Hanford Reach Fall Salmon Fishing Report

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Hanford Reach Fall Salmon Fishing Report

It’s been a few days since we started our 2016 Hanford Reach Fall Salmon season and we wanted to give a quick update on the fishing so far.  Overall fishing has been decent, but we have had to earn our fish most days. We have been averaging 5-6 fish to the boat every day so far, and really the season is just getting started.

Today our fishing started with a double header, and we continued to have a decent bite for the next few hours. Like the past few days the bite slowed down a little toward noon.

Our best action has been downstream trolling flashers and superbaits stuffed with our tuna concoctions. This fishery is just getting warmed up. We should see some fantastic fishing over the next few weeks.

We have some open dates! I have 2 seats open on Monday the 19th, 2 seats open Thursday the 22nd, a full open boat on Friday the 23rd, and just had a cancellation for the 3rd – 5th of October.  These are absolutely prime dates. Give me a call at 208-861-0654 or click on the Book online button on our home page to get your trip lined up.





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Astoria / Buoy 10 fishing wrap up

Late last week we wrapped up our Astoria / Buoy 10 fall salmon season. We had a great August out on the coast chasing these amazing fish. The fishing this year overall was very good, but we also had some days that we struggled to get into the fish. All in all this season is one of my favorites and I am already looking forward to next year. We are already taking booking for next August, and as many of you know the best dates for this fishery tend to go fast, so booking early is your best bet to get your preferred dates. Below are many of the pictures we took during this past August, and we thank all our great customers for spending time with us.

If you are looking to get in on our next fishing opportunity then you don’t have to wait long! We start our Hanford Reach Fall Salmon season on the 15th of September. This is your next chance to get a crack at the fish that may have made it past us at Astoria. We fish out of Vernita bridge and are able to put you on all the best salmon holes that this section of river has to offer.  This is a diverse and unique fishery where we fish many methods and cover a lot of water through out the day.  For more information check out our Hanford Reach information Page .  To view our available dates click on the Book Online Now button on our Home Page.

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Buoy 10 Salmon

Buoy 10 / Astoria fishing Report

We had another fantastic day down here on the Columbia River out of Astoria. We started our day with 14 takedowns on the first pass for 3 rods. We released several small Chinook and Wild Coho before finding all nice keeper Chinook and one Keeper Coho. I still have openings for two people on both the 30th and 31st. Give me a call or text at 208-861-0654 and we will get you out!

We also still have some openings for Hanford Reach Fall chinook in September near Tri-cities, WA. This is a great fishery with a 3 adult Chinook Limit!  Get in touch with us now to get in on this great fishery!20160825_142659.jpg


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Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

How to rig a Superbait and Leo Flasher

Its no secret that over the last few years Brad’s Superbaits, both the Original Series and the Cut Plug have become a very integral part of the Northwest salmon fishing scene.  This has come as no surprise to many of the anglers that have been fishing these lures on the Columbia River east of the Cascades since they were invented.  The reason Superbaits have become so popular is that they are extremely effective in almost any salmon fishing application.  I have used them with great success in every salmon troll fishery from Astoria to Brewster.  Over the past few years I have come to realize that anywhere a herring is effective a Superbait will also catch fish, and often out fish herring.  With unlimited color options and the ability to always be fishing (a Superbait never blows out or gets ripped off), combined with great action and proven in a wide range of water temperatures and run timings, if you are not fishing Superbaits you are missing the opportunity at more fish.

In the last year one of the most exciting developments in this style of fishing has been the introduction of the LEO Flasher by.  The Leo Flasher is a game changer because one of its great features and selling points is that it functions as BOTH  an inline flasher, and as a rotating flasher eliminating the need to purchase flashers that only do one or the other.  The other great thing about this flasher is that it will perform the rotating flasher role at a slower speed than other leading flashers.  This translates into being able to use the flasher in more situations.  One area I found this to be true was the anchor fishery in the Clarkston area of the Snake River for Spring Chinook.  Here we did not have quite enough current to be able to keep our herring spinning utilizing a traditional inline flasher, but when I decided to try the LEO its ability to complete its rotation at a slow current speed imparted enough action on my herring that I was able to get the spin and action needed to catch fish.  As a full time fishing guide with guiding as my sole income to provide for my family I am always on the lookout for products that help me put fish in the boat on a day to day basis throughout the season.  Brad’s Superbaits and LEO Flashers are two products that help me to accomplish this goal, and you will see them in my boat everyday.

Below you will find a detailed description on how I rig my Superbaits and LEO Flashers for Trolling.

Mainline: 50# Power Pro braided line 

Lead: 6-20 oz cannon ball sinkers connected on a slider with a 6 inch section of .035 spinner wire in between the slider and the lead.  The purpose of this is to help eliminate tangles between the flasher lead and the cannon ball, and also helps the user feel for the bottom when trying to fish in areas where we are keeping our gear just off the bottom.

Flasher Lead: 24 inches of 50# Berkley Big Game (use a different color than your leader to help identify which is which when a tangle does occur)

Leader: 36-44 Inches of  40# Berkley Big Game

Hooks: #2 Gamakatsu 2x strong treble hook followed by 2 #2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks tied an inch apart 4 inches behind the treble hook.  Set the treble hook so it rides inside the hook garage of the Superbait and the two singles riding just behind the Superbait.

To Watch a video on how we set up this system please check out How to Rig a Super Bait and Flasher Video!

I almost always stuff my Superbaits with Tuna.  For information on how I do up my tuna Concoctions click HERE.


how to rig a superbait and flasher

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Astoria Fall Chinook

How to Tuna Wrap a Plug

It’s no secret that we use a lot of different canned tuna concoctions while targeting Chinook salmon through the year.  One of the biggest advantages we have is that we fish for Chinook from March – October every year starting with Spring Chinook, then Summer Chinook, and finally rounding out our salmon season with Fall Chinook.  This 7 month season give us the advantage in truly being able to dial in our baits to match the situations we are presented with.  Over the course of our 7 month salmon season we target fish with many different baits and lures, but there is one item that can always be found in our boat, canned tuna.  One of our favorite ways to use tuna is to wrap it onto plugs such as the Maglip by Yakima Bait.  The following video will show you just how we go about turning our tuna concoctions into a great bait wrap.

Also don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and enter your self in for a chance to win a free guided fishing trip.  We draw a random name from our list in July and January!

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How to Prepare Canned Tuna for Salmon Fishing

Many salmon anglers have come to realize the effectiveness of canned tuna as a bait source for salmon fishing.  Canned tuna, especially packed in oil, has many uses as a salmon bait.  It is often wrapped in mesh to form tuna balls, wrapped onto plugs, stuffed in Super Baits, or added to eggs as a flavor enhancer, and because canned tuna is sold in every grocery store and is transported with no refrigeration needed it is an extremely versatile and cost effective bait.  While basic tuna taken directly from the can has, and continues to be, the most used variation of the bait there are a some things we can do to make our tuna fish even better.

Myself and many other anglers throughout the northwest have discovered that there are often extra things we can do to our tuna to make it fish even better than taking it directly out of the can.  The end result is what we often call Tuna Concoctions, or mixes of scents, cures, salts, and a few other key ingredients that takes that old boring canned tuna and turns it into a very dynamic bait that can be tailored to any salmon fishing situation presented.

The following steps are just a simple version that some would consider just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to development of tuna concoctions.  The information provided here is presented in a way that might open up your mind to many possible ways to improve you salmon fishing success with the use of canned tuna.


Tuna (packed in Oil)

Salt (non iodized)

Super Dipping Sauce ( My Favorite )

Measuring Spoons

Container with a lid

Can opener 


Step 1:

Open the can of tuna and drain off the oil.



Step 2:

Add tuna to container (preferably one with a lid)



Step 3:

Add salt to your tuna. The amount varies depending on time of year and where the fish are in the system.  As a general rule of thumb for Chinook it seems that the farther you get from the ocean and the warmer the water the more salt the fish crave, I often add anywhere from a tablespoon to a half a cup per can of tuna.



Step 4:

Add scents and additives to this mixture.  A must have line of scents for me are Super Dipping Sauce scents by Money Maker Fishing.  I add a table spoon of each scent I want to use to per each can of tuna.  My all time favorite is the Garlic Super Dipping Sauce.







Step 5:

Refrigerate overnight or place on ice.  Give this mixture time to set up and really let the scents and salts get into the tuna.  The next morning your tuna concoction will be ready to fish!


As you can see this is a very easy and quick process that will give your tuna an extra kick.  The sky is the limit as far as what can be added to this mixture.  Always be experimenting because you never know when you might stumble upon the cant miss recipe that fills your boat with limits.

Look for blogs in the near future that discuss how to wrap tuna on plugs, rig tuna balls, stuff / rig Super Baits, and other creative ways to fish this versatile bait.

Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and enter yourself for a chance to win a free fishing trip.  We draw a random winner from our email list every July and January.

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Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

Often referred to as “The Reach,” this area of the Columbia River is the last “Free Flowing” section of the Columbia River and is home to some of the absolute best spawning habitat left in the main stem Columbia River.  This is where many of the fish we were targeting at Astoria are heading.  The Hanford Reach is where these fish will finally stop moving and hold up before they start to spawn.  We target “The Reach” starting the second week of September and fish here through the second week of October.  We often catch some of our biggest fish of the year here as the big males start to get aggressive in anticipation of spawning.  This is an action packed fishery targeting big Chinook in the desert of Eastern Washington.

We fish a number of different ways and have found that being diverse in our strategies has helped us to continually put good numbers of Fall Chinook in the boat for our customers.  We could be downstream trolling Super Baits in the morning and back trolling plugs and eggs in the afternoon.  The biggest key to success here is knowing where to fish depending on the flow coming out of Priest Rapids Dam.  This is also the most difficult thing about this fishery.  Where and how we fish can vary greatly depending on what flows are coming out of the Dam.  Our two favorite techniques here are trolling flashers and Super Baits, and back trolling bait wrapped plugs and eggs.  “The Reach” fishes like a real river with dynamic changes in holes and flows and anglers have to be willing to adapt to be successful.

We start most of our trips out of Vernita bridge, but if the fishing dictates we will drop down and fish out of Ringold.  We like the Vernita area as we feel it gives us the best access to a wide variety of water to consistently put our customers on fish.  We truly enjoy this fishery and we are excited to be able to share it with you.

Fishing the Hanford Reach is truly an amazing experience.  It is very normal for us to see lots of Mule Deer, including some really nice bucks, coyotes, waterfowl, and on occasion some of the Elk from the large herds that cross the nuclear site.

For a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.

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Buoy 10 Fall Chinook

Astoria / Buoy 10 Fall Chinook and Coho

Starting August 1st, and continuing until the end of the month, we turn our attention to the mouth of the Columbia River near Astoria. Oregon.  This is the famed Buoy 10 fishery!  There is nothing quite like the pull of a 20+ pound Chinook ripping line out on a hell bent run back to the Pacific Ocean.  To say that these fish are fresh is an understatement!  The fish you hook up with most likely just came into the river from the big pond on the last incoming tide.  This is an exciting fishery that is on many people’s bucket list, and is one of our most favorite fisheries of the entire year.  Bring the family out for a vacation on the coast, while you sneak out for some of the finest salmon fishing in the world.

This is without a doubt the most publicized fishery in the Northwest, and arguably the single most anticipated fishery of the year.  When you spend an August day chasing fresh from the previous tide Upriver Bright Fall Chinook, and Coho at the mouth of the Columbia River there is no doubt you are in a special place.  The buzz and feeling you get just being in this historic area makes a trip worth it.

We start our days out of the East Mooring Basin in Astoria, Oregon. From here we set out on the river to the best location for the days particular tides.  This is a dynamic fishery as we are always changing locations to put you on the best locations for the specific periods of the tides.  This is also a troll oriented fishery and we love to fish bait.  Fresh herring and anchovies pulled behind a flasher is our number one rig.

We suggest that you book early for this fishery as our available space tends to fill quickly.  Also this is a prime time for other tourist attractions on the coast and securing a hotel room can be a little difficult with short notice.   When booking we can offer suggestions on where to stay for a variety of different budgets and lodging needs.

To view a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.


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Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

Hanford Reach Wrap up

We just finished another great season on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.  This is the last free flowing section of the Columbia River and is located between the Tri-Cities, WA and Priest Rapids Dam.  This section is the salmon factory of the Columbia and is the spawning habitat for the Columbia River’s Most prized fall Chinook.  We mostly fish out of the Vernita Bridge access area and our main technique is back trolling divers and cured eggs or bait wrapped plugs such as the Yakima Bait Maglip and the T-55 and T-60 Flat Fish.  We fish this section of river from the 15th of September through the 15th of October.  This is a great consistent fishery that should be enjoyed by all.  Check out a few of our pictures below and see just how we did.