Columbia River Fishing Reports

  • Thread starter The Guides Forecast
  • Start date
The Guides Forecast

The Guides Forecast

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
219
Location
Oregon
October 1 is bringing about another batch of opportunity for Columbia River salmon anglers. From estuary coho to mainstem Chinook, the Columbia is still in peak season. Early October can be a great time to pack the freezer with quality salmon.

Starting with the estuary, coho salmon catches have been good the last several days. We struggled a bit today (Thursday) although a poor strike to hook ratio was partially to blame. We only harvested five hatchery coho, 13 yesterday, and 11 on Tuesday. Heavy rains may have tempered the bite by today (Thursday). Some of the best fishing continues on the Washington side of the river both upstream and downstream of the bridge. The problem with fishing upstream of the bridge however is that harbor seals and sea lions are on the hunt and easily key in on the small fleet still fishing the area. It’s becoming increasingly challenging to land a fish once you hook it. Upstream of the bridge is far more challenging than downstream but be prepared to do battle with pinnipeds when fishing in this area.

Some of the best fishing I’ve experienced this season was on Wednesday, when I took my crew down to Buoy 14, 12 and 11 at around 2:15 in the afternoon. This was the last trickle of outgoing tide and the first part of incoming; this time of the tide has been producing consistently all season. In one short hour, we boated 11 of our 13 keepers, in a hellish swell and strong south wind, mind you. It made for some interesting maneuvering. There was clearly a pile of fish coming in on that tide yesterday afternoon. Although I struggled a bit on Wednesday, other anglers have been doing well below the bridge on the first part of outgoing tide on the Washington side. The day before yesterday, I did well on the upstream side of the bridge on the Washington side on the first part of outgoing tide. We were targeting water both upstream and downstream of the bridge at about 20 foot of depth. For some reason, the last part of incoming tide (around mid-morning) on the humps above the bridge on the Washington side has not been producing all that well. Anglers fishing the Oregon side have not reported great catches, anywhere along the green line, or red line for that matter. Effort has largely been focused on the Washington side.

I continue to use the spinner rigs, size 3.5 with small pink or silver hoochies, trolled behind a Pro Troll of course and tipped with a small chunk of anchovy. This has been my go-to all week and for guides smarter than I, all season. It’s working well!

I did try Tongue Point the other day, not necessarily during the best part of the tide, but the fish finder indicated a biological desert. We do have a good history for coho in this reach of river, on the same small tide exchanges we witnessed on Tuesday. There just did not seem to be any holding fish there.

As far as additional opportunity, anglers can now retain Chinook, hatchery or wild, along with coho and Chinook jacks in the Buoy 10 reach. Read all the details in the recent press release HERE and follow the hyperlink at the bottom of the press release to get the details on retaining jack salmon in this area.

Further upriver, Chinook and coho catches remain good for much of the river, although some guides have moved their operations back down to the estuary to take advantage of robust coho catches. Here is the reach by reach creel checks that ODF&W came up with from last week’s effort:

Rainier to St. Helens:

Weekly checking showed 23 adult coho and one jack coho kept, and 25 adult Chinook, one jack Chinook, one steelhead, and 10 adult coho released for 19 boats (47 anglers); and one adult coho kept for two bank anglers.

Sauvie Island to Portland:

Weekly checking showed 62 adult Chinook, 8 jack Chinook, 17 adult coho, and one jack coho kept, and two adult Chinook, three jack Chinook, one steelhead, and 13 adult coho released for 144 boats (348 anglers).

Troutdale:

Weekly checking showed 92 adult Chinook, 14 jack Chinook, 12 adult coho, and one jack coho kept, and 5 jack Chinook, four adult coho, and one jack coho released for 230 boats (477 anglers).

Gorge:

Weekly checking showed 140 adult Chinook, 36 jack Chinook, 16 adult coho, and two jack coho kept, and two adult Chinook, one jack Chinook, one adult coho, and one jack coho released for 95 boats (335 anglers); and one adult Chinook kept for 17 bank anglers.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam):

Weekly checking showed 139 adult Chinook, 31 jack Chinook, 10 adult coho, and two jack coho kept, and 5 adult Chinook and two adult coho released for 112 boats (284 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):

Weekly checking showed 35 adult Chinook, 8 jack Chinook, and four adult coho kept, and two adult Chinook, one steelhead, and one adult coho released for 34 boats (77 anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm):

Weekly checking showed 11 adult Chinook, three jack Chinook, and 6 adult coho kept, and one adult Chinook released for 41 boats (88 anglers).

As you can statistically see, catch rates are fairly good from Rainier to The Dalles, with many reaches of river tallying better than a fish per boat. The Gorge however, is often one of the better producing reaches of river this time of year.

One guide reported the reach around Kalama produced fairly poorly on Thursday, he managed 3 salmon, lost one and had one other chance. He also stated that Sunday through Tuesday was really good around Kalama.

As far as sturgeon goes, it was predictably slow. Here is the creel report from the last two openers:

Weekly checking showed 7 legal sized kept, and 42 sublegal, 4 legal, and 17 oversized released for 89 boats (225 anglers); and two legal sized kept, and 9 sublegal and two oversized released for 125 bank anglers.

Not many folks have been recreating in the lower river with all the wind we’ve been having recently. The tides have been ideal for crabbing, but the weather has not. Undoubtedly, the crabbing is good but I’m sure the bulk of the crab remain in a fairly soft-shell state. That should be improving soon however.

Razor clam season opens on October 1st! It’s been a long time coming and the clamming should be excellent. HERE is the press release to get your excited!

Find our complete Oregon and SW Washington summary for the week right here.
 

Similar threads

The Guides Forecast
Replies
0
Views
212
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
Replies
0
Views
199
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
Replies
0
Views
195
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
Replies
0
Views
66
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
Top Bottom