Oregon smallmouth bass fishing

OREGON FISHING FORUM

CDN

Member
Guys, I am a regular contributor in the Recipes Section, but I am seeking your advice. My in laws live in Beaverton, Oregon and we have a trip planned to visit in late August or September, and I want to go on a hunting or fishing trip while there. I really want to go on an elk hunt, but limiting factors may prevent that. My next best choice would be smallmouth bass. It is number two on my bucket list of fish to catch, bonefish being number one. Living in Georgia, I am a super experienced fisherman for largemouth bass, with multiple 8 pound + fish under my belt. But I've never caught a smallmouth, they are not plentiful here. I would appreciate any information for catching smallmouth within a reasonable drive of Portland. I would also consider a guided trip if anyone has any suggestions. I would greatly appreciate it!!
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
Umpqua River, is the best--hands down--in terms of sheer numbers. Many peeps have 100 fish days! (No joke). The John Day River, in Eastern Oregon, is also a smokin' hot smallie fishery. JDR also seems to also have larger fish too; than the Ump. However, neither is even remotely close to Beaverton.

Henry Hagg Lake, however, is a stone's throw away from Beaverton. Plus is has produced, at least 2 state records, in recent years. Their may be boat rentals available, at that time of year too (if that is a need).
 

montym

Active member
Henry Hagg Lake is 40 minutes or so from Beaverton, and it's practically guaranteed that you will get into some fish there. Last two Oregon state record smallmouths came from that lake.

An additional benefit is that you can actually convert a trip to Hagg into a family outing kind of thing and get some brownie points in the bank. Mind you, at that time of the year it will be a bit crowded.

If you want to talk to a guide reach out to forum member Tanner (@onthedrop), he has got a lot of people from this forum into all kinds of fish. He posted a lot of bass pics around that time last year.. don't remember what kind they were though.

Cheers
M
 
A guided trip on the Umpqua through the famed loop. Google big k ranch near Elkton. After the trip you'll be planning the next one!

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Berg03

Active member
I live in beaverton as well. I go to Henry hagg a lot, throwing plastics near the bank is the way to go. A LOT of small mouths in there. The dam produces a lot of fish too but hard to fish plastics there. The boat rental should be open during the spring/summer/fall times. The guy who rents them also has a nice food shack to refuel after fishing all day. I've seen multiple 7+ lbers last year lurking around.

But the unpqua is a great fishery for smallies. If you were to get on a guided trip down it, will catch a TON of fish. Hopefully find a nice one for a photo.

Good luck!
 

bubs

Active member
Not so much August, but by September the smallies will be stacked up around the dam at Hagg Lake. I've had incredible days in Sep there fishing plastics from the dam.
 

Troutski

Well-known member
Moderator
Hands down...

Hands down...

A guided trip on the Umpqua through the famed loop. Google big k ranch near Elkton. After the trip you'll be planning the next one!

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So very true, we do live in a magical area....

Chuck

 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Another vote for Hagg. Also - I wouldn't worry if the plastics aren't working - I don't fish plastics around the dam (an earth dam covered in rip rap) - I stick with hard baits - cranks mostly, but also spinner baits and in-line spinners. Crank baits work well on the large and smallmouth bass- which both hand out around there.

In August the water will be down a good bit, and you can walk to a number of good coves and points that should also fish well, and your soft plastics will do better here.

There is also usually a few bass hanging out near the eastern boat ramp "boat ramp A" which also has a boat house for the sheriff's boat. Park rules forbid fishing from the boat docks, but if you get there early enough and are on a week day vs weekend, you may have the place to yourself for a while... lets just say there's some piggies that live under the popo's boat house.

Boat rentals are on the steep side now - they changed operators (actually a couple times, because one fellow had some legal troubles from what I understand) of the boat rental and the rates border on silly now for what you get, IMO and you can get into fish from the bank pretty easily. You may also be able to hook up with a member here who happens to have a boat.

Other good options for getting into smallmouth in August would be the Tualatin River - lots of places to access this near Beaverton. The Willamette River is also a good bet - a 30-60 minute drive from Beaverton will put you in some nice places to fish smallies from the bank - MS Young Park in the city of West Linn, Willamette Park also in West Linn, the Cedar Oak Boat Ramp in West Linn also has decent bank access. You can fish in downtown Portland if you're willing to experience "Weird" Portland. On the east side of the Willamette you can actually find a promenade that goes right over the water. Meldrum Bar Park in Milwaukie and Clackamette Park in Gladstone also offer good bank access - and depending on when you're fishing in August you *might* also get to tangle with a coho salmon as by catch.

The Columbia River is another smallmouth factory and there's scads of public access - literally a couple hundred miles of river to fish within 2 hours or so of Portland either direction.
 

EOBOY

Well-known member
I've done a lot of Bass fishing down around Waycross and Blackshear. The Umpqua is closer than the John Day River. Unless you know someone with a boat, then I would fish the mouth of the JD. That's not a bad day trip. The upper JD is at the very least a 3 or 4 day trip. AS for Elk the season that's a little early in the year.

EOBOY
 

CDN

Member
Wow, you guys are amazing! Lots of info and ideas to consider! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to an outsider, if you are ever coming to Georgia, please let me know I'll take you fishing and cook you a southern meal!
 

Willerman

Active member
I would also suggest the Umpqua if you have the drive. If not Hagg is a great place as everyone else has said. If you are looking for more local, I believe the "Urban Hawg Map" has some good spots on the Willy. A quick google search will pay off ;)
 

EOBOY

Well-known member
Wow, you guys are amazing! Lots of info and ideas to consider! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to an outsider, if you are ever coming to Georgia, please let me know I'll take you fishing and cook you a southern meal!
I might take you up on that, I love grits and Hush Puppies with fried Bass or crappie. My grandfather was from Moultrie Ga.

EOBOY
 

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Snopro

Member
Columbia between Bonneville and The Dalles dams. Fish any riprap bank. You'll hook a bunch and it will be way closer than the Umpqua or JD. Tons of family stuff to do in the Gorge as a bonus.
 

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