Henry Hagg Fishing Report

Henry Hagg Lake - Gaston, OR (Washington County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Early springtime bass will be actively feeding and preparing to spawn when water temperatures reach 55-65 degrees. A variety of baits can entice strikes at many depths; hence a good rule of thumb is to start in deeper holding areas and work the travel corridors to spawning areas in shallower water until you locate them.‌

Main lake points tend to be more productive in between creek arms where they can feed, find deep water access, and be close to shallower spawning areas. Often the big females will shoal up in slightly deeper holding water behind the smaller schools of younger fish that feed up in the shallows. Once the water reaches 55 degrees start looking for fish in shallower depths when they really get into their spawning mode.‌

Crappie are following similar patterns as bass moving towards their spawning areas and feeding heavily. They'll be traveling the river channel ledges up towards the back of the creek arms. Anytime there is brush, logs or steep rocky type structure, they'll likely school nearby. Larger fish tend to be more solitary and slow trolling smaller crankbaits near the bottom can be productive. ‌

Crappie deep water to shallow water migrations tends to be a little behind bass since they spawn in 65–70-degree temperatures. Just remember, structure is key for crappie, even if its random smallish boulders on the flats above their travel corridors.‌

Trout will likely be surface feeding on cloudy days until the water gets warmer and then they will hide below the thermocline on sunny days when the surface waters get above their temperature thresholds. This is when fishing baits suspended just over the bottom in harder substrate can shine when fishing from the bank. ‌

When surface waters temperatures hit the 65 degree, trout may also be found where cooler creek water enters the lake. If the trout are in these areas, large trout imitation swimbaits can take the occasional bass over 5 pounds when conditions are right but be ready to be diligent and exercise patience. ‌

Current reservoir level can be found here. ‌

Hagg Lake is one of western Oregon's largest lakes and is a premier warmwater fishing destination. The lake is home to both the state record smallmouth bass and bullhead catfish.‌

Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching. The lake and lake park are currently open, although users are encouraged to check the Hagg Lake Park website, as conditions can change