Oregon Columbia River  Sturgeon  Day #21 State #24 July 3, 2009 06/13/09 Pennsylvania
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Erik's World Class Fishing Adventures
Guide: Erik Brigham
1087 Lewis River Road, Suite 139
Woodland, WA 98674
Phone: 360-513-2331
Email: erik@columbiariverfish.com
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We arose on Day #21 with the anticipation of going after a fish that would likely be the largest we would ever catch – maybe in our lifetimes.  It was the Columbia River white sturgeon we would seek today.  I’ve seen pictures of these behemoths – some growing to well over 10 feet long, a thousand pounds, and living well over one hundred years. 

We met our guide, Erik Brigham, in Astoria, Oregon at the East Mooring Dock at 6AM.  Erik and his deck hand Mike were geared up and excited to finally meet up with us.  They had been following us online and hoping they could treat us to a unique northwest experience on the Astoria Inlet today.  I asked Erik what our chances were.  He simply replied “good”.  It was clearly a statement of expectation management

It was a cool morning – around 50 degrees, overcast with a hint of rain in the air.  There were easily 50 other boats already anchored and fishing when we arrived at our spot.  After an hour we had only spotted one other boat in the area that had hooked a sturgeon.  I thought “Hmmm, these are apparently harder to catch than I had hoped.”  Then, the action started.  Within 10 minutes we saw at least 10 sturgeon break the surface in an acrobatic display.  Seeing a 5 foot sturgeon shoot out of the water was an amazing sight.  It also seemed that they were concentrated in an area about the size of a football field.  Erik decided to pull anchor and relocate right on top of their playground – and it worked.  15 minutes later Taylor was hooked up with one and having the fight of his life.  Then I hooked one – DOUBLE HEADER!!  Mike, the deck hand, took the camera and Taylor and I went to fighting these two fish side-by-side.  15 minutes later we were staring at two of the biggest fish of our lives in the ice box – each four feet long.  Then, the big guy hit.  It took both Taylor and I taking turns fighting this one.  He was an “oversized” fish – meaning he would have to be released, but that was more than fair as we already had more fish in the boat than we could eat on the entire trip.  Well over a half an hour later a nearly 7 foot, 150 pound sturgeon lay in our cradled hands on the side of the boat.  WOW – what a beautiful creature.  We removed the hook and watched him glide back into the deep.

The day was not over though.  We landed one more 4 footer before we relocated once again.  We probably could have sold our buoy location because as we pulled anchor anyone within eyeshot of us clambered to move in on our spot.  We moved about a half mile to a shallow water sand bar location to spend the last 45 minutes.  And our good fortune continued as I hooked a very rare green sturgeon.  In fact, Erik stated in 10 years of fishing he has never caught one and only ever seen two.  All he could say was “you guys have got to buy a lottery ticket today.”


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Fish    Last Updated July 4, 2009  - Copyright 2009