Fishing Coe Back Country

I've been thinking of backpacking into Henry Coe State Park in the spring for some bass fishing amongst the wild flowers. Has anyone ever trekked out to one of these wild lakes? Supposedley the fishing is world-class amazing because very few people actually ever fish these lakes. There are a dozen lakes or more as well, so I'm trying to find out which are the "best". Anyways if anyone has any experience here or ideas let me know. Also if anyone's woudl like to do a journey in the lat spring (spawn!) out to a couple of these lakes let me know. My brothers and I with some other friends will be going out. It will be a very physically demanding trip (lotta elevation change). Here's a link: Thanks for any info everyone. Tight lines!
I have been up there once. A few years ago i took my girlfriend on a hike as she was training for the breast cancer 3 day..We made it to the two closest ponds, frog and bass. They are pretty small. I had dozens of blow ups on a frog but they were all small fish and only caught a few in each pond on that, but caught probably a dozen or so in each pond on a senko. The fish were so agressive that my girlfriend lost all my senkos fairly quickly so we just ate lunch and hiked back.

My uncle always tells me about the week long trips that him and his buddies use to take up there every couple of years in the early 90's. He said the hike is the hardest thing he has ever done, but hands down worth every mile. He claims (back then mind you, although im sure not much has changed) that you hook up almost every cast in the bigger, farther lakes, with most of the fish averaging a few pounds...Several fives sixes and sevens every day for every person at every lake.

I have always wanted to make the trip up there, but could never talk anyone else into it. I would love to PLAN IT AND DO IT!! I have a pack frame and camping/ survival equipment. I think it would be a minimum of a 5 day trip, but i would say if we are gunna go all that way, make it a week.

Let me know if you guys have already thought of some dates, as it gets closer im sure the details will fall into place, but I AM IN!!
wow thats a long trek but seems like it would be awsome. i would be down for that next year for sure. make it a week long get away!!! keep me informed on this would you
The treks are very long if you don’t count Frog and Bass Pond. I have been in the Coe backcountry several times during spring, summer and fall. I have been to most of the places listed and I haven’t seen anything even close to 5 or 7 pounds. Truthfully, a 1 pounder is a pretty good sized fish for Coe.
IMHO, Coe is a fun place to fish if you like fishing for dinks AND you enjoy being in very desolate wilderness AND you are in good enough physical shape to travel over very rugged terrain 10 or 20 miles each way.
I’d recommend it if you want a great wilderness experience and you are in very good physical condition. I would NOT recommend it if you are looking to catch 5 pounders because you will be disappointed (and very tired!).
It's is really really rough hike.Me and my dad went out there last year and we never plan on going back. I consider myself in good shape because I play sports and don't eat too much junk and I even had a tough time getting to frog lake. We went on mountain bikes and the climb up is pretty easy but the way down is very very slick gravel road.I got scrapped up pretty good two times and when we got down there it looked pretty good but didn't catch anything. Threw frogs,jigs,punched,drop shot,flipped,etc.and only caught a 6 incher.Then the road uphill took an 1.5 hrs and 2 hrs to get back to the headquarters.I would recommend to be in top shape and to come prepared.
Took a hike to Frog one time and man was that a hike!!! No bass only Zillions of Bluegill.

I would love to take a trip to Mississippi lake
I've become very interested in backcountry fishing lately and wanted to give Coe a try in april-may next year. I'm think of a 3 day trip to either Coit or Kelly lake. One day to hike in, a day there and a day to hike out. My only thing is this would be my first backpacking trip, so I'm not sure on the difficulty of the hike. I'm sure if I prepare I'll be fine, I'm in pretty good shape.

sidewazzz wrote:
I would love to take a trip to Mississippi lake

I was reading and heard the hike to Mississippi Lake is pretty brutal, but from what I gather most of the backcountry hikes in Coe are. I heard the bass fishing is amazing at this lake.
My friends and I went there did some backpacking camping. It was my first time. We camped at frog lake with the TICKS >:-(

Anyways I caught 1 bluegill out of like 5 bites with deer jerky.

Heres the thing about henry coe. If you want the good lakes, you gotta do some heavy LONG hiking. You gotta be ready for that hike.
i dont give s shoot, im down
Awsome to see so many people are down for some adventure. I realize that this will be a difficult hike and have researched it exstensivley. castaway is right, you really need to enjoy hiking and really love fishing (not catching!) to get the most from a trip like this, I think. The droughts effect the fishing, and this Winter's rain will determine alot. Most likely, though, Coe backcountry fishing s still kinda weak (size-wise), because of so much drought this last decade. Anyone that wants to do this is going to have to be in good shape. If you're hazy on this, go find a local, steep, 7 mile hike and walk it three times in one day with backpack weighing 20lbs. If you still feel like fishing the next morning then you're ready to go. If not, then you're like me, and need to get your ass in shape LOL I've started by hiking all the way around Calero. I'm going to start doing elevation hikes in Big Sur this winter (and some trout fishing). Really hope we can make this happen. I'm totally feelin Mississippi. Anyone that has experience with this spot keep posting you're ops, they help alot and thanks to those who've already supplied such great input! [green]
I know this is reviving an old thread... Very old but I thought I would throw out my experience with Henry Coe State Park encase someone like me is using the search bar and reading.

So I went there maybe 4 years ago (I was 14) or so with my best friend and my dad (crazy outdoors guy).
We decided to "ride" our bikes. This was cool because I'm used to usually backpacking and carrying the weight on my shoulders. But... there wasn't much bike riding. We must have pushed our bikes about 60% of the way. Going to Mustang Pond was almost all uphill. That is until we rode our bikes downhill squeezing the brakes on the way home :)
We stayed for 3 days. One day to get up. One day to fish. One day to go back.
It was one of my best fishing experiences. Since we were avid trout fly fishermen we had NO clue what we were doing with robos and senkos. That didn't stop the fish from biting though. I literally had a fish on every cast, IF NOT every other cast! It was crazy. [8|]

Then 2 years later we did a quick trip to frog lake and bass pond. We had no luck.

If your going to go to Henry Coe state park to catch fish its all or nothing. You do the 5 mile hike to a puddle sized pond your not gonna catch much. You go 40 miles round trip to Mustang Pond your gonna be catching fish all day.

Now that I know what I'm doing with bass fishing I can't wait to go back in 2 weeks. Going to see what the biggest fish I can catch or see out there is. Its gonna be tough but wait until I bring back pictures [green]
lots of talk, would love to see some pictures once you get back. sounds like a grueling hike! not for the weary! haha
HOLY SMOKES, RARE vehicle access to the back lakes, I can't believe i missed this!!! DANG!
I did the shortest hike to Frog Lake not too long ago. I chose it because it was, distance-wise, the shortest trek....however, I made the mistake of choosing the path to take - learning the hard way that shortest distance may not necessarily mean the easiest route. Despite it only being a 3 mile hike, the elevation almost cost me dearly. Boy what a hike that was - 1000ft in approx 3 miles....Only caught one bass Im sorry to say, but will admit that it was surreal as far as the surrounding and overall ambience. I remember it getting to the point where I was taking 4 steps and needing to rest for a few minutes. One piece of advice that I must pass on - bring lots o' water.

Despite all that, I am told that the fishing does get quite spectacular as you venture deeper into the hike. I wanted to go further, but my wife had just about enough of it at that time. I'd be interested in a trip though, so I hope to see progress on this. Thanks.
used to hike there alot.. theres a nice pond with some big fish in.. called China Hole.. the trail get REAL steep on the way to the pond tho.. BUT NICE! theres a couple of pond on the way to China Hole also..
ryanerb wrote:
HOLY SMOKES, RARE vehicle access to the back lakes, I can't believe i missed this!!! DANG!

I'm kind of confused and hate reading articles.
So anyone that registers can go during that weekend? I always thought it was like a lotto thing. Several people enter and only a few lucky ones could go up with cars.
Man that would be awesome.

I will be documenting my trip guys!!
Wish me luck... My dad and I are taking my little brother (14) who loves to play xbox and really isn't outdoorsy. Hopefully he will see the beauty of this trip and not just the sweating haha!
yea, same here, but i read it through and looks like applying for a reservation is over for this year. it didn't seem like it was like a lotto, but rather you apply, and they choose maybe, who knows.

i'm going to get on this next year and apply because I would love to try fishing some of those lakes in there, cost isn't so bad either, only $20 per vehicle.

which lake/pond you planning on trekking to? let us know how your trip goes frenchee and good luck.
A few friends and I backpacked to Coit and Kelly lake in Coe ( I think that's what they were called). I almost caught a fish every cast (big crappie and bass) with a 3.5lb bass being the biggest. Talk about no pressure here! Used plastics.

FYI, it get's hot as hell here so you would need to do this relatively soon. We made the mistake of going in July and nearly died of heat stroke!

Yup.. morgan hill n gilroy can get to 110 degrees easlily in the summer.. Gotta love the heat..
Kingbird Pond and Mustang Pond are awesome. Mississippi would be a highlight of the trip.

Expect a long hot treacherous hike though.start early and bring plenty of water.

backcountry weekend is coming up on April 29th. Can access both lakes within 2 hours hike from Orestimba Creek. However, already sold out and I missed the cut.