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Old 08-13-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
Flyingfool
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Default What can this boat do?

Hey all,

This is the first time and first year owning a boat. I started smaller to learn. I have a riveted '06 Smokercraft lodge with a 15 hp mercury. I use it for mostly kokanee fishing on lakes. I have tried bass fishing out of it, but it's not really best for that. I've never fished any of the rivers here. I've never even gone with a friend on another boat. I would love to fish for salmon, walleye and sturgeon.

So my questions are this:

Can this boat fish the columbia?
Do I need a bigger motor?
Is there a way to fish the river without anchoring? (Anchoring scares me since I have never done it or seen anyone do it.)
What's the best way to learn?
Would people be willing to come on my boat and teach me? Is it better to find someone and go with them on their boat to learn?

Or do I just need to upgrade my boat to something bigger?

Thanks,

FF

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Old 08-13-2013, 10:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

The lodge 15 footer is a good boat. Just pick your days watch for wind.Learn to anchor fish get some one with with anchoring experience to show you.15 horse power will work 25 is better.Go have fun, learn, and be safe use common since when boating wear life jackets.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

i have a similar boat/motor and i fish the columbia in it with out any problems. I do not anchor in deep water though and avoid the water when the wind is kicking up waves.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #4
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Yes, your boat can do all of that, it's the captain that needs the experience to make it safe. I fish all that with my lodge, even crossed a bar once or twice but my lodge isn't exactly stock and has a 40 hp and backup 2hp.

A 15 hp will be limiting, I assume this is a 15' lodge? Will it plane (with gear)? I would avoid places like buoy 10 and bonneville dam, especially till you get some experience. My opinion but 15 hp will not be enough to climb out of current/wind swells so stick to nice days and less current areas like mid lower river on softer tides.

Search on here about columbia river anchoring (and small boat threads for big water), it's probably the most dangerous part of fishing the cr, or even being around others anchoring if it isn't done correctly. Got to get the right anchor and stuff also. Practice on the Willamette or slough first without the crowds and current.

Definitely post in the open seats to learn these fisheries, with choice of your boat or theirs and ask for experienced fishers to help you learn, offer to pay for the gas etc for their knowledge and time. Also think about a guide for the specific type of fishing you want to learn, it can greatly increase the learning curve and be cheaper in the long run as far as stacking fish per trip.

Trolling a spinner around away from the crowds a bit and watching others is a good way to learn, and also hook some fish they miss by being a "dope on a rope" too much. I assume you've got some boat seat time on lakes and such and are familiar with your boaters card requirements first also.

Good luck,
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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That boat can catch plenty. Have some oars aboard just in case of motor/fuel/prop problems which can get you out of the way of an oncoming ship or tug boat.

Trolling brass and orange, chrome & red or chartreuse spinners at the mouth of the Cowlitz (even during incoming) in 7 - 28 ft. Of water will work (24"-30" lead dropper) 3-4' leader, as will anchoring and back bouncing red flatfish (swap out bronze hooks for sturdier VMCs or Gamakatsus), spinners, blinkies in 11-25' or out deeper with wobblers or blinkies. Have an experienced anchor fisherman & troller go with you a couple times. CW
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Don't overlook crabbing and fishing tidewater in places like Tillamook bay and the Yaquina with that set up.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

You could fish the Columbia for steelhead, salmon, waleye, etc. on good days..........

You could fish the Channel for all the above on most days..........

You could fish the Willamette for springers any day they're in........

Crabbing in the bays............

Motor size is fine for any of those places, just know your limitations......

Go for it, the adventures abound.............

I do most all of the above in my 16 ft. driftboat with an 8hp Honda (not so much the Columbia) but most everything/everywhere else with no problem.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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You are gonna smack a lot of fish!

Best value for the money in the Northwest.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

Thanks everyone. Like I said, this is my first year owning a boat. I have my boaters card but so far the only thing I have under my belt is about 20 kokanee trips under my belt on Merwin. I don't know all the in and outs of fishing on the river. I don't want to be "that guy" that ****** everyone off. Any pointers or rules of the road would be great.

I would love to learn more. Like I said the columbia scares me a little with the whole anchoring thing. I'm sure I'll feel better after going a couple of times.

I think I might spring for a guide. If anyone ever has an open seat please let me know. I'll chip in for gas and supplies. I have every weekend off and usually a day or two off during the week as well.

Thanks again for everything. This is why I love ifish.

What gear is a good start for a beginner?

FF
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

This is a good start, throw in some spinners and flashers and you'll have all the gear you need.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCox19 View Post
This is a good start, throw in some spinners and flashers and you'll have all the gear you need.
Thanks. What kind, size or color of spinners and flashers. I'm totally new to this kind of fishing.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

Fool, I fish the columbia all the time in tye troutdale area for sturg. I would be more than happy to tea h you some anchor tech and how you boat is more than capable in this area to boat lots of fish.. send me a PM and we csn exchange info..
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingfool View Post
Thanks. What kind, size or color of spinners and flashers. I'm totally new to this kind of fishing.
In the rivers most people run 8 inch flashers, people use every color and type imaginable. If you only got two flashers get a red-silver half and half and get one with chartreuse (light green-yellowish). There are also tons of spinners out there. Just pick up these blade colors: red/white, chartreuse/green dot, plain silver, and gold or brass. That should cover the basics and tie the spinners 32 inches behind the flashers. If you use a ball bearing swivel to clip on the spinners it will help you reduce line twist by quite a bit. As for spinner size, they are the bigger one's: Toman thumper, Terry Mulkey, or Luhr Jensen Guide tech. This will get you started, now just resist the urge to own all the different spinners and flashers!
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

This should get you started.....you can also troll herring or any of the other lures i suggested behind the flasher.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swrwiz1 View Post
Fool, I fish the columbia all the time in tye troutdale area for sturg. I would be more than happy to tea h you some anchor tech and how you boat is more than capable in this area to boat lots of fish.. send me a PM and we csn exchange info..
Awesome! Thanks so much.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

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Originally Posted by TCox19 View Post
In the rivers most people run 8 inch flashers, people use every color and type imaginable. If you only got two flashers get a red-silver half and half and get one with chartreuse (light green-yellowish). There are also tons of spinners out there. Just pick up these blade colors: red/white, chartreuse/green dot, plain silver, and gold or brass. That should cover the basics and tie the spinners 32 inches behind the flashers. If you use a ball bearing swivel to clip on the spinners it will help you reduce line twist by quite a bit. As for spinner size, they are the bigger one's: Toman thumper, Terry Mulkey, or Luhr Jensen Guide tech. This will get you started, now just resist the urge to own all the different spinners and flashers!
Wow! That's great info! Thanks TCox. My problem is when I don't know what to get I walk into a store and keep filling my basket.

Thanks again.

FF
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

Now that you all have me very excited about my boat I went out and found these large Protoco crab pots on clearance. I grabbed two and hope they will do the trick. I'm a washington guy so I hope I can put these to good use.

Thanks again everyone.

FF
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Last edited by Flyingfool; 08-15-2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:55 AM   #18
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An out of state shell fish license is cheap and you can buy just the shellfish license.

Hit Tillamook or the Nehalem starting in late September through December and you can't go wrong for crabbing.

Danielsons pots go on sale for $12 all the time. They are not as nice as the ones you bought but can be a cheap way to add to the "string"
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: What can this boat do?

Don't forget trolling for springers and fall chinook at Drano and the mouth of Wind. The setup with the flasher and spinner, flasher and herring, 3 way swivel with dropper weight and quick fish, or flat line trolling mag warts are all effective. Sometimes you'll even want to anchor up in light current and still fish bait...piece of cake. Your 15 footer will be just big enough to handle the rougher days at the Wind in the spring (the absolute worst chase virtually everyone but that's once or twice per season), and quite comfortable in the average to calmer days. Drano is just as windy but smaller waves, so you're always good to go there.
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