Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Guide

Ready to fish for sturgeon on the Columbia River?

You’re at the right place.

The Best Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Guide

Sturgeon Fishing

These are the largest and strongest freshwater fish in North America, and the Columbia River has the highest population of Sturgeon in the world. The White Sturgeon is considered a prehistoric fish and can live over 200 years.


The fishery is catch and release (except during limited keeper seasons) but can make for some great angling action. In recent years, the highest numbers of sturgeon are found near Bonneville Dam and in the Bonneville Pool (the waters above Bonneville Dam). The Bonneville Pool is the best location to hook these large fish, as it holds them in large numbers. When fishing for sturgeon, it’s best to anchor the boat. Recommended baits are squid, smelt, anchovies, sand shrimp, salmon eggs, shad, or other small fish.


These primitive fish are bottom feeders with a varying diet, and the best place to spot them is where they feed. Sturgeon are bottom feeders so make sure your bait is right on the bottom of the river. Find deep holes, place and anchor out, and cast out dead baits..


Sturgeon are light biters so when a Sturgeon finds your bait, the line would just move a little, be sensitive to notice when it does. When you see the movement it means the fish has a hold of your bait. Don’t wait for a big bite as it may never come. Just set the hook when you see the action on the rod. 


Trophy sturgeon can grow over 20 feet in length, and can weigh over 2000 pounds! It could take over an hour to get fish this big to the boat, and they can really pull… but be ready for the exciting part. When you hook one of these big guys they tend to jump out to the water. It is very important to use tackle that is strong enough to withstand the action of a Sturgeon, from your rods down to the line. These fish won’t give in without a fight, and you don’t want your gear falling apart on you after you’ve hooked a massive fish. Your fishing rod should be 6-9 feet long, the line long enough to run up to 250 yards.


We fish for sturgeon all year round at Cascade Locks, but the best time to catch Oversize Sturgeon is between May and August. During the months of June and July, shad are running upriver and we will spend some time in the morning catching them for bait that will be used later to catch Sturgeon.


Occasional keeper seasons grant the opportunity to take one of these sturgeons home. These seasons are usually limited and starts January 1st, spanning for a period of a few days or weeks. If you would like to experience the thrill of taking one of these tasty fishes home, give us a call.



At Always Catchin’, we offer the best sturgeon fishing guide experience on the Columbia River. Portland all the way up to the Dalles Dam, we know the right places to look and the best methods to use.

Whether you’re in it just to have some angling action,.. you’re a tourist out for an adventure… or you’re a family looking to have a fun-filled vacation,… or you’re just more particular about the tasty filet you might get to devour (no judgments!)… We are fully capable of catering to your specific needs and desires.

Our boat is a 26ft. Alumaweld Formula Vee with a canvas top, which can seat up to 6 people comfortably. For larger groups, more boats can be added (call us for more information on group rates). We also provide all the bait and tackle needed for the trip—all you need to come along with is your fishing license which you can get here, some food and drinks, and we’re ready to go.


A trip with us includes:


  • 8 Hours of guided fishing at the best locations.
  • 26 ft. Alumaweld Formula Vee with a canvas top, so you’re protected if the weather turns sour.
  • Provision of fuel, tackle and bait for the whole trip.
  • Practical tips on how to fish the area.
  • Tailored packages to suit your needs.
  • Experienced guides who have been fishing for years on the Columbia River.
  • We even clean and filet your catch and provide Ziploc bags to take them home in!


Ready to have your Columbia sturgeon fishing adventure? Book your trip with us here and we’ll get back to you immediately, or give us a call at 541-375-0717.

Looking to gift a trip to a friend, family, or loved one? We offer gift certificates.

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