Coyote Lake (also known as Coyote Reservoir) stretches 3.5 miles in length and 0.5 miles in width. It was originally impounded by the Coyote Dam built in 1936, making it a man-made body of water. The lake is located in Santa Clara County, CA north of Gilroy (10840 Coyote Reservoir Rd, Gilroy, CA 95020) and is owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Not only is it perfect for kayak and boating activities but it’s also a great lake to fish.
The boat launch area has two docks and a three-lane concrete ramp, located two miles north of the visitor center but is closed to boating between mid-October and mid-April. If you plan to fish during the non-boating months, bank fishing near the dam and all along the right side of the dam is always successful.
The lake is quite narrow and reaches depths of approximately 100 feet, making targeting drop-offs not too bad especially the east side where it’s steeper and rockier. The lake is also kept at 50 percent full due to an earthquake fault underneath the dam of water, exposing a lot of the rock and giving better access to solid fishing spots. Although, the downfall to Coyote Lake is that there’s water skiers and constant draw-downs. But a draw-down (lowering of the water level) doesn’t mean fishing is over
Coyote Lake Fish Species
Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Eurasian Carp.
Crappie – The crappie fishing can be incredible in the warmer months. Hundreds of anglers will gather around the dam area at night and catch 20-30+ slabs every night in the spring and summer. These plentiful crappie can be caught anywhere from the dam all the way down to the picnic area of the reservoir.
Rainbow Trout – Unfortunately the lake no longer stocks trout.
Bass – Bass are the most targeted species at Coyote Lake and the average size is fairly decent since the lake used to be stocked heavily with trout. Multiple double-digit largemouth have come out of this lake with many others in the 5-9lb range.
We also have a Coyote Lake fishing report that provides up-to-date info from local anglers all around the area. Keep up with the bass bite as well as the crappie when the season is in full swing.
No Smoking, but campfires are allowed if there’s not a red flag warning or spare the air alert. If you are not away of the term “spare the air” is when the ozone pollution forecasts to reach unhealthy air quality levels.
No swimming or wading. This is my personal favorite rule. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a nice swim, but prefer fishing without people scaring away the fish in all the good spots.
Fishing license required