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OFFICIAL 2023 Columbia River Spring Chinook Thread

267821 Views 1412 Replies 225 Participants Last post by  Badsmerf
I haven鈥檛 see the official thread started. If it has been I will delete.

Anyway. Plan on doing a shakedown on Friday. Although it may be a little chilly.
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First trip last Sunday, fished from dark til 10 am. Foul hooked a big sturgeon. Big takedown. Yes! Noooo.
I never saw it so I don't know how big, but it pulled 300' of line like a sea lion, then turned and swam just above the pilings/jetty I was hooked to and parked. I couldn't budge it but released and manuevered over to it, got to 30' on the line counter, bow nosed right into the pilings, line going upriver between two pilings, and my kwik popped off, miracle! I was glad to get that plug back.
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I fished the outgoing from 7-3 Saturday, one drive by.
Air temp at launch 26*, water temp 37*.
Was a beautiful afternoon.
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I'll try this thread since I've been blanked on the other one.
I did fish yesterday (Sat) and it was nasty. I went out in the dark, fished a few hours, went home and warmed up by the stove, then went out again- it was nicer in the afternoon.
Back at it today, trip #5. Total results to date: one drive by, one hook up that came off when I picked it up, and a sturgeon.
I was looking through my pics and last years first springer was on March 2nd...and from what I've heard the fish markets should have '23 springer for sale right now.
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I did another pre dawn patrol Monday am, went to a different spot and conferred with my buddies that it has been dead there, too.
Water temp has gone from 37* to 38.5* in the last two weeks, slowly moving in the right direction.
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Pulled up the test net data

15 drifts Mon and Tues鈥 no kings, 6 steel, retained 1 mortally wounded wild steel.
To expand on this, for those who don't know, they do test nets with a tanglenet on the same-ish days in the same lower river locations every year. They sell or give to the tribes the clipped, and return the high finners.

In 2022: 13 drifts, 9 chinook
2021: 15 drifts, 1 chinook
2020: 10 drifts, 1 chinook
2019: 15 drifts, 4 chinook
2018: 15 drifts, 4 chinook

So it's not a death knell for the season that they got zero chinook on the first go-round; the fish have simply not shown up yet.
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I bet they reopen it
I've been hearing decent reports from the few who are venturing out down here.
My terminology is :

Takedown: rod tip is tugged down more than once, something is chewing on it, but the fish is gone before you ever pick it up.

Driveby: rod is hit just once. You might not even know if you didn't see it. You can hear it usually.
I always picture it slapping the plug with it's tail

Lost fish: any time you pick up your rod and you can feel the fish, then it comes off, is a lost fish, probably your own fault too!

The ones I like best are when you just get a little nibble, like a smolt bite, then another little nibble, and you keep watching, then a little tug, and you keep watching, then your line starts getting pulled out of your reel as you casually announce:I got one!
Seems like those bites rarely fall off
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