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Fall Salmon Are on the Run

Happy young man with his Astoria Coho Salmon

It’s mid-September and fall salmon are on the run. With fishing opportunities at the coast and the upper Columbia River, we expect to be fishing for salmon through Thanksgiving. September often offers some beautiful weather, and the salmon are biting. It’s a great time to get out on the water. 

Upper Columbia River Chinook

The Columbia River above Bonneville Dam is the place to be for chinook salmon fishing right now. Over 116,000 upriver bright fall chinook have made their way past the fish ladder at Bonneville so far this season. Hot spots for fishing have been near the mouth of the Deschutes River and the mouth of the Klickitat. The fish enjoy the cooler water that the tributaries supply and often hole up in the mouths before continuing their journey up the Columbia River system. We like to fish where the fish are 🙂

Another popular fishery is Drano Lake. Located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, this “lake” is created by drainage from the Little White Salmon River and backflow from Bonneville Dam. Trolling with superbaits or 360 flashers with spinners has been successful for chinook fishing, with a few coho added to the mix. We hope to be fishing Drano Lake for salmon through mid-October.

Above Bonneville Dam, the daily limit is 1 salmon, chinook or coho, both wild and hatchery may be retained. We’ve landed some beautiful salmon so far this year and are looking forward to fishing upriver as long as the Columbia River remains open.

Astoria Coho

We’ve had some great days of coho salmon fishing on the Columbia River in Astoria lately. Some days we’ve landed 20-30 fish by the end of the day, which shows how many salmon are moving up the river. Although we have to release the chinook and wild coho we catch, it makes for lots of action and good times for everyone in the boat. Daily limit is 2 hatchery coho per angler. The coho season at Buoy 10 is little less intense than the August chinook season. I enjoy having fewer boats on the water and a few less people in town. It’s a great time of year to to see the sights, enjoy some good food and experience some great fishing in Astoria.  

Tillamook Salmon and Crab

Fall salmon have moved into Tillamook Bay and Nehalem Bay on the central Oregon coast. We’re catching both chinook and coho salmon in all parts of the bays, including the lower Tillamook Bay where they stage for their runs up the Wilson, Trask, and Kilchis Rivers. Fishing should just get better and better as more salmon get ready to head for freshwater. We’ll chase them across the bay, through the tidewaters and up the rivers. Right now our main focus is on Fall Chinook in the Tillamook Bubble and Bay. Nothing beats fresh salmon just in from the ocean 🙂 Crabbing has been very good and we’ll continue to drop pots while we’re fishing the bay. Once the rainy season arrives in late October, we’ll shift our focus to fishing the rivers, with options for sled and drift boat trips through November.

Lots of options to choose from. As always, let us know if you have any questions or are ready to book a trip. We’re here to help in any way.