Many anglers consider the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River to be one of the world’s best walleye fishing spots. Make sure you are prepared to hook your trophy walleye by reading these essential tips.
Tip 1: Follow the Spawning Patterns
Spawning patterns make walleye predictable. And by following these, you can successfully track walleye.
In the early spawning season (March-mid April), walleye are very active. Troll in the shallows to catch walleye during these months. The post-spawning months can also be highly productive (June and July).
However, August and September are very challenging months for walleye fishing. During this time, shad migrate towards the Pacific Ocean. So walleye are basically treated to a free buffet. They will be less interested in your bait and are much harder to catch during this season, but take heart because it’s still do-able.
Tip 2: Fish all year in the Rufus-Area
The Dallas Pool and Rufus boat launch is a popular area for anglers. This area attracts walleye and can lead to trophy catches.
The best spots in the Rufus area include:
• Preacher’s Eddy – look for an island near the Oregon side
• Rufus Run – cast downstream from the launch
• The Willows – an area opposite the launch (that is actually filled with cottonwood, not willow trees)
These areas attract walleye year round. But even if you are casting in a different area, remember that walleye typically stay deep. These are schooling fish. They prefer to stay near a shield (such as rocks, ledges, outside of a current). Start looking for walleye 18-38 ft deep. And if you catch one, cast again. You probably found a school.
Tip 3: Know the Conditions
Depending on the conditions, consider using a jig or trolling blade to hook Columbia River walleye.
Use a vertical jig in calmer conditions. Under these conditions, stay smooth and don’t employ aggressive techniques.
When it is windy, consider bottom trolling. Use a worm harness & trolling blades and cast downstream.
In warmer waters, walleye respond to slow trolling crankbaits. Cast these upstream for best results.
Columbia River is a popular walleye fishing destination in the Pacific Northwest. By understanding this area, you will be prepared to catch a trophy walleye.
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