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Top Fishing Charters in Astoria


Fishing in Astoria

The fishing in Astoria, Oregon, is nothing short of iconic. Here, the mighty Columbia River meets the ocean to produce one of the most epic fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re one for Salmon, Steelhead, Dungeness Crab, or Tuna, this little corner of the coast has it all.

Astoria fishing charters are just as diverse as the options available to you, with your choice of rivers, bays, and the wide open waters of the Pacific Ocean. Come aboard and take advantage of all this and more—because why choose?

Astoria Fishing Grounds

The Columbia River

The Columbia River is famous for its Salmon and Steelhead runs. Oregon fishing guides generally fish this river from March through October, starting when the spring Chinook arrive. In June, summer Chinook and Steelhead enter the mix, followed by fall Salmon and winter Steelhead a few months later.

Anglers in Astoria become obsessed with Columbia River Sturgeon from May through July, when it’s possible to reel in plenty of whoppers weighing up to 150 lbs. Fishing for these plus-sized Sturgeon is strictly catch and release, but that doesn’t make the experience any less thrilling. Many anglers walk away exclaiming that they just had the fishing trip of a lifetime. You can fish for keeper Sturgeon as well, depending on the season.

The main event along this part of the Columbia River is the Buoy 10 fishery, which kicks off in August and runs until Labor Day in most years. During this time, anglers flock to the fishing grounds just west of Astoria to make the most of the river’s fall season. The best fishing usually starts a couple weeks in, when Salmon and Steelhead are caught in large numbers.

The Necanicum and Nehalem Rivers

When they’re not fishing the Columbia River, some locals turn to the Necanicum and Nehalem Rivers for winter Steelhead. This infamous, hard-fighting fish will keep you busy from November through March, just in time for the spring Chinook to take over again. 

It’s not uncommon for local guides in Astoria to head to other rivers in Oregon, as well, depending on where the fishing is best. The Nestucca, Wilson, Willamette, Wynoochee, and Cowlitz Rivers are just a few of the productive waters found farther inland.

Nehalem and Tillamook Bays

When you’re in the mood for something a little different, look for a fishing charter in Astoria that will take you to the coastal bays of Nehalem and Tillamook. You’ll find Salmon out here in spring, summer, and fall (because it just wouldn’t be the Pacific Northwest without Salmon everywhere!) accompanied by Lingcod, Halibut, Crab, and more.

One of the best times to venture into the coastal bays is winter, when bottom fishing produces the finest seafood on the west coast, including Dungeness Crab, Lingcod, Kelp Greenling, and Cabezon. Between May and September, it’s all about the Halibut.

Albacore Tuna make an appearance off the coast of Oregon from July to September, and charter boats in Astoria are poised to get in on the action (often less than 100 miles offshore). They’re not the largest of Tuna species, but these little guys will certainly give you a run for your money.

Types of Fishing

Trolling

Trolling is one of the most common methods you’ll see anglers using in Astoria. From Salmon and Walleye to Tuna, this technique gets the job done. A variety of lures such as Coyote spoons and plugs prove effective with Salmon. Some anglers also rely on mooching (drifting while trolling the bait) a cut-plug herring.

Walleye respond well to crank baits or night crawlers. Use these to locate fish in 10-30 feet of water and then switch to jigs and blade baits. Swim baits or round head jigs with night crawlers and curly tail grubs also work extremely well.

While trolling for Tuna, you’re likely to run multiple lines armed with a variety of lures such as cedar plugs, large diving plugs, and Tuna jigs.

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing offshore produces Lingcod, Halibut, Cabezon, and other species. Anglers catch these fish using jigs, Herring, Octopus, and other baits.

Need to Know

Astoria fishing charters do not include a fishing license for customers. Anglers age 12 and above must purchase a license, available at many shops or online.

Size and bag limits apply to many species in Oregon and some may be closed to harvest at certain times. It’s always best to fish with a local guide so that you follow regulations properly.

Astoria Fishing Seasons

January is a great time to get on the water if you aren’t afraid of a little nip in the air! Walleye and winter Steelhead are all biting vigorously. Now’s your chance to experience this world class fishery without the crowds.

Average temperatures hover between 38 and 51°F as Astoria’s winter fishing continues in the rivers. In the bays, bottom fishing promises Lingcod, Cabezon, and more.

You can continue to expect lots of rainfall through March, but don’t let that put a damper on your mood! The winter Steelhead run is wrapping up as spring Chinook begin to enter the Columbia River.

Average temperatures are creeping toward 60°F as the spring Chinook season gets underway. Trophy Sturgeon aren’t here just yet, but you can enjoy fishing for keeper-sized fish while you wait.

It’s that time of year when anglers go berserk for massive Sturgeon in the Columbia River! Come wrestle with a 100+ lb fish and bring home bragging rights. In the bays, Halibut are open to harvest.

June is all about variety here in Astoria. The Columbia River is crowded with monster Sturgeon, Steelhead, and summer Chinook, while the bays are bustling with Halibut and other bottom fish.

With average temperatures as high as 68°F, you can enjoy some of Astoria’s warmest weather out on the water. Now is the perfect time to head offshore for the Albacore Tuna run.

Come August, fishing in Astoria is all about Buoy 10. Anglers from the far reaches of Oregon travel to the mouth of the Columbia River for a chance to indulge in this magnificent run of Salmon and Steelhead.

The Buoy 10 fishery continues. Get a taste of the action and then head offshore for Dungeness Crab, Tuna, and the last of the Halibut (if the annual quota still hasn’t been met).

The Columbia River’s peak season comes to a close in October, as the last of the Buoy 10 hype dies down and the Salmon become scarce. Fly anglers will be gearing up for the winter Steelhead run.

Head to the Necanicum and Nehalem Rivers for winter Steelhead or fish the Columbia for keeper Sturgeon and Walleye. In the bays, anglers are making the most of bottom fishing.

Average temperatures dip into the 30’s °F at this time of year, so be sure to bundle up if you’re heading out. The bays have plenty of Crab and bottom fish to offer, while the rivers are teeming with Steelhead and more.

Astoria Fishing Calendar

Top Targeted Species in Astoria

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Sturgeon

Lingcod

Salmon