The elusive walleye

For decades, I’d been trying to catch a walleye in the Columbia River.

I’d netted them for my neighbor on the Oregon side of Government Island and on Ough Reef at Washougal. I was in the boat with author and tournament angler Ron Boggs when he caught them near Arlington, Ore.. I’ve watched Jim Liddell of the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club catch them at Coon Island in the Multnomah Channel.

It had gotten to the point where I no longer much cared to fish for walleye, because I never, ever caught one.

Then one magical hour happened on July 11 at Coon Island. We launched at Gilbert River ramp on Sauvie Island at 7:30 a.m. and at noon my streak of never catching a walleye continued.

Just a bit downstream of the island, I caught one — a nice 24-incher on a chartreuse spinner and nightcrawler trolled downstream.

In the next 60 minutes, I caught three more and my neighbor caught one.

Then it got windy — too windy to fish effectively — ending the day.The next weekend I tried again at Coon Island. The new streak of not catching walleye has begun.

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