10840 Coyote Lake Rd, Gilroy, CA 95020
Phone: (408) 842-7800
Map: Mapquest Map
Size: 648 acres
Water Level: SCVWD REPORT
Depth: Appx 100'
Species: trout (stocked Mar-June), largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, carp, shad, silversides, hitch
Fees: $4 to park, $5 launch fee
Boating: gas motors ok, MTBE-free fuel required (check current rules, they change)
Pros: big bass, night fishing, good trout fishing, larger trout (than DFG dinks), good cover, topwater bass bite
Cons: water skiers, draw downs
Description: Coyote is a large lake popular with water skiers. One great part about it is that it's open after sunset. However you can't use any kind of watercraft after dark. Because of an earthquake fault underneath the dam the water level is kept below 60% full even in the spring. However it is still a big lake with 50% of the water, and it feels full that way since it fills up so rarely.
The west side of the lake has a nice gradual slope and fills with weeds in the summer down to 10 feet deep. The east side is steeper with more rock, but also contains scattered weeds during the summer. The Dam at the north end of the lake is made up of very large boulders. Sediment has collected between the rocks allowing a little weedgrowth . The rocks are loaded with crawdads. The south end of the lake has a lot of flooded trees both alive and dead. It gets completely weeded in during the summer except for the channel and a few open pockets.
Fish Largemouth Bass: The bass here grow fast on a steady diet of trout. They get over 10 pounds with some regularity. In the spring the best fishing is in the south end of the lake. The big fish stack up in the thick brush and willow trees that get flooded. Flipping tube baits and pitching senkos catches the most fish. You can also catch a lot of fish throwing senkos near shallow spawning flats in the spring.
In the summer heavy weed growth covers much of the lake. It is nice clean crisp vegetation with little slim though. The topwater bite here in the summer is very good. They'll hit any topwater. Frogs, buzzbaits, poppers, spooks, whatever. Flyfishing with poppers works well. Other productive tactics in the summer is to throw senkos, crainkbaits, or big trout imitating plugs against the weedline. Or fishing the rocky areas with a jig.