Anglers can bottom bounce for all species of sport fish on the Columbia River throughout the year. Winter fishing for rainbow on the Columbia is an invigorating experience, and bottom bouncing the three-way rig is popular among die-hard fishers.
Rainbow trout’s metabolism slows in cold weather and they will not expend a lot of energy to chase down food, but if a spin ‘n glow or corkie with a worm on it hits them in the gill plate, they’ll likely devour it.
From October to April anglers use spincasting rods or baitcasters with 12-pound test. Attach 6-8 pound test to the bottom end of a 3-way swivel and a 1 oz weight to the line. Tie on about 3-feet of 10-pound monofilament leader with a corkie or spin ‘n glo and a #8-10 hook tipped with worm or maggot.
When casting the rig into a run or eddy the weight draws the rig to the bottom, while the corkie keeps the hook and worm just off the bottom moving tantalizingly in the current where rainbows and walleye forage for food. Let it sit, and keep an eye on the rod tip so you don’t miss a subtle take. Casting the three-way rig near Zuckerberg Island, Slough Eddy, Trimac eddy, and below the Waneta Dam are favourite spots for many local anglers.