Portland Sturgeon Fishing Charters

Sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish available in North America, and residents and visitors can enjoy catching these beasts in Portland, Oregon.

Why Sturgeon Fishing in Portland is Great

Portland has made a name for itself for being a great area, not just for sturgeon but other species as well. It is well stocked and produces some big fish that all fishers will enjoy.

Another reason to consider adding Portland as a destination is that the fishing season is all year round, and yes, that does include winter months. The availability varies, but you can still catch sturgeon whenever you choose to go fishing.

 It might take a while during the low season, but that doesn’t take away the fun. Note that most of the year runs on a catch and release basis, but you can harvest them during some months.

Everything You Need to Know about Fishing for Sturgeon Fishing Near Portland

Best Fishing Season for Sturgeon Fish

Sturgeon fishing in Portland varies throughout the year. May to July and October to November is considered the high season. January to April and September to December is low season, but you can get a fair catch even so.

While it’s regarded as the low season, the Oregon Department of Fishing and Wildlife runs a keeper sturgeon season in January for fish between 38 and 54 inches long. Even so, you can only kill one fish per day and a total of two sturgeon annually and mainly in September.

Catching and Releasing Sturgeon

The catch and release program is in place to protect these freshwater fish from overfishing as the population can drastically dwindle. The other reason for their reduced size is how long they take to mature; the female takes 25 years and the male 15. Therefore, when choosing to fish in Portland, remember you’re doing it for sport, the scenic landscape, and for beautiful photos and not to catch dinner.

Best Places to go Fishing for Sturgeon

When it comes to fishing locations, Portland is quite blessed in that regard. There are a couple of rivers flowing in this area, with the largest being the Columbia River, the Willamette Rivers, and the Multnomah Channel.

So far, most people prefer fishing in the Willamette River that flows in the middle of Portland, Oregon. The river starts from Willamette Falls and flows downstream to Portland before joining the Columbia River.

A large sturgeon population is found after the falls but will venture out to the coastline to feed. Don’t let the wetter and cooler months deter you; unlike other fish species, sturgeon don’t mind the muddy water and will bite.

Common Techniques Used to Catch Portland Sturgeon Fish

The Best Bait to Catch Sturgeon Fish

When fishing in the Willamette River or the Multnomah Channel, anchovies, squid, and sand shrimp are the best bait to use. In January and February, anglers will settle for smelt and switch to shad during springtime. The latter is best when you want to catch a super sturgeon. As a rule of thumb, use fresh bait to bring the sturgeon.

Rod, reel, and line

Two things to keep in mind when selecting your equipment; one, the rod needs to have a sensitive tip and an equally strong backbone. Sturgeon are giant, and you don’t want your rod caving in. Get one that’s 7”6” from the medium to heavy category, or even something more serious if you’re hoping to catch and release an oversized sturgeon. The rod needs to pass at least the 30-pound test, but many sturgeon anglers opt for a reel that can hold between 65 and 80 pounds.

Surf rod

Fishing from the shore is another alternative, and for that, you’ll need a surf rod. You can cast about a mile and reach the trout hiding in the deeper waters. Again, remember to get fresh bait and go with a braided 65 to 80-pound line. While fishing, keep a close eye on the line since the smaller fish can cause wear in their bony structure since they are sharper.


You can select a heavyweight in a strong current to keep the line at the river floor where the sturgeon feeds. A leader in the range of 100-pounds will be strong enough to withstand the force and be thick enough to avoid getting cut. Get a wire or a coated wire leader if you don’t wish to deal with wear and tear. The good thing is that a heavy leader won’t scare the sturgeon off; they have terrible eyesight

Why Choose Portland for Your Next Guided Sturgeon Fishing Trip?

If you’re looking to fish for sport or make that one annual catch, the Portland area does get you some of the best sturgeon in the world. It is not uncommon to hear of people having landed a catch that is over 12 feet long.

However, be prepared to wrestle with the beast because they don’t come on board without fighting. Whether by yourself enjoying the solace or with family and friends, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in Portland. Do keep an open mind and allow to feel the exhilaration of catching a fish.

And it will even be more helpful, easier, and more fun to employ the guided services of the best Portland Sturgeon fishing charters. Enjoy!

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Phone: (503) 575-8755
Email: portlandfishingtrips@comcast.net

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