Columbia River sturgeon fishing guide, Kevin Newell welcomes you to join him for a Columbia River sturgeon fishing adventure! Incredible sturgeon fishing is just a phone call or email away!

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Columbia River Fishing Guide


Sturgeon Fishing with Columbia River fishing guide - Kevin Newell


Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing Guides

Great Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing!

The White Sturgeon is the largest species of sturgeon in the world, and it is also the largest fresh water fish in North America. At their maximum length the White Sturgeon can be over 16 feet in length and over 1000 pounds! The White Sturgeon population in the Columbia is the highest in the world, with an estimated one million sturgeon residing in the lower 137 miles of the river between Bonneville Dam and the river's mouth near Astoria, Oregon. No wonder why sturgeon fishing on the Columbia is so popular!


A high population of sturgeon allows Columbia River sturgeon fishing guides like Kevin to take you to the best sturgeon fishing grounds in the world!


There are several prime times and locations for sturgeon fishing throughout the year. Below we will discuss these areas and times as well as the ins and outs of this incredible fishery!


How to talk sturgeon!


Fishermen have a lot of different ways of talking about the fish they pursue and sturgeon fishermen are no different. Here is some of the terminology specific to sturgeon fishing!


Shaker: This is a sub-legal sturgeon that measures less than the minimum length for retention.


Keeper Sturgeon: This is a Columbia River sturgeon that falls within the size bracket for retention. When sturgeon fishing, the minimum length is 38" in one area of the river and 41" in another area, the maximum length on the lower Columbia is 54". The sturgeon are measured to the fork in their tale, not the tip of their tale, so actually the overall length of these sturgeon typically ends up being five to seven inches longer. Anglers are allowed to keep one legal sized sturgeon per day and 5 per year.


Oversize Sturgeon: Any sturgeon that exceeds the maximum keeper measurement of 54" to the fork. Fish in overall length of five to twelve feet on average with some exceeding this size and hundreds of pounds in weight!


Estuary Sturgeon: Sturgeon that are located in the Columbia River Estuary near Astoria. The estuary is the lower 20 miles of the Columbia River.


Sturgeon nicknames or aliases: Gators, Diamond Sides, Bucket Mouth, Bonneville Trout.



Winter Sturgeon Fishing

(December - April)


Winter sturgeon fishing takes place on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in the Portland area. Willamette sturgeon fishing produces good action and we use light tackle which adds a lot of excitement!

Sturgeon Fishing Guides

Trophy Keeper!

Astoria Sturgeon Fishing

Willamette Sturgeon!


High numbers of fish and light tackle make this trip a lot of fun! Shakers are abundant and we catch some really nice keeper sized fish during this time. The legal size for fish in this area is 38 to 54 inches to the fork of the tail.



Spring & Summer Sturgeon Fishing

(May through July)


May finds hard core Columbia River sturgeon guides fishing the lower Columbia River estuary in one of the prettiest settings available. This areas islands, sand bars, waterfowl, and wide open spaces make fishing in this area a real treat, not to mention the great sturgeon fishing! The lower 20 miles of the Columbia near Astoria provide the perfect habitat for sturgeon to roam around taking advantage of the areas natural abundance of food. The keeper size for sturgeon in this area is 41 to 54 inches measured to the fork of the tail.

Columbia River Estuary Sturgeon Fishing

Astoria Sturgeon Fishing!


The estuary isn't just a destination for fishermen it is also a destination for sturgeon. Very few of the sturgeon in this area are resident fish; most of them migrate to this area from the Bonneville area upstream and also come in from the ocean. This dual migration creates a large population of fish in a small area and makes for some of the best sturgeon fishing of the year!


We target these fish using light tackle and baits such as smelt, sand shrimp, herring, anchovies, and squid. Whatever they are keyed in on is what we use. These sturgeon are aggressive feeders and often respond well to a variety of different baits.


Occasionally we will catch a Green Sturgeon (Greenies) out of Astoria. Green sturgeon are similar to White Sturgeon but with a green color, smaller mouth and a different position for the ventral opening.

Columbia River Green Sturgeon

Columbia River Green Sturgeon

Oversize Green Sturgeon

Oversize Green Sturgeon!






















These fish prefer to live in coastal waters and bays. Green Sturgeon don't achieve the great lengths that their cousin the White Sturgeon achieves, but a large Greenie will still be five or six feet long. Greenies fight well and look really cool but anglers are not allowed to retain them in the Columbia system, they are catch and release only.

Oversize sturgeon guide

Customers holding their catch!


When sturgeon fishing in this area we are targeting keeper sized sturgeon, but we still catch a lot of oversize as well, and since we are using light tackle these fish can really take you for a ride! Oversize sturgeon in this area average six to twelve feet in length and catching one to six oversize a day when pursuing keepers in this area is not uncommon.


Oversize sturgeon are hard fighters and are known for their ability to rocket completely out of the water, often several times!



Fall Sturgeon Fishing

(October and November)


Sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River closes for retention during August and September but reopens in the Bonneville Dam area starting October 1. This area can provide some really great late season sturgeon fishing opportunity for fish that haven't been fished on since July.


The Columbia River below Bonneville Dam is located in the Columbia Gorge and this area produces keepers, shakers and oversize sturgeon.


Our other sturgeon fisheries are all light tackle but fishing in the gorge requires heavy tackle because of the deeper, faster water and heavier lead that is needed to hold your bait to the bottom.


The great thing about sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River, is that even the small sturgeon are big! They are willing biters and a typical day of sturgeon fishing will bring 15 to 30 fish to the boat! Lots of action on hard fighting sturgeon makes for a great day on the water!



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