Usually, I start all my fishing trips in the morning. I had a group that wanted to go sturgeon fishing on 4/15/2023, And they only wanted to do a half day. We decided to meet at 3:00 PM; I agreed that after I did a full day of salmon fishing, I would take them out sturgeon fishing in the afternoon.

Three of my clients were from Pennsylvania, and the other client lived in Hood River, OR. I had them meet me at the James Gleason boat ramp, which is on the Columbia River close to the Portland airport.

So, we headed down the Columbia River and turned left, and went up the Willamette River. I headed up the Willamette about 2 miles till I stopped in my first spot. Using my Lowrance fish finder, I put on both down and side scan mode and started looking for the sturgeon on the bottom. There definitely were a few sturgeons in this area, but not as many as I like.

So, I decided to head up the Willamette River a few more miles and scope out another one of my favorite areas where I like to fish. This time, there were definitely more sturgeon in this area. We were in about 85 feet of water, so I dropped my anchor to get us right where I believed were a bunch of sturgeon lying on the bottom.

After taking a few minutes to explain how the sturgeon would bite and fight, I cast the lines out into the water. We sat there for probably 15 or 20 minutes before we got our first bite.

Sturgeon often bite softly at first, so I told her to be very patient and, finally, the sturgeon slammed the rod, and she set the hook, And the battle was on. Within minutes, the sturgeon was leaping out of the water, and everybody on the boat was all smiles.

After about a 10-minute battle with the sturgeon, we brought the sturgeon to the boat. This sturgeon was probably 45 to 48 inches long and weighed 30 to 35 pounds.

Sturgeon fishing is catch and release only, so we let this fish go immediately. Fishing stayed good, with each client able to land multiple sturgeon.

We finished the day in about 3 hours before we said we would call it a day, and then we headed back down the Willamette River and up the Columbia to the marina.

It’s always a good feeling when your clients tell you at the end of the trip that this was the best part about their vacation.

They are already talking about a walleye trip when they come back to Oregon again next spring.

A very happy client holding a sturgeon that she caught on the Willamette River in the Portland OR area.

Willamette River Sturgeon.




Client standing with a Sturgeon she just caught on the Willamette river

Last Updated on by Marvin




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