Columbia River Walleye Fishing Guide

Marvin’s Guide Service offers walleye fishing trips on the Columbia River, which forms the border between Oregon and Washington. Many experts think the next world-record walleye will be caught here.

We generally like to release the big female walleyes we catch. They can weigh close to 20 pounds, and we want to keep the fishery going strong for years to come.

The walleye we catch on the Columbia River are typically 3 to 5 pounds, which is the perfect size for eating. While some people might argue that our Northwest native fish are even more delicious, I have to admit that Columbia River walleyes make a pretty convincing case for being the tastiest fish in freshwater.

Man and woman with lots of walleye they caught fishing on the Columbia River with Marvin's Guide Service.

Happy clients caught lots of walleye fishing on the Columbia River with Marvin’s Guide Service.

Fishing for walleye can be a year-round sport in the Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers, including Multnomah Channel near Portland.

One of my favorite places to fish for walleye is in Rufus, Oregon on the Columbia River, just east of Portland.

Best Time to Go Walleye Fishing

The best walleye fishing of the year on the Columbia River typically starts in late April or early May and continues right through September. At this time of year, upriver sections of the Columbia River tend to offer the best walleye fishing in the Pacific Northwest. As a walleye fishing guide, I plan most of these trips just below John Day Dam, a short drive up the Columbia River from The Dalles, Oregon.

How to catch Columbia River walleye

When walleye fishing, we generally start out trolling with crankbaits or nightcrawler harness rigs. These rigs allow us to cover plenty of water at the right depths. This is important because walleye are constantly moving around in search of food. Once we pinpoint a school of actively feeding walleye, we may switch to jig heads tipped with a nightcrawler or curly-tailed plastic grub for some faster action. Swimbaits are another great option, and catching walleye on light tackle is a blast.

And just maybe, with the help from Marvin’s Guide Service, that next record Columbia River walleye could have your name on it.

And speaking of big fish, the prime Columbia River walleye season lines up with the best time of the year to catch monster sturgeon up to 12 feet long just downriver. If you want two of the best fishing trips of your life, consider booking back-to-back trips on the Columbia River. See our Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing article for details.

You also might want to check out all of the great salmon fishing trips we do each year, on the Columbia River. It may even be possible to do a combo Columbia River walleye fishing and salmon trip.

Call me to talk about your Columbia River Walleye Fishing Trip!


Walleye caught on the Columbia River near Rufus OR.

Happy client with Walleye caught with Marvin’s guide service on the Columbia River near Rufus, Oregon.


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