The Columbia River has some of the best sturgeon fishing opportunities in the state of Washington and Oregon. If you’re looking to catch some keeper or monster sturgeon Columbia River Fishing Guides has you covered. We offer year-round Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing trips targeting both trophy class and keeper fish.
OREGON STURGEON FISHING TRIPS
Sturgeon fishing in the Pacific Northwest is World Class and the Columbia River has the best sturgeon fishing in the area. Columbia River fishing Guides fishes two locations for catch and keep for sturgeon. The McNary Dam in the upper section of the Columbia Rivers Lake Umatilla Pool located a few mile from the town of Hermiston. We can access any of the fishing ramps at Umatilla Marina, Irrigon, Patterson, Boardman, Crowe Butte, all the way down to the John Day River. This section of the Columbia River is known as the John Day Pool. Then their the Hanford Reach above the Tri-Cities which is the area and down river through the Wallula – Gap also has excellent keeper sturgeon fishing.
KEEPER STURGEON TRIPS
Other Columbia River catch and keep sturgeon areas are in Northern Washingtons Lake Roosevelt. Also Kettle Falls is a fun little fishing town, surrounded by lots of trees and wildlife which isn’t too far from the Canadian border. Our catch and release sturgeon trips on the Snake River/Hells Canyon area is a bucket list fishery. This gate way into the Hells Canyon hosts some of the world’s largest sturgeon and has spectacular scenic views of the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Hood, evergreens, and endless wildlife are all a part of the journey.
LARGEST FRESHWATER FISH IN NORTH AMERICA
The infamous White sturgeon is the world’s largest freshwater fish in North America and can litterally grow to 15 feet long and weigh over 500 pounds. These primitive fish have large bony plates, a long flat nose, and a deep forked tail. Interesting =ly enough the White Sturgeon is a prehistoric fish and may live well over 100 years however, white sturgeon don’t mature until they are 25 years of age. These dino fish are considered bottom feeders and have 4 barbels near their noose that are used to both feel and smell. Sturgeon are also predatorial and will hunt and have no problem chasing down smaller bait fish for a quick meal. When it comes to catching these beasts there’s no shortage of excitement. Also sturgeon love to surface out of the water like a geyser, providing acrobatics, and line squealing runs for deeper waters. Sturgeon fishing can be a family event, when one member gets winded they can hand it off to another member to get the trill of fighting this powerful fish.
COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON TRIPS
The Columbia River at the John Day Pool below the McNary Dam is a primary keeper sturgeon section of the river. Anglers are allowed to retain fish from 43’ to 54’ inches in length. The fishery opens on January 1st and generally remains open through the end of March. Most of the sturgeon we catch in this section of the river is just below the McNary Dam but we have a few other several spots that produce as well if it’s to crowded at the dam. Given the keeper season can be limited it’s always good to book your trip well in advance as to make user theirs a seal available for your entire party.
MCNARY POOL, WALLULA GAP, and JOHN DAY POOL
There are times when Columbia River water flows and foul weather may force us to fish down river to the John Day Pool or up river to the dam in the Wallula Gap at the Tri Cities section of the river. Sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River can be non stop action and due to that fact that it has one of the largest sturgeon populations in the world. There are days that we hook into 40-50 sturgeon with a few lucky anglers landing the occasional ten plus foot armor plated monster. This is a very popular fishery that attracts sport fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. Once you catch a Sturgeon of the size and nature of a white sturgeon, pretty much no other freshwater fish will ever compare to the experience. These fish live up to the hype and rarely let our clients down as far a excitement and hard fighting factor.
BATTLE OF THE STURGEON
Get ready for a battle, these giant fish can take up to 2 hours to land and can have plenty of fight for the entire group. As far a types of sturgeon available, we can divide them into 3 classes. This will help our clients understand what to expect and to provide anglers the the best possible fishing experience. Sturgeon along with many other species of fish that reside in the Columbia are referred to as “Shakers”. We call them shakers becasue they are fish under the legal size allowed to retain. Some call them bait stealers, but in the end we have to throw them back so they can live to fight another day. “Keepers” as in Keeper sturgeon are of course the fish that are caught that are within the legal size and are allowed to be retained. Lastly are the oversize sturgeon, often referred to as “Peelers” which basically means these are the fish that will peel the line right off the reel. When you hook inti a Peeler, hold on folks, your in for a ride. We at Columbia River Fishing Guides fish for sturgeon all year long and know exactly where to find them. Best of all Sturgeon fishing is just part of the action. Salmon, steelhead, walleye and bass fishing on the Columbia can also be a part of the action. Without a doubt the Columbia River is one of the premier sportfishing destination in the world and few Oregon fishing guides know this river better than we do.
KEEPER STURGEON LIMITS
When it comes to targeting keeper sturgeon, the daily limit in both Washington and Oregon is one sturgeon per day with an annual limit is 2 fish per year. Interestingly enogh Anglers can continue to catch and release fish for Sturgeon after reaching their daily or annual limit. This can be fun if you’d like to get a glory shot with a big one and continue to go after the 6 plus foot fish. Whoever, keeper sturgeon can only be retained if they measure between 53″ and 63″ inches, from the tip of the nose to the middle fork of the tail. These fish are good eating white meat and worthy of any dinner table. It was common back in the day that Russian royalty would serve keeper sturgeon at royal feasts.
HELLS CANYON & SNAKE RIVER STURGEON FISHING
The Snake River in Hells Canyon is a sport fishers paradise and is home to some of the worlds largest sturgeon. Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America and the Hellar Bar is the gate way into this beautiful section of the Columbia. Hell’s Canyon sturgeon are a special variety of the species and have learned how to adapt being landlocked. Prior to the dams being built, the Snake River Sturgeon would migrate back and forth from the Pacific Ocean to feed and spawn and live the good life. Sturgeon in this canyon have prospered and offer sturgeon fishing guides excellent opportunities to help their clients catch some trophy class fish. This popular fishery has breathtaking views of the area with rock shelves that climb 9000 feet as well as native wildlife.
YEAR-ROUND TROPHY STURGEON FISHING
The Hells Canyon sturgeon fishing is a catch and release fishery. If you want to take some fish home, we can combine other keeper fish species in your trip like salmon, steelehad, bass, or walleye. Hells Canyon is a very challenging section of the river, for the less, experienced anglers we recommend using a guide. We make our home in the Pacific Northwest, and are very familiar with the fluctuating water flows of the Columbia and know exactly how they effect the fishing. We fish for sturgeon year around but there are times in the dead of summer that we choose to give the fish a break and target salmon in the lower sections of Columbia.
WORLD CLASS STURGEON FISHING
Sturgeon fishing is one of Columbia River Fishing Guides main stays when it comes to Oregon Fishing Trips, there are several species of game fish to target on the Columbia and we love fishing for them. We target salmon, walleye and steelhead year round as well so if you’re looking to book your very own Columbia River Fishing Trip please give us a call. We’ll be more that happy to provide the fishing experience of a lifetime.