When people think of fishing on the Rogue River in Oregon, it’s usually salmon they have on their minds. This is hardly surprising, given the Rogue’s remarkable runs of chinooks and cohos over the course of the year. But you might be wondering if you can also target bass in the waterways of the Rogue River. 

While bass are hardly the Rogue River’s claim to fame, they do indeed live there. Lost Creek Lake, a massive reservoir along the river, is a favorite spot for many bass anglers. 

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in the reservoir, although smallmouth seem to be much more plentiful. They tend to hang out in deeper water, and are particularly fond of rocky bottoms. If you’re happy using life bait, try targeting them with nightcrawlers. If you prefer to use artificial lures, a small jig is usually a good bet. Smallmouth are tremendous fighters, so you’ll have a wonderful time bringing them to the boat.

The largemouth bass population in Lost Creek Lake has been struggling as of late. In the past, the reservoir was known for producing some monster largemouth. Nowadays, it’s the smallmouth that get all of the attention. Wildlife managers are doing their best to restore the largemouth population, and anglers are hopeful a rebound is around the corner. 

If you want to target largemouth bass, then you should focus on shallower parts of the reservoir. Largemouth like to hang out beneath cover, so casting under overhanging trees or bushes is always a good strategy. Nightcrawlers make excellent bait, while a plastic worm is often the lure of choice. For an exciting hit, try a surface lure like a rubber frog or popper. You might not hook up as much, but there’s nothing as exciting as seeing (and hearing) a big bass smack the surface in an attempt to guzzle your lure. 

Are bass the principal attraction in the Rogue River? Absolutely not. In a place with such a thriving salmon fishery, all other species will always play second fiddle. With that being said, there’s no reason not to target bass in certain parts of the Rogue River system. For a relaxing day of recreational fishing in a beautiful location, pack up your bass fishing gear and head to Lost Creek Lake. You’re bound to have a pleasant day on the water.

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