Christopher Smith

Columbia River Smallmouth Fishing Tips

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

In this blog post, we are going to provide some Columbia River smallmouth fishing tips.  The river is so large and vast that it is difficult to provide a complete overview of smallmouth fishing but I hope this will help you become a more successful angler on the Columbia River.

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.   The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its largest tributary is the Snake River. Its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven U.S. states and a Canadian province.
By volume, the Columbia is the fourth-largest river in the U.S., and it has the greatest flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific.  Source

Columbia River Smallmouth Fishing Tips

Having some fun on the Columbia River!

 One of the most popular spots this time of year is the Yakima Delta; this is where the Yakima River enters the Columbia River. This Delta has an abundance of weed lines, drop-offs and scattered rocks, a perfect combination for big smallmouth.  In addition, this time of year the water clarity can be extremely clear. The Delta are is full of Shad and I’ve found the most productive bait to be a 5-inch Thug stick style bait ( in a clear with silver flake color.  I tie it on using McCoy 30lb braid with about a three-foot leader of McCoy Clear 12 lb test using a Falcon hook size 3 with a 1/16 oz weight.  Using a (704) 7-foot Lamiglas spinning rod, cast it as far upstream as you can and just let it drift downstream reeling just fast enough to keep the slack line to minimum. Be sure to watch your line because you won’t feel the bite, your line just stops, jumps or twitches. I set the hook on any unnatural movement. Using the braided line (which does not stretch) helps me get a better hook set. This method can be productive but at the same time, you have to be patient because it is a big fish technique and you don’t get very many bites. However, the fish you do catch using this floating the stick bait are usually bigger and it is possible to catch the fish of a lifetime.

Another great area is the Columbia above the town of Richland. This area can produce five-fish limits that weigh 20 lbs or better during this time of year. Running up the river can be hazardous and many anglers have lost lower units in this area.  The river above Richland is narrow, rocky, shallow and swift.  If you haven’t navigated this stretch of river before, I would advise you to have someone who knows the river take you for the first time.  Original article here

These Columbia River smallmouth fishing tips should get you started in getting knowledge of this huge river basin. We will explore more specific areas in the future. If you have experience on the Columbia, feel free to share them here!

One Response to Columbia River Smallmouth Fishing Tips

  1. Forress H Cozad III December 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I just moved to this area. I come from the Westside of the state where the trout fishing is good. I want something more though. I have heard about some of the bass fishing over here absi an excited to get into some. The problem isi don’t know what gear I need. I have an 8 ft 9wt fly rod. And then a few spun rid abs reels also. What should I use? What test should my line be? What kind of bait? Can I fish from Bank or doi need a boat?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *