TR - Bass fishing / backpacking in Henry Coe, Coit Lake

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jartelt
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TR - Bass fishing / backpacking in Henry Coe, Coit Lake

Post by jartelt » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:16 am

This trip report is not about trout fishing in the Sierra, but I thought some fishermen on the board would be interested. Henry Coe State park near San Jose has several small lakes that are loaded with largemouth bass (plus some crappie and sunfish). The park is large enough to backpack for several days, but gets very hot in the summer. That said, it's a great place to go and have a ball catching 50+ bass from a float tube in a day. Spring is my favorite time to go because everything is green, wildflowers are blooming, and all the water sources are full.

In August, some friends and I hiked 8 miles out to Coit Lake and spent two nights there. On the second day of the trip we fished for about 6 hours using the float tubes and rafts we carried in.

Overall the fishing was good and we caught plenty of bass. The average size was small (~10 inches) but I caught 3 decent sized bass around 15-16 inches in length. We also caught a fair number of sunfish and some crappie. For anyone interested in backpacing/fishing, Henry Coe is a great place to go. It's not too busy and the lakes are the perfect size for float tube fishing. Here is my report for the trip with more details on the hike: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com ... coit-lake/

I have also been out to Mississippi Lake in Henry Coe a few times, and the fishing there is even better because the average size bass is larger. The only downside is Mississippi Lake requires a ~13 mile hike instead of a 8 mile hike. Here is an old trip report for my first trip to Mississippi Lake (before I got a float tube): https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com ... ippi-lake/

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: TR - Bass fishing / backpacking in Henry Coe, Coit Lake

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am

I have been to both lakes (Coit and Mississippi) many times but not fished due to impossible brush along the shores. A float-tube seems the only reasonable way to go. Henry Coe park is one of my favorite winter backpack destinations. It really greens-up in the winter, and I love all the hairy moss that hangs off the trees. I have done 4-5 day trips where, once past the day-hike areas, I was totally alone for several days. My only complaint is that it is ghastly expensive. Long drive, parking fee plus a daily fee and I cannot use my senior pass either (can at Point Reyes).

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jartelt
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Re: TR - Bass fishing / backpacking in Henry Coe, Coit Lake

Post by jartelt » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:10 pm

Awesome, I'm glad to hear there is another Henry Coe fan out there! I agree that the winter/spring is great. I really like seeing the wildflowers and hiking through The Narrows when there is water. Fishing from the shore is super tough. I have tried twice and did not have too much luck. Having a raft or float tube makes things 100x better. The only issue is the extra weight to carry... I have been meaning to mountain bike out there sometime though since that would make it easier to access the lakes in the Wilderness area of the park (these supposedly hold bigger fish but are a ~20 mile hike from the headquarters).

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