Every year as summer is wrapping up and we are venturing in to fall the Columbia River has been running temperatures exceeding 70 degrees which as many of you know is taxing on anadromous species such as salmon and steelhead. Fortunately up and down the Columbia River it is inundated with cold water rivers and streams giving anadromous species an area of refuge, as well as anglers an opportunity at targeting these game fish that generally are lethargic and unwilling to bite. Every September the crew of Pro-Cure Bait Scents spend a week up in the Columbia River Gorge Hover Fishing Eggs and testing new products, filming television shows and spending a multitude of days with key accounts targeting salmon at either the mouth of the Deschutes River or the mouth of the Klickitat River. During our trips in the gorge we have gained a fair amount of knowledge on these fisheries. Listed below are a few key things that we have found to help with consistent success when hover fishing for Salmon.
- Always be prepared with a variety of different egg cures. Pro-Cure offers a wide range of cures for different fisheries but it seems as though as you get further from saltwater the hotter cures become much more effective. FUZE EGG CURE, SALMON BLEND, 14 OUNCES Is one of the most effective. we have also had some fantastic days with the LIQUID EGG CURE REDD HOT and last but certainly not least the WIZARD DOUBLE NEON RED EGG CURE
- Do whatever you can to keep your lines perfectly perpendicular. Many people will offset this by adding a bunch of lead, that is not recommended. Try to not ever use over 3 oz of lead in these fisheries. Just use your motor to offset winds or waves.
- Try and have a wide variety of additives for your eggs. First and foremost Sand Shrimp is a must have bait. In addition to this powders and scents are great to have. We have seen great success with the following scents. SALMON SLAMMER BAIT OIL , PURE ANISE OIL , BLOODY TUNA BAIT OIL and last but certainly not least SARDINE BAIT OIL but always remember don’t add scents to an entire batch of eggs because every day is different and it can change by the hour so never dedicate an entire jar or jars to any one scent apply to each bait as you fish. As far as powders go these can be a crucial piece of the puzzle. When running the liquid egg cure for upper Columbia River Chinook always add 2oz of SODIUM SULFITE 4oz to en entire bottle of liquid egg cure. It never hurts to add SODIUM SULFITE 4oz to any other bait as you use it as well. SLAM-OLA POWDER and MONSTER BITE are also a great option. They are both fantastic Amino Based bite enhancing powders. On many days they can turn a 2 or 3 fish day in to a 4 to 5 fish day.
- Last but not least. If the bite begins to slow don’t give up. It can turn on just as quickly as it turned off. The fish in the listed two fisheries have a tendency to get pushed around by excess pressure from anglers. Use your electronics and cruise around on your kicker and check out deeper water or different areas until you graph fish and then get above them drop your baits down and back down to them. This has proven effective time and time again.
We wish you all the best days on the water. If you do end up going out and giving these fisheries a try and cannot seem to get everything put together it is always a fantastic idea to hire a guide. It always helps to learn from those who are at it every single day. If you so choose to do so Pro Staff Dave Eng of FISHENG would be a great one to hit up. He has a great understanding of those particular fisheries.