When shad start to show up in the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, it means that the fun fishing trips have begun. Shad fishing is a great fishery for kids because there is a lot of action and a great fight.

Shad fishing on the Columbia River is a lot of fun. It’s exciting because it’s done on light tackle, and there’s always plenty of action.

I am going to tell you how Marvin’s Guide Service fishes for shad and also tell you a few places I fish for shad on the Columbia and Willamete Rivers.

First of all, shad fishing is no big secret. It is a great fishery for kids, as there is lots of action and a great fight. I like to call shad the poor man’s steelhead because they fight almost as well as a steelhead.

The first shad may show up by early May, but the fishing only gets better by June and early July. By early summer, literally millions of shad will be making their annual spawning runs in our local rivers.

All you need is a Dick Nite spoon, a spreader, and a sinker. I use about a 24-inch leader on the spoon as well as on the sinker. I just bounce it back away from the boat a little, and it usually won’t be long. Shad on!

Oregon City, on the Willamette River, is a very good spot to fish shad. I would anchor up in around 10 to 20 feet of water. However, be very careful, as the Willamette River is moving pretty fast this time of year. Always make sure you have enough anchor rope when fishing on the Willamette or Columbia Rivers.

On the Columbia River, you can fish just below or above the mouth of the Sandy River in the Troutdale area. This area is very popular and is just a short cruise up the Columbia River from the boat ramp.

Now, probably the most popular spot on the Columbia River to fish for shad is in the Columbia River Gorge at what we call the Shad Rack, which is just up from Beacon Rock.

Shad is a great bait for Sturgeon fishing.  Oftentimes, when we are fishing the Columbia River, we will use the whole 2-pound shad for sturgeon bait.

Call Marvin’s Guide Service today and get your shad and sturgeon fishing trip booked in June and July on the Columbia River.

Marvin’s Guide Service also will use shad for bait when crabbing. In my opinion, Columbia River shad is probably one of the best baits for crab.

A child holding a Columbia River shad that he caught.

Shad fishing is great for kids.

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Last Updated on by Marvin




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