Columbia River Walleye Fishing Report: Stott’s Fishing
Walleye Fishing Report: Columbia River & Lyons Ferry
Mid-Columbia River Report
The Pacific Northwest has tempered its weather which means spring-time walleye fishing. The Columbia river water temperatures are still hovering around 42° and we’re starting to see some bigger fish show up. Our guides are focusing on area’s that we typically know are walleye spawning grounds. This time of the year we like to pull crankbaits up-hill but stay on the inside of the river breaks. Our guides have been catching their share of walleye on both deep diving bandits and flicker minnows. Most of the fish being caught are in the 8-20 ft. depths. There’s time we venture into some 6 ft. water and find aggressive fish. Make sure you vary your speeds with a stop and go technique to catch suspended fish as well. If you are seeing lots of marks and struggling to get bit, change it up and throw on a crawler harness.
Crawler Harness: Slow down
There are times we are seeing lots of marks but striking out with our crankbaits. As noted in our other articles, you have to remain flexible and open when fishing for walleye. The fish are moving closer to their spawning areas but not always stopping to feed. We’ve changed our approach and hit them from a down-hill angle, pulling crawler harnesses at a very slow rate. We’ve had great success using 3 oz. bottom walkers and our home-made crawler harness rigs. There’s been lots of fish being caught in the 15-25 ft. range. The bite is on the light side which tells me, they’re not that hungry. Be super patient when detecting the walleye nudge to give the fish time to commit. We are catching quite a few males which tells me we are in the right spots. Remember, larger adult female walleye are creatures of habit which means they return to their same spawning ground year after year. If you’re not catching the bigger fish, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Columbia River Fishing
Most of our Columbia river trips are around the Tri Cities area and down below McNary Dam. This last week we fished around the dam for our early morning fishing. It’s been hit and miss there so our guides have motored down river towards the Irrigon area. We’ve found pockets of fish which created some good fishing with mainly eater sized walleye. Boardman is starting to fish good around Blalock Island in 20-30 ft. water and afternoons fish are being caught in 30-40 ft. water. We’ve found most of our success has come on our crawler harnesses, especially in deeper water. Key in on drops off, near grassy areas that are holding bait fish. Use your fish graph and mark your spots. When you find a pod of fish, jigs and blade baits have been effective. We like the Vertical Jig company blade bait or Kit’s tackle, custom hair jigs. Key in on depths and stick it in their face.
Lyons Ferry – Snake River Fishing
Walleye fishing is getting good around the mouth of the Palouse. We’ve noted walleye in the middle teens range being boated. The fish are moving in towards their spawning grounds and lots of them! Water temperatures are a bit warmer on the snake river than the Columbia down around Tri Cities. We’ve also had some great days up-river towards the dam. Find coves that is out of the river break and you’ll find walleye. Most of our success is in 20-30 ft. water and with our crawler harnesses. Gold smiley blades are the hot color and chartreuse is always a go to. Use a 2 ½ oz. bottom walker and troll at speeds .8 mph to 1.4 mph. Keep a 45° angle and troll down river. Fishing will only get better as we get closer to spawn. Walleye fishing changes daily so stay open to the changes that go with the sport. Good luck in pursuing the next world record!