As the daily temps begins to rise, we start to see more sun than rain on your fishing trips in Astoria. I can’t help but think of the plethora of fishing options Astoria offers all summer long. Salmon, sturgeon and bottom fish are available in Astoria, and sometimes all on the same day. We will start running fishing charters in Astoria on May 14th, and fish through the middle of September. Our goal is to run the very best fishing guide service in Astoria, and we’d love to have you. To stay in touch throughout the year, connect with us at Lance Fisher Fishing on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
We really have two salmon seasons in Astoria: one is the ocean salmon fishery, where we target fall chinook and coho off the mouth of the Columbia, and the other is Buoy 10, where we target these chinook in the estuary itself. Because of the magnitude of the Buoy 10 fishery, I will save the details of how to target salmon inside the Columbia River Bar for later in this blog post.
This year we are slated to have our ocean salmon season open on June 23rd for chinook and coho. These are the same fish we target in August and September in the Columbia River. This season, however, allows us to get after them early, while they’re on the feed. With a quota of 8,000 chinook and 21,000 coho, there should be good opportunities available to target salmon off the mouth of the Columbia.
Arguably the most famous salmon fishery in the entire Northwest, Buoy 10 in Astoria attracts anglers from all over, and for good reason: lots of fish! From August 1st through 24th, anglers will fish for fall chinook and coho. Normally as the month goes on fishing gets better, but this year we have some early soft tides, which should kick things off when it opens up. I expect pretty consistent fishing throughout the month as 360,000+ salmon begin to ride the tides into the Columbia River. This year the limit is one salmon per person. Chinook will be open in the Columbia River August 1st through 24th, and coho/silver salmon will remain open thereafter. This is one of our favorite times of the year as the culture in Astoria changes when thousands of fishermen and woman head into Astoria to partake in this world-class fishery. It’s great food, great weather, great atmosphere, and great fishing!
This year we have been given a short catch and keep season for sturgeon in the estuary, to go along with our world-class sturgeon catch and release fishery. We will begin the catch and keep season May 14th, and it will be open every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday through June 4th or until the quota is met. To qualify as a “keeper,” sturgeon must be between 44 and 50 inches from the nose to the fork in the tail. For those who prefer catching lots of fish, our catch and release fishery in June and July is truly world-class. Big fish in the 4-8 foot range are common, with even larger fish available. The Estuary sturgeon fishing in Astoria is amazing. Come hang out for a day and see what it’s all about!
Why is late June and July the better sturgeon fishing?
The first thing is water temperature. As the summer goes on, water temperatures in the Columbia River go up. When the water temps go up, the anchovies come into the river. The sturgeon come into the estuary to feed on anchovies and sand shrimp and often times we’ll find fish in shallow water. Shallow water means a few things: willing biters, lots of fish, and incredible battles! Many times we catch these sturgeon in only a few feet of water and as a result they go “acrobatic,” often coming to the surface and jumping, only to then peel off a couple hundred feet of line! We get people that come from all over the world to experience this world-class fishery, so join us!
While salmon and sturgeon definitely get most of the press in the Northwest, ling cod, black bass, and many other species offer tasty white meat and are readily available in spring and summer. This fishing is most productive around the sunken jetties at the mouth of the Columbia, and can offer a tasty compliment to a day of sturgeon or salmon fishing. Some of our guides may also drop crab pots during this time if ocean conditions allow.
Many of these fisheries are combo trips. Most are booked as catch and release sturgeon trips, and if the ocean allows we also chase salmon or bottom fish. One thing is for sure: there is no lack of fishing opportunity in Astoria during the summer!
For questions or booking information, feel free to contact us! We can even guide you in the right direction with places to stay, things to do and places to eat during your visit.