Sturgeon Fishing on the Columbia River – 2023

Columbia River Sturgeon

Finding out Time: 7 minutesAs a result of the longest river within the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River boasts a robust ecosystem. And for individuals who are decide to fish its depths, you’ll encounter one of the crucial very important and thrilling challenges a freshwater angler can uncover. Sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River should not be for the faint of coronary coronary heart. In any case, you’ll be coping with one among many hardest sportfish wherever all through the globe.

A man and a woman holding a sizeable Sturgeon they caught fishing on the Columbia River.
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Within the occasion you already know a bit about Sturgeon, you’ve more than likely heard regarding the epic angling Fraser River affords. Nonetheless, it’s really the Columbia River that boasts the larger White Sturgeon inhabitants between the two. So for individuals who’d like some recommendations on tips about easy methods to reel in Columbia River Sturgeon, the place to go, and when, be taught on ahead.

Why Sturgeon?

Sooner than we get into the specifics, its worth declares merely why Sturgeon is so excellent. To begin with, they’re an particularly earlier species. Sturgeons have been lurking alongside river bottoms for 200 million years. This suggests you’ll be fishing for one factor that’s been throughout the water at the same time dinosaurs have been roaming the Earth.

A big Sturgeon being released in shallow waters.
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Sturgeon can also get considerably enormous. The largest recorded specimen that was caught on the Columbia River was 11.5 ft prolonged and weighed round 900 kilos. Can you think about a fish that massive making its method through the water?

Nevertheless their measurement and prehistoric seems to be like aren’t even primarily probably the most spectacular points about Sturgeon. These fish can put up a really intense wrestle. They’re as acrobatic as Tarpon and in a position to leap plenty of ft into the air whilst you try to reel them in.

A hooked Sturgeon jumping out of the water with one angler fighting it and another one watching.
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Within the occasion you hook into an unlimited Sturgeon, you larger be ready for a tricky train. Or, let your fishing buddy take over whilst you get drained and make catching these monsters a bunch effort. Each approaches, it’ll be an unforgettable experience.

Simple strategies to Go Sturgeon Fishing on the Columbia River

For people who’re new to the Pacific Northwest, the best method to ensure of a productive journey is to hook up with one among many Columbia River Sturgeon guides. They’re people who’ve been fishing these waters for the upper a part of their lives. As a consequence of this, they’ll know exactly the place to take you. Fishing guides will even give you the entire gear you need. What’s further, you’ll get to make the most of their boat so it’s less complicated to get to the place the fish are.

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This being talked about, it’s fully attainable to catch Sturgeon even from shore. There are quite a few riverbanks alongside the Columbia River that offer some pretty good fishing. The reason why you’ll typically fare larger with a ship is that plenty of the shore fishing spots are troublesome to achieve on foot. Nevertheless, as long as you’ll uncover an accessible riverbank, you’ll have a superb different to catch a giant river, Sturgeon.

Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Methods

Sturgeon are bottom feeders, so that you’ll typically seek for them in deep waters. Then, you’ll want to position your self upstream from the holes it’s essential fish and lure them in collectively along with your bait. As you’ll wish to get hold of the place Sturgeon congregate, pairing up with info really pays off for individuals who’re unfamiliar with the world. Nonetheless, for individuals who do decide to maneuver out by themselves, listed beneath are plenty of the problems it’s essential put collectively…

Bait, Line, and Hooks

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Modern bait typically works most interesting with regard to Sturgeon fishing. They hunt using their sense of scent so that you’ll must fish by the tides when the scent can get to them. It’s best to use one thing from crayfish, salmon eggs, shad, or freshwater clams. Within the occasion you possibly can’t get current bait, lifeless bait will do top quality. You’ll merely need in order so as to add some scent to it, typically by using fish or shrimp oil.

To confirm your line can keep out in opposition to large Sturgeon, we advocate one thing from 50 to 80 lb test braided line. As Sturgeon can pull pretty laborious, you’ll moreover want on the very least 250 yards of line functionality.

Ship alongside barbless hooks (sizes from 5/0 to 9/0), since guidelines solely may help you employ these. Lastly, do not forget that the preliminary chew Sturgeon make can actually really feel very delicate. So make sure they’ve bitten down solidly sooner than you start reeling and set the hook.

Rods and Reels

Two anglers fishing for Sturgeon using heavy tackle.
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As far as rods go, the whole thing between 6 and 9 ft will do the trick. Go for rods with robust backbones and cozy strategies. They’re further delicate and make it less complicated to tell when a Sturgeon bites. Nonetheless, many anglers fishing the Columbia River moreover use their Salmon rods to fish for Sturgeon. These work correctly, as long as you don’t hook into a particularly enormous fish.

It’s best to use quite a few types of reels for Sturgeon fishing. You’ll see many anglers use degree wind reels, nevertheless spinning reels are moreover top quality, merely ensure that they’re sturdy and ample. Take into accout, the rationale it’s essential use heavy gear isn’t solely a outcome you would end up with an unlimited fish on the end of your line. It’s moreover to complete the battle as rapidly as attainable. Longer fights exhaust the fish, and plenty of Sturgeon can’t recuperate for individuals who take too lengthy to reel them in.

Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Spots

An aerial shot of Bonneville Dam, a famous Sturgeon fishing area on the Columbia River.
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There are quite a few places alongside the Columbia River and its tributaries the place you presumably can go Sturgeon fishing. As a giant portion of the river flows alongside the state border, you’ll get your likelihood to wrestle these magnificent fish whether or not or not you find yourself in Washington or Oregon. With the knowledge, you obtained should assume an extreme quantity of in regards to the place to go. Nonetheless, let’s go over plenty of potential areas you presumably can go to…

  • The Dalles Dam: Positioned round 90 miles east of Portland and Vancouver, the Dalles Dam affords good Sturgeon movement. If you find yourself on this area, you’ll have two selections. You presumably can try fishing upriver, within the course of the John Day Dam and the McNary Dam. Or, you presumably can head downstream and uncover the Bonneville Pool.
  • Bonneville Dam: This area is a bit less complicated to achieve for individuals who’re starting your journey from any of the cities west of Bonneville. The dam is barely about 45 minutes away from Portland. Once you’re there, you’ll have the identical different to find the Bonneville Pool upriver. You possibly can too head downriver nevertheless ensure that testing the place guidelines may help you fish, since a part of the river west of the dam may presumably be closed.
  • Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA: In truth, you don’t primarily should depart city to hook into some Columbia River Sturgeon. The waters near Kelley Stage Park, the place the Willamette River flows into the Columbia River are an recognized Sturgeon spot. Willamette River itself, along with the shut by Multnomah Channel, are moreover superb places to find.
  • Astoria, OR: With all these spots in ideas, the perfect Sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River happens throughout the waters round Astoria. Proper right here, you’ll get to fish the well-known Buoy 10 and reel in every Sturgeon and a great deal of Salmon. Go to the world all through summer season and in addition you’ll get to have the benefit of plenty of the best fishing throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  • Larger Columbia River: In truth, there’s some good movement even throughout the larger a part of the Columbia River. The waters near Burbank for example, the place the Snake River joins the Columbia are a pleasure to find. Alternatively, head north, upstream from Richland and you could run by some spots alongside the monetary establishment.

Seasons, Tips, and Legal guidelines

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Whereas it’s attainable to hook into them year-round, Sturgeon season on the Columbia River typically begins round Would possibly and lasts all one of the best ways until October. Nevertheless although there is also fish throughout the water, you proceed to should guarantee you possibly can purpose them on the situation you’ve chosen. The Columbia River is cut up into fully completely different sections, and guidelines can fluctuate between them.

Sometimes, anglers are allowed to take care of two Sturgeon per yr and one per day by the keeper season. On the lower Columbia River, downstream from Bonneville Dam and all one of the best ways to Buoy 10, the Sturgeon retention season typically takes place sometime in Would possibly, June, or July. Above Bonneville Dam, the retention season typically opens on the primary of each yr, nevertheless, closes as quickly because the quota is crammed.

You presumably can check out the foundations for your self by visiting the Columbia River eRegulations internet web page. Each approaches, for individuals who’re fishing from Oregon, you’ll need an angling license, a Blended Angling Tag, and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement. In Washington, you’ll merely get a fishing license. Chances are you’ll get further particulars on these in our devoted Washington and Oregon fishing license guides.

Columbia River: The Sturgeon Fishing Epicenter

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Sturgeon are excellent fish and tons of fulfilling to catch. With distinctive appearances to be like, crazy acrobatics and delicious model, they’ve the whole thing you’d want in a fish. And if you find yourself on the Columbia River, you’ll be in most likely the best location on the earth to reel in Sturgeon. Merely be prepared for a battle and make sure you honor the fish and launch it safely. On this method, the legendary Sturgeon will proceed to roam these waters for years to return again.

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