The use of bait is legal in most of Oregon’s Rivers, however some rivers are restricted to artificial lures only. Times of year and your target species of fish are huge factors in deciding which bait or lure to use with success. Some Oregon fishing guides swear by using bait always and others like myself will say that bait and lures both have their place. In this list I will tell you what baits work best for our main sport fish species.
Sturgeon are a fish that can be very very picky day to day. My go to baits for Sturgeon are smelt, herring, anchovies, squid, and sand shrimp. These are my baits that will work to catch sturgeon all year long. In the summer time targeting oversize Sturgeon the hands down best bait is a full shad.
For Coho Salmon:
Coho are aggressive fish and will almost always bite bait or lures if presented to them correctly. Bait fishing for coho you should expect to see people using salmon eggs, herring, anchovies and prawns. These all have their place and will catch coho at the right times. When you are closer to the ocean where coho will be feeding on bait fish herring and anchovies should be your bait of choice. Further up river your prawn and salmon egg bite really shines as these baits tend to contain lots of salt which coho crave when they are away from the ocean! Coho can also be caught anywhere by using a in line spinner, this is often overlooked but it is definitely a very effective way to target coho!
For Chinook Salmon:
Oregon fishing guides will use bait and lures for Columbia river Chinook Salmon! Hands down the best baits for Chinook Salmon are herring and salmon roe. Salmon fishing guides use herring for chinook from astoria oregon all the way to Portland Oregon. Roe gets used more in the upper parts of the rivers and tributaries because the cures often contain lots of salts. Salmon crave salt after bing in fresh water for long periods of time! Oregon fishing guides will also use spinners for chinook Salmon. The deadly 360 flasher 3.5 spinner combo is an absolutely lethal way to target chinook any time of the year!
Steelhead are very aggressive and can be caught using plastic beads that imitate Salmon eggs rolling with the current. This is a very effective lure for Steelhead fishing anywhere in Oregon. Steelhead can also be caught on spinners and often caught with plugs in higher swifter water. As far as bait goes for Steelhead you can’t go wrong with roe or shrimp. Steelhead are a sucker for a nice glob of roe or a lively sand shrimp. I tend to use beads most when steelhead fishing; they are not messy and flat out catch fish. If the water has color go up with the size of your beads, if it’s clear drop your bead size down.
These baits are all effective in their own ways book a trip today and I will show you when and where each bait shines. (503-875-3168)