Fishing charters help anglers land salmon, sturgeon, walleye, steelhead

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Experts recommend researching guide options to get most out of trip

Dropping a line into the rivers around the Tri-Cities to catch salmon, sturgeon, walleye or steelhead has launched a handful of fishing charter businesses around the Tri-Cities.

I take pride in making the best trip possible for my clients.

Dave Hedden, owner of Hedden’s Northwest Sportfishing

Recreational fishing is big business, generating more than $115 billion in economic output and more than 828,000 jobs nationwide, according to the American Sportfishing Association.

In Washington state, anglers spend $1.2 billion while fishing, according to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife report.

Thousands of people have become hooked on the hobby through the Takemefishing.org campaign and thanks to U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fishing guides.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation updated its 2016 goal to “increase participation to 60 million … in the next five years.” There are currently 45.7 million anglers, with fishing named the “most popular adult activity” for those 25 and older in the U.S.

With more than 10 fishing guide services available around the Tri-Cities area, experts said it’s important to do some research before signing up for an outing.

Guides like Dave Hedden, owner of Hedden’s Northwest Sportfishing can turn a one-time trip into a lifetime hobby.

“I think of it as ‘fishing school’ and share all the reasons I’m doing what I’m doing – from techniques to the best locations for different species. I try to explain the ‘why’ behind everything so they can ultimately do it on their own later,” Hedden said.

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Audra Distifeno

Audra Distifeno

Audra Distifeno has been in the “news” business for more than 20 years. She is passionate about writing, and is also an educator with the goal of igniting young minds so they might discover their potentials. She lives in the Yakima Valley with her children, two mini schnauzers, two lizards and multitudes of fish. She enjoys camping, kayaking and breathing in the ocean air. She hopes to one day be a published novelist and see her work being read by the masses … or even by just one who is moved by her story.

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