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Kayak Fishing: Chinook Salmon Willamette River
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Kayak Fishing: Chinook Salmon Willamette River

Kayak Fishing: Chinook Salmon Willamette River

Spring is one of the best times to be a fisherman in Portland. From March through June, there are spring Chinook salmon to be had right in the Willamette River. Not only do they put up a good fight but they are one of tastiest salmon around.

This past Sunday, my friend Craig and I decided to test our luck and see if we could find a few of these tasty salmon. Being Sunday we decided we would take it easy, we met up at one of our favorite holes at 8 AM with a goal of being off the water by 1 or so. By 8:45 we were on the water and ready to fish. We start tolling down river, to get to one of our favorite ledges, then turn to troll upstream. Craig, and start talking about how snaggy the bottom is and next thing I know my rod starts bending.

Kayak Fishing Portland

First I think it is a snag, then maybe bass, I don't realize it is a salmon until it decides to run as I am messing with my net. At this point Craig spots a sea lion headed my way and starts hooting and hollering like he has a fish too. This works to distract the sea lion while I fight my fish. After a few minutes she is in the net and better yet she is a hatchery fish and will be coming home for dinner. I bonk and bleed the salmon and Craig and I have a celebratory bloody Mary. From there we continue to troll for the next 3 hours, with only a peamouth chub to show for it.

As we are trolling back to the launch I start talking to some power boaters and I get a second take down. This was unexpected as my herring was in very rough shape. Needless to say the fish did not stick around for long. After that we stop at our favorite sturgeon hole, me with a destroyed herring and Craig with 3 herring heads. Craig gets a nice 10 inch sturgeon and we call it a day.

Portland Kayak fishing
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