two kayak anglers on the ocean beach

4 1/2 ways to take a rod with you this weekend

Hiking or camping plans getting in the way of fishing this weekend? Going to be busy kayaking or going to the beach? No need to choose between fishing and other fun – just take a rod with you.


Hiking. ODFW stocks hundreds of high lakes to create a unique, backcountry fishing experience. Hikes can range from kid-friendly to quad-crunching.

image of rod, spinning gear and flies

It’s not hard to do, the gear is minimal, and the fishing can be great (though there are no guarantees in these high lakes).These lakes are stocked every two years with fingerling trout that can reach legal-size (8-inches) in a year or two.

Fishing the high lakes can be as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Visit our how-to for suggested gear and techniques.
  2. Pick your location using our high lakes stocking schedule and your favorite hiking guides.
  3. Take a hike.


1 1/2

Backpacking. So everything we just said about hiking and fishing applies to backpacking, too. EXCEPT if you’re going to be gone overnight, take a frying pan with you because nothing beats a camp breakfast of fresh trout!


Going to the beach. If you’re headed to the beach this weekend, there is an ocean of possibilities.

As their name suggest, surfperch live in the surf zone just off the beach. The best fishing is usually the two hours before high tide, and all you need is a salmon rod and minimum tackle. Here are a few tips and techniques.

A woman stands barefoot on the beach and casts a long rod into the waves. She is fishing for surfperch.

If you want to feel the ocean roll beneath your feet, check out a bottomfish or ocean salmon charter. Charters provide all the gear and tackle you’ll need, and leave from many ports along the coast (a quick Google search will turn up a bunch of them). They’re also a great way to accommodate families of different ages and abilities. Call ahead to book a trip.

And for a complete change of pace, many nearby coastal lakes offer excellent summer fishing for bass, bluegill and other warmwater fish. You’ll need your basic bass or trout outfit, and our weekly Recreation Report to learn where fishing has been the best.


Kayaking/canoeing. If you’re paddling on a river or lake, chances are good there are fish lurking below. Bait, where allowed, or small lures like Rooster Tails will work for both trout and warmwater fish (like bass). Specialized fishing kayaks are nice but not necessary.

If you’ve got more kayaking than fishing experience, check out our how to fish videos and the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for legal-fishing hours, bag limits and other rules.


Camping. Many camping expeditions (depending on location) already include two necessary ingredients for fishing – time and access to water. If you’re camping at one of the dozens of lakes, rivers and reservoirs that ODFW stocks with trout, you’ve got the final ingredient for good fishing – fish.

Check out some family-friendly locations in Easy Angling Oregon, check the stocking schedule to see what’s been stocked recently, and scan the weekly Recreation Report to see how the fishing has been.