Wintler Park Columbia River Smallmouth

The Columbia River has world-class smallmouth fishing, with B.A.S.S. holding at least one tournament per year on it. The best smallmouth fishing is usually upriver, in the Columbia River Gorge area, but you can still catch smallmouth closer to Vancouver and Portland. I fished on Wednesday at Wintler Park for smallmouth bass and caught this guy, plus a few others.
I love how explosive smallies are and how much of a fight they put up. Even on my heavier rod, they still pulled drag and made mad runs. This was my first fish of the day, caught on my favorite watermelon Yum Dinger. He was probably a little over 1lb, 13 inches or so. More after the jump.

Lots and lots of little taps kept bugging me as I was fishing a Jewel Sculpin Hypertail near the shore. I assumed it was just juvenile smallmouth, but when I set the hook, I snagged a small yellow perch! While they are not uncommon in the area, this is the first yellow perch I have caught in the Columbia River, ever. Waaay too small to eat, I made sure he was ok and put him back to fatten up. Saw a tiny muskrat swimming along the shore too, thought it was a fish until I saw his tail.

Here is the smallest smallmouth bass from the few hours I spent. Hungry guy, heh. I had several others around this size stalk the Dinger back to the shore, some nipping at it. One of the larger bass I farmed actually went airborne for a while, then threw the hook. Don't you hate that?

This is the last smallie I caught while fishing at Wintler Park on Wednesday. He hit a Jewel Sculpin Hypertail on a jighead super hard, really worked my heavy rod. I need to stop taking pictures from this angle, you can't really see the size of the fish very well. Wintler Park in Vancouver, Washington has decent fishing for many different species, but bank access is mostly on the sandy beach, making fishing difficult. However, it can be great for those who like to bait 'n wait, especially if you don't mind little starry flounder and other nibblers.
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Be nice.