The Ilwaco Charter Fishing Association presents the Ilwaco Sturgeon Derby
Sturgeon Season starts May 11 and runs through July 4th, and is open 7 days a week. The Sturgeon Derby begins June 1 and runs throughout the remainder of the season. Weekly prizes for the biggest catch and overall prize for the season. Come out and catch the fish of your dreams just like the woman pictured aboard the Sea Quest, a charter boat in the Sea Breeze Charters Fleet. The Port of Ilwaco offers a variety of wonderful Charter Fishing Companies to get you out on the water.
Sturgeon are the largest freshwater species Washington anglers are likely to encounter. These prehistoric fish are found in the waters of the Columbia River and Willapa Bay tributaries. Both green and white sturgeon are caught locally, but whites are the most common and certainly the largest, sometimes measuring over eight feet and weighing several hundred pounds.
Sturgeon feed on the bottom, cruising along and picking up tasty morsels with their sucker-like mouth. Anglers usually fish for them with smelt, shrimp and other baits. Hooked sturgeon, especially the larger ones, may jump completely out of the water, providing a spectacular show for anglers or anyone who happens by at the right time! Since sturgeon must be between 42 and 60 inches to keep, many of them get caught and thrown back, making it an exciting day. There’s nothing like seeing the twinkle in the eye of a youngster who pulls in a fish taller than she is!
First time on the water, no problem! A sturgeon fishing trip on the Columbia River is perfect for those who might be concerned about sea-sickness. Sturgeon trips start at 5am and last for 8 hours or until the boat limits out.
If fishing isn’t your forte, but you still want to see all that the Columbia River has to offer, then hop aboard the Columbia River Eco Tours‘, Christina Cousteau, a 40’ Tollycraft Yacht with heated cabin and restroom facilities. Often you will have the opportunity to view Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons and Canada Geese amongst the abundant species of waterfowl in the area. A wildlife photographers delight!
If taking a boat trip is beyond your interest but you love the rich, flaky, and mild flavor of sturgeon, then look no further than our local restaurants and fish markets who offer seasonal specials.
Dine at the source! Dine at The Depot Restaurant, The Shelburne Inn, 42nd Street Cafe & Bistro, Aloha Charlie, Ole Bob’s Seafood Market, or stay the night with Boreas Inn as they are among the select eateries that highlight sturgeon during its seasonal run.
The Ilwaco Charter Association Salmon Derby begins June 22 and runs through Labor Day.
Events on the horizon:
- Summer Fest – Long Beach, Weekends, May 25 – September 2, 2013
- Free Admission to WA State Parks – Statewide, June 8 & 9, 2013
- Ilwaco Charter Association Sturgeon Derby – Ilwaco, June 1, 2013
- Waikiki Beach Concert Series – Ilwaco, June 8 & 22, 2013
- Columbia Pacific Farmer’s Market – Long Beach, Fridays, June 14-October 11, 2013
- Garlic Festival – Ocean Park, June 15-16, 2013
- Beach to Chowder Walk/Run 5k/10k- Long Beach, June 22, 2013