Columbia River

WaveCrawler

New member
I know exactly where those were caught. Been fishing that stretch for years... We're those suspended or on the bottom?
 

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00Swede

Member
I am usually trolling plugs in 12 to 20 feet of water there. The #6 and #7 Berkley Flicker Shad's, So likely pretty close to bottom and coming up a bit to grab the plug in the deeper zones. i think I'm getting 12 to 16 feet deep trolling those. Bumping the bottom occasionally.
I haven't been doing as well on my last outings though. I think a bottom walker or jig in the 20 to 30' water in that area might do better. I am marking some fish on the edges at that depth but don't know for sure what they are and haven't been out recently to try it.
 

WaveCrawler

New member
Yeah... Tuff time of year for the eyes. There's just way to much forage in the river. That's why the the last three trips were almost exclusively bass trips.
I've been doing some research to help target eyes this time of year. it's hard to get good info cnsidering most guys seem to be fishing the northern lakes, not full current imppundments.
As near as I understand it... Because of the juvenile shad in the river right now, I should be working the diurnal movements of the shad schools.
 

WaveCrawler

New member
So... O did go out the other day. It was a beautiful morning! Tried for some walleye but switched over to bass. Caught some but not as many as I could have. Got a couple nice pics though!
 

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Admin

Admin
Effective Saturday September 19 through Thursday December 31, 2020, retention of Chinook and Coho salmon is allowed in the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco, WA. All Coho retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery-origin. All steelhead must be released. The daily adult bag limit is two salmon of which only one may be a Chinook. All other permanent regulations remain in effect.

The Guides Forecast
 
Metro anglers are still in hot pursuit of mainstem Columbia fall Chinook. Despite lots of good fishing still to come, catches remain sporadic as the sport fleet is still competing with the commercial fleet for successful days. It’s been a robust return, with the run size upgraded 18% higher than the pre-season forecast. Coho numbers at Bonneville are nearly double what managers expected. Spinners and 360 flashers continue to take the most fish, but super baits and plug cut imitators are accounting for strikes as well.

Anglers will get another 3 days of opportunity for keeper sturgeon between 44″ and 50″ in length. September 26th, 29th and October 3rd will offer anglers another chance at some quality fish. Lower than anticipated success rates and effort have enabled the additional opportunity if that’s any indication on how we think the fishery will perform.
 

Don Fischer

New member
Most of the Walleye I catch are caught trolling Size 7 Berkley Flicker Shads in 10 to 20 feet of water. No worms involved. I don't always get the Walleye but usually a few Bass will be caught also, keeping it interesting.
If the water is deeper than that, the Bottom Walkers and Worm Harnesses get used.
That Jon Boat would be fine for most of the places I fish, just watch the wind reports. I've got a boat that will handle most of what the Gorge weather can throw at it, but I won't be out there in the wind either.

Took my boat up to Biggs three time's last year hoping to fish and soon as I saw the river the whitecaps sent me home. Long ride just to turn around and go home. Seem's last year was more windy than normal. Used to go up from LaPage Park several time a year and don't recall ever turning around because of wind.
 

WaveCrawler

New member
Made it ou this morning... Not much action with the full moon upon us.... Nice sunrise over I-84 though.
 

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bass

Most Featured
My first trip on the big C in a kayak. Went in not knowing a lot and left with gaining some knowledge. I only ended up with 4 on the day. A 3lb 4oz (which is sweet), a dink and two in the 15-16" range.



My partner on the day drubbed me catching 8 nice smallmouth.

We both wasted a lot of time learning the area and fishing (what we now understand) is unproductive water. Next trip should be better (I hope).

Here is a short video of landing my biggest fish and the bumpy pedal back!

 

fromthelogo

Active member
My first trip on the big C in a kayak. Went in not knowing a lot and left with gaining some knowledge. I only ended up with 4 on the day. A 3lb 4oz (which is sweet), a dink and two in the 15-16" range...
Beautiful lunker fish! Did you have any success with your soft plastic swimbait or were you drop shotting or Ned rigging. I’m hoping on hitting the Willamette on Tuesday morning.
 

bass

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I have not caught a fish on a soft swimbait in at least a month. I have not been fishing it much though. The fish mostly seem deeper now and don't seem to want to come all the way up to smack that swimbait. Most of my fish lately have been coming on a Ned rig or a drop shot. I will make a full post later but I went out today from Stevenson with @portlandrain and I got 20 including a 3lb1oz, 2lb 15oz, and a bunch around 2lbs. I think only 1 or 2 were under 12 inches. I probably caught about 5 on the Ned rig and 15 on the drop shot.

The size of the Columbia fish is amazing compared to the Willamette. Seems like few but much bigger fish.

Good luck on the Willie!
 

bass

Most Featured
I hit the big C on Sunday, not looking for salmon but rather in search of bronze. The salmon run is waning but the smallmouth are always there and always hungry.

I got to the ramp close to daybreak and quickly launched. My partner was already on the water by the time I got there. He had to leave early and wanted to squeeze every minute of fishing out of the day that he could.

We headed upstream looking for the rock structures that are smallmouth magnets. I am surprised by how much more chunk rock that Columbia has compared to the Willamette. It seems to make the smallmouth a little more choosy about the rock structure that they will use. The Willamette smallmouth seem to be OK using the smoother basalt rock while the Columbia smallmouth don't seem to care for it, likely because of the better options.

We started the day fishing our way upstream. At first we were only finding smooth structures that gave way to sand. Those all seemed empty and we kept moving along, hopscotching each other looking for that right kind of rock.

I hopped past my partner to a rock formation that, on the surface, looked like all the previous rock structures, but this one had that special something. Rather than being a giant rock sticking out of a sandy bottom, this one had a nice rocky reef that trailed out to 25-30' of water.

I was excited as I made my first cast onto the reef with a Ned rig. I slowly worked it back to me, letting the current do most of the work when I felt that weight and tug that means smallmouth. I set the hook and the fight was on.

The fish went airborne immediately - like smallmouth love to do. I was happy to see that the hook stayed fast and I went to work on the fish. Applying pressure and letting my spinning rod wear the fish out. After a minute or two I was able to land a nice fat 2lb 15oz smallmouth!

On my next cast we doubled up and I caught a nice 1lb 13oz fish.



After a couple of fishless casts I hooked a 3rd fish. After that the bite stopped for a few minutes. I went back and forth over the spot with my sonar a few times to map it out better (you have to love Quickdraw). Once I understood the spot better I decide to go back over some interesting looking rocks pile that was out a bit deeper.

I switched to a drop shot and on my second cast I was rewarded with a 3lb 1oz bass!



I kept probing that deeper stuff and was able to nab a fish fish off that structure. Not exactly kegged up like they get in the summer but still a pretty outstanding grouping of fish.

That pretty much describes how the day went for me. If there were fish on a structure I could usually pull off 3 to 5 fish. If not then I moved on. What I came to find out was that, on that day, the smaller structures were not holding fish. The best spots were good sized rock formations that had lots of chunk rock mixed in.

I still hit every rock formation I came to but I quickly moved on if they did not look right. If I caught one fish I would carefully work the structure over, switching between the drop shot and the Ned rig.

As the day wore on and the wind picked up I concentrated on the drop shot which is easier to maintain contact with. Some times I would see them on the sonar and bop them on the head - I love that kind of fishing. It is really cool when they are suspended and you watch them follow your drop shot down until there is just one mark on the screen and then you feel that thunk!

It was just a fantastic day in a beautiful part of the Columbia. I really covered a lot of water in the kayak. I ended up more than 3 miles upstream by the end. By that point the wind reversed and the river got a little choppy. At that point I had 19 bass and really wanted that 20th.

I headed back downstream into the chop - stopping to fish the best spots I had found during the day. I am not sure if the fish moved, if they set up differently due to the wind change or whether it was just tough to fish while bobbing up and down in the small wind waves but I had to work like a dog for that last fish.

It was a little anti-climactic since it was only a 12" fish and it basically hooked itself (no skill involved whatsoever) but I was happy to get it.

Just a great day on the river!

A couple more pics with just a beautiful backdrop:




That was definitely more pound and a half to two pound fish than I think I ever caught in a day on the Willamette. I know there are plenty of much, much bigger fish than the ones I caught but it was a pretty awesome day on new water.

I can't wait to get the Columbia really dialed in.

Here is some video from the day.

 

bass

Most Featured
I don't think color is too big of a deal. This trip I was using ZMan TRD in Hot Snakes (mostly because I love the name and figured it looked like a baby smallmouth/crayfish) on the Ned rig and a ZMan Trick Shotz in The Deal (shad-like color) on the drop shot.

I think either a brownish crayfish color or a lighter minnow color pretty much always work pretty well for me. Normally I throw a Green Pumpkin on the Ned rig and on the drop shot. When I was rigging up for this trip I just felt like mixing it up. With that ZMan Elaztech plastic I was able to fish the same bait all day long on each rig.
 

fromthelogo

Active member
I don't think color is too big of a deal. This trip I was using ZMan TRD in Hot Snakes (mostly because I love the name and figured it looked like a baby smallmouth/crayfish) on the Ned rig and a ZMan Trick Shotz in The Deal (shad-like color) on the drop shot.

I think either a brownish crayfish color or a lighter minnow color pretty much always work pretty well for me. Normally I throw a Green Pumpkin on the Ned rig and on the drop shot. When I was rigging up for this trip I just felt like mixing it up. With that ZMan Elaztech plastic I was able to fish the same bait all day long on each rig.
I totally agree on those colors and I really like the ZMan plastics for the same reason. The only time I have had to re-rig is when I've hung up and have had to break off.
 

bass

Most Featured
For a drop shot I rarely have to put on a fresh bait.

For a Ned rig the barb on the hook shank of the jighead (I use the Finesse ShroomZ weedless jigheads) does tear the TRDs on each fish and I probably can only catch 10 or so before re-rigging. The awesome thing about using the TRDs is that when one does wear out you can reverse ends and re-use it. There really isn't much difference between the head and the tail - I am not even sure which is supposed to be which.
 
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