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Smallies on the Willamette

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Mister Bisley

Mister Bisley

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I think when I hit the water Monday we were too soon after a cold front. The Tualatin was about 6 inches higher and a lot colder than it was 1 week earlier. Today is going to bring rain again, but this weekend is going to see 90+ degree temps. It may also see me ballz deep wet wading and hunting bass again! :D
Excellent point. Water temps play a huge role in fish activity. Yesterday, I was standing in the water at the mouth of the Tualatin and it seemed much colder than when I was standing in the Umpqua a few weeks ago. The warmer weather will definitely bring on the bite. Thinking next week will be gangbusters.
 

Mikej

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Good for bank fishing?

Try Mary S. Young Park. North of West Linn. There's a couple of rocky areas. If the Willamette has dropped enough they have a foot bridge that gets you to Cedar Island on the North end of the park. The Cedar Island Lagoon doasen't fish for smallies so well by this time of year. May be some large mouth around....Lot of huge carp if you wanted to try to figure them out. To the South of the park is another rocky area. I believe it's not in the park, but legally you have a right to walk at/below the mean high water mark, so if the Willy is low enough you could get there. I've fished these areas from my boat and caught fish. Keep in mind smallies will be around rocks. And as the water warms and spawning is done they move to areas near or over deep water. You'd want to fish deeper, looking for places with some current where they hover at current lines waiting to ambush. I'm no master at it and have never done all that well during/after the spawn. LOTS of dinks to be had shallow (2'-5') with a fast/drop/fast retrieve keeping it near the bottom using grubs in natural/camo colors.
 
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Mister Bisley

Mister Bisley

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Nice @Mikej thanks for the tips. I grew up fishing lakes, reservoirs, ponds and estuaries that fish like reservoirs. Learning to fish faster rivers has been both challenging and exciting.
 

Mikej

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When the water in the Willy below the falls (my area has always been the falls to Milwaukee) is 53-60 degrees is when everything breaks loose and fish will be in shallows on the full hunt for food before the spawn. Pretty easy pickin's. Still water in flooded areas, because of the spring release in the Columbia, can have some pretty good fish. That time is close to being gone now though.

Another place to try would be in Oregon city, the small hwy 99 bridge near Mcmennamins has a walkway that goes under the highway and get you to the river. I think. There's a point there, think it's called "Preachers Rock" or something like that. The downstream side of that point runs in the 6'-13' or so. Kinda snaggy but there crawdads there, and where there's crawdads there's...... One year in the boat we snagged and brought up a commercial crawdad line.

Google Maps
 

Mikej

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I was told it was close to the Social Security Hole. We put in at Independence and took out in Salem.

Close enough. I wasn't looking for a place to fish. I was wondering where it was so I could gauge the "Gag Factor" (GF). You know, here below Willamette Falls the river is quite stagnant, with lots of scum floating on the surface of the non moving pools. Gag factor includes visual and olfactory senses to extrapolate "Gag Factor". GF runs high down here this time of year. Much less in your neck of the woods. With this heat the news has been showing people in downtown Potland, (Where they built a special public beach), diving in and swimming around. They are getting the water on their lips, and other places.:oops: Makes me gag to see and think about that.
 
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I know what you mean. When they first asked me to do a float with them, I was hesitant for the same reason. Was quite surprised the river between Independence all the way down to Wheatland Ferry is quite clean and didn't stink much at all. A few foam holes where there is some scum build up, but for the most part clean. Often that is where the bass are holding though. I do keep the water off my lips. I don't need to grow a tail.
 
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Mister Bisley

Mister Bisley

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Close enough. I wasn't looking for a place to fish. I was wondering where it was so I could gauge the "Gag Factor" (GF). You know, here below Willamette Falls the river is quite stagnant, with lots of scum floating on the surface of the non moving pools. Gag factor includes visual and olfactory senses to extrapolate "Gag Factor". GF runs high down here this time of year. Much less in your neck of the woods. With this heat the news has been showing people in downtown Potland, (Where they built a special public beach), diving in and swimming around. They are getting the water on their lips, and other places.:oops: Makes me gag to see and think about that.
And here this whole time, I thought GF stood for Gluten Free:rolleyes::D
 
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We did another float on Saturday and it was the best bass fishing so far. Lost track but figure I caught about 15 nice bass. Thanks for the tip about fishing the rock shores. Not the same as fishing the John Day.
 
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Was such a nice day yesterday we figured we would try to catch some more Willamette River bass. We were not very successful. Between the two of us we caught 3 nice bass, one small bass, and 3 Pike Minnows. Water temp was right at 64 degrees. Prior trips water temp was up to 78. Is the drop in water temp the reason the bite was off? Or maybe we need to use a different technique?
 

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