Walleye are fun and challenging to catch. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, there are many great locations on Oregon’s rivers for trying your hand at hooking one. To increase your chances of a successful walleye fishing trip, following are tried-and true tips from Buddy Dupell, owner and guide of Columbia River Fishing Adventures, based in Portland. Buddy has decades of experience fishing Oregon rivers and knows which locations yield the biggest walleye and when to fish them. He also has the equipment you’ll need and the right techniques to help you land a big walleye in any season of the year.
TIP #1 –The best place to catch walleye in Oregon is the Columbia River, from Portland to The Dalles and the John Day Dam.
TIP #2 – Start fishing for walleye at 20-feet deep. They hold at different depths, depending on the seasons, conditions and temperature. But, 20 feet is a good depth to start with.
TIP #3 – Look for walleye in eddies and culverts. Places where the current is broken or meets still water are good spots to try. Side eddies and pools are great for catching walleye.
TIP #4 – Walleye hide out in deeper parts of the river waiting for prey. Having low-light vision, they are able to go into deep water and weedy areas during daylight.
TIP #5 – Walleye are mainly night feeders. They move close to shore at dusk to feed along the edges of the river. Try fishing at night for walleye (if it’s legal at your location), too.
TIP #6 – Try trolling in a large river by drifting through potential walleye populations. Go slowly, using a zig-zag pattern over as much of the area as possible.
TIP #7 – When trolling, keep bait just above the bottom to avoid line snags; and use a planer board to keep your line away from the boat, to decrease the odds of a serious tangle.
TIP #8 – Change your bait color for better water visibility. If the water is clear, use bait and lures that are blue, silver, white or black. If water is not so clear, use bright colors like red or orange.
TIP #9 – Target deep pockets and holes near culverts and river bends. Walleye use these areas ambush their prey.
TIP #10 – To attract aggressive fish, try what’s called, “power trolling.” You let out a lot of line and then imitate their prey’s movements by quickly reeling in the line while making several jerking motions.
The excellent spots for catching walleye along the Columbia can be accessed with a guided fishing trip, like the popular ones offered by Buddy Dupell at Columbia River Fishing Adventures. For more information on fishing for walleye on the Columbia, give Buddy a call at (503) 490-3099.