Willamette River - Roger's Landing

Been chasing smallmouth this week. Have gone out each afternoon for a few hours for the past three days (Oct 26th-28th). Water temps have dropped and are hovering right around 50 degrees. I've been dropping NED rigs in between 18 and 25 ft of water - seems like the bites are much more subtle. This is the first year I've chased smallies this late in the year - trying to get used to the change in bites. I'm definitely hooking fewer fish - but the fish I get seem to be chunkier - including a 4lb 10oz beast. I have also pulled in quite a few pikeminnows - their bites are more aggressive. Got a 3.5lb (21 in.) yesterday (one of 9 pikeminnows landed). I am dispatching the pikeminnows and am enjoying watching the eagles come and get them. I think they know my boat, lol.
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Nice pics, nice outing.
Beautiful looking fish. We've had some awesome late season weather.
Awesome! That is a pig of a smallie!!!

I have noticed (as you did on this trip) that the cooler the water the more pikieminnows that I catch. In the summer it seems like I will catch none or one. As the weather cools I get a couple, then I start catching a bunch of them.

I have not fished the Willamette in a long time (Sept 20th). One thing I noticed this year (maybe it is true every year) is that the Columbia cools much more slowly. The Willamette around Newberg looks to be 50 as you said but the Columbia around the Dalles is 57. That 7 degrees makes a big difference in how active the fish are - I like to fish for the easy to catch fish :)

@Mdiscom , do you ever use a drop shot? I fish the Ned rig and a drop shot both quite a bit but tend to lean more towards the drop shot for vertical fishing in deeper water.

Great job and thanks for the report!
@bass: I have used a drop-shot - I’ve just had more success with the NED. Question: how far between your weight and your bait on your drop-shot set up? I’ve been running about 10 -12 inches - but not sure if that is good..TIA.
I might have to try the Columbia....thanks for the tip.
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