To learn more about catching smallmouths and other bass, be sure to take a few minutes to read our Bass Fishing: Simple Techniques and Tips. Among other fish species you are likely to catch (but generally of less interest to Columbia River anglers) include yellow perch, several types of sunfish (including bluegill and redear sunfish), suckers, carp, peamouth and others. Channel catfish are relatively scarce in the lower river, but become more numerous in the central parts of the river, such as the McNary Pool and mouth of the Snake River. We have an essential guide to different methods to catch all salmon here. Great King 20/30 pounds sadly it was a native oh well gave a great fight. While many of the Chinook tend to run upriver by September, or regulations require release, taking many anglers upriver with them, the coho fishing in the estuary often remains quite good through September before fall rains draw them upriver. 8 boats/22 rods kept five Chinook. © 2021 Fishidy. Snake River Columbia River Lake Rd. They can be caught throughout the river system, but are commonly found below dams and in spots where they can lay just outside of the strong current and dart out to eat smaller fish. Fall Chinook fishing is also good at the mouths of many tributaries and in the mainstem well into central Washington, including around the free-flowing Hanford Reach. Please subscribe to the Lunker’s Guide today! Bank Fishing : The normal time these fish return to the Columbia River is late May and clear thru the month of June. Fish close to structure and to the sides of the river during periods of heavy flow, and more to the center and mid-river shelves during lighter flows. Fishing for smallies can often be excellent from the Portland-Vancouver area way up into north-central Washington, in both free-flowing river sections and in the reservoirs. And for many anglers, walleye are one of the best-tasting of the white-fleshed fishes. Columbia River ; ROOSEVELT LAKE: Washington’s first walleye lake remains an important one. Popular rivers for this technique include the Columbia, the Rogue River, the Willamette, the Cowlitz, and many more. Some of the river’s largest Chinook come in between the most populous spring and fall runs. Above the I-5 Br – 30 bank rods had no catch. Today the river also is home to many introduced fish species, including walleye so big they may one day topple the world record, smallmouth bass so numerous and chunky and aggressive that the river is nationally ranked, and American shad runs so thick they clog hydroelectric dam fish ladders by the millions. Sec 1 (Bonneville) – 19 bank anglers kept three Chinook and one Chinook jack. Besides, they are the least tasty of the Pacific salmon potentially caught in the big river. Sockeye are the smallest of the Pacific salmon that run into the Columbia River. They are headed upriver to natural spawning grounds and artificial hatcheries across Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Farther downriver, it’s much better for trout anglers to veer up one of the Columbia River’s great trout-fishing tributaries, perhaps the lower Deschutes River in Oregon or the upper Yakima River in Washington. These are a bigger individual fish but a smaller overall presence compared to smallmouth in the Columbia River. Still trying to find some good bank fishing on the Columbia. The Pacific NW offers World class Salmon fishing from March through December on the Columbia River, the tributaries that feed it and Oregon’s Coastal Rivers and Bays. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) manages hundreds of water access areas throughout Washington, providing recreational access to the state’s lakes, rivers, and marine waters. (Much of the Snake River itself and its reservoirs offer very good numbers of channel cats, and these fish also can be found in the lower sections of some tributaries, such as the Yakima and Walla Walla rivers.). There are popular springer fishing spots around Longview/Rainier, Portland/Vancouver and below Bonneville Dam. If you’d like to learn more about catching crappie, read our simple crappie fishing guide to the best tips and techniques. They also are very tasty and put up a good fight, even occasionally striking a bass or walleye lure. spring chinook with a herring and flasher, Details: Steelhead Trout with a The best fighting fish. Upriver, spring Chinook catches aren’t as large, but these fish are often intercepted at the mouths of tributary rivers. Look for the counts at Bonneville Dam to begin to rise into the five and especially six digits per day and you’re in business. Bonneville Dam to Washington/Oregon Border – Effective March 16 through May 6, will be open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. But, honestly, here’s the real rub: You can trade in these fish for cash! However, they can be fun and easy to catch where you find them. September has the added bonus of being less busy than August in the port towns. Soft plastic lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and other lures that imitate favorite prey such as crayfish and minnows will get the job done with these aggressive biters and fighters. If you want to learn how to plunk the right way, give Kirby Cannon a call this spring. The Columbia River in Washington State and Oregon is one of the premier destination walleye fisheries in the United States. Fishing is still fair to good up by Bonneville Dam. Columbia River walleye guides: Kurt Sonderman (Washington Walleye Circuit Angler of the Year), (509) 948-0763; Alan "Touche" Clark, Fly By Nyte Guide Service, (541) 298-2770; 6:48. On rare occasions, striped bass have made their way into the river, likely from rivers on the central and southern Oregon coast where these fish are more common. The advisories mostly focus on naturally occurring mercury and human-caused PCBs that build up in fish flesh. Into the Portland area and up toward Bonneville Dam, fishing is often best in June and July, even into August. Drano Lake is a popular fishing lake in Washington's Columbia River Gorge, just north of the Oregon border and the Lewis and Clark Highway. Spring Chinook tend to be caught more in the river itself, so the Buoy 10 area isn’t hopping during this time of year like it will be in late summer. B-run coho are now entering the tributaries in strong numbers, making late October and November a good time to get out. Oregon and Washington manage the commercial fisheries that occur in these zones. Just anchor (very carefully) in moderate current that’s not too deep, and you’re in business. 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