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I live near the Columbia and would like to start hunting it more. I currently have a 13' Ocean Kayak "Ambush". This is a very stable boat, with 44" width and is rated to handle up to 800 lbs. I understand the river can get real nasty and I am not looking to go out or cross the entire river during rough weather. However, there are small islands and channels on both the OR and WA sides that I believe can be reached safely in small boat.
I am looking for some folks with experiences on larger "moving" bodies of water, this could include tidal areas as well, Ilwaco, Astoria, Willapa, etc.
Lastly, the the boat is set up for transom mounted motor as well. I was looking at Minn Kotas and outbards 2.5hp-10hp, but dont want to be left wanting more if I choose the 30 lbs. Minn Kota over a 10 hp. I also need to consider the pros and cons of each set up. wieght vs. power, etc.
Thanks for reading!
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I'm coming down on the side of NO with that setup. I don't have experience with the lower Columbia but I don't think you've got the right boat for the job unless you are staying swimming distance from the bank. The wind picks up quick on this river where I'm at and I wouldn't take either of my sneak boats very far out into the river without a tender boat nearby.
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Pick your days and tides very carefully if you want to kayak the Columbia. I have seen my share of days when I wouldn't hunt it in my 18 foot sled. I have also seen my share of dead flat mill pond days. If you do kayak it make sure you have fire starting supplies and stuff to keep you alive over night in bad weather conditions. I would strongly reccomend a dry suit.
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