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Gone Fishin !!


Chad G.
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A beautiful upriver Steelhead I took drift fishing on the Deschutes River in September 06,  fish use the cool glacier fed Deschutes a resting area and to oxygenate their deoxygenated blood before continuing their run up the mainstem Columbia. This one only about 6 or 8 lbs. but a good pic. the average was 12 lbs. to 25. Some of the best Steelhead fishing in the world is to be had in this river. Closed now from June until Sept. 15, (now designated a thermal refuge glacier fed river) to let the main bulk of the big Steelhead going to the Clearwater River in Idaho pass by, the Idaho fish run from 15lbs. to 25lbs. or bigger. 8 pound line and a #6 hook make for a challenging fight. Desert all around we were done every day by 11:00 because of the hot sun, the fish quit biting for the most part then too. Looking at the angle of the shadows I figure this was about quitting time.

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A view from the motel room window of the Columbia running through the desert at biggs junction

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A shot I ran up & took of the Deschutes running trough the desert from the highway 84 bridge crossing, you can see my friend Craig in the lower left corner fishing off the island at the mouth. In the background you  the mountains have been scorched black from a recent fire, a fast mover, nothing to burn but sage and wild grass, all of which are extremely dry at this time of year.

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7 hours ago, Chad G. said:

A beautiful upriver Steelhead I took drift fishing on the Deschutes River in September 06,  fish use the cool glacier fed Deschutes a resting area and to oxygenate their deoxygenated blood before continuing their run up the mainstem Columbia. This one only about 6 or 8 lbs. but a good pic. the average was 12 lbs. to 25. Some of the best Steelhead fishing in the world is to be had in this river. Closed now from June until Sept. 15, (now designated a thermal refuge glacier fed river) to let the main bulk of the big Steelhead going to the Clearwater River in Idaho pass by, the Idaho fish run from 15lbs. to 25lbs. or bigger. 8 pound line and a #6 hook make for a challenging fight. Desert all around we were done every day by 11:00 because of the hot sun, the fish quit biting for the most part then too. Looking at the angle of the shadows I figure this was about quitting time.

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A view from the motel room window of the Columbia running through the desert at biggs junction

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A shot I ran up & took of the Deschutes running trough the desert from the highway 84 bridge crossing, you can see my friend Craig in the lower left corner fishing off the island at the mouth. In the background you  the mountains have been scorched black from a recent fire, a fast mover, nothing to burn but sage and wild grass, all of which are extremely dry at this time of year.

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We're using anywhere from 30Ib-50Ib test, braided line; 4oz-10oz weights. Depending on where your casting, definitely need the weight or your line ends up drifting back to you. Ole Miss has got some current! Braided line instead of monofilament recommended because the Muskie and Northern can easily slice right through the monofilament. Giant nightcrawlers, 2 inch shiners or minnows, fish heads are some of the bait used. Depends on what you're after. I'm starting with a couple of lures from the "vintage" tackle box this coming Sunday, see if I can't nail a Largemouth Bass or Northern. After that, gunning for the giant Flathead Catfish I saw getting pulled in last week. Plenty of pictures forthcoming, I promise you!

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A 10 footer belly up beside the boat right after I removed the 10 /0 hook from it's throat. 6 feet of 120 pound squid line tied to the end of 200 lb. test barrel swivel with a 10 once sinker on a slider to make sure we gave them enough line to swallow it without feeling the hook and weight. 40 pound mono on the main, using a tuna rod. We caught and released alot of oversize that day with none in the (45"-52" keeper size slot) Fishing in the mainstem Columbia River estuary in August when the sardines enter into the mouth of the river during the incoming tide, enough to draw the sturgeon into the mouth of the river from the ocean. Only 7 miles from the bar going out into the ocean. Once you get the sturgeon up and to the boat they roll over on their back and go catatonic like a gator allowing for easy hook removal and release, otherwise they would thrash around and the rows of sharp spines running up and down their body would cut you up pretty good. Closed to fishing during August now because sea lions have almost wiped out the sturgeon using them as their food source since the oceans are getting so depleted cutting our season to almost nothing, only about 6 days opportunity yearly and  only 4 on our card until we punch out. When I was a kid the limit was 36" to 6 feet, 3 per day with no annual limit, considered trash fish then. In other words I'm fishing while I still can.

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One of the chartered  commercial guide boats fishing beside us, I think they pay about $175.oo a head whether they catch one or not. They had one on off the bow when I took this picture, you can see the guys pole bending.

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My uncle Phil with a couple keeper that barely made the grade, these are white sturgeon but the further you go up the river the darker they get, the taste  and meat quality also goes way down on a local fish. The ones behind the dams are trapped there, that's what I mean by local fish. Tagged ones have been caught and re released again and again traveling all over, from here to Alaska over to Japan and back here again. They are continually on the move for food.

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A sea lion near Bonneville dam chowing down on a 8 footer

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I'm only about 70 miles from The Dalles dam and 2 miles from the river right now. The fish we catch in the estuary have long extremely sharp hook like rows of spines on them while the resident river fish's spines are worn smooth  from scouring the sandy river bottom for food, you'd never attempt to hold one from the estuary like this land locked one or it would cut you up pretty bad.

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A couple vids to watch on the local white sturgeon, these are all catch and release monsters but still  loads of fun.

 

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Inside the Best Dam Float Restaurant and Lounge....a collection of lures, some were used there and are attached too memories of the many great catches over the years. The enclosed silver box is a 100 years of fishing history. The white board shows the current leaders pertaining to species of fish, length and weight (The 71 pound Sturgeon was just caught this past week!); plus pictures of anglers and their great catches there...The mounted fish were ALL caught there and donated for show. An interesting story with the Largemouth Bass and bluegill, a young boy caught the bluegill and right before he pulled it out of the water, the Bass hit it! The boy got 2 for 1! They removed the bluegill from its stomach too mount with it. Actually I think amongst the pictures you will see the boy holding the Bass with Captain Tom kneeling next to him.

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Anytime, Ric! I'm glad you, Chad and others have a good time checking stuff out. Looking forward to next Sunday already, switched church services to Saturday....hopefully everything is hitting our bait alot next week. Did hear the slow day was more than likely due too a spawning period, not sure which species but it sure affected everything we usually catch. Back to work for me 😊

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Just got back from the "Best Dam Fishing Float"....our group had a great day! I had a monster Sturgeon bigger than the one pictured hooked and an inch from the scoop net, but he sliced my braided line like it was butter with the "scoots" on his back. Still a great day even with that almost "big one"!

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6 minutes ago, William said:

Just got back from the "Best Dam Fishing Float"....our group had a great day! I had a monster Sturgeon bigger than the one pictured hooked and an inch from the scoop net, but he sliced my braided line like it was butter with the "scoots" on his back. Still a great day even with that almost "big one"!

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Just heard my buddy Sean nailed a 21 pound Sturgeon! (Middle waving in blue shirt)

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14 minutes ago, Chad G. said:

That's what I'm talkin bout man :thup: !! I knew you'd put that lottery money to good use :banana006: Nothin Better !!

We just got sent another pic of Sean catching another Sturgeon but bigger! I'll have to get Patty too send me the pictures so I can post 👍. That's Don holding the Sturgeon and Patty's brother in law Big Al holding the big Pike he got jigging!

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5 hours ago, William said:

Just got back from the "Best Dam Fishing Float"....our group had a great day! I had a monster Sturgeon bigger than the one pictured hooked and an inch from the scoop net, but he sliced my braided line like it was butter with the "scoots" on his back. Still a great day even with that almost "big one"!

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Suppose I could do a photo by photo...Captain Tom taking us over the river...wake behind the boat (hoping to see a Sturgeon jump)....pelican flyover....tugboat pushing a long barge through the Lock....Stacey with a baby Walleye...Don with his biggest catch of the day, big Lake Sturgeon...Shovelnose Sturgeon in the net...Big Al's "Big" catch 😂....Stacey catching 2 at once!....random fisherman with his "pedal" boat....next 4 pics of Don and his gal wrangling another "smaller" Lake Sturgeon....Big Al with his jig-caught Northern Pike (got a hold of his finger too), that's a nice Northern....😊

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1 hour ago, William said:

Sorry, no fishing report today, we decided to stay home and work in the yard 😪

Hopefully I will have something soon ?? Ah wait, a picture of a friend of mine landing a steelhead last month, I'm the one on the left without a pole. We have to use barbless hooks so it's always good to have a second on the beach just in case the fish throws the hook when it's head hits the beach.

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The Columbia river behind me, it's about a mile and a half across right there where we Steelhead fish. Right now their fishing deep on the bottom with wobblers for fall Salmon, you have to have a boat, average depth is 45' and the fish are at the lowest point to take advantage of the cooler water. Looks like the years are finally startin to show on me !! We sturgeon fish off the cliffs on the other side, there's a hole 110' deep by that sheer rock face behind me across the river.

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21 minutes ago, Chad G. said:

Hopefully I will have something soon ?? Ah wait, a picture of a friend of mine landing a steelhead last month, I'm the one on the left without a pole. We have to use barbless hooks so it's always good to have a second on the beach just in case the fish throws the hook when it's head hits the beach.

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The Columbia river behind me, it's about a mile and a half across right there where we Steelhead fish. Right now their fishing deep on the bottom with wobblers for fall Salmon, you have to have a boat, average depth is 45' and the fish are at the lowest point to take advantage of the cooler water. Looks like the years are finally startin to show on me !! We sturgeon fish off the cliffs on the other side, there's a hole 110' deep by that sheer rock face behind me across the river.

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We all try too age the best we can, my man! My gray is getting crazier each day myself! I hope too see a Sturgeon from ya soon! I'm looking too be back out there next Sunday on the float too get my revenge on the one that cut my line!

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10 hours ago, William said:

We all try too age the best we can, my man! My gray is getting crazier each day myself! I hope too see a Sturgeon from ya soon! I'm looking too be back out there next Sunday on the float too get my revenge on the one that cut my line!

We only get 6 days per year and a limit of 4 fish a year. Thanks to the sealions eating all the big brooders for the last 15-20 years, when I was a kid it was 3 a day 36" to 6' now a measly size slot of 45" to 52" so a 7 inch parameter, I've never been so tempted to keep a fish in my life, best eating besides the spring Chinook you'll ever have, just like deep fried halibut. I'll give it my best shot William, sure wish it was like the old days, I could show you pics of multiples within a couple hours !! The world we live in now is really somethin else, but I'm making the best of what we have. "I hope to see a Sturgeon as well" Go get em Brother, slay one for me !!

A pic of my baby Brother from years ago when the keeper size was 6 feet, this one was 6' right on the nose

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I know I've posted these before but they bring back some of the best memories of my life !!

Me with my first Salmon at age 5, got honorable mention, nowadays this fish is a monster

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a small portion of what was caught by my group today. I Only caught 3 Sucker's, also known as a Redhorse (a variety of carp). Tons of Sturgeon and Walleye today, along with White, Black and Smallmouth Bass, Sauger, Sheepshead, and Big Flathead Catfish. Great day all around! A couple of the best moments was seeing a fox family along the shore really close early this morning playing on some big, rotted tree stumps; and seeing that young man in the picture sitting with his very first Big one! 

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1 hour ago, William said:

Just a small portion of what was caught by my group today. I Only caught 3 Sucker's, also known as a Redhorse (a variety of carp). Tons of Sturgeon and Walleye today, along with White, Black and Smallmouth Bass, Sauger, Sheepshead, and Big Flathead Catfish. Great day all around! A couple of the best moments was seeing a fox family along the shore really close early this morning playing on some big, rotted tree stumps; and seeing that young man in the picture sitting with his very first Big one! 

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Uh oh, the beginners luck theory, expert=3 suckers, everyone else= keepers. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything ?? A good time for all and a lot of smiles anyway, that's all that counts Brother !! "but"  Regardless thanks for posting William !! 

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8 hours ago, Chad G. said:

Uh oh, the beginners luck theory, expert=3 suckers, everyone else= keepers. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything ?? A good time for all and a lot of smiles anyway, that's all that counts Brother !! "but"  Regardless thanks for posting William !! 

At least one of my Sucker's was about 1.8 pounds, the biggest one caught there so far is 2.6. Close! The only river rookie out the bunch was Dave, my brother in law holding up the Black Bass. There were already around 20 people out there when we sailed up about 7:15, so I let Dave have the last stall facing the river. I took the shallow side, hurting my chances of snagging big ones a little bit, but that's ok! Wanted him too take it all in!

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12 hours ago, William said:

At least one of my Sucker's was about 1.8 pounds, the biggest one caught there so far is 2.6. Close! The only river rookie out the bunch was Dave, my brother in law holding up the Black Bass. There were already around 20 people out there when we sailed up about 7:15, so I let Dave have the last stall facing the river. I took the shallow side, hurting my chances of snagging big ones a little bit, but that's ok! Wanted him too take it all in!

I bet those "suckers" taste good too, people just assume they don't because their bottom dwelling scavengers, "like sturgeon " ?? Sturgeon has to be one of the tastiest white fish next to Halibut or Sole I've ever tasted, fish n chips here I come !! Man, sucker or no wish I was there !! The Deschutes Steelhead trip is still up in the air for next week, a "last stab"  at fishing before Winter sets in.

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