Buoy 10 is a simple, unassuming shipping marker that marks the point where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. But it’s known for something much more: it’s a fishery that attracts anglers from across Oregon and Washington to chase still-abundant coho and chinook salmon.
It’s an overwhelming fishery that requires preparation, experience and a strong dose of skepticism to succeed. That’s why it often pays to hire a Buoy 10 fishing guide. They understand the salmon trends of the season and can guide you to success despite the difficult conditions.
Ramsey usually starts the day near or above the Astoria-Megler Bridge and works downstream with the incoming tide, seeking deep-running coho salmon in the upper areas. He’ll also explore the deeper waters closer to the buoy, where cooler ocean water mixes inland over warmer river water.
His preferred method of attracting buoy 10 fishing report herring is by trolling them behind a flasher, using either whole or plug-cut baits. His choice depends on the salmon’s preferences, which seem to change each year. Ramsey favors a herring snapper for coho and big purple label herring for Chinook, adding a bead chain swivel and four feet of mooching leader.
During this time of the year, salmon are in a transitional stage between their time spent in the ocean and their return to their freshwater spawning grounds. Consequently, they’re vulnerable to many predators, including birds and other salmon.
This translates to a high risk of snags and other problems for anglers. That’s why it’s important to use a quality line and set your hooks with care. Ramsey recommends positioning a swivel halfway down your leader or end of your rigging wire to eliminate the twist associated with using spinners.
Another key tip is to wear a life jacket. Each year a number of anglers fall overboard while fishing Buoy 10, and some die. Fog, rough water and the presence of freighters in the area make this a necessary safety measure. Inflatable life jackets are growing in popularity and are an excellent option, especially when fishing in Buoy 10’s unpredictable waters. It’s also a good idea to study charts of the Buoy 10 fishing area and carry a depth finder, as there are dangerous shoals and shelves in the vicinity.