The Columbia river is one of the few sturgeon estuaries’ where anglers can retain legal size sturgeon.
However, Monster Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Trips are available. The keeper fish range in the 30lbs. to 40lbs. range and are much smaller than an adult size sturgeon which are generally over 6 ft. long and a couple hundred pounds. Even though adult sturgeon can not be retained on the Columbia River there is a healthy catch and release season where a lucky angler can experience the thrill of catching one of these monsters of the deep. No joke, these fish can grow up to 1000 lbs. and 14 ft. long. So when you hook into one, rest assured, you’ll be in for a fight of a lifetime.
Oregon has several bays with Sturgeon to be caught but the Columbia is were the action is.
Some say the big ones are hiding out up in the Snake River in the infamous Glen Ferry and Hells Canyon sections of the river. We fish the Gorge and below the Bonneville and Dalls Dams on our Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Trips and have caught fish just as big a fish as what they say awaits in the upper sections. These prehistoric beasts of the underworld offer an sure fire thrill when your hook into one and when you witness a 300 plus pound fish leap from the water in an areal display of acrobatics you’ll never forget it. Slap on a shad with something stinky stuff onto a size 12 Gamakatsu octopus hook and let it drop to the bottom. You jig it our just let it sit and if you happen to plop it down right in front of one, it won’t be long before your rod is bend in half and them some.
Get ready for the ride because now you’re in for a fight.
If your lucky you’ll have a boat load of helpers to fill in and take your place in the event you start to cramp up or blow your out arms. In the event of muscle failure it’s always good to have a few buddies with you so you all can take turns. That’s what’s so great about fishing with a group. If you tucker out, you can just pass the rode to the next thrill seeker and let them have a taste. Man, versus beast the battle of life and death all right before your eyes. After a few go arounds and squealing of the line the old Fish-o-sourus Rex will finally give it up and there before you is an amour plated beast like no other. Next it’s all about the photos to capture the moment. Everyone can gather round to celebrate the victory and enshrine the moment for eternity with the click of the camera. After all is said and done we safely set our captured jumbo fish free to live to fight another day. It really just doesn’t get much better than that. A day on the water in one of most scenic places in the world, catching an echoic pre-historic fish.
The satisfaction of catching such a fish is hard to explain.
We are talking about an animal that could very well be in the 200 lbs. to 400 lbs. range and literally 25-50 years old when you hook into them. Interestingly enough sturgeon are among the longest living animals on the planet and can live as long, if not longer that most humans do. It’s not uncommon for surgeon to live to reach the ripe old age of 100 years old. How many people do you know that are 100? Unfortunately over the last couple decades these impressive fish have struggled to survive due to overfishing, pollution, and the obstruction of dams to the sturgeons vital spawning habitat. However, conservation efforts are under way and we practice safe catch and release procedures for all fish we return to the water. Just keep in mind, if you do hook into a record class sturgeon, it could very well be older than you are.
On that note, it’s also very important to take care when catching and releasing sturgeon.
Generally, you’ll need to fish heavy gear not to get broke off. If possible, you should always try to land the fish as soon as possible. Larger fish may require a rope with a snare loop knot tied around the sturgeon’s tale to be able to better control the fish when removing gear and taking photos. When all is said and done, well be sure to revive the fish through the act of forcing water through the sturgeon’s gills by moving the sturgeon back and forth in the water. This will get the oxygen back into the beast and allow it to swim away on its own strength.
The best time to fish Sturgeon
In the lower sections of the Columbia during the last two hours of the outgoing tide of a major tidal exchange till a low slack tide or during the first hour of the incoming tide of the spring tides. The outgoing tide is generally the most productive one to fish as the sturgeon tend to move into the deeper holes. One of the most effective tactics for catching these beasts is to cast your bait to the upper current side of the hole, the current will carry the scent of the bait down to the sturgeon. After that it’s fish on! and off we go on the chase.
Once you set the hook
On one of our Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Trips, you’ll either have a peeler or a shaker on the line. Shakers are immature sturgeon and are called so because the shake their head allot when you fight them. Peelers will peel the line right off your reel and if you’re not careful you may get spooled. Never fear, we make sure to have plenty of line on our setups and if necessary, will chase the fish down in the boat to keep it from getting away.
If you’re bank fishing for Sturgeon
That could be a different story depending on how much line you have and running room available on the shore line. However, there are tons of anglers who successfully land sturgeon even from the bank and sometimes we may bring the fish to the bank for photos when clients are afraid or have no desire to go into the deep water with these monster fish. Still some of our clients will dive right in and swim with a dinosaur. The photos say is all.
One thing for sure Sturgeon fishing is defiantly something you’ll never forget.
Our Sturgeon Fishing Trips have been providing memories of a lifetime for our clients for generations. If you’re looking to catch a monster fish like to other, give us a call and hire Columbia River Fishing Adventures today. We are among the top-rated Oregon Sturgeon Fishing Guides in the Pacific Northwest and would be honored to serve you. Don’t take our word for it, check out our Google rating. We take pride in our work and are passionate about helping people to catch fish. We offer year-round sturgeon fishing trip on the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Contact us today and reserve a seat on our premier jet sled.