Hot spot in San Francisco: coyote lake fishing

By Tom Keer

Aug 09, 2017

Urban anglers always look for great fishing near home.  Here are 5 reasons that fishermen living in San Francisco go fishing in Coyote Lake.

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Urban anglers looking for great spots for fishing in the Bay Area not far from home are in luck.  Check out Coyote Lake fishing, in a 6,695 acre recreational area east of the town of Gilroy. It’s a hot spot and.  here are the top 5 reasons to go Coyote lake fishing.

1.  Coyote lake offers excellent fishing

The 449-acre lake offers excellent fishing for 4 species of fish. Black bass, bluegill, black crappie and Eurasian carp are the top species.  There are other species to catch, too.  While rainbow trout are no longer stocked, the holdovers are good sized.  Channel carp are caught in moderate numbers, too.

2.  Easy access for boats

While no swimming or wading is allowed, bank fishing is permitted.  More importantly, power boats, canoes, and kayaks are welcome, and there is a boat launch featuring a three-lane concrete ramp and two docks.  Boating is closed from mid-October to mid-April.

3. Coyote Lake Fishing is family friendly  

Camping is allowed, and if you roll in an RV then you'll find electric and water hook ups as well as a dump station.  If you're a camper then you'll find tables, grills, fire pits and bathhouses.

4.  There is plenty of water to fish

From tip to toe the lake is 3.5 miles long.  It's a half mile wide, too.  Finding a place where to fish is easy, but be sure to check out the areas near the marina and in the lower Narrows.  A few  largemouth bass fishing tips include Texas-rigged rubber worms in the shallows and stickbaits for the edges. Powerbait works well for catfish, and grubs or live worms are solid choices for panfish.  Throw a spoon like an Al's Goldfish for the trout, and look for catfish at East Beach or at the creek at the south end of the lake.  Fish near the dam and along the right side of the lake during the closed-boating months and target crappie around the dam in the evening during the hot summer months.  A buddy who recently was fishing  there sent me a Coyote Lake fishing reportwhich shows you can find there  largemouth bass in the 5-7 pound range.

5.  Pick pocket the edges

Mixed-use fisheries sometimes can be frustrating.  Water and jet skiers tend to favor the middle of the lake where it's about 100 feet deep.  Fishermen stick to the shallows and work the east side.  It's steeper and there are rocky areas which offer great structure and holding water.  

Bay area  fishing spots are popular, but if you're looking to go freshwater fishing in San Francisco area then give Coyote Lake a shot.  All you need is a fishing license.  The rest is all in place.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at