Portland Spring Chinook Report 4/6/17

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Portland Spring Chinook Report 4/6/17

Fishing is finally starting to pick up down here in the Portland area on both the Columbia River and the Willamette River. Today we had a good morning fishing the Willamette in the Portland area. There seems to be a decent number of fish around and fishing should be good the next few days.

Fishing is also starting to pick up on the Columbia River and we expect the main stem Columbia to fish well in the next few days. The Columbia is scheduled to close the 10th of April, but with low catch rates for the last few weeks we really expect to see the season extended a few more days.

Get in touch with us now if you want to get in on this Portland Spring Chinook Fishing. We have open seats the next few days. We will be fishing both the Columbia and Willamette until the Columbia closes and then will shift our focus to the Willamette until enough fish are moving upstream of Bonneville Dam and we shift our focus to the Columbia River Gorge.

We have plenty of open seats over the next month so get in on our favorite fisheries of the year!  Nothing beats a spring Chinook on the BBQ!  We will be following these fish all the way home to Idaho!

Make sure to click on the Book Online Now button on the website to see a list of available dates and to book your next trip

 


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Coon Shrimp

How to Cure Coon Shrimp for Steelhead and Salmon Fishing

Coon shrimp and specifically cured and dyed coon shrimp are a staple in our bait cooler.  They are our bait of choice for both Sockeye Salmon and Summer Steelhead, and we often use them for  Spring, and Summer Chinook.  Many anglers are confused at how to go about processing their own coon shrimp, but luckily we have many over the counter ready to mix cures and brine’s that help make curing coon shrimp a consistent and easy process.  This is a very simple process, and if you have ever cured your own salmon roe you can cure coon shrimp.  Most of the available commercial egg cures will also do a fantastic job of curing coon shrimp.

Ingredients:

Pro-Cure Egg Cure (original double red hot stuff)

Frozen Coon Shrimp ( make sure you buy good quality Shrimp)

Rock Salt

Freezer bag

Pro-Cure Slam-ola powder

Scents ( the sky is the limit here but my favorite are the line of Super Dipping Sauce.)

how to cure coon shrimp

How to cure coon shrimp

Step 1: 

Fill your freezer bag with approximately 3 inches of Coon Shrimp

 

Step 2: 

Add enough cure to get a good covering of the Coon Shrimp ( 1/2 cup of cure is a good starting point)

 

Step 3:

Add 1 tea spoon of Slam-ola Powder

 

Step 4:

Refrigerate at a minimum overnight.  Your Shrimp can be fished as early as the next day, but you will get a better result by letting them cure for 3 days.

 

Step 5:

Add 1 cup rock salt.  I do this after 3 days of curing.  Adding the Rock Salt is optional, but it will toughen up you shrimp very well.  We often use Coon Shrimp for side drifting Steelhead in Hell’s Canyon and this step gives us a very durable bait.

 

Coon Shrimp

Coon Shrimp

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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 Money Maker Fishing.  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.

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how to rig a superbait and flasher


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Snake River Spring Chinook!

This report is for both Sunday the 15th and Monday the 16th of May. We fished out of Clarkston for both days of the Snake River Spring Chinook opener in this area and fishing was absolutely fantastic!

Sunday morning we started off trolling herring and Brad’s Super Baits behind Short Bus and Fish Flash type flashers. We had a fantastic morning bite and had 3 keepers in the boat by 7am. After the initial morning bite things kind of slowed down for us and we hooked and lost a few other fish. All our bites while trolling came very near the bottom with heavy lead ( 10-12 0z.). Our best producer was the Seahawk brads cut plug, but cut plug herring dyed blue and chartreuse was a close second.

Around noon we decided to change things up and join the hog line above us. This was the best decision I made all day! In just a few hours we had 15 or so bites and landed 2 more nice keeper Chinook. We ended our full day trip around 3pm and dropped my first set of customers off. I had two guys jump in with me for the evening and we returned to our anchor spot. In 3 hours we had another 12-15 bites and landed 5 Chinook with 3 of them being keepers.

Monday morning I started with the same program from the night before. We anchored up in the Hog line and started hooking fish almost immediately. Again we had 12-15 bites hooked 9 of them, lost 3 at the boat, landed 3 of which 2 were keepers. I only had one customer with me yesterday so we were done and limited by 10am with a great day of action.

While on anchor I had the most success fishing tuna wrapped Kwickfish and Brads Killerfish in the 15 size. I added Garlic Super Dipping Sauce, and Anis/Krill Super Dipping sauce to two separate batches of tuna, and we had great success with both concoctions. I change my bait wraps every 15 mins, and feel that this is a major factor in my success.

I have some openings this upcoming weekend if we get another opener for the Snake. Friday/Saturday is open at Ice Harbor, and Sunday/Monday is open at Clarkston. The Snake currently has a two fish limit so this is a great opportunity that we don’t often see. Give me a call at 208-861-0654 and lets get your trip set up.

Don’t forget to enter to win a free fishing trip with us!

 

 

 


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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.

Ingredients:

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.

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Step 2:

Add tuna to container (preferably one with a lid)

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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.

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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.

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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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Columbia River Spring Chinook Report

As we enter the last streach of our Lower Columbia Columbia Spring Chinook season I wanted to give a quick update on our season.

Fishing overall has been good. We have had a few days in which we have had to work hard for bites, but overall the action has been more than satisfying.  We have focused our efforts in the Portland area near the the I5 bridge. Downstream trolling herring has been our go to technique and our best bite has been during the first few hours of daylight.

We look for the the next four days to be some of the best of the year as everyday there are more and more tasty Spring Chinook in the system. The Columbia is set to close the 9th of April. After the Columbia closes I will switch gears and spend a few weeks targeting the Willamette, before moving up to the John Day Dam area the last week of April to target the migration up the Columbia system.

I still have plenty of openings for both the Willamette River and the John Day Dam fisheries. On the Willamette we have a 2 chinook limit, and up at John Day I offer salmon and Sturgeon combination trips. As always full boat and single anglers are encouraged to give us a call and book dates.


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Columbia River Spring Chinook Fishing Report

Fishing is really starting to pick up down here in the Portland area for Spring Chinook. A fellow guide buddy and I snuck out for a little fun fishing this morning and we’re handsomely rewarded with a quick limit of Columbia River Spring Chinook.  We picked both these fish up trolling flashers and herring downstream. Our favorite flashers have been the new Leo Flashers by Money Maker Fishing.

Now is the time to get down here and get in on this action. I have full day openings this week and 4 hour evening trip openings the 2nd – 9th of April. Also have openings for the Willamette River after the 10th of April. Also for people willing to wait until the end of April and into early May we still have some open dates for our John Day Dam Spring Chinook and Keeper Sturgeon combo trips. Give me a call at 208-861-0654 to book your dates.


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How to Brine Herring for Salmon Fishing

With Columbia River Spring Chinook fishing right around the corner I wanted to cover a topic of discussion that often comes up on my boat. Many people ask “How do you brine your bait for Spring Chinook”. Below I have outlined my simple process for turning my frozen herring into fish catching machines. Keep in mind that I use a very simple approach that gives me consistent success day in day out.
Ingredients:

Container
Rock Salt
Bottled Water
Herring
Various scents (optional)
Dye (optional)

How to Brine Herring

Step 1:
The first step is buying quality herring and prepping it for the brine. Make sure to buy quality herring! By quality I mean packages that are blood free, have clear eyes, and have most scales intact. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to brine up bait that is of sub-par quality. Always remember that it takes good bait to make good bait. Don’t fish crappy bait!
After removing the package from the freezer it is best to cut one side of the package open to let air in. This removes the vacuum seal and will ensure that as your herring are beginning to thaw the packaging does not pull any of the scales off.
Make sure at this point to let the herring thaw until they are able to be removed from the package without having to pull them off the Styrofoam tray.

How to Brine Herring

Step 2:
While your packages of Herring are continuing to thaw it is now time to make your brine. This is a very simple brine that contains only two ingredients, Rock Salt and bottled water. Combine one bottle (16.9 oz) of water to 1 cup rock salt. At this point you can now add any optional scents or dyes to the brine. For Spring Chinook I often will add a very small amount of Blue Bad AZZ bait dye from Pro Cure. For some reason at times these fish seem to really crave the slight blue tint.

How to Brine Herring

Step 3:
Carefully remove the herring from the package and add to your brine. Now put the brining herring into your cooler and keep on ice. This bait is best fished 8-48 hours from when first put in the brine, so brine your bait the afternoon before you are planning on fishing, but don’t worry if you start the process too late I have fished these baits after only sitting in the brine for a few hours and they fished fine, and got better as the day went on. Just always remember to keep your bait nice and cold while on the water!

How to Brine Herring

How to Brine Herring

How to Brine Herring

For up to date fishing reports make sure you check out our reports page.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter and enter yourself in for a chance at winning a free guided fishing trip!  We draw a random name from our newsletter list every January and July.