Columbia River Walleye Fishing Report

March 26, 2023

Columbia River Walleye Fishing Report

As springtime nears and the Columbia River water temperatures are hovering near 42degrease. We know it’s time for some spring Walleye fishing! As the pre-spawn nears, we are getting away from the deep water and focusing our time trolling crankbaits and worm harnesses in the areas we know will soon be full of Walleye getting ready to spawn. We have been catching our share of Walleye on bandits and worm harnesses. Most of the fish we are catching are in 20 to 35 feet. Trolling very slow. If you are seeing lots of fish on the sonar with no takers try slowing your troll.

Tackle and Techniques

There are times we are marking lots of Walleye on the sonar and getting zip on our crank baits and jigs. Walleye, especially the BIG females, are creatures of habit, and you will catch them in the same place year after year. This doesn’t mean they will always bite. Often the small males will bite when the bigger fish won’t. Columbia River Walleye Can be very easy to catch. Sometimes making you feel like you’re the best fisherman to ever live and the next day totally kicking your &$#. When you find yourself in the getting you %$# kicked situation. Try pulling a bottom walker and worm harness VERY slowly. More dragging it down the river then trolling it. Walleye fishing isn’t like looking for spring Salmon. The Columbia River has millions of Walleyes who often just don’t feel like biting. Sometimes trying a new spot or a different technique can be the difference in a slow day or a box full of walleye. As of late we have been pulling crawler harness rigs in 20 to 35 feet. My favorites are the ones from the Gorge Outfitters. The recent bite is more of a nudge then a bite so watch closely but be patient and let them eat.

Columbia River Rufus Oregon

A lot of our Columbia River trips are around the Rufus area and down below the John Day dam.
This past month we fished the rufus area with some very mixed results. Some days were good followed by a couple very tuff days. We found some good schools of fish in the deep water 50 to 90 feet and they produced lots of eater size walleye. Jigging 1oz jigs white, green and brown has been the key to success. Most of our bigger walleye have been caught pulling bottom walkers and worm harness rigs in 20 to 35 feet. Fishing the flats especially the ones near deep water and big drops have been the key to success!

Columbia River Boardman Oregon

Walleye fishing has been very good for about a month in the Boardman area. The fish have been less than impressive, and we haven’t spent much time in the area. But the action in the deep water 90 to 112 feet has been fantastic! The go to has been 1oz jigs in just about any color. As the Columbia River has reached the 42 degrees mark the fishing in the 20-to-40-foot range has started to produce. Most of our success in the shallower water has been trolling crawler harnesses. Gold blades have produced most of our fish trolling slow .8 mph. Things are changing daily as the water is warming and the Walley are getting ready to spawn. This next couple of months we should see some of the best walleye fishing the Columbia River has to offer.

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