Astoria is home to some of the best salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Located at the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean, Astoria has been one of the world’s largest Salmon fishing hubs for 250 years. The Salmon fishing in Astoria offers three Chinook Salmon runs, a Sockeye run, and a Coho/Silver Salmon return. The collective return offers nearly 6 months of fishing opportunity, which is nearly unheard of in the world of Salmon fishing. And while the Salmon fishing is great, the overall experience in Astoria is what makes it incredible! Good restaurants, hotels of all kinds, and lots of places to explore really make it an amazing destination.
Columbia River Spring Chinook are some of the most prized salmon and have a short season, typically from Mid-March through the first week of April. This fishery is carefully regulated, and based on closure areas, sometimes we’ll be fishing upriver toward Portland to provide the best fishing opportunity.
Astoria provides a prime ocean salmon fishing opportunity as the fish that run the Columbia River stage outside the mouth of the river before entering the fresh water. In June, Coho Salmon arrive and will gain up to a pound a week while gorging on the prolific baitfish in the area.
The 2021 Astoria Ocean Salmon Season opens with a week of Chinook only retention from June 19th – 26th. On June 27th, the fishery fully opens for both Coho and Chinook Salmon retention. There is a 2 fish bag limit per day, one of which may be a Chinook. All salmon kept must have a healed adipose fin (be hatchery salmon). Minimum length for Chinook is 22″ while Coho 16″ and longer may be kept. This fishery is a favorite of many as it allows us to target Columbia River Fall Salmon before we can chase them in the river when Buoy 10 opens up in August. If you would like to experience ocean salmon fishing, this is the time to do it.
When summer arrives in mid-June, Summer Chinook, or “June Hogs”, provide another fishing opportunity between Astoria and the mouth of the Cowlitz River. On these trips, we’ll often catch Summer Steelhead and Sockeye as well, providing even more action for everyone in the boat.
The fall salmon season actually gets started out on the Pacific Ocean toward the end of June. When the water temps start to warm up, baitfish amass at the mouth of the Columbia River. Fall salmon prepare for their runs by eating their fill, and we target fall salmon out on the ocean, taking advantage of some nice weather and good fishing. These same months are prime trophy sturgeon season on the Columbia River Estuary, making it the perfect time for multiple-day trips.
The Buoy 10 Chinook Salmon Season opens on the Columbia River on August 1st each year. There is nothing else in the world like being out at Buoy 10, and many people have it on their bucket list. The Chinook season typically lasts for about 3 weeks, and as soon as regulations closes it on the river, the Coho begin their run and we target them on both the ocean and the river. On a good year coho fishing can run clear through October, providing some of my favorite fishing days. The days are long. The sun is shining. People have returned to school and work. And of course, the salmon are in the river and biting. What more could a guy who loves to fish ask for?
Whether you’re interested in coming for a day or several days, please visit the links below to help plan your trip. You’re always welcome to call or contact me with any questions. I’m happy to help.
For any questions you might have about Astoria Salmon Fishing, or to simply book a trip, contact me.