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Buoy 10 Salmon Fishing

A full catch at buoy 10 with fishing guide lance fisher

Buoy 10 Salmon fishing in Astoria, Oregon is probably one of the top Salmon fisheries anywhere. Lance Fisher Fishing offers fishing guides and a chartered fishing service to singles and groups in high tech, fast and comfortable boats that allow you to spend your day fishing. I also provide very high end equipment for my customers as I’ve had years of partnership with G. Loomis and Shimano. I fish 4-6 people per boat, never more. This allows for comfort and first class treatment while you fish with us. The Salmon fishing at Buoy 10 is special and I want your experience with our guide and charter service to live up to the reputation. From the day you contact us to book your fishing trip, our goal is to provide you with a complete service. We look forward to helping with recommendations for hotels/accommodations, places to eat in the Astoria area and things to do outside of fishing. Contact us. We’re here to help!

Update: 2024 Buoy 10 Salmon Season Tentatively Set

WDFW just announced the tentative 2024 Buoy 10 Season details. They still need to be finalized, but the recommendation is that Buoy 10 upstream to West Puget Island on the Columbia River will be open for Chinook salmon retention from August 1st – September 3rd. The daily bag limit is 2 salmon, only 1 of which may be a Chinook. From August 1st – 29th, only hatchery salmon (Chinook and Coho) may be retained. Then it’s an all Chinook (native and hatchery) and hatchery Coho fishery from August 30th through September 3rd, which we’re looking forward to. Starting September 4th, we switch to a Coho only fishery in Astoria and add in Dungeness crab opportunities, which has become a customer favorite. Whether it’s Ocean salmon fishing or fishing in the river, be prepared for fresh fish and a beautiful location. It’s the perfect combination.

It’s never too early to book your Buoy 10 salmon fishing trip out of AstoriaWe fish Buoy 10 from opening day through the beginning of October. With Coho, Chinook, and Dungeness crab opportunities, we’re going to keep busy at this a favorite fishery.

What is Buoy 10?

“Buoy 10” is actually a buoy out towards the mouth of the Columbia River. Buoy 10 is merely the outbound deadline for fisherman before entering a no fishing zone on the bar. But the name signifies far more than just a buoy. When you hear guides and regulars to the area refer to Buoy 10, they’re actually referring to a large area encompassing the ocean out in front of the Columbia River, up and down the coast line 5 miles in each direction, to a point up around Tongue Point on the eastern side of Astoria. From Tongue Point to the ocean is about 10 miles and with a river that averages about 5 miles across, there is plenty of water to fish.

When is the Best Time to Fish at Buoy 10?

The Columbia River typically opens for fall salmon retention on August 1st. From then through September, there are fishing opportunities for Chinook and/or Coho Salmon. If you want to add some crab to the icebox, we start dropping the pots after Labor Day.

What Fishing Experience Level is Needed to Fish for Buoy 10 Salmon?

This is a question that I get asked regularly and the short answer is, no experience is required. That being said, we fish plenty of anglers that are very experienced, but we entertain lots more that have never done anything like this before. From small children, to those with limitations, and everyone that I haven’t mentioned, you’re welcome on my boat. Salmon fishing isn’t rocket science and we can get even the most inexperienced customer up and running in no time. I will show you how to use the gear as many times as necessary and for most people, it’s just a couple times. You’re going to be running your own gear and I’ll make sure everyone is capable of doing just that.

Once you’re able to operate your equipment, the next step is fighting the Salmon. This is what you came here for, right! Some people get a little freaked about this part of the day:) Isn’t it funny? And the bottom line is, some are just afraid to screw up.

Let me set the record straight on the whole screwing up part.

  1. A client can’t lose a fish. The way I see it, I did not do a good enough job putting the client, no matter the skill level, in a position to succeed. My fault.
  2. Sometimes they simply fall off. Nobody’s fault.

I take the fishing that we do very seriously, but we are there to have fun.

Kids with their fishing catch of Buoy 10 Salmon

Buoy 10 Salmon fishing actually starts out in the Ocean sometime in June as hundreds of thousands of fish show up and stage off the mouth of the Columbia River. Coho and Chinook alike gorge themselves on the abundant bait available in the area off the mouth of the river and when things are just right, they’ll enter the Columbia destined for their home spawning grounds.

Buoy 10 Chinook Salmon Fishing

The Fall Chinook will be the first to enter the river. Sometime during the first week of August, thousands of fish will enter the river on every incoming tide. Chinook will remain a viable part of the catch through the end of the month. Sportfishermen will ambush these incoming fish with a combination of herring and spinners. Buoy 10 Fall Chinook are great biters and the action can borderline chaos when the bite is on.

A nice Salmon caught fishing Buoy 10 with guide, Lance Fisher

Buoy 10 Coho Salmon Fishing

Buoy 10 Coho/Silver Salmon start staging off the mouth of the river in July. The anchovy populations are abundant and the fish will really put on weight quickly. We will see shots of Coho show up inside of Buoy 10 at anytime during August, but the main slug of fish show up around the third week of August and remain in good numbers through the middle of September. Buoy 10 Coho/Silver Salmon are some of the best biting Salmon there are and it’s not uncommon to have 20-30 opportunities in a day…..Dare I say even more?

A nice Coho Salmon caught at Buoy 10 by this young kid

Buoy 10 Salmon Fishing Licenses

Everyone is required to have a fishing license, tag and Columbia River Basin Endorsement (CRBE). This goes for kids too! Yes, kids licenses are free, but they still need to have it on their person as verification that they are of the age to qualify for a free license. They will also need tags and the CRBE.

There are a couple different ways to accomplish this. You can purchase a day license with Columbia Basin Endorsement (tags are included), or you can purchase an annual license with tags and CRBE. You can either purchase the license in person or purchase online. For those of you purchasing online, you can either print your license and tags at home or keep track of them in the MyODFW app.

My Buoy 10 Salmon Fishing Gear

Many people ask me about my gear and how we fish for Buoy 10 Salmon. I take a lot of pride in the gear that I provide our customers. The Salmon fishing at Buoy 10 puts a lot of pressure on our gear. Because of this, only the best equipment will really hold up day in, day out. For those of you that are new to fishing and couldn’t tell the difference, I’ll put it like this. My gear functions well, is very light but powerful and will give you all the confidence you need to land the largest fish we see.

The overview for my Buoy 10 Salmon fishing gear:

We fish lead and divers. The lead rigs allow us to get deep (35-50′) during softer tides. The divers allow us to fish the harder currents without all the lead and are great in the ocean. So I carry two sets of 7 rods with me on my trips. Why so many rods? Because I don’t want to spend your valuable time re-rigging rods should you get a tangle or have a problem. The problem rod goes into the rod locker and out comes a brand spanking new rig all ready to go.

Lead Rods:

Rods: G. Loomis IMX 1174 9′ 9″ rods

Reels: Shimano 300 Tekotas

Line: #65 Power Pro

Diver Rods:

Rods: G. Loomis IMX 1174 9′ 9″ rods

Reels: Shimano 300 Tekotas

Line: #30 Maxima Ultra Green

Bait and Lures at Buoy 10:

I am pretty much a bait fisherman. Many will fish spinners at Buoy 10, but I consider myself an expert in the art of fishing herring and anchovies. This is the bait that Buoy 10 Salmon are targeting already and we have have access to fresh bait daily. I’ve rarely seen a Salmon that won’t bite a herring or anchovy, but have seen plenty of bites at Buoy 10 where they won’t touch a spinner.

For any questions you might have, or to simply book a trip simply contact me through our questions and reservations page, or call our Lance Fisher Fishing- Astoria office at (503) 488-5988.

Here are some other fishing opportunities that you might be interested in: