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Old 01-09-2017, 10:55 AM   #1
mainer
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Default 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Ok.. I can't take it anymore!! Unfortunately fishing for Puget Sound Blackmouth just isn't cutting it for me. That's how I pass my time since I am horrible when it comes to catching Steelhead. I dream of these wonderful fatty chrome Chinook. Dragging herring and Sitting on anchor cooking bacon and eggs while waiting for my rod to go off. I plan on taking the kids for some C&R sturgeon this weekend and i'm gonna drown a few herring while i am at it.. And since the contest thread is already out there..... May I present the Official 2017 Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread!!!!

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:16 PM   #2
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Default 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

The Columbia River is running higher than it has been, 36F and a beautiful green color. No bites trolling amongst the snow flakes and rain. Should have some anchor current pretty quick.



Let it begin.

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Old 01-09-2017, 06:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

CCW...Legendary.

Mainer, you have the sickness, lol.

I thought dodging shotgun blasts trolling near those bored ducks on my early season shakedown January springer trip last year was bad, glad you guys are worse.

Was overlooking the Columbia all day in downtown Astoria today, there are lots of pinnipeds in the river eating something, jumping, laying on their backs resting, not sure what they are after. They were the size of seals but acting like lions. Juveniles, maybe? Big gangs of 'em, like bad teenagers.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

All I know is need to improve my hookup to rod hour ratio, last couple of years has been darn right embarassing

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Old 01-10-2017, 05:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

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Was overlooking the Columbia all day in downtown Astoria today, there are lots of pinnipeds in the river eating something, jumping, laying on their backs resting, not sure what they are after. They were the size of seals but acting like lions. Juveniles, maybe? Big gangs of 'em, like bad teenagers.
Could be a sign of a good smelt run. Here's hoping!
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Any truth to this to statement?
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:51 PM   #7
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Cereally?
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:54 PM   #8
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Capn Crunch!
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

I like the comment that they looked on the official page and nothing so bs. I guess if it isn't on ifish it just ain't true.

Seriously though the sellwood guys will get one once the Willy bumps up and then drops into shape. Doubtful it will come from the Columbia
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:51 PM   #10
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What's the Kalama ramp look like? Covered in snow?
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:58 AM   #11
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Have the seasons been set? Any word on the run predictions? I haven't been able to find them on the wdfw website.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:45 AM   #12
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No idea on the ramp- we've had 2 "blizzards" since I last saw it on Monday. 10+" of new snow up at my house. I'm going to request POK mount and uplink a ramp cam.

Springer seasons likely nearly pinned down by Feb. 7.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Man, I feel like the entire Springer! season is passing me by....

I really need to get out there...
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:15 PM   #14
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Shows over should have been there yesterday.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

I got my first last year on the 11th of Feb and it was in the Columbia. Sounds like the weather is going to warm up next week. Need to go charge my battery.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:02 AM   #16
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Must hold off till Superbowl Sunday.... Must not thaw bait just yet......
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

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All I know is need to improve my hookup to rod hour ratio, last couple of years has been darn right embarassing
Yeah, chasing springers in Jan ain't gonna help that...
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

CCW you are an animal!
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:09 PM   #19
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Be carful out there diehards.lol. im in Astoria watching the river from clastop comm college everyday. Its brutal.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:02 PM   #20
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Flat as a pancake today!!
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:27 AM   #21
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread



Had to start tying/re-tying leaders this week while being snowed in. It's getting closer.....


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Old 01-14-2017, 08:50 AM   #22
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Upland. What do you think of the orange label Seaguar?
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:00 AM   #23
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Upland. What do you think of the orange label Seaguar?


I've been using it the last couple years I like it. It does seem to get nicked up and frayed pretty easy so I usually switch leaders after each fish.


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Old 01-14-2017, 09:27 AM   #24
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

I converted from the 'green stuff' to Seaguar STS two seasons ago for all my mooching rigs. Because it is fluorocarbon (less visible), I don't worry about using 40 lb line on my mooching rigs. It is stiffer so a tad more difficult to tie, but I like that I can feel any abrasion (due to the stiffness, I suppose) so I have not had the occasional breakoffs that I experienced with the 'green stuff'. The price is very reasonable and the quality has been superb.

Since I have learned to religiously re-tie my mooching rigs every night (if it got stuck, or a fish bit the line), I appreciate getting a quality product for a reasonable price. There is nothing worse than losing a fish to bad equipment and keeping your mooching rigs perfect is perhaps the single largest factor to reducing fish loss due to equipment failure. I do tend to fish with less experienced anglers, or anglers that are not careful with their equipment, so I am paranoid about having the best mooching rigs possible. Even less experienced folks can run their hands up and down the line and feel a problem developing, so we seem to have less failures because we nip them in the bud before a fish is lost.

Since I can't see worth a hoot and wear gloves all day long, and since my fishing friends are frequently 'sight challenged' or young and inexperienced, the softer 'green stuff' was getting damaged without making it obvious. As we've gotten better at catching fish, we end up reeling in more often and will always have the 'everybody loses their mind' problem of stowing lines while trying to net a fish. Between the damage that occurs dredging the bottom and frequently re-stowing our lines, I became convinced that the softer lines were hiding too many imperfections. Very happy with the STS.

Now if i can just improve my bite to hook ratio...
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:46 AM   #25
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Been using STS since it came out!
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:27 PM   #26
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Flat as a pancake today!!
YEP... driving north on I-5, I'm pretty certain I saw a springer roll just downriver from Kalama.

They're H-E-R-E !
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:38 PM   #27
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I bought a spool of the orange but after a bad report here on ifish, I never used it. Have used the blue for several applications, tuna to springers, and it seems to be a quality leader material. I'll retie the hook after 5 tuna using 25 lb. Honestly, I've never found a bad Fluorocarbon. I first started using Fluoro when it first came out, on the Deschutes for fly fishing the Golden Stone hatch and it was at least as good as any other tippet material. Very durable at 3 lb test. I don't recall what the brand was?
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:37 PM   #28
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Getting antsy!! Here's the daily starting line-up, hooks all sharpened and ready for a new season. Here fishy fishy fishy
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:30 PM   #29
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Plugs: that's a good looking stable.
Spinitrode: ain't that the truth! But you can't catch a January or February fish if you aren't out there to intercept it. I gotta get out there tomorrow. Cabin fever is setting in and today's boat show was inspirational, as is a potential turn in the weather.

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Old 01-15-2017, 07:58 PM   #30
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With all this high water and the flood coming dose that mean anchor fishing with plugs will be better the trolling cut plug herring ?
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #31
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They will be equally bad, there will be no winner.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:12 AM   #32
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They will be equally bad, there will be no winner.
Best answer of the day award!

If anyone goes out, watch out for debris moving down the river
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:37 AM   #33
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They will be equally bad, there will be no winner.
Between the upcoming weather report and the amount of snow on the ground this could get UGLY!!
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:19 PM   #34
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First let me say I'm not new here, just got around to getting back on board after having to change user name. Used to go by mola joe. Second, I'm just passing this on. It was sent to me by a close buddy who received it from his buddy. No info was sent to him, so none sent to me other than it was suppose to be caught a few days ago. Just posting the pic. Not saying it's legit or not, so please don't blast me. I consider this my home beach, so a little unusual I didn't get a phone call. The past week has only seen one or two guys there sometimes, and they usually are not looking for publicity. Anyway....maybe.............
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:28 PM   #35
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I think I saw the same picture today and someone said it was from 2011
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:41 PM   #36
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They will be equally bad, there will be no winner.


There are more fish in the river on Thanksgiving than there are in January!!!!

Although I have though about running out a spin-glo from the duck blind!!!
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:43 AM   #37
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Weather breaks and I have half a notion to park the boat under the Youngs Bay Bridge.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:30 AM   #38
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Trolled and Anchored Kalama yesterday for a few hours. Nothing. Water temp was around 37 and clarity was about a foot. Marked a few that could have been salmon/steelhead. There was a big sea lion that showed up and for some reason I started marking more but nothing hit my kwick! After cooking breakfast and tinkering with the boat I headed over to my C&R sturgeon hole and played with a couple 4'ers!! I have a feeling the river will be blown out for a week or so.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:37 AM   #39
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Stick'em: That's going to give a person the best shot over the next month, maybe longer. Anyone who's serious about catching rather than fishing, will be there.
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:43 PM   #40
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And until the main stem is opened, the limit is two.
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:08 PM   #41
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And until the main stem is opened, the limit is two.
What an opportunity!
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:21 AM   #42
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What an opportunity!
Thank You ODFW.
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Old 01-18-2017, 01:51 PM   #43
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Don't care about how much water within reason, but it is the color that I look at. The higher the water, the closer to the bank you fish. We have been known to catch springers in 5 feet of water on a high water year. Gonna be interesting. When anchored, you better check up stream of your boat for a couple of months. There will be some tall timber floating down.
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:56 PM   #44
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Last super high water year we had for springers we did exceptionally well into July. I'm going to target the same water that produced then if it stays high and off colored
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:24 PM   #45
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Don't care about how much water within reason, but it is the color that I look at. The higher the water, the closer to the bank you fish. We have been known to catch springers in 5 feet of water on a high water year. Gonna be interesting. When anchored, you better check up stream of your boat for a couple of months. There will be some tall timber floating down.
Sometimes shallow is better even without high water.

We have a shallow stretch we fish. One time my buddy boats a solid 18 lb fish. I send a pic to a buddy. He asks where. I tell him. Five minutes later his brother comes in and drops above us. He makes one pass and pulls out. Tells us it's too shallow.

His words are hanging in the air and he's still in sight when we boat another 18 lb fish in 4 ft of water.....

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Old 01-19-2017, 01:46 AM   #46
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PM me GPS coordinates.
I will give it a try..

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Sometimes shallow is better even without high water.
We have a shallow stretch we fish.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:17 AM   #47
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Sometimes shallow is better even without high water.

We have a shallow stretch we fish. One time my buddy boats a solid 18 lb fish. I send a pic to a buddy. He asks where. I tell him. Five minutes later his brother comes in and drops above us. He makes one pass and pulls out. Tells us it's too shallow.

His words are hanging in the air and he's still in sight when we boat another 18 lb fish in 4 ft of water.....

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Funny you say that. We have a tide water trough we fish that goes from 4 to 7 feet just wide enough for the boat. We dropped in and were commenting that the flasher was right at the top of the water and could see it clear as day with the reflection and no way it was deep enough to fish when the fish hit and flasher and line went rocketing out of the slot.

Theory is if its wet fish can be there
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:59 AM   #48
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Last two years I got my first two fish in less than 10' of water. Feb 29 and March 5th.

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Old 01-19-2017, 09:34 AM   #49
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Sometimes shallow is better even without high water.

We have a shallow stretch we fish. One time my buddy boats a solid 18 lb fish. I send a pic to a buddy. He asks where. I tell him. Five minutes later his brother comes in and drops above us. He makes one pass and pulls out. Tells us it's too shallow.

His words are hanging in the air and he's still in sight when we boat another 18 lb fish in 4 ft of water.....

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When beach fishing, I've had several roll between where my line ENTERS THE WATER and shore. Maybe 6' deep. BTW - This CAN hold true right on through the summer. They ain't all deep!!
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:19 AM   #50
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

My thoughts on depth if I'm not too far on a tangent. This works on 3 fish goals. Fish need oxygen, they don't really like light, and they're lazy.

If the water is cool enough, there will be sufficient oxygen dissolved in the shallow water. They don't have to go deep like in the fall. The easiest water to swim up is usually near the shore. This becomes much more dramatic in high water. As long as the sun doesn't bother them, they have no reason not to swim shallow.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:03 PM   #51
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

During the 2014 springer season, which saw a lot of high water at the end of March, my crew cleaned up on the springers trolling in 5-10ft. of water...last couple of seasons though not so much.

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Old 01-19-2017, 02:17 PM   #52
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Default 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

I mainly fish for springers in shallow water on plugs, 8-18' deep. I've also had success on them early in the season trolling brined herring or wrapped K-15s in 35' , right on the bottom. They are where you find them, the willing biters. I target structure.

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Old 01-19-2017, 02:32 PM   #53
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

There was one trip we went on, that the Columbia was closed for salmon, but you can keep steelhead. So we anchor up in 11' of water, and put out our X4 flat fish. Between three fishermen, we landed 13 salmon, and 0 steelhead. Couldn't keep a one.


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Old 01-19-2017, 09:33 PM   #54
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Got my boat out of storage presidents day last season and put 1 in the box. Hopefully a repeat miracle this year. Only 3 more weekends and I'll drag the boat out of the back of the shop and knock off the cobwebs. I'll try to post some picsand reports this season.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:25 AM   #55
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Caster View Post
During the 2014 springer season, which saw a lot of high water at the end of March, my crew cleaned up on the springers trolling in 5-10ft. of water...last couple of seasons though not so much.

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In my springer journal, I note the type of water, what worked for each season. Saves a lot of time early in the season figuring out my edge. 'Course if you are younger and have a memory - such journals are not needed............
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Old 01-26-2017, 09:49 AM   #56
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Weellllll!
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:46 AM   #57
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

I'm dragging the boat out in a few weeks. Fishing first weekend in March. Wanna get some practice fish in before the swarms hit the Willy. Hopefully that's early enough.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:17 AM   #58
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

This morning I was out for a few hours. I noticed a yellowjacket crawled out from the space in the top and frame where the sun warmed things.

Perhaps a sign of a good early season.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:47 AM   #59
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

Not a bad day for Springer fishing... nice and sunny... now if I could just find a newspaper....

FYI: Just messing with you guys. It was next to impossible for me to find a pic holding a Springer on a sunny day lol. This one was from last year but it had me reminiscing... Going to start the hunt week after next....
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:21 PM   #60
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Default Re: 2017 Official Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

I expect the first Springer to come following smelt. Havn't seen anything, yet.
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