Tackle and Tactics for Buoy 10
With one of the hottest, fatest chinook runs in years pouring into the Buoy 10 fishery in the lower Columbia it's time to dunk the boat, forget about the poor coho return, and join the crowds pounding for kings. August is expected to see anywhere from two-thirds to a million king salmon in the river.
Allen Thomas, venerable outdoor editor at the Vancouver Columbian has come out with a list of where, when, and with what for anglers headed downriver to the hot action at Buoy 10.
Here’s Al’s Buoy 10 How-To Tips:
Tides are a key to fishing at Buoy 10. Chinook fishing is best when high slack is early in the morning and the difference between high and low slack is relatively small. [Note: It’s possible the catch-and-eat season for chinook will
close early, if the catch is good.]
Coho fishing is best on a strong flood tide. Look for low water about daybreak, then go out an hour or two later. Look for a big difference between the low slack and high slack. There is a series of good coho tides beginning Sept. 1, which also is when the coho limit shifts to three fish a day.
Use ball-bearing swivels and six-bead chains. There's lots of spinning going on with your herring, spinners or wobblers, plus grass to contend with, so don't skimp on swivels or bead chains.
For chinook, concentrate upstream of the Astoria Bridge for the first two hours, between the bridge and the recreational vehicle park on the Washington shore with the red roof during the next two hours, and between the church on the Washington side and Chinook during the final two hours. But remember, this is just a guideline. Do not leave a hot bite.
For coho, fish farther west, mostly between the town of Chinook and Buoy 10.
When fishing with divers, 25 pulls' (the distance from the reel to the first rod guide) is about 30 feet deep.
Match your hook size to your herring. That means 5/0 hooks for green label herring and 6/0 for blue label.
Don't be afraid to deviate from using herring, Try a wobbler or a spinner, especially this year when there are expected to be a lot of coho.