What is the best time of day to fish for salmon?

Buoy 10 is an unassuming shipping marker that sits where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean between Oregon and Washington. But the term “Buoy 10 salmon fishing” conjures up a whole lot more: It’s one of the most popular and productive salmon fisheries in the lower 48. And it draws anglers from across the region and the West Coast.

Every August the mouth of the Columbia River is a hive of activity as salmon stage in the shipping channels before heading upriver. Known as the Buoy 10 salmon fishery this famous location is where hundreds of anglers from Oregon and Washington flock to hook both chinook and coho.

The season for salmon at Buoy 10 typically starts late in the month of August and lasts until the weekend before Labor Day. Anglers are allowed to keep two hatchery salmon and one fin-marked chinook and coho during the season. The influx of salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River is due to tidal exchanges that occur as the colder Pacific Ocean water pushes in underneath the warmer river water. As a result, salmon will move into the shipping channel on the flood tide to feed.

When the salmon are in the shipping channel they will generally be looking for baitfish that resemble the baitfish they have been foraging on in the ocean. This is why it is important to have fresh anchovies and herring in your arsenal for Buoy 10 salmon fishing.

It is also important to have a sharp hook. Salmon skin is tough and requires a pristinely sharp point to penetrate it. This is why most anglers will upgrade their factory hooks for something a little sharper. Another important tool to have for the Buoy 10 salmon fishery is a fish finder. This will allow you to know where the dangerous shoals are in the area before you head out for the day.

Many Buoy 10 salmon fishermen like to fish behind a diver, such as a Delta or Deep 6 model. Most will add a flasher and then a bead chain swivel to their setup. Ramsey also suggests using a variety of baits at Buoy 10. He will often switch between whole and plug-cut herring. In some cases, he will use a spinner as well.

One of the best things about the Buoy 10 salmon fishery is that it can be very productive even when conditions aren’t ideal. It is important to stay focused and remember why you are there, especially during tough times. It is also a good idea to have a backup plan just in case you don’t hit the fish on your first try.

Astoria, Oregon is the home of world class buoy 10 salmon fishing. The city’s rich coastal heritage and cool local vibe make it a fun and enjoyable destination for anglers and their families. So grab your gear, book a guided Buoy 10 salmon fishing trip with us and get ready to catch your limit!