Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Guide

I’ve been a Columbia River sturgeon fishing guide for over 25 years, and it’s one of my all-time favorite fishing trips. The Columbia River offers year-round sturgeon fishing fun in the Portland, Oregon, area and into the Columbia River Gorge, a National Scenic Area. And catching sturgeon has always been one of my passions, both as an angler and as a guide. I love seeing the look on a client’s face when they hook into a monster sturgeon. It’s a thrill that never gets old.

Columbia River Sturgeon fishing guide boat

Marvin’s Guide Service offers sturgeon fishing trips on the Columbia River year-round. My 27-foot Alumaweld intruder is covered and heated, so you’ll be comfortable and warm even in the winter months. Learn more about my boat here.

Coulmbia River Sturgeon size

The Columbia River is home to sturgeon that can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 1500 pounds! These “monster sturgeon” are a catch-and-release fishery, which means they must be released immediately after being caught. This helps maintain the population of this ancient species, which has been swimming in the Columbia River since the dinosaurs roamed. Learn more about the life of a sturgeon by life of a sturgeon

Where to catch a Columbia River monster sturgeon.

I offer guided fishing trips for monster sturgeon in the Columbia River Gorge. The best fishing is from May through September, which is also when the weather is often perfect in the Northwest. I fish near Bonneville Dam and the Dalles Dam, where the Columbia River is known for its trophy-size sturgeon. I provide all the gear and tackle you need, so you can just show up and fish.

Sturgeon fishing in the Columbia River is a thrilling experience. To catch these brutes, we use American shad for bait. Each shad weighs 2 to 5 pounds, which is bigger than many fish you’ve probably caught. We put a whole shad on your hook. If the regulations allow, we can even take you out to catch your own shad for bait.


Columbia River Monster Sturgeon with woman in the water with the fish.

10-foot sturgeon on the Columbia River.

These sturgeons will sometimes jump right out of the water when they are at the end of your line. Fighting one of these prehistoric fish is an experience you will never forget.

When you catch a sturgeon, you’ll need to keep it in the water to unhook it and release it. If you wear a swimsuit under your clothes, you can jump in for a photo with your catch. A guided sturgeon fishing trip on the Columbia River is an experience you’ll never forget. The Columbia River is home to the largest sturgeon in the world, and it’s an experience like no other to go after these prehistoric-looking fish.

As fishery managers in Oregon and Washington allow it, we also offer some limited dates for keeper sturgeon fishing. Sturgeon must fall within a “slot limit” to be kept during designated fisheries. Let me know if you want to keep a sturgeon, and I’ll do our best to get you on board for one of these opportunities. Sturgeon are one of my favorite fish to eat, when I get the chance.

Book your Columbia River Sturgeon fishing guide here.

Willamette River Sturgeon Fishing Guide

We also have a robust catch-and-release sturgeon fishery in the heart of Portland, Oregon, on the Wilamette River, where big sturgeon spend much of their year.

Tucked between tall buildings and mammoth cargo ships, I have a few fishing holes where we’ll have a reliable sturgeon bite at different times of the year.

If you want a sturgeon trip that almost guarantees everyone in your fishing group will wrestle with one of the biggest fish you’ve ever caught without even leaving the city, let’s set you up for a fun, hassle-free trip with a Columbia River chartered sturgeon fishing trip.

Read more about sturgeon fishing in the Willamette River.

If you’re looking for the fishing trip of a lifetime, contact me today to book a sturgeon fishing trip on the Columbia River. I’ll help you catch a monster sturgeon!


Happy angler holds up a sturgeon on the Willamette River with a Navy ship in the background.

Willamette River Sturgeon


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