The Best Walleye Fishing Spots on the Columbia River

December 19, 2023

The Best Walleye Fishing Spots on the Columbia River

The Bonneville Pool

Hood River can be an awesome experience for anglers. Many people overlook this area of the Columbia River, but that means you might have it all to yourself. As the top Columbia River walleye fishing guides at Columbia River Fishing Adventures (CRFA), we know the Bonneville Pool offers plenty of chances to catch walleye. By focusing on specific spots and using the right techniques, you can increase your chances of success.

Walleye in this area prefer slow-moving currents, so look for places with gentle flows or areas protected from strong currents. The mouth of the Hood River is a great spot where walleye like to hang out. It has slow-moving water and deeper channels, which walleye love to explore. Don’t forget to fish in the deep water too, especially between 60 and 90 feet, particularly during the winter months.

Another thing to look for when targeting walleye in the Bonneville Pool is underwater shelves. These shelves have different depths, and they attract walleye because of the variety they offer. Walleye often hang around the drop-offs and edges of these shelves, especially when they’re feeding. Try casting your lure or bait along these areas for better results.

Walleye also like shady spots. Look for fallen trees, rocky formations or overhanging banks that provide shade. These places serve as hiding spots and ambush points for walleye. Focus your fishing efforts around these shaded areas to increase your chances of catching walleye.

When fishing in the Bonneville Pool, it’s a good idea to target specific areas that are known to be productive for walleye. For example, the flats near the Wind River on the Washington side of the river are popular among walleye. These flats have slower currents, different structures, and plenty of cover, making them attractive to walleye. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to fish in these flats when walleye are more active.

Don’t forget to explore the shallow sandbars in the middle of the river. These sandbars are about 25 to 35 feet deep and often have cruising walleye, especially during low-light periods or when they’re actively feeding. Pay attention to changes in the sandbar structure like dips or humps, as walleye tend to gather around those areas.

When it comes to techniques, trolling with diving plugs, using bottom walkers, and jigging are all effective ways to catch walleye in the Bonneville Pool. Play around with different lure colors and sizes to see what entices walleye to bite. Vary your trolling speed and depth to find the best presentation that triggers their feeding instincts.

Overall, fishing for walleye in the Bonneville Pool at Hood River can be an amazing experience. With its slow-moving currents, underwater shelves, and shady areas, this spot is perfect for walleye. By targeting specific locations and using the right techniques, you’ll have a greater chance of catching these prized fish. So grab your gear, head to the Bonneville Pool, and enjoy an incredible walleye fishing adventure on the Columbia River with Columbia River Fishing Adventures (CRFA).

The Dalles Pool, Rufus, Oregon

During the months of March through April, the Rufus area of the Dalles Pool on the Columbia River is renowned for its excellent walleye fishing opportunities, making this area a favorite for Columbia River walleye fishing guides. Anglers can expect to find an abundance of cookie-cutter walleye ranging from 14” to 18”. Furthermore, there are even a few larger specimens that occasionally make a catch.

To start targeting walleye, launch your boat from Preachers Eddy and navigate your way to the upper Dalles Pool. Trolling is a popular technique in this area, with three key areas that have proven to be productive for walleye fishing: Preachers Eddy, the Willows, and Rufus Run. As you venture further down the river, the 106 hole is a well-known hotspot for walleye. Additionally, don’t overlook the walleye-holding waters near the Highway 97 bridge. In fact, the walleye fishing in the Rufus area remains consistently good as you make your way down the river all the way to the Dalles Dam.

When it comes to tackle, medium to light spinning or baitcasting gear is recommended. Experimenting with a variety of lures and baits, including jigs, crankbaits, and nightcrawlers, can increase your chances of success. Pay attention to color and size variations to match the preferences of the walleye on any given day.

Patience and persistence are key when fishing for walleye in the Rufus area. With its abundant walleye populations and well-known fishing spots, this location is considered one of the best places to catch walleye on the Columbia River. By employing the right techniques and adapting to the conditions, you can enhance your chances of a rewarding fishing experience.

The John Day Pool

located just below McNary Dam on the Columbia River, is an incredibly popular destination for walleye fishing enthusiasts. This area is highly sought after due to its reputation for being loaded with walleye and consistently producing some of the largest fish in the entire Columbia River.

Anglers are drawn to the John Day Pool not only for its abundance of fish but also for its stunning natural beauty. The scenic surroundings and calm waters make for a tranquil and enjoyable fishing experience. Whether you prefer fishing from the shore or from a boat, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and find productive spots.

One of the main advantages of fishing in the John Day Pool is the variety of fishing techniques that can be employed. Anglers can use a wide range of methods such as casting and retrieving crankbaits, trolling with spinner rigs or diving plugs, vertical jigging, or even live bait fishing. This versatility allows anglers to adapt to current conditions and find success throughout the year.

During the warmer months, walleye in the John Day Pool are highly active and feeding voraciously. This makes for exciting and action-packed fishing trips, with regular strikes and plentiful opportunities to reel in trophy-sized fish. It is not uncommon to catch walleye weighing up to 15 pounds, and even larger fish have been known to be caught in this area.

The popularity of the John Day Pool is undeniable, with numerous Oregon and Washington walleye fishing guides making it their go-to spot. These experienced guides are intimately familiar with the waters and can provide valuable insights, tactics, and strategies to maximize your chances of success. They know where the fish are likely to be and can help tailor your approach to the specific conditions of the pool.

In addition to the fantastic walleye fishing, the John Day Pool offers a range of other recreational activities and amenities. From camping and RV sites to hiking and wildlife watching, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful area. Whether you are a dedicated angler or simply looking to experience the outdoors, the John Day Pool is sure to provide a memorable and fulfilling adventure.

Irrigon, Oregon’s Best Walleye Fishing

When it comes to Columbia River walleye fishing, there is no better spot than Irrigon, Oregon. Positioned along the banks of the mighty Columbia River, Irrigon offers an ideal location for anglers seeking a successful and exciting fishing trip.

Begin your walleye adventure from the boat ramp in Irrigon, where you can easily access a flat shelf that draws in walleye in abundance. This particular stretch of the river, spanning between mile markers 62 and 64, is a hotspot for these prized fish. Here, you will find walleye congregating and stacking up, eagerly awaiting your carefully jigged or trolled bait. With such a high concentration of walleye, you can expect multiple bites throughout your fishing session, ensuring a thrilling experience filled with action.

For those seeking a challenge and the opportunity to reel in trophy-sized walleye, venture over to Boulder Alley, located just across from the Irrigon Ramp. As the name suggests, this area is filled with large rocks and snags, making it a favorite hiding spot for some of the largest walleye in the state. In this rugged section of the river, you will need to employ your best angling techniques and exercise caution to navigate successfully. But the potential rewards are immense, as the walleye lurking within these boulder-strewn waters are known to be true giants.

Fishing in the Irrigon area of the Columbia River can be a bit unpredictable. Some days, you may find the walleye aggressively biting, resulting in a bountiful catch. Other days, you might need to exercise patience and persistence, only bringing home a couple of fish. However, the thrill and excitement of fishing in these renowned waters make every outing well worth the effort.

So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice looking for an unforgettable fishing experience, make your way to Irrigon, Oregon. The abundance of walleye and the expertise of the local fishing guides will ensure that your time on the water is nothing short of extraordinary. Jig or troll your bait, feel the anticipation of a walleye strike, and create memories that will last a lifetime at this go-to spot for Columbia River walleye fishing.

In conclusion

If you’re seeking the best walleye fishing spots on the Columbia River in Oregon, look no further than CRFA. With their expert guides and abundance of fishing opportunities, you can experience the thrill of reeling in walleye like never before. Don’t miss out on this incredible adventure – book a guided trip with CRFA today and get ready to make some unforgettable fishing memories.

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