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Astoria Fishing Guide – Things to Know


Astoria is a pretty special place when it comes to guided fishing. Its unique location on the banks of the mouth of the Columbia River makes it the perfect launch location for many different fishing opportunities throughout the year. From Astoria you can fish the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia River Estuary, and the Columbia River itself. There aren’t many places in the world where there are options for guided fishing trips to 3 separate fisheries from the same launch location. And while we enjoy the fishing, the overall experience in Astoria is what makes it an amazing destination to visit! There are great restaurants, hotels of all kinds, and lots of places to explore.

Astoria Salmon Fishing

Astoria has been one of the world’s largest Salmon fishing hubs for 250 years. Salmon fishing seasons are based around three Chinook Salmon runs, a Sockeye run, and a Coho/Silver Salmon return. These runs provide fishing opportunities for close to 6 months of each year, something rarely seen in the world of salmon fishing. It’s the result of every returning Columbia River salmon funneling through the mouth of the Columbia River. Fishing in Astoria provides us with a chance to chase bright aggressive fish, fresh from the ocean. It makes for an incredible day on the water.

Astoria Sturgeon Fishing

From June through September, sturgeon congregate in the Columbia River near Astoria to gorge on the baitfish that amass in the estuary each summer. There is often a short keeper season from the middle of May into the beginning of June. After that the larger fish move in and we have several months of incredible catch and release fishing for trophy sturgeon. What makes these fishing trips so fun to guide is the adventure that’s created when you’re fishing for huge fish in shallow water, often only 3-6 feet deep. There’s really no where else in the world where you can experience this kind of sturgeon fishing. Take a look at the video we create to give you a glimpse into the fun we have.

Astoria Ocean Fishing

From May through October there are multiple fisheries going on just a short boat ride out from the mouth of the Columbia River. With the addition of Legion’s Mercy, we have so many more opportunities to get you on fish. Halibut fishing starts in May. Lingcod and Rock fish trips start then as well, and run clear into October. Late July brings schools of albacore tuna to the area and we’ll be offering day trips for tuna through September. Of course ocean salmon is always an option from opening day at the end of June through the end of the season in October. So many options to choose from when you launch from Astoria.

Guy in sunglasses holding up a 14 pound lingcod caught near the jetty in Astoria.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you fish Buoy 10?

Yes, we do offer guided fishing trips at Buoy 10 for Fall Salmon, from opening day on August 1st through the season, which often continues into October. It may be the biggest fishery on the continent, and we enjoy being part of it as Astoria becomes the place to be in August and beyond. Buoy 10 is named for the channel marker that sits mid-stream on the Columbia River, dividing the longest river west of the Mississippi from the Pacific Ocean. That doesn’t mean that we only fish next to the big red buoy. The Buoy 10 fishery extends about 5 miles each way, up and down the coastline, and about 10 miles upriver to Tongue Point. The Columbia River averages about 5 miles across, giving us ample opportunity to fish where the fish are, moving around as needed to provide the best possible experience.

Can kids fish?

Of course! We love taking out anglers of all ages. First catches are always an incredible experience for everyone on the boat, and sometimes kids pick up on things faster than adults. Fishing with a guide allows you to simply enjoy the day with your kids or grandkids, while leaving all of the details to us. Just let us know how old your kids are and we’ll show you the best options available. 

What else is there to do in Astoria besides fishing?

Astoria is full of history and unique sights, from Ft. Stevens to the Astoria Column to Battery Russell. We’ve put together a short list of our favorites, but feel free to explore and discover more for yourself.

How much does a fishing license cost? Do we need tags as well?

Both Oregon and Washington fishing licenses can be used on the Columbia River, with day licenses for either state running about $25 per person. If you’re not from Washington, please purchase Oregon licenses for everyone.

Oregon Day Licenses can be purchased online and are the easiest option as they include your salmon/steelhead/sturgeon tag. Be sure to add the Columbia River Endorsement. We’ll include all of the details in your trip confirmation email.

Washington doesn’t yet have a way to print your online purchase. It takes about 10 days to receive your license by mail.

What’s the difference between you and the bigger charters?

That’s a question we get asked a lot. We’re unique in what we have to offer and I’ve written a pretty thorough answer on our Astoria page. You can check it out here

What about seasickness?

Many of our Astoria fishing trips can or do take place on the Columbia River, which is generally smoother than the ocean. It’s a great option for people who may prefer to stay on the river for a variety of reasons, and we’re happy to help coordinate things. Let us know if you’re prone to motion sickness when you’re reserving your trip so we discuss options. For those who book the whole boat, we can work to find the smoothest spots for the day.

We will be flying home. How do we get our fish home?

We get this question a lot. Enough to make a page to give you all sorts of information about how to get your fish home with the airlines.

For more information on any of our fishing trips, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help and want to make your fishing experience in Astoria as seamless and enjoyable as possible.