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March 2024 Fishing Update for the Pacific Northwest - Next Adventure

March 2024 Fishing Update for the Pacific Northwest

Spring fishing is on in the Pacific Northwest! This past month had all our winter fisheries finally come into shape. People caught plenty of steelhead on many of the local rivers, the first spring chinook salmon was caught in the Willamette, and the sturgeon fishing has been excellent.


Starting with steelhead, it seems like our winter run took some time getting into the rivers this year, with slow fishing in January and picking up in February, and all signs point to March being a very good month locally. There should be plenty more hatchery fish showing up in the system and some wild fish making their appearance. The late returning wild fish should make some of the coastal rivers the place to be at the end of this month. I think I’ve heard of every common steelhead technique working at some point or another, from swinging flies to bobber dogging beads, it’s time to fish.


March tends to be the first month where it is worth your time to fish for springers. The Columbia River from Buoy 10 up to Beacon Rock is scheduled to open on March 1 st this year. The run is predicted to be slightly smaller than last year’s run and smaller than the 10-year average, but there will still be plenty of fish to be found. The Columbia River is surprisingly accessible for kayak anglers and trolling for springers is, in my own humble opinion, one of the most rewarding types of fishing to be had. As a general rule (feel free to email me with every counterexample you can come up with), the fish in the Columbia River tend to hang out near the bottom, and the fish in the Willamette tend to be suspended in the water column, this variation makes the Willamette a little easier to fish from a kayak, but I would argue the Columbia fish are easier to catch.


Sturgeon fishing has been great! A bunch of us went out to Jurassic Park last weekend and everyone caught enough fish to have sore arms and backs. That fishery will likely continue to be decent for the next few months, but at a certain point they will migrate into shallower waters and become even more fun to target. The hot bait of the day for me was last year’s herring from my freezer but I heard everything worked.


Bass fishing will continue to pick up as the water warms. Keep an eye on the water temps and we may have some fish starting to get into prespawn mode by the end of the month! It could lead to some excellent fishing on parts of the Columbia and Willamette.


There are plenty of opportunities for lots of species of fish this month! Get out there and send us your reports!

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