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Idaho Walleye Fishing

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Idaho Walleye Fishing

When thinking of Walleye fishing Idaho is probably not the first place that comes to mind. Most people would be quick to point to places in the Upper Midwest, places like the Dakotas, Minnesota, or Michigan, and any walleye fisherman worth their leadcore would definitely put the Columbia River high on the list, but although limited to only a handful of locations Idaho actually has some fantastic walleye fishing opportunities. The current state record came from Oakley Reservoir, and weighed in at 17.88 pounds. The current catch and release record hails from Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir and is 31.5 inches in length.

In addition to Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir and Oakley Reservoir walleye can also be found in Ririe Reservoir in Eastern Idaho, and Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho. All of these fisheries have the potential to produce some fantastic walleye fishing, but for anglers looking for consistent success Salmon Falls Creek and Oakley Reservoirs are the top destinations for Idaho walleye anglers.

While Oakley is a great fishery its just a place that we haven’t really spent any time fishing. Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir on the other hand is our location of choice. As it turns out we also are the holders of an Idaho Outfitters license for Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir and we offer fully guided Walleye Fishing trips on one of Idaho’s best walleye fisheries.

Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir, locally known as Salmon Dam is a unique high desert reservoir nestled into the deep canyon formed by Salmon Falls Creek. This is a unique walleye fishery in that this reservoir has very steep drop off banks that surround most of the impoundment. A lot of the shoreline here are sheer cliffs that plunge directly into the water. These unique features make Salmon Dam a different style of fishery than most walleye fisheries around the west. Popular walleye techniques such as worm harnesses behind a bottom bouncer, and trolling crankbaits can be super effective here especially on a few of the larger mud flats. In addition to trolling anglers pitching and vertically jigging jigs rigged with bait and soft plastics typically produce a bunch of walleye. Currently Salmon Dam is absolutely chocked full of smaller eater size walleye. These 12-15 inch fish will make up most of the catch here, and with a 6 fish limit they provide an awesome opportunity to take some tasty walleye home for dinner. Salmon Dam also holds some very decent walleye over 20 inches, but these larger fish are much more spread out. When targeting larger walleye you are almost fishing for a different fish. Its like the difference in chasing young whitetail bucks and old mature bucks, it just takes a different mindset. Large walleye can be found, but guys need to be willing to fish for just a few bites a day. Most of the reservoirs big walleye are caught in what we refer to as the “steep and deep” areas. These bigger walleye will use the steep cliffs and associated deep water as refuge when they are not feeding, then move just a short distance to their preferred feeding location in sometimes very shallow water. The other thing that makes big walleye tough here is that they are predominantly a nocturnal feeder using the darkness of night as cover while they hunt their prey in shallow water.

We absolutely love the uniqueness of this fishery and our family has history fishing here, often times at family gatherings the stories told around the campfire seem to drift to a lonely night on Salmon Dam searching for trophy walleye. We would love to show you why this place is special to us. If you are looking to learn more about this fishery, or just would like a different Southern Idaho experience nothing quite beats a day on Salmon Dam with one of our awesome guides.


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Opening Day! Eastern Idaho Trout Madness.

There are few days on our calendar that generate as much hype and excitement as opening day of bait and keep season on the Snake River near American Falls. The bait and keep season on this section of river always opens the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, and anglers across Southern Idaho look forward to this date with a cult like following. If you like to fish in solitude this is not the time or place to make your first trip to this river section, but for anglers willing to brave the crowds this is a special time of year. Boats will begin fishing as soon as the clock strikes 12 am, and the crowds and anglers will build through the morning. It is not uncommon to not be able to find a parking spot at the ramp if you launch much after first light.

Baits of choice for anglers on the opener very but the best and most seasoned anglers almost exclusively fish cut bait. In this section of river these trout are feeding on the abundant dead or dying fish that get sucked through the power plant on the dam. American Falls Reservoir is an unbelievably fertile system and the trout in the river below are definitely keyed into meat. For us sucker meat tops the list for cut bait choices, but other baits also work well, and for anglers without a supply of bait good old night crawlers are also a solid option.

The limit here is 6 trout but only 2 can be greater than 16 inches. We STRONGLY advocate that anglers fishing with bait catch keep their first two fish if hooked deep and quit fishing. Most of these fish will be hooked very deep on bait and have a tough time surviving being released. Another reason to keep only your two fish and get off the water is that almost all the fish in this area are greater than 16 inches, so although you can legally continue to fish for your limit it is best for the fishery to either quit fishing after 2 or switch to artificial lures and baits. Our typical scenario is that after we get our customers each 2 fish over 16 inches we switch things up and target the plentiful smallmouth bass. The limit on bass in this area is also 2 so by switching to bass fishing we are able to have a really cool combo bag to send our customers home with.

Although the first few days of the season can resemble a blue light special at K-Mart, the crowds start to greatly thin out after the first weekend of the season, and even on the busiest days our guides know the river like the back of their hand and can get you on fish away from the crowds. Opening day is like our new year, and is a day we look forward to. Although we are booked for the opening weekend often a year in advance, we have lots of open dates (especially mid week) including the first week of the season. This fishery will fish well through June until water temperatures warm up to the point the trout turn sluggish.

If you are interested in some of the most exciting fishing of the year don’t hesitate to give our office a call and get your trip booked now. We offer both full day and half day evening trips. Call 208-669-1569 and Dani can get you all set up.


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Snake River Spring Sturgeon

We often get asked what our favorite thing to fish for is, and I bet if you asked all of our guides you would get a different answer from each of them. One thing though that we all agree on is that Sturgeon Fishing on the Snake River in the Spring is an awesome experience.

Spring is a time of revival. The river canyon is waking up from its winter sleep and life is all around. Green grass can be seen on the hillsides where in only a few short weeks summer will be set in and the canyon walls will be locked into their dry brown look again. Just like the grasses and the birds, the sturgeon are waking up too. These fish have spent most of the winter in deep holding water feeding on whatever merger resources they can find, and now with the warming water they are on the hunt for food. Along with a search for food is an urge to spawn, and many of our fish are traveling the river system to find their spawning grounds.

Spring is definitely a movement period for these fish, and every day is an adventure in finding fish. It’s amazing how much some of these fish can move day to day, and equally amazing how some seem to stay in certain holes, content to live their lives in one sweet spot.

During the spring we often see some of our best fishing of the year in our Hells Canyon Fishery, as for some reason this time of year tends to concentrate a large number of fish in the general vicinity of Heller Bar. Spring is also a great time of year for our Southern Idaho fishery’s, but it tends to just mark the beginning of an awesome season.

If you are looking for a sturgeon adventure in Hells Canyon or southern Idaho make sure to get with us. We are full time professional fishing guides and we strive to make your trip special. We provide all fishing gear and even cook you a hot lunch on the boat.


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Columbia River Walleye

Spring Fishing Opportunities

Columbia River Walleye, CJ Strike and Hells Canyon Sturgeon, American Falls Trout, and CJ Strike Crappie!

These are just a few of the options that we have right now to get you out on the water this spring with us. March is our official kickoff for our Columbia River Walleye season, and we couldn’t be more excited to chase these tasty and challenging fish. Walleye are one of the most sought after fish in the Columbia basin, and we cant wait to be out on the river chasing them.

March also means the giant white Sturgeon of the Snake River really start to wake up and feed.  We have already had some fantastic Sturgeon fishing the past month or so, and that will just continue to get better as the weather warms, and water temps make getting in the water for a glory shot even more enjoyable.  We are having great success on CJ Strike Reservoir located and hour south of Boise, ID as well as on the lower end of Hell’s Canyon near Lewiston, ID.  Both of these fisheries are a great way to get out on the water and enjoy one of the coolest fish that swims in our Idaho waters.  

March is also our kickoff for trophy trout on the Snake River near American Falls, as well as American Falls Reservoir.  March is one of the best times to spend a day in one of our drift boats fly fishing for the huge trout that call the Snake River home.  This is an amazing opportunity to try and break the 10 pound mark on some huge fish.  As March moves on and river levels rise with spring flows the power boat fishing on the river becomes the hottest bite around.  This is a fantastic fishery and its all catch and release with no bait through the Saturday of memorial day weekend.  The river fishery at American Falls is our bread and butter, and we would love the opportunity to show you why we love this place so much.  

Along with the Snake River at American Falls March also means its time to chase trophy rainbows on American Falls reservoir.  Last year Brett broke the catch and release state record with a 31.5 inch rainbow caught of the reservoir.  While this is a great fish its not even considered a monster on this system.  The huge Rainbows, Browns, and Rainbow/ Cutthroat Hybrids that prowl this huge reservoir are breathtaking, and we have the inside knowledge to put you on these amazing fish.  Along with awesome trophy opportunity we can also target the plentiful 18-24 inch rainbows that are amazing table fare.  the trout limit on the reservoir is 6 trout, although we only advocate harvesting rainbows and hybrids, as the natural reproducing browns and cutthroat are a true gems worth retuning to the river.   

Finally how can we forget the fantastic Crappie fishing at CJ Strike. In recent days the crappie are starting to break out of their huge winter schools and are now moving around much more. As of yesterday they are no yet on the banks in the spawning areas, but it might only be a matter of a week or so before we start casting to large schools of crappie. Nothing is more fun for the entire family than a day spent loading up on these tasty fish. Not only are they an absolute blast to catch, but they are also one of the best tasting fresh water fish around.


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Hot Sturgeon action at CJ Strike!

The sturgeon fishing on CJ Strike Reservoir has been nothing short of fantastic! The bite has been hot and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Yesterday was the last day of February and Brett’s boat hooked 17 and landed 14! CJ is arguably the best sturgeon fishery in the state and catching double digit numbers is common. If you are looking for an awesome adventure catching lots of huge sturgeon then book a trip with us. You won’t be disappointed.


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Fantastic Crappie and Sturgeon fishing at CJ Strike!

The absolute lights out winter crappie and perch fishing continues at CJ Strike Reservoir. Located only an hour south of Boise, Idaho this is a truly special place for anglers in southern idaho who are looking for a local get away close to home. One of the best things about CJ Strike is the diversity of this fishery. On any day we can target Crappie, Perch, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, huge White Sturgeon, and the ever present fantastic Rainbow Trout Fishery.

Lately our boats have been focusing on the Crappie, Perch, and white sturgeon. We had 2 boats out last Saturday and between them they took 200 crappie and caught and released 12 sturgeon, with the largest fish going 9’1”.

We have been finding all our crappie suspended over deep water. Most of the crappie schools tend to be suspend from 30-50 feet over both deep water flats, and deep water humps. On the flats the fish tend to be moving around a lot, and the schools come and go very quickly, but on the humps fish are tending to hold in the same area all day. This makes these bunches of fish very accessible.

We have also noticed that schools of fish that are more related to the bottom tend to have a bunch more perch in them and provide some awesome mixed bag fishing.

Currently we are finding fish in all parts of the reservoir. Most people relate the narrows as the epicenter of the crappie and perch fishing on CJ Strike, but we have been finding huge piles of fish up the Snake Arm as well. CJ is a huge place, so if fishing around other boats is not your cup of tea then get out and explore. You will be greatly rewarded. Below is a video of Brett giving a quick rundown on how he is targeting these large schools of fish.

We have boats available most days to get you out fishing, and the best thing about CJ is that it’s a year round fishery, so if your more in warm weather adventures make sure to get you spring and summer trips lined up now before we get super busy.

If your ready to book, or just want to talk to us about a trip, please give our office a call at 208-669-1569 or click the green book online button at the top of the page. We can’t wait to get you out on the water.


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Awesome Winter Fishing at CJ Strike

CJ Strike is arguably the crown jewel as far as winter fisheries go in Southern Idaho. Located an hour south of Boise, Idaho it is home to a fantastic winter Crappie and Yellow Perch bite, and can also produce some of the best open water trout fishing in the area.

Over the last several weeks we have been targeting the insane numbers of Crappie that have been filling live wells since last spring. During the winter months most panfish species (crappie, bluegills, and perch) suspend mid water column over deep water. We locate these huge schools of fish and target them by vertically jigging the same style of flutter spoons common to ice fishing.

Over the last two weeks the big schools of fish have been mostly hanging out in 30-50 feet of water over 70 feet of water. To locate these fish we cruise the 70 foot flats with our electronics until we dial in the area they are using. We then use the spot lock feature on our bow mount trolling motor to essentially anchor on the fish. This allows us to stay directly over the schools while we drop our gear into the zone. With multiple anglers fishing it’s nothing to put 50 + fish in the boat in a number of hours.

If you decide to get the boat out and head to CJ Strike a word of caution is warranted. This reservoir can get nasty fast in a very short amount of time. Make sure you plan your launch site accordingly so that if the wind does come up you can safely return to port. With that said this is a fantastic fishery that needs to be enjoyed. These huge numbers of Crappie won’t be around long, as crappie numbers are naturally very cyclicals and go through boom and bust cycles often. We are now in an amazing boom, so get out there and enjoy!

We run guided fishing trips year round on CJ Strike Reservoir. This crappie fishery will be on fire all through the spring, and we will be there catching and enjoying these tasty fish. We also fish for trout, sturgeon, and bass. The trout fishing is good now, and come spring and summer the Sturgeon fishing is amazing. If you looking to learn this fishery there is no better option than booking a trip with us. Our guides have the knowledge and are very willing to share their tips and tricks with anyone that wants to learn.