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Astoria and Buoy 10 is World-Class Fishing on the Columbia
Astoria and the Columbia River fishery begins at Buoy 10, a channel marker at the mouth of the river. Head upriver, and you’ll pass Astoria, Scappoose, and then Portland before reaching Bonneville Dam near the Cascade Locks. There’s a lot to love about the Columbia River fishery, starting with the world-class fishing experience. The Columbia River is known for its world-class salmon fishing, but it is also home to equally impressive sturgeon fishing opportunities.
In addition, the Columbia River and the Columbia River Gorge is lined with green forests and rugged cliffsides, with snowcapped mountains not far in the distance. While you’re fishing, there will be plenty of opportunity to take in the beauty of the surrounding area. These waters are famous for the Chinook salmon, which returns from the oceans to spawn in three major waves, or runs: spring, summer, and fall. The fish of each run are characterized by differences in size and disposition, but all are large, powerful fighters on the line.
Astoria Salmon Fishing Guide
Astoria, Oregon is one of our favorite launching points for salmon fishing on the Columbia River. With reasonable proximity to Buoy 10, as well as short runs across the river under the Astoria-Megler Bridge, Astoria makes a great base of operations for multi-day fishing trips. The eastern-most boundary of this zone is an imaginary line that runs from Rocky Point on the Washington side of the river, to Tongue Point on the Oregon side.
The town of Astoria is well worth visiting while you’re there, too. The Astoria Column is a scenic lookout from which you may view the entire area, and commemorates a variety of early events in Oregon’s history. Astoria also has no shortage of excellent restaurants and hotels. Experience the rugged beauty of the river, and then retire to an evening with a fine meal, hotel, and all the comforts of civilization.
Astoria Sturgeon Fishing Adventures
Some of the best fishing is in May and June as these fish hangout in the deep water pockets around the Portland area in the Columbia and Willamette rivers offering abundant takedowns for those clients that want to wear themselves out. As the season progresses June and July offer numerous opportunities out of Astoria in the shallow water. The incoming tide is best when they are feeding on anchovies and sand shrimp on the mud flats.
After the closure in 2014 and the select fishery reopener in 2017 the Departments of Fish and Wildlife for Oregon and Washington have reached an agreement for a limited slot retainage quota. They have designed this around two time frames in the year. The early projection for the lower Columbia around Astoria is going to be in May of 2018 and later in the year during September they may establish a time slot around Portland area. Currently there are no established dates and will keep you posted in my news releases.
Astoria Fishing Opportunities
Depending on the salmon run, season, and estimated fish counts, fishing the mouth of the Columbia River in the open ocean can be a rewarding experience. Salmon often school just beyond the mouth of the river as they wait for water conditions to reach optimal for their run up the Columbia. During such times, we tend to launch from the Hammond Marina, which is our most-Westerly boat launch near Fort Stevens, making the run over the Columbia bar a shorter hop to reach our fishing zone in the open ocean.
One of the most famous fishing spots on the Columbia River is Buoy 10. Buoy 10 is the buoy that marks the mouth of the Columbia River and is a great spot for Chinook and Coho salmon fishing, as the fish enter the river fresh from the ocean.
We fish Buoy 10 just before and after the tide changes, with the slack tide often yielding the best results. With a soft outgoing tide, the fish tend to turn their noses upstream and our tactic is to troll downstream to present the bait in front of more fish.
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