The Ultimate Guide To Upper Columbia River Walleye Fishing

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Catching a trophy-sized walleye on the Upper Columbia River may seem elusive to some anglers. Did you know that this river is considered one of the best walleye fisheries in all of Pacific Northwest? This article will serve as your ultimate guide, providing insider tips about regulations, premier fishing spots and effective techniques.

Let’s dive into how you can transform your next fishing adventure into a memorable success story!

Key Takeaways

  • The Upper Columbia River is one of the best places to go walleye fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Before you go fishing, make sure to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations and prepare accordingly.
  • March is a great time for walleye fishing on the Columbia River, and prime spots include areas near the Dalles, John Day Dam, and Miller Island.
  • Techniques like jigging, trolling, and using crankbaits can help you catch more walleye on the Columbia River.

Fishing Regulations and Preparation

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Before you head out to the Upper Columbia River for walleye fishing, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations and make necessary preparations.

Know Before You Go

Going fishing for walleye on the Columbia River is fun. But, there are things to learn before you go. The river is open all year for warmwater fish like walleye. ODFW says there are no bag limits for them now.

Make sure to follow rules set by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). It’s good to check if some parts of the river are closed off too. Like the Spokane River, it closes when walleye fish have babies.

Safety first, then enjoy your fishing trip!

Fishing Regulations and Limitations

You need to know the rules before you go fishing for walleye on the Columbia River. The Columbia River has no bag limits for walleye. This means that you can catch as many fish as you want! There is no size limit either.

The only rule is that these rules apply to rivers, streams, and waters below Chief Joseph Dam. Scott’s Fishing offers a great walleye guide service if you need help catching big ones! However, it’s not allowed to go sturgeon fishing in Lake Roosevelt right now because there are not enough of them left.

Best Time and Locations for Walleye Fishing on the Columbia River

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The best time to go walleye fishing on the Columbia River is in March, during the early spring. This is when the walleye are most active and feeding heavily. As for locations, prime spots for walleye fishing include areas near the Dalles, John Day Dam, and Miller Island, where anglers have reported catching big fish.

Early Walleye Fishing in March

March is a great time to catch walleye on the Columbia River. This time of year is busy with pre-spawn fishing. The water stays cold, helping big walleye come out more. You can find them close to shore during this month.

This makes March one of the top months for walleye fishing on the river.

Prime Spots for Walleye Fishing

The Dalles Pool and mid-Columbia area are great spots for walleye fishing on the Columbia River.

Techniques for Catching Walleye

To catch walleye on the Columbia River, anglers can utilize a variety of techniques such as jigging, trolling, and using crankbaits.


Jigging is a great technique for catching walleye on the Columbia River. It involves using a lead sinker with a hook molded into it, usually covered by a soft body to attract the fish.

When you jig, you create a jerky and up-and-down motion that the walleye find irresistible. You can do this in deep water or near structures like wing dams. A popular choice for jigging on the Columbia River is the 1/4-ounce Draggin’ Jig.

So, if you want to catch walleye, give jigging a try!


Trolling is a highly recommended technique for catching walleye on the Columbia River. It involves using bottom-walkers and worm harnesses or crankbaits while moving slowly in a downstream direction.

This method allows anglers to cover a lot of water and increase their chances of finding and catching walleye. Trolling with worm harnesses and spinner blades has been proven to be productive, especially when targeting deep-water walleye or when they are spread out or suspended.

So, if you want to catch more walleye on the Columbia River, give trolling a try!


Crankbaits are one of the best lures for catching walleye, especially in deep water. These lures have a diving lip that allows them to dive down to specific depths and mimic the movement of injured baitfish.

Trolling crankbaits is a popular technique for targeting walleye because it covers a large area and allows you to present your lure at different depths. To increase your chances of success, you can use snap weights with your crankbaits to get them even deeper in the water.

This will attract walleye that are holding at various depths. When using crankbaits, it’s important to choose colors that match the natural prey fish in the area and adjust your speed until you find what works best.

Booking a Guided Walleye Fishing Trip

When booking a guided walleye fishing trip, it is important to consider the benefits of hiring a guide. A knowledgeable guide can provide valuable insight into the best locations and techniques for catching walleye on the Columbia River.

For more information and booking inquiries, contact our guide service today.

Benefits of Hiring a Guide

Hiring a guide for your walleye fishing trip has many benefits. First, guides have extensive knowledge about the best fishing spots and techniques for catching walleye. They know where the fish are and how to attract them, increasing your chances of landing a big catch.

Second, guides are experienced in handling and managing the larger and heavier walleye fish. They can help you reel in these strong fighters without losing them. Third, hiring a guide improves the overall experience of your fishing trip.

They can provide valuable tips and advice, making your time on the water more enjoyable. Columbia River Fishing AdventuresStott’s fishing team, and Upper Columbia Guide Service are some reputable guide services that offer guided walleye fishing trips in the Portland area with knowledgeable guides who ensure you have a successful day on the water.

Contact Information and Booking Inquiries

If you’re interested in booking a guided walleye fishing trip on the Columbia River, there are several options available. Upper Columbia Guide Service and Columbia River Fishing Adventures have years of experience guiding anglers for trophy walleye.

Stott’s fishing team offers trips year-round on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, as well as Potholes Reservoir. Another option is Columbia River Walleye Guides, which provides guided trips on Idaho’s Clearwater and Snake RiversAmerican Falls Reservoir, CJ Strike Reservoir, and Salmon.

Pastime fishing adventures also offers great opportunities for walleye fishing on the Columbia River. To book a trip or get more information, you can contact these guide services directly.


If you’re a walleye fisherman looking for the best spots to catch big trophy walleyes, the Columbia River is where you want to be. With its abundance of walleye and experienced guides like Upper Columbia Guide Service, you can have an ultimate fishing experience from March to September.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity – book your guided trip now and get ready for some exciting walleye fishing on the Upper Columbia River!


1. What is walleye fishing?

Walleye fishing is a popular angling activity that involves catching walleye, a freshwater fish known for its delicious taste and challenging fight.

2. Where is the Upper Columbia River located?

The Upper Columbia River is a river system in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, specifically in the states of Washington and Oregon.

3. How can I fish for walleye on the Columbia River?

To catch walleye on the Columbia River, you can use various techniques such as jigging, trolling, or using baited hooks. It’s important to understand the behavior and feeding patterns of walleye to increase your chances of success.

4. Are there any specific locations along the Upper Columbia River that are popular for walleye fishing?

Yes, some popular locations for walleye fishing on the Upper Columbia River include the John Day Dam area, the Dalles Pool, and the Oregon side of the river near the Deschutes River confluence.

5. What are some effective walleye fishing tips?

Here are some walleye fishing tips:

6. Is the Upper Columbia River considered a good fishery for walleye?

Yes, the Upper Columbia River is regarded as an excellent fishery for walleye. The river provides a suitable habitat for walleye, and its waters are known to yield trophy-sized fish.

7. What are some popular baits and lures for walleye fishing on the Columbia River?

For walleye fishing on the Columbia River, anglers commonly use jigs, worms, crankbaits, worm harnesses with smile blades, and other baited hooks.

8. Are there any world record walleye catches on the Upper Columbia River?

While there may not be any official world records specifically from the Upper Columbia River, the river is known to produce big walleye that could potentially rival record-breaking catches.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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