Weekend Recap

July 6, 2020

Salmon fishing was very good over the weekend. Fish were taken in the Willamette river, the Columbia river, and the ocean. My boat was on the water Thursday evening, Friday Morning, and Sunday. Our Thursday evening trip on the Willamette produced two keepers, one lost, and one takedown. Friday morning we had three chances that resulted in one keeper, one lost, and one released. On Sunday we fished the ocean and limited with 4 keepers. The pictures above show a sampling of fish we caught and one additional photo of my friend, John Manser (with face covering), holding a Columbia River Summer Chinook. These fish are called “June Hogs” for a reason. Nice fish, John.

The Willamette has been consistently putting out fish over the past three weeks and we’ve probably seen the peak. That said, I generally keep fishing in the Willamette until the middle of July if the ocean isn’t fishable. I’ll be looking for safe bar crossings, low wind conditions, and small swells during the months of July and August. There’s nothing like Chinook and Coho fishing in the salt. In the second half of August the Super Bowl of fishing (Buoy 10) opens. Let’s hope we have some very productive days at Buoy 10 this season. Tight lines.

Weekend Recap

June 22, 2020

The Willamette river was open for keeper sturgeon this past Saturday. There was a huge effort but finding a fish between 44 and 50 inches was challenging. My friend, John Manser, picked up a 44 1/2 inch fish before 8am (picture #1). John taught me everything I know about sturgeon fishing years ago and it truly pays to learn from the best! In picture #2 my friend Anthony caught a beautiful spring chinook near the head of the channel before he fished for Sturgeon. No luck getting his keeper. I got started late but managed to find a few shakers. After a few hours on sturgeon I switched out my gear and trolled for salmon. We didn’t get a fish but like most days, we met some really nice people on the river. One gentleman that we talked to, Dennis Schwartz, sent a few pictures yesterday. Picture #3 is his buddy Mike Necatuck holding his 17 lb springer. He also sent a picture of two fish caught on his boat by Greg and Chad Kosher (Picture #4).

On Sunday (Father’s day) I fished solo for the first few hours. I hooked a springer before 6am but it broke off my Hot Tamale superbait on the takedown (12 ounces at 22 ft.). My wonderful daughters met me at the dock with breakfast at 9am. We trolled for a few hours but only saw a hand full of fish caught. Another fantastic Father’s day for me even with no fish in the boat. Tight lines.

Fishing Report 6/18/2020

This weekend will present plenty of options for fishermen. In the first photo Dirk Peterson shows off a Spring Chinook that we caught at 8:30pm last night in the lower Willamette (See Latest Videos). Salmon are being caught daily but there are lots of boats competing for a few fish. In the middle photo Pro-Guide Mike Fisenko (Mikey’s Fishing Adventures) caught this beautiful steelhead in the Columbia this morning. The main stream is open for steelhead and sockeye. The third photo is obviously a white sturgeon. This Saturday the Willamette River is open for keeper sturgeon. Fork length must be 44-50 inches and the limit is one fish. In addition to the three options above there’s Halibut and bottom fishing at the Oregon coast. Check the regulations before you fish. Tight Lines.

Sandy River Springer

June 12, 2020

Pro-guide and friend Jeff Stoeger (O2BFISHN guide service) picked up this spring Chinook on the Sandy River on June 12. You can find his Sandy river fishing reports at the www.theguidesforecast.com which is published every Thursday evening. This is another great resource for those of us that want to know where/how to catch fish.

Willamette Fishing Report

June 11, 2020

Duane – 6/11/20
Jake – 6/11/20

We fished below the St. John’s bridge today and it was quite crowded. The early birds were rewarded with a good bite and the remaining anglers had to grind-it-out to hook a fish. Unfortunately, we only had one takedown and it didn’t stick. On the bright side of things, several of my friends found fish. In the first picture above my friend Duane is holding his 22 pound salmon. In the second picture, Jake is holding his chrome springer. Congratulations to both of them.

Every day of fishing is unique but year after year there are some definite trends. Today that was on display as Pro Guide Terry Mulkey put on a clinic. The fleet struggled after the initial bite this morning but Terry trolled through the thick crowd and hooked fish after fish. It was stunning but not surprising. This is not unusual for Terry and I’m sure it will be on display over the next several weeks. Maybe we all have something to learn from Terry. Tight lines.

Willamette Salmon fishing has picked up

April 8, 2020

Tara – 6/6/20
Anthony – 6/6/20

Last week the fishing on the lower Willamette picked up. The fish counters reported good numbers caught Wednesday through Sunday and several fish were over 20 pounds. That leads me to believe that a batch of Columbia River summer Chinook could be in the mix. It’s been a tough spring season so it’s nice to finally see the Lower Willamette producing. Although some are still using herring/anchovy, most of the fish are being caught using spinners and Brad’s Superbait. I was out on Sunday and we lost one that was hooked on a pounded copper spinner at 20 feet on the line counter using 16 ounces of lead. We didn’t use any scent on this spinner. I simply washed it with Lemon Joy and dropped it in the water. Be prepared for crowded fishing conditions until the coastal fishing options look better. Let’s hope the good fishing continues. Tight Lines.

Back to Springer Fishing

June 1, 2020

Springer Caught 5/31/2020

We picked up a nice hatchery Spring Chinook on Sunday morning. The bite has improved and catches have been more consistent. Our fish took a Brad’s Superbait cut-plug (chrome/chartreuse). It was stuffed with tuna fish and topped with bloody tuna oil. Our line counters were at 20 feet and we were using 16 ounces of lead. With warmer water on the way you’ll find that spinners, herring, or Superbait will entice Springers. In past years the fishing at the Head of the Channel has been quite productive in June. Let’s hope that this pattern continues. Please note that the Cathedral Park boat ramp is scheduled to close this week for repairs. Tight Lines.

I love Salmon Fishing but the Salt is calling

May 21, 2020

Today was the first day of all depth Halibut fishing in the central Oregon Coast subarea. My friends Pedro and Gabriel braved the ocean and got their daily halibut limit. Although I’m not giving up on spring Chinook, if the ocean conditions are really good I will put a line in the salt and try for Halibut.

The Springer bite has been on and off this week. As the water level drops the bite picks up and as it starts rising again the bite goes away. Last weekend I had two friends fishing on Saturday. I saw them at the Head of the Channel around 5:30am. Both put in more than 12 hours of trolling. The first boat saw one fish caught for the entire day and the other landed two fish in their final half hour of fishing. It goes to show, if you put in your time you’ve got a chance. With such a small number of fish in the system you’ve got to be very lucky to find a biter. The water is expected to rise over the weekend so be prepared for more slow fishing. Here’s a few tips that may help this weekend (Troll Fast):

  • Troll between 2.5 and 3.0 SOG.
  • Use 16 oz of lead to keep your gear down.
  • Increase the length of your bumper to slow down the “pulse” of your 360 flasher.
  • Spinners and superbait have been successful but don’t be afraid to put a whole red label herring 36 inches behind a 360 flasher.
  • Enjoy your day and hopefully you’ll find a biter.

Tight lines.

Columbia River open for four additional days

May 14, 2020

Springer caught 5/14/2020

Salmon fishing on the Columbia river will be open for another four days starting tomorrow. The open dates are May 15, 16, 17 and 20. The previous opener which ended on Wednesday was mostly filled with frustration due to a catch rate of one fish for every 20 anglers. The conditions going forward aren’t favorable as the water level is high, the river is moving fast, the fish counts are dropping and the water is off-color (high turbidity). It might be wise to sit on anchor with a quickfish close to shore and hope that you’re discovered by a spring Chinook. Another option is to fish the Willamette river. The reports I’ve received indicate that your best options are in the lower channel and at the Head of the channel. It’s been “hit or miss” all season and we’re still struggling to find a consistent bite. Truly, the season hasn’t been all that good and it’s largely due to the number of fish in the system. I’m just calling my fishing trips a “boat ride” for the moment and hoping that things pick up. I want to mention that fish are being taken on bait in the Willamette so if your boat has more that one rod in the water you might want to roll herring in addition to spinners and superbait. Good luck out there.

Big tides and rising water

May 8, 2020

It was mostly disappointing for anglers during the Columbia River opener on May 5th and 7th. There are two days remaining to fish, May 9th and 13th. Water released from Bonneville caused the river to rise and thus turned off the bite. Additionally, the big outgoing tide exchange as pictured above made it difficult to troll slow and reduced the fishable area of the river. Salmon move closer to shore to avoid strong currents so that should be your target area. Rumor has it that bank anglers near Bonneville caught some fish which makes sense. My good friend Lorenzo fished from the bank both days and was rewarded with the nice springer pictured above. You’ve probably seen him in my videos, he’s a good fisherman. If you’re angling from a boat on big outgoing tides you should troll slow moving water close to shore. Anchoring up is another good option. If you’re fishing from the bank, you probably won’t need to cast too far to find a springer. Good luck out there and Tight lines.