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  • Outdoor Report 5/18

    fishermans, fisherman's FMO Tigard Employee, Connor Taplin and guest with a nice Springer caught during a good afternoon bite in the Port on Thursday.

    The Willamette closure happened for the first time last week, leaving it open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That didn't mean the fishing wasn't great!  The chinook fishing on the three day opener was the best that we have seen so far this year.  Oregon City had a great egg bite going on for most of the three days.  It sounded like most of the fish were caught using Jumbo Jet divers and eggs in addition to some folks backbouncing.  The harbor had people catching fish on herring behind a flasher as well as spinners behind flashers.  We had reports of people catching those harbor fish suspended in the water column. This is a great fishery to have a line counter reel so that you can have your whole boat fishing at exactly a certain depth.  This weekend it sounded like most of those fish were caught from between 20-35 feet on the line counter.  Be patient in those suspended fish bites.  Sometimes they take a little while to commit to the bait; so waiting is a must.  The channel had great reports of fresh fish still pushing through the system.  Again, that is a herring and flasher fishery, with some folks occasionally using prawns.  The channel can be a much snagged fishery. However, when the Columbia gets high and backs up the channel water, like it is right now, the channel can be a great place to be as the fish will take their time getting through it.

    Drano Lake and the Wind River bubble fishery were both fishing very well last week.  We had great reports from both fisheries, with Drano Lake being the better of the two.  In these fisheries people used a wide variety of techniques and baits, ranging from your traditional herring and flasher to guys anchoring up and bobber fishing eggs.  It sounded like prawns and herring were the most productive baits. As soon as the water warms up a few more degrees though, you will see a lot more of those fish taken with a 360 flasher and either a Brads Cut-Plug or Brads Superbait.  Pack either of those two baits with Tuna, herring, anchovy or prawn and you will be in the game.

    Smallmouth fishing had started to really pick up on the Columbia and Willamette, last week.  Reports were that as the water was slowly warming up, the bass became much more active and started to move in shallow to spawn.  These fish are extremely aggressive this time of year; sometimes a searching bait to locate a pile of them, is a great idea.  Lipless crankbaits and tubebaits are great to try and search for spawning smallmouth.

    Kokanee fishing continues to be a very consistent fishery this year.  With the lake waters still running colder than normal, the Kokanee haven't moved to deeper water yet.  Typically it becomes more of a downrigger show this time of year, when the water temps start rising.   Since it has remained colder than normal, the Kokanee have stayed near the surface. People are still able to target them without having to use too much lead.

    Trout are still snapping as well.  This time of year the department of fish and wildlife are planting lakes constantly.  With a quick check of their website’s stocking schedule, you will have a good idea of what lakes have been stocked most recently.

    Make sure you check the local regulations before you head out.

    Good luck and stay safe!

    May 19, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 5/11

    Fishermans, Fisherman's A customer of FMO Pro Staff guide Chris Vertopoulos with a Willamette River Springer from last week.

    Outdoor Report 5/11

    This last week we had a blast of hot weather; with that weather we had a burst of spring chinook entering our local fisheries as well.  The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries both started to ramp up over the weekend, and the dam counts started to rise.  At both fisheries there are a ton of different baits being used.  Some folks reported limits while fishing 360 flashers, like the Pro-Troll or Shortbus Super Series.  With these flashers, they were using herring, Superbaits, 3.5 size spinners, prawn spinners and anchovies.  Others were using traditional triangle shaped flashers with the same type of baits trailing the flasher.  There were some using no flasher, and other people were using Mag Warts or Mag LipsThe bobber fishing started to pick up as well.  Look for these fisheries to continue fishing well for the next few weeks.

    We recently had a regulation change on the Willamette fishery.  The Willamette will be closed to salmon and steelhead angling on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  It will remain open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The limit will change to two hatchery salmon or steelhead; while only one of the two may be a hatchery salmon.  However, this last weekend the fishing really turned on.  We had reports of salmon hitting the decks of many boats from the lower channel area all the way to Oregon City.  Trolling the deep water was productive with flashers and herring or prawns.  The majority of Oregon City fishermen were either back bouncing eggs and shrimp or running a Jumbo Jet Diver with eggs and shrimp or prawns.  With the fish not seeing any bait for the last few days, this week’s three day fishery looks very promising!  Swing by one of our tackle departments if you need help with rigging up for any of these fisheries.

    Trout fishing has been great these last few weeks as the water started to warm up a little bit and the lakes were getting stocked.  Your traditional Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs are great options for these early season trout.  Another great option is to cast Rooster Tails, Mepps  Aglia or small Blue Fox spinners along the shorelines.  Aggressive trout will be cruising the shore for an easy meal.  Checking the most recent stocking schedules can be key in catching big numbers of these lake trout. Check the ODFW stocking schedule here.

    Small mouth bass are on the bite in both the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.  Soft plastics have been working wonders lately as well as lipless crankbaits.  Once you find a nice pod of these early season bass, heading to spawn, you will likely have fast action for awhile.

    Kokanee fishing remains consistent.  As the snow level recedes, more lakes are becoming accessible and the Kokanee are there and willing.  Trolling has still been the most productive technique. However, be sure to bring some jigging equipment along, as the jigging bite will pop off any day.

    Halibut fishing is now open in both Oregon and Washington. Washington has increased the quota this year. Seasons are out lined for Oregon here  and Washington here.

    Also this month in Washington the Spot Prawn fishery will be open until in different areas to May 21st. For more info please click here

    Oregon hunters, don’t forget that Monday, May 15th is the controlled hunt deadline. For more info click here .

    Before you head out, make sure you check local regulations. Good luck and be safe out there.

    May 12, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 5/4

    fishermans, fisherman's FMO customer Greg Aton with a nice Spring Gobbler from Eastern Washington

    The springer report is; they are coming!  We have had really good reports from the lower Willamette the last couple of days.  After our most recent shot of rain, the Willamette had gotten even higher and to dirty to fish.  However, the last few days it has become fishable and the fishing is fairly consistent.  We have had Prostaff guides and regular customers sending us reports from the last few days that the fish are there and biting!  It's been a deep water troll for the most part, with cut-plug herring and a flasher being the go-to setup.  People are trying a lot of new and different things this year. Prawn spinners, Superbaits, 3.5 spinners with 360 Flashers, even your traditional trolling spinners in various sizes, have all been deployed as something different to try.  As the Willamette starts to get some more current to it, the Oregon City fishery will be kicking off.  Backtrolling eggs and shrimp, prawns or Kwikfish all will work well, especially with the higher off color water.  In the Oregon City fishery you will also get a mix of summer steelhead.  These little chrome rockets can keep it interesting as they typically become aerial rather quickly.  They especially love to bite sandshrimp or smaller Kwikfish and Mag Lips.

    The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries have had a slow start this year.  The excessive amounts of water and cold temperatures have slowed the passage of chinook over Bonneville dam.  However, this week the water is predicted to be on a steady drop and the temps will slowly start to rise.  With those two factors changing, you will start to see chinook pushing over the dam.  Both of these fisheries are dominated by trollers.  Most folks are using herring, prawns or superbaits trolled behind your favorite color of flasher.  Sometimes changing it up in these fisheries can be the game changer.  Whether it's a change in scent, leader length, flasher color or bait type, thinking of what you can do different to trigger that bite is sometimes key.

    Trout and Kokanee are still on the bite in most of your local lakes.  As the weather starts to get nicer, these small fish are a great way to get the family on the water.  Trolling small flatfish, Mag Lips or Wedding Rings are easy ways to target these guys.  If you’re bank bound, then bobber fishing bait, plunking bait or casting spinners will all work great.  Small Rooster Tails or Mepp's spinners are great options for trout cruising the shoreline.  Check your local stocking schedule to see what lakes have recently been stocked.

    Smallmouth Bass and Walleye continue to bite well in the Columbia in the Hood River area.

    Turkey hunters are enjoying success but some are finding more snow than usual in some of their favorite hunting spots.

    Make sure, before heading out, you check the regulations and good luck!

    May 04, 2017 | by Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 4/27

    fishermans, fisherman's Mike Gibney with a huge Columbia River Smallie

    The last few weekends that the Columbia was open, the fishing was getting continually better.  We had great reports from as low as Puget Island and as far up as Beacon Rock.  Nearly everyone was reporting seeing fish caught on anchor as well as on the troll.  A good amount of these Columbia fish are headed to the Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries.  So watch the Bonneville fish counts and head up to those fisheries as soon as the springer count dictates it.  In both of those fisheries people catch fish in nearly every way imaginable; from trolling Mag Lips and Wiggle Warts to trolling herring and a flasher or sandshrimp with a Spin-N-Glow.  The bite in these fisheries often times changes abruptly so don't get disheartened if the bite doesn't pop off first thing in the morning.  Often times mid day the bite can be just as good, if not better!  Brads Cutplugs and Superbaits are also great baits to use up there.  Pack them full of oily tuna, herring, anchovies or sardines and you will be in the game.

    The Willamette has also been getting progressively better.  We had reports from the lower channel near Scappoose all the way up to the Oregon City falls.  With that being said, this week’s rain looks as though it will bring the Willamette's water level up, yet again.  It's showing that it should start dropping this weekend and into next week.  So make sure your offerings are bright and flashy so that the fish can key in on your bait.  One tip we have been getting from some of our ProStaff is that doubling up their flashers has been working wonders.  That way you can get either more flash of the same color or alternate colors for contrast.  Herring, prawns and Superbaits were among the top producing baits this last week with herring being the top bait.  Another thing you can do, to separate your bait from the rest,   is to dye your herring.  The color change up of the actual bait has worked very well the last few years.  Try Pro-Cure's Bad Azz Bait Dye to get the exact color you are wanting.  Sometimes all it takes is a little color mix up to get these occasionally finicky springers to snap.

    Any day now you will start hearing of more reports of summer steelhead being caught while springer fishing.  These early summers are extremely aggressive and high flying.  In the Willamette these summers will gobble up K-11 Kwikfish, 3.5 Mag Lips, prawns and sandshrimp.  When it comes to targeting them in the tributaries, the above will all work well. Additionally try jigs, pink worms and especially hardware.  Blue Fox spinners are a must have in the summer steelhead arsenal of a bank or tributary fisherman.  Summer steelhead find it hard to resist the flash of a spinner or thump of a spoon.  So always have a few handy.

    This time of year can be great for trout fishing, especially when the weather improves.  The typical trout fishing use of Power Bait, nightcrawlers or Pautzke Salmon eggs will all be productive.  And if you are going to be trolling, then Wedding Rings behind a Ford Fender is a fairly standard rig.  Also trolling small Flatfish or the new 2.5 Mag Lips can be an awesome way to catch these early season trout.  Especially after being freshly planted, they will smack a slow trolled plug.

    Smallmouth fishing will continually be getting better as the weather improves.  Once the water temperatures start to rise, the super aggressive Smallmouth will start to move into shallower water, getting ready to spawn.  That will be the time of year that they are the most aggressive.  Lipless crankbaits, tube baits, and stick baits all will have their place once the Smallmouth move.

    Enjoy your weekend and most of all be safe out there!

    Apr 28, 2017 | by Weekly FMO report
  • Terry Mulkey Seminar on High Water Springers

    Fishermans, Fisherman's Terry Mulkey discusses his Willamette Springer Techniques

    For Terry's Facebook Live presentation click here.

    Apr 28, 2017 | by Facebook Live Seminars, FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 4/20

    Fisherman's fishermans, Fishing report Nice Columbia River Spring Chinook taken by FMO Tigard Employee Connor Taplin this week

    Springer time!  This last weekend on the Columbia, people finally were able to get a few springers on their barbecue. We had pretty solid reports from the lower Columbia all the way up to the bank fisherman below Bonneville dam.  Some of the best reports were from the Longview area to the mouth of the Willamette.  Willow Bar, Caterpillar Island and Davis Bar all had a mixture of fisherman trolling and anchor fishing.  On an out going tide, a fair number of guys would switch over to anchor fishing.  There they would be fishing either Mag Lips,  KwikfishFlatfish or Killerfish.  Another technique that doesn't get talked about a lot, is fishing a herring and flasher combo on anchor.  A few folks were using that technique with promising results.  On a slack or incoming tide the fleet would be predominantly doing the down stream troll.  Almost everyone will be using either a Fish FlashDelta Tackle or Shortbus Flasher with a cut-plug herring.  Prawns or Brads Cut Plugs are great alternatives to herring, if your wanting to have a different bait in your spread.  This upcoming weekend there is another extension set for the Columbia starting Thursday and going through Sunday.  As always check the most up to date regulations as these extensions can change rather quickly.

    The Willamette has continued to clear and drop this last week and the fishing has continued to get better.  We have had good reports from the harbor and lower channel this week from the folks trolling herring and flashers.  Staggering your depths has been key in finding where the fish are.  It helps you find the level they are on and be able to get all your rods in the zone.  Look for the Milwaukee to Oregon City fisheries to kick off very soon.  The fish stuck down in the harbor will be moving up there any day.  The typical Oregon City rig is a cluster of eggs and shrimp behind a Luhr Jensen 50'Jumbo diver.  Feel free to swing by any of our locations and our staff will get you dialed in on the exact set ups to match your desired fishery.

    Smallmouth are starting to get on the bite as the days are getting a bit warmer.  Most of the fish are still fairly deep.  But as it gets warmer and drier the smallmouth will gradually move in shallower and become easier to target.  It's a great time of year to catch a good number of fish as they become very aggressive in the shallower water. There have also been reports of good Walleye upriver in the Columbia.

    Kokanee are still around and eager to bite.  These little land locked sockeye are awesome table fair and great sport for new or young anglers.  Reports are that a lot of people are still finding these fish relatively shallow as most of the lakes are still running fairly cold.  But as it warms up look for the Kokanee to start getting a little deeper in the water column.  Trolling is still the most widely used technique this time of year, with dodgers being the most popular attractant.  Lather up some corn in your favorite scent and get after these little guys.

    Enjoy your outdoor experiences and be safe out there.

    Apr 20, 2017 | by Weekly FMO report
  • Tax Day Springers!

    B.G. Eilertson, Brooks Eilertson, Hope Eilertson, Carnita Eilertson Hope hoisting a nice Willamette River Spring Chinook taken on our inaugural trip of 2017

    Spring is finally here! Sure, you can get that from a calendar, see it in the lengthening days, but for each of us it reveals itself in different ways. April 15th is the day I consider the start of Spring. While others, panicked by the date and it's importance of being the official tax filing deadline, are busy looking for their “pigeon holed”  financial  records of the previous year, I am up early anticipating my first day of Spring Chinook fishing. Every April 15th for the last decade or more I jump into my boat, and make my predawn trip through Portland enjoying the lights of the a big city where the Willamette slices through the middle of it.
    Weekend or weekday, I always make that morning’s fishing a priority. This particular day stands out on the tide tables because one can fish two tide exchanges in Portland's harbor area and be home or at the office by noon.

    Every year this day has granted me good action (with the exception of 2016). It may not always provide for a fish to take home due to missed bites, lost fish or natives returned on their journey, but most years it does, and on a number of years, even multiples.
    My favorite fishing partner for this annual trip is my bride, Hope. She makes the trip enjoyable because she enjoys the scenery as much as I and humors me with her dancing in her seat to the rock music of my Pandora station.

    B.G. Eilertson, Brooks Eilertson A look upriver from our Harbor fishing starting place on the Willamette River

    Besides the scenery, I am drawn to fishing the harbor, for its relaxed method of fishing in "wide open spaces". It's pretty simple. I use Okuma  9' MH rods with Okuma line counter reels. 65lb Tuff Line with a 10' 40# Maxima "bumper". I use Yakima Baits free sliding spreader to which I attach a short 10# dropper for my 10 oz cannonball sinker. Attached to the mainline terminal end in front of the slider, I attach 18" of stiff  Hi-Seas 80# mono to the Big Al's Fish Flash. Behind the flasher I typically run a 36" to 42" 3 hook mooching rig of 25 # fluorocarbon. I bait the set up with NW Bait & Scent Graybill's brined whole Red Label Herring.

    B.G. Eilertson, Brooks Eilertson, Spring Salmon Author with a nice Springer taken from the Harbor in 2015

    The "basic rule" for this fishery is 10oz/10 pulls. I start with that in the morning and let the fish finder and weather determine what, if any adjustments might be necessary. Also important is employing a lot of turns in your trolling patterns. While other congested areas Might require you "pick a line" , the harbor’s wide open space allows for lots of zig zagging turns which solicit strikes while your offering rises or falls in the water column. Interestingly enough with as much water as one might cover, definite trends develop where at certain times you have "hot spots", (note in the two pictures, the same background two years apart).
    The area can easily be accessed by ramps at either end of the harbor. Willamette park at the upriver end and Cathedral park, down river. Both of these areas have large lots and can accommodate a number of boats.

    Apr 19, 2017 | by B.G. Eilertson
  • Outdoor Report 4/6

    fishermans Fisherman's buyer Mark Rowlands with a fresh hatchery steelhead caught at the coast on Tuesday of this week

    Finally!  Some better water conditions for steelhead.  At the end of last week, we actually got a string of decent weather.  With the weather getting nicer the rivers really dropped into shape for the weekend and beginning of this week.  Fish were caught from the valley to the coast using a wide array of different techniques.  Don't give up on steelhead just yet; this time of year can be one of the most productive!

    And with the nicer weather, the Columbia and Willamette have both dropped in height and cleared up quite a bit.  We are getting some decent reports from the lower Willamette.  From the mouth of the channel all the way up past the harbor.  We have heard that most of the fish are being caught on cut-plug green label herring behind a flasher.  Although a few reports have been of people using prawns and flashers.  So it's never a bad idea to have both on hand.  For the Columbia a lot of folks are still catching fish on anchor or plunking.  Reports are coming in that K14 or K15 Kwikfish along with 4.5 or 4.0 Mag Lips have been the best plugs to be running.  Both have their place so again, having both on hand is not a bad idea.  Wrapping your plugs with either sardine, herring, anchovy or tuna are all great options.  Certain days, fish will key in on certain scents.  So keeping a good variety of scent on board will also help.  As the water on both rivers continues to drop and clear, look for the bite to keep getting better.

    Kokanee are starting to snap well for anglers.  As the water starts to warm up even more, look for the bite to continue to improve.  It seems as though it's been mainly a trolling show, however as the water warms up always bring some jigging gear with you.  You never know when the jigging bite will go off!  The dodgers that have been working well have been the Sling Blades and Simon dodgers.  From a few of the reports we got, those two dodgers seemed to out produce the rest, at least for last week.

    Local trout anglers should be excited with the recent planting of legal size fish in the Willamette valley. Hagg lake received another 6,000 keeper size fish.

    The smallmouth bite has improved, at least a little bit.  This last week, with the Columbia dropping and clearing a little, anglers reported better catches of smallmouth, specifically in the Columbia gorge.  They were still finding them in deeper water.  But they found biters, so that is definitely a marked improvement.  Soft plastics were the go-to with deep diving crank baits hooking the rest of them.  As the water continues to warm up, most of the smallmouth will continue to push into shallower water.  So watch your water temps to locate biting fishing.

    Before you head out, be sure to check local regulations.

    Good luck and be safe!

    Apr 06, 2017 | by Weekly FMO report
  • Dave Jones on Catching Kokanee

    Fishermans, fisherman's Dave Jones of DJ's Guide Service talks Kokanee fishing

    For Dave Jones Facebook live Kokanee Seminar click here.

    Apr 05, 2017 | by Facebook Live Seminars, FMO STAFF
  • Buzz Ramsey Springer Success Reports

    fishermans Hatchery Spring Chinook caught while fishing with Brandon Glass

    With the Columbia River beginning to clear, at least a little, guide Brandon Glass has landed 3 hatchery fin-clipped Spring Chinook in the last two days with herring rigged 30 behind a double Flash Flash combination.
    Buzz Ramsey

    fisahermans, fish flash High River Springer

    Scott Dunbar of Vancouver Washington caught this spring chinook while fishing the Columbia River with guide Brandon Glass today. According to Brandon, the fish went for a plug cut herring trolled 36 inches behind a double Fish Flash set up. Due to the high somewhat turbid water they were trolling near shore in slack water.

    Apr 03, 2017 | by Buzz Ramsey