Astoria, Oregon is a small coastal town in the Northwest corner of Oregon. This town is the oldest town west of the Rocky Mountains. Astoria is best known for its fishing and logging industries.
This quaint little town is home to roughly 10,000 residents for the majority of the year. During the summer months, Astoria gets a huge influx of people. The coast is rich in military history making it a destination hotspot for travelers and vacationers.
Astoria is bordered by the mighty Columbia River. It stretches 4 miles wide and has ferocious tidal changes with extreme currents. The Columbia River near Astoria offers world-class fishing.
Iconic for the largest runs of chinook salmon, Astoria serves as a meeting point for all anglers worldwide.
Buoy 10 sits near the Columbia River entrance to the Pacific Ocean. This zone is considered to stretch as far west as Tonge Point. This estuary provides excellent fishing opportunities for lots of different species. Most importantly, supporting Astoria’s buoy 10 Salmon Fishery.
Fishing for salmon in Astoria has become an annual ritual for many anglers. Buoy10 is considered the Superbowl of fishing! The actual red buoy 10 serves as a demarcation buoy at the west end of the fishing zone.
Planning Your Fishing Trip in Northwest Oregon
There are lots of things to consider when planning a fishing trip out of Astoria.
First and foremost, when are the targeted fish going to be in that stretch of river?
Next, what are the potential safety hazards associated with the trip?
Lastly, what are the necessary tactics required in having a successful trip?
Types of Fish in the Columbia River
The Columbia River is home to many highly sought-after fish species.
Chinook Salmon are always first to enter the river system in early August, followed by Coho Salmon in late August and September. Mid-August is when Buoy 10 is in full swing. Astoria Sturgeon and Astoria Steelhead usually arrive in early summer (June).
Astoria fishing safety
Weather can be a major barrier when trying to get out fishing in Astoria. The wind is also a common obstacle when fishing out of Astoria. During the Summer months, finding shade can also pose an issue.
The Buoy 10 zone stretches as far as 4 miles wide which allows for heavy current and big waves. If your vessel is not properly equipped with current safety equipment, you might reconsider. It’s not too uncommon for an under-equipped boat to sink during this fishery.
Also, anglers should be mindful of the fluctuation tides that can potentially leave you high and dry on a sandbar where a few hours ago would have allowed for enough water to give you a safe passage.
Astoria Fishing Tricks
Salmon can be caught using many different presentations.
While fishing in Astoria herring, anchovy, and spinner are the top choices for trolling. Herring can be trolled behind a traditional triangle flasher or a new style 360. Herring can be trolled as a whole herring or a cut plug.
Anchovy mostly is trolled as a whole bait and like the herring, it can be trolled behind both styles of flashers. Hardware can range from spinners to super baits and anywhere in between. Spinners are used to emulate an electronic pulse in the water which is similar to baitfish and triggers a feeding frenzy. SuperBaits are plastic bait with cavities. This cavity allows you to put whatever scent or bait marinade you want in them. It gives you the option to change approaches with the smell.
A couple of things to remember when fishing salmon, always keep everything extremely clean (salmon can smell parts per billion). Anise oil is a great cover scent. Don’t be afraid to go with what your gut tells you when fishing. One-color you can bank on is pink.
Charter fishing in Astoria is a good option for a first-timer. There are many things a person can learn by spending a day on the water with a skilled professional angler. Astoria fishing is a pastime enjoyed by many and is a family-friendly activity. Do your homework and get out there fishing.
Fish in Astoria with First Pass Outfitters
We hope you found this information helpful if you are planning an Astoria fishing trip!
My name is Curtis Bunney and I am the owner and your captain at First Pass Outfitters. I’ve been fishing the Columbia River since I could walk. I am a certified tug boat pilot and the priority is always safety on my family-friendly guided fishing tours. Fun is a close second priority though!
I had my charter boat fully customized for the comfort and safety of my guests. It’s 10′ wide with a self-bailing deck, making it one of the safest charter boats on the Columbia River.
I know where the fish are.
I know how to catch them.
Book your Astoria fishing trip with us and let me show you and your party a great time. Come solo or bring up to 5 of your closest friends. We have specific guided fishing tours where we target Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Sturgeon, Steelhead, and Dungeness Crab.