How to Get Close to the Dam Fish


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by Warren Transue

If you're not allowed near the turbines or if the fish lie beyond your normal casting range, try this technique for 'motor casting' to the big ones.

Right next to you on shore is a husband-and-wife team, with the belled poles wedged in the rocks, their lines way out. They much sandwiches and sip beer while waiting for the jangle of that bell. And near them on the rocks is a queer-looking contraption they call their “boat.” There are quite few of these “sturgeon boats” in use on this stretch of the Columbia River about a thousand feet down from the Bonneville Dam, and it is these homemade affairs that get the hooks to where the big 6-to-13-foot sturgeon, weighing hundreds of pounds, lie far below the tumultuous surface created by the gates of the dam.

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