How, where, and what to fish for bass?


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Howdy all. My names Matthew, I’m from the east coast, and I’m seeking advice/guidance on how to fish for Sturgeon, Slamon, Trout, and Bass (mainly Bass at the moment). I moved out here a few years ago and am now just getting fully back into the fishing scene. I live in Portland (near St. John’s) and there’s a decent amount of water by me (Willamette, Columbia River, Columbia Slough’s, Multnomah Channel) which I’m not keen on how to fish. Recently I’ve mainly been after bass since they’re my favorite fish to catch, have familiarity with them, and bank fishing is so accessible near my residence, but haven’t had too much luck. I have a KVD one piece baitcaster that I’m just now learning how to fish, but usually I’m set up with a different rod with a spinning reel. I’m using everything from Senko’s (Texas or wacky rigged with a bullet weight) to Hula Poppers, buzz baits, crank baits, frogs, spinners with a trailer, etc. I also don’t fish my poppers naked and maybe that’s another reason I haven’t had much success. Anyway, I look forward to learning as much as possible on this forum and applying the advice to my arsenal. Please feel free to offer any advice you can, I’m all ears. Thanks.


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My three go to baits for the Willamette are a finesse Ned rig with either a ZMan HogZ or TubeZ (Drew's Craw or green pumpkin", a "power" Ned rig with a HulaZ in "The Deal", and a Strike King Swim'n Caffeine Shad on a belly weighted hook. I mainly target rocky sections with steep drops adjacent to deeper (20'-30') water. Welcome to Oregon and good luck.


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I recommend reading through all the posts in the bass fishing forum and the Willamette river forum ( lots of bass posts end up there). There is a wealth of information there. That should get you a lot of the way there and then you could ask specific questions if you still have them.

Here is a brief bit of advice:

I will say that, especially fishing from shore, if I could only have one lure then it would be a 3" whitish colored swimbait on a 1/4 oz jighead. It is a smallmouth slayer and it is cheap if you snag up. No better combination for banking it!

I fish it 80% of the time by casting out and then slowly reeling in. Occasionally I pause and then resume the retrieve. If you are fishing deeper water start with an immediate retrieve. If you don't get any love then count to 5 and slowly reel it in. If no love then count to 10 and then reel it in.

For smallmouth look for rocky areas. Most all will have at least a few smallmouth and sometimes they will be loaded. Smallmouth do move around a lot and do school up through the fall. A spot that is red hot one day is crickets the next (and then maybe red hot again the day after). Even a single spot can be cold in the morning and red hot later or vice a versa.

Don't waste time changing lures. Keep your lure wet to catch as many fish as possible.

A second lure that will slay them if they are hugging the bottom is the Ned rig as @fromthelogo mentioned. I pretty much always use a weedless (rockless) Zman mushroom head (1/10oz) with a 2.75" green pumpkin (or any crayfish color) finesseTRD. Truthfully I have not found a color in those that does not work well. I mostly change colors for me rather than the fish. It makes me feel smarter about it :)


New member
Great Tips on here you guys. Thanks a lot! Just getting back into fishing after a long while. I live in SE so looking for fun spots. Gonna go out and try some of the West Linn area today. (Mary S. - Cedar Park) Mostly looking for Bass and spots my girl can paint at while I’m shoring around. If you know of any links or fun spots or tips please keep them coming. Thanks much for all the info on here already. Happy Fishing All.


If you can get vertical, Dropshotting is my favorite. From my kayak, it is a go to method for me that delivers no matter the conditions. I use between a size 1-1/0 dropshot hook, 8lb flouro, and 1/4-1/2 oz weight(heavier cuz of current in rivers). Crayfish imitations 6" above the weight, or worm/baitfish imitations 2' above the weight work great. My favorite plastic is Arons Magic by roboworm.

From shore I use tubes and Neds. Hooks from Zman/VMC. Baits from Zman, roboworm, and yum. I use black/brown+orange, Purple+black, and White/silver greyish. Tubes to imitate baitfish, and ned for everything else (Crayfish/worms).

Largemouth in Oregon are not as abundant as smallmouth, but mid-late spring with weightless wackys and topwater landed me some nice fish in ponds/lakes.


Howdy all. My names Matthew, I’m from the east coast, and I’m seeking advice/guidance on how to fish for Sturgeon, Slamon, Trout, and Bass (mainly Bass at the moment)...
Hey man, welcome to Oregon. I suggest looking at ODFW's 50 places to fish with in 50 miles of Portland for warm water fish. All the above suggestions work. Right now the top water bite is one. Whopper ploppers and spook type baits too. The fish are really going to be chewing now as they need to fatten up before the winter. I go for the ned a lot for the smallies. Dropshot is a great technique here as well. Robo worm with a 12in-15in tag line to weight. Cranking in any craw pattern works well. If you want to get out before it gets too cold and wet let me know and I could get you out on the water in my boat. Places to go for the shore. Head up river on the columbia there are a lot of spots in the gorge you can fish from the shore. Vernonia has a log pond that holds some really big large mouth. For there I usually pitch creature baits in the reeds. Hagg lake can be fished from the shore too. If you want to get out look me up on facebook. @ Ron Faircloth Ill have a picture of my son with a 2lb smallie as my profile picture. Or email me at [email protected] Good luck and tight lines.
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