Top Places for Bass Fishing in Oregon

Top Places for Bass Fishing in Oregon
Photo By Jeff Samsel

Longer days, higher highs, warmer water... Everything suggests spring, which means bass fishing in Oregon is about to break open. When it does, you want to be in the best place. That's why we've selected waters that are likely to serve up excellent bass fishing this year.

Crane Prairie Reservoir

Until three decades ago, Crane Prairie was strictly a trout lake. In the late 80s, someone let some largemouths go in the lake, which impounds the Upper Deschutes River in central Oregon, and apparently the bass took a liking to the lake's shallow water and plentiful flooded timber. Today, Crane Prairie supports one of the best largemouth populations in Oregon, with good numbers of large bass in the mix, and it is extremely popular with tournament anglers. The bass thrive here because of food chains that begin with all the timber and with plentiful vegetation. Trees and weeds, therefore, are the starting points for virtually any good Crane Prairie largemouth pattern.

Columbia River

Much  of the long section of the Columbia River that straddles the Washington/Oregon border supports a world-class smallmouth bass fishery. Anglers travel long distances to get a taste of the Columbia. Ironically, the river's smallmouths aren't hugely popular locally, so you're unlikely to have much competition when you fish. May ranks among the best  months to fish the Columbia because the smallmouth spawn. Focus on current breaks, whether formed by islands, river bends, rock outcrops or some other factor, and work areas with lipless crankbaits and with jigs or sort-plastic baits rigged on jigheads. Although smallmouths are the main attraction on the Columbia, many backwater areas also yield excellent largemouth action.

Tenmile Lakes

Despite tremendous popularity with bass fishermen, Tenmile and North Tenmile lakes (which are connected by water) continue to crank out quality largemouth fishing year after year. Both lakes support big numbers of bass, but not at the expense of quality. The average size is good, and any fish that bites could turn out to be a giant. One reason the fishing stays so good, despite heavy pressure, is that all largemouth bass that are 15 inches or longer must be released. Both lakes have complicated basins, with multiple arms, and sometimes the bite varies dramatically when you move from one arm to another, especially if the water color is different. Ultra clear water makes the fish in these lakes fussy.

Don't forget to share your best bass photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?


No Kidding: Angler Smashes Record for Lake Trout

Scott Bernarde - May 21, 2019

The Pennsylvania man's trophy fish was more than two pounds heavier than the previous record.

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range


10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...


10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...

See More Stories

More Bass


32-Year-Old Brook Trout Record Falls in Va.

G&F Online Staff - May 30, 2019

New record longnose gar was also reported in Virginia.


MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish New Waters

G&F Online Staff

These Major League Fishing pros share their approach to a new lake.


Lake Erie's Summertime Smallmouth Bass

Jeff Knapp

This Great Lake offers prime habitat for smallmouths. Here's where to catch them.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.