pretty decent largemouth) on a wacky rigged, weedless senko up around some shallow grass.

I hooked a few more fish but they all shook the hook.

That was it for me for the day. I only caught 7 bass but I went into the day thinking I might get skunked. Expectations make such a huge difference in how you feel about the day!

Here is some video from the day - including the stupid break off. Check those lines!

 

fromthelogo

Active member
Thanks for the report @bass. Are the restrooms open or are there portable restrooms? How busy was the ramp and how full was the boat trailer parking (if you noticed)? I'm planning on trying the Willamette between Portland and LO on Thursday morning. I'll let you know what I find.
 

bass

Most Featured
There are porta-potties around. I am not sure if the normal restrooms are open or not.

The no-wake section was pretty crowded by noon. It was hard to find a stretch to fish by then that had not just been fished by someone else or was being fished by someone else (boat or bank). I think the boat trailer lot was about 1/2 full at ramp C, but I think almost all of them were fishing. There were also a ton of folks fishing from kayaks, canoes, pontoons and float tubes. I would say it was about as crowded as I had seen the lake from a fishing point of view.

On the way out I think it looked less crowded towards ramp A (from a fishing point of view). Maybe that is the winning strategy. Forget the no-wake zone and fish the main lake. I might go ahead and do that next time.

@fromthelogo I did read in a shad thread on another site that the grass in the lower river does not seem as bad as it was a few weeks back. Hopefully that helps with the bite!
 

Ashton

New member
Hey I’m going out there on Tuesday fishing off the bank is it a good idea or should I head some place else I’m fishing for bass
 

bass

Most Featured
Hey @Ashton , I would not go to Hagg. It fishes from shore OK when it is full but once it starts getting drawn down it is tough to fish from shore. If I had to fish Hagg right now from shore I would only fish the rip rap.

I would recommend you fish the Willamette or the Tualatin.

The Willamette has places on both sides that fish well from shore. On the East side two spots are Elk Rock Island or Rivervilla park. On the West side there are George Rogers park, Mary S Young park and Willamette park in West Linn (where the Tualatin dumps in.

Those are a couple of suggestions. Almost any place you can find rocky structure near shore is a going to hold smallmouth all through the summer. Best fishing is usually first and last light. Mornings fish long on the East side and evenings fish long on the West side.

I would recommend a 3" white swimbait on a 1/8, 3/16 or 1/4 oz jighead as good lure to search with. Just cast and reel. Wacky rigged Senkos are also a great lure to try. Both of those are inexpensive so if you do snag up it is not too big of a loss.

Good luck!
 

fromthelogo

Active member
I agree with what @bass recommended as to where and with what. I’d also suggest 3” green pumpkin tubes on a 3/16 oz jig head. If you are having issues with hanging up, I’d recommend a weightless Senko Texas rigged (green pumpkin or green pumpkin/pearl laminate) or a Texas rigged tube. I also really like the Strike King Swim’n Caffeine Shad and Caffeine Shad.
 
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