Willamette River fishing report and videos, 18 September 2016


bass

Well-known member
I hit the lower Willamette out of George Rogers park at 7am for a mixed day of bass and sturgeon fishing on Sunday. I had done extremely well bass fishing a few weeks back and I was hoping the amazing bite would continue, but at the same time I was worried about the cold front that had come through the day before.

I started fishing a structure that had produced nearly 20 fish each of my previous two trips. The bite started out slow and I could only pick up a fish here or there. The fish were not huge but catching 1-2lb smallmouth is fine by me:





I fished for bass hard for about 4 hours and only had 9 fish to show for it. Most of them came on a white spinnerbait with gold blades. Previous weeks I had been catching more than 10 per hour so while I had decent fishing it definitely fell short of what I was hoping for.

Late in the morning I had worked my way upstream to a nice sturgeon spot and decided to give them a try. The previous week I just barely caught the end of the outgoing and had caught a few before the bite shut down. This time I knew I had hours fishing ahead of me.

I had to re-anchor a few times to find the fish but eventually I was able to get on them pretty good. The water temp was around 67 and the sturgeon were fighting like possessed demons. The first good sized fish of the day jumped clear out of the water. What a beautiful sight!





After that fish I got out my go pro and took some video of some fishing and some catching. Here are a few:

Sometimes they can be deceptive!

https://youtu.be/iMi6pSdIs00

Here is from the cast to the catch.

https://youtu.be/YfSYm2L_8Uk

This includes me showing how I rig my anchovies:

https://youtu.be/skffBW-rFAY

One of the better fish.

https://youtu.be/U0HFGTPmOCs

Of course the call it fishing and not catching

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVcH2PvbqSc


I fished for sturgeon until the outgoing slowed and the bite died. I ended up landing 11 sturgeon - 8 of those would be in the slot (if retention were allowed). Every fish I caught looked so clean and healthy and were so strong.

It was close to 4pm and I decided to bass fish my way back to the launch. I most stayed with the spinnebait since it seemed to be what they wanted that day. I found a couple of nice new mini-spots on the way back and eventually added 7 more bass to my total. Once again, no monsters but mostly in the 1-2 lb range.



I finally got off the water around 6pm. It had been a long 11 hour day in the kayak, but I find that the longer I am on the water the better I fish. I never did figure out a great bass bite, but I put enough fish in the kayak to keep things interesting. The bright spot of the day was the sturgeon fishing.

You have to feel blessed if you are a fisherman in Oregon!

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C_Run

Well-known member
Another great report. Do you catch smallmouth year round or does it get too cold later? I remember trying to go to my usual spot last November and couldn't even get a bite. The water was in the low 40's then.
 

EOBOY

Well-known member
Bass thanks for another great report. I've been lazy this week, my flinging arm is getting twitchy.:flex:
 

bass

Well-known member
Thanks TD and EOBOY. The fishing lately is about as good as it gets.I am just happy I was able to be on the water to keep those poor, hungry fish company :)

C_Run;n598789 said:
Another great report. Do you catch smallmouth year round or does it get too cold later? I remember trying to go to my usual spot last November and couldn't even get a bite. The water was in the low 40's then.
Hey C_Run. Usually the bite starts slowing for me when the water temp get into the mid-50s or so. In Pennsylvania I would bass fish small lakes until they iced over. In the winter I pretty much only fished steep banks with vertical laydowns. I would also only fish if we had a week clear of rain so that lakes could clear. I am not sure exactly how to apply that to the Willamette. From what I have read bass in larger lakes move deeper and school tighter once the water cools. They are often suspended. I think it becomes much harder to find them and with the river being muddy ally winter you probably have to bop them right on the nose.. In past years I would occasionally bring a bass rod with me in the winter but I would usually not even make a cast with it. Each year I intend to give winter bass fishing a good go, but each year I end up sturgeon fishing. Maybe this will be the year I put in some effort and figure things out :)
 
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Great day on the water, Bass! The videos of the sturgeon were great, too. 11 hours on the water in a yak is a VERY long day. You were probably crawling when you finally got out on land. Looks like you got a new rod and reel combo for sturgeon?
 

BaldTexan

Active member
Thanks for another great day of catching report Bass!

In the south we fished for bass in the winter with water temps as low as 48. The most productive tactic was finding schools along channel edges or humps and vertical jigging spoons. Another tactic on a sunny day was to fish shallower water near a channel on a western bank as the sun would warm the shallower water a couple of degrees and we would fish those areas by slow bottom bouncing dark jigs or slow crawling a Texas rigged curly tail dark plastic worm. I couldn't tell ya if that would translate to the NW waters. Another successful tactic for suspended fish was simply straight line trolling Rattle traps through schools.

I still haven't bass fished the Willy since moving here 3 years ago. The sturgeon fishing is just to good in the winter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bass

Well-known member
Gettin' Jiggy Wid It;n598914 said:
Great day on the water, Bass! The videos of the sturgeon were great, too. 11 hours on the water in a yak is a VERY long day. You were probably crawling when you finally got out on land. Looks like you got a new rod and reel combo for sturgeon?
Thanks. I am usually out for 10-12 hours in the summer. Once you get you butt kayak shaped it is easy :)

I have had that rod and reel for a few years now. It is my heavy outfit and I bring it when I think I will use weights of more than 6oz or if I think I am going to need a stronger rod for fighting fish. I was using 6oz that day which is borderline for using my salmon rod, but the fish fought so hard the weekend before that I thought bringing the big gun out would be the right thing to do. I am glad I did!
 

bass

Well-known member
BaldTexan;n598922 said:
Thanks for another great day of catching report Bass!

In the south we fished for bass in the winter with water temps as low as 48. The most productive tactic was finding schools along channel edges or humps and vertical jigging spoons. Another tactic on a sunny day was to fish shallower water near a channel on a western bank as the sun would warm the shallower water a couple of degrees and we would fish those areas by slow bottom bouncing dark jigs or slow crawling a Texas rigged curly tail dark plastic worm. I couldn't tell ya if that would translate to the NW waters. Another successful tactic for suspended fish was simply straight line trolling Rattle traps through schools.

I still haven't bass fished the Willy since moving here 3 years ago. The sturgeon fishing is just to good in the winter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the insights on Texas winter bass fishing. In PA I would bass fish until the water temp got to around 35, below that the water started getting too hard :)

I am curious to understand where the bass go in the rivers in the winter, but it is so hard to stop fishing for biting fish to go get some casting practice. Definitely hard to put down the sturgeon rod and pick up a bass rod in the winter in Portland.
 

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