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 2023 ocean salmon seasons have been announced. June 24th will be opening day and we’ll have an All Salmon season again this year where both chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. It’s a 2 fish limit, only one of which can be a chinook. Astoria Ocean Salmon 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 2023 Columbia River Summer Chinook season have been set. The river will open for salmon retention on June 16th, and we’ll be fishing for Chinook, sockeye, and steelhead through July 31st. This year the river is open upstream of the Astoria-Megler Bridge which will allow us to do some Columbia River summer salmon fishing out of Astoria.
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 Columbia River Chinook season typically lasts 3-5 weeks and then we switch gears just a little as 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, salmon are in the river and biting. What more could a guy who loves to fish want in a day on the water?
The 2023 Buoy 10 season dates and details have been set. The Columbia River will open for salmon retention on August 1st. This year only hatchery Chinook and Coho may be kept during the Buoy 10 season, which should give us a longer season. We’re able to retain Chinook through Labor Day, when we switch over to a Coho only fishery. September brings crabbing opportunities as well as a 3 fish daily bag limit. Buoy 10 is a favorite fishery and whether you choose to fish in August or September, it will be an experience to remember.
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.