Columbia River walleye fishing guides tell all their secrets to catching these tasty fish


As a long time Columba River walleye fishing guides, we have no problem sharing our secrets to catching these wonderful fish. As a matter of fact due to their predatory ways both Washington and Oregon have upped the limits pretty much allowing anglers to catch and keep as much as they can stand. Fortunately for those not familiar with the region, we at Adventures are one of the few fishing guides in Oregon that offer year-round guided walleye fishing trips. Walleye are known to be aggressive bitters, but fairly lack luster in regards to their fighting capabilities. However, what Walleye lack in excitement they defiantly make up for it at the dinner table.

In my opinion, walleye are the best eating freshwater fish there is. They’re flavor is delicate and the meat is fluffy but firm. Granted I understand it’s a matter of personal taste but as far as I concerned Walleye are even better eating than either lingcod or halibut. The good news is that during the right time of year if you fish with us we’ll basically fill the boat for you so you’ll have plenty of meat to take home.

Now the upper Columbia is pretty well known for healthy Walleye populations, but what many people do not know is that the lower Columbia has it’s fair share of walleye as well. Granted if you looking to target the big one you’ll have to move up river, but if you’re simply hoping for some good eats, the lower will get the job done.

As springtime arrives, the real walleye action begins. From Spring all the way into the Fall is the best time of the year to fish for walleye on the Columbia. Basically after the spring runoff starts raising water levels in the Columbia walleye start to warm up and become more active. Early spring they begin their annual spawning season and even though the catch rates are not as high they are still descend due to the numbers of fish  available. However the best time of the year to catch walleye is in the summertime. There’s nothing quite like fishing for walleye on the Columbia when the sun is shining bright in the sky and the warmer waters turn these hungry post spawners into ferocious bitters. During the summer months and early fall, we at Columbia River Fishing Adventures consistently fill the boat with limits and several of our clients love the non-stop action.

We fish all year long for walleye on the Columbia from the bustling city of Portland up to the McNary Dam in the upper sections of the river. Generally early in the season to start our Walleye fishing trips off, we like to focus our walleye fishing efforts in the Portland areas on the areas of the Columbia from the I-5 bridge up to I-205 near Government Island. These walleye fishing trips are very popular because we generally switch over to walleye when the salmon or sturgeon fishing is slow and our clients are primarily interested catching lots of good eating white meat fish.



Upriver above the mouth of the Washougal on the Washington State side of the Columbia is one of the best walleye fishing spots in the lower sections of the river. We like to focus on the areas form Ough Reef to Crown Point where we work the shelf and undercuts in the deep sections to see if we can produce some decent catch rates. My favorite part about fishing this area is that it’s close the house making it one of our favorite Walleye fishing trips we can provide.

Depending on how good the fishing is, another of our favorite walleye fishing haunts is also right here in our own back yard. The Bonneville Pool has a pretty healthy walleye population and is basically within 40 minutes of our home base here in Portland Oregon.

As the spring season approaches in March through April Columbia River walleye fishing guides like to focus more on the Dalles Pool. Ironically the Dalles pool is where the Oregon walleye state record fish was caught. This walleye was a healthy 19 lbs. 15 oz. not far from the Washington record. In regards to fish counts, the Dalles pool is probably home of the largest walleye population in the Columbia. Even better this section of the river is just a couple hours of Portland making it a decent destination for our Portland walleye fishing trips.

As the season goes on we move up river the the section known as the John Day pool. Here we tend to find bigger fish with Trophy class walleye available in the 10-pound and up range. We like to spend a good amount of time fishing in this section when the action dies down for salmon and sturgeon giving our clients another great option to double up on their fishing trip.



The Columbia river offers some of the best Walleye fishing in Oregon and we love to catch them. During the winter months the John Day and Dalles pools are some of the best places to target the walleye but it takes a bit more work to get at them because they hang out in the deep water with lots of coverage, boulders, and endless structures to avoid predator’s. Unfortunately sometime it can be easy to get snagged up and we lose a fair share of gear, but in the end it’s well worth it. Mostly because the fish we catch tend to be much larger.

If your wondering what I mean by big fish? The Washington State record walleye was caught in the McNary Pool near the Snake River back in 2014 and this fish weighed in at a hearty 20.32 lbs. A bit farther down river from there at the mouth of the Umpqua is the tail end of the John Day Pool just below the McNary.

This section offers some great walleye fishing with big fish as well but during the winter months the weather is cold and fishing is generally not as attractive due to the fact that you’ll freeze your butt off. With that in mind there are still some die hard walleye anglers willing to brave the cold winds and snow out going after them. Generally we focus more on steelhead in the winter months but can do walleye as well depending on our clients needs.

We like to work are way back down the Columbia from Rufus Landing to Preachers Eddy targeting the various structures and deep overhangs on the flats. Further down river we focus on the mouth of the Deschutes River and work the area all the way to Browns Island. This is definitely one of our favorite walleye fishing spots and we have had excellent success year after year fishing this section. In the lower section of the Dalles pool on the Columba is the section where mouth of the John Day River empties out into the Columbia. This little hidden gem has produced some very good catch rates as well. Most importantly is that it’s usually not that crowded which means that on many occasions we have this section of the river all to ourselves.

The Columbia River is one of the most popular fishing destinations for Columbia river walleye fishing guides in the Pacific Northwest. It hosts some of the best walleye fishing in both Washington and Oregon, and we at Columbia River Fishing Adventures are honored to provide guided walleye fishing trips for anyone looking to catch these delicious fish. We’ve been Oregon fishing guides for over 30 years and it would be a privilege to provide the fishing trip of a lifetime for you, your family, we also service corporate events. If you’re looking to book a walleye fishing trip, please feel free to give us a call at 503-490-3099 and reserve your seat on one of our comfortable jet sleds today.

Columbia River Walleye Fishing Guides

Buddy Dupell

Columbia River Fishing Adventures

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