Jun 212018
 

Another kayak fishing trip to eastern Washington is in the books and it was a great trip. While we missed out on the state record for smallmouth bass once again, we caught so many smallmouth bass that we lost count of how many fish we caught. Lots of fish caught and a lot of half hits that didn’t stick made for plenty of smallmouth bass kayak fishing action.

The big thing is that the relentless wind we’ve had this spring and early summer died to near calm for a couple days allowing us to get out on the Columbia River and do some kayak fishing. It’s great when the sun rises on a glassy Columbia River, especially in a place known for it’s strong and consistent wind.

Sunrise on the Columbia River in eastern Washington

With very little wind, the days were sunny and hot, but not unbearable. Perfect kayak fishing conditions on the Columbia River.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River in eastern Washington

As I mentioned earlier, we did not manage to get into any trophy smallmouth bass, but caught lots of half to one pounders. Smallmouth bass are great fighters, even the smaller fish put up a great battle.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We’ve got at least a week of wind coming up that will keep us off the river so we are heading up towards Mt. Adams to do a little mountain biking. We’ve got a few more videos coming up shortly so we’ll be working on those as well. Keep checking in because we always have something going on!

Jun 132018
 

Calm days have been few and far between this spring and early summer here on the Columbia River, so when a calm day rolls around, we are out kayak fishing on the Columbia River. We were fishing pretty close to one of the big dams on the Columbia, there were more than a few floodgates open and the water was high and the currents strong. Most of the spots we’d caught bass before at were still underwater. It was a really nice day and we were going to have to try and find where the smallmouth bass were hiding.

A beautiful late spring morning on the Columbia River

The fish were scattered around, but they were there. Just like a few days earlier, we caught a lot of smaller fish. We use pretty light tackle so even the small fish put up a good fight. Small fish are better than no fish and sooner or later a bigger smallmouth bass will show up. Not all the fish are big ones, but some of them are…

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

Looks like a few windy days coming up so it will be the editing room for us. Check back for more kayak fishing stuff.

Jun 112018
 

We had a really good day of kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River followed by a few windy days that gave us time to put a few video highlights together and post them on YouTube. The video quality on YouTube seems to be getting worse and worse so we’ll post better quality videos on the watermanatwork.com website shortly.

Click HERE to view the Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth Bass video on YouTube

Click HERE or on the photo above to watch the Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth Bass video on YouTube.

Jun 082018
 

The wind is not giving us Columbia River kayak fishermen much of a break, but we finally got a day when the wind was pretty much calm and we were able to get a great day of kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. The water level of the Columbia River is dropping, down a few feet from the high water marks. The shoreline is coming back, there has been some riverfront flooding for sure.

Columbia River beach

There isn’t too much doubt that the muddy water in the Columbia River watershed has had a negative effect on the fishing in general, but it looks like the river is clearing up as the water level drops and the fishing is getting better.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com

The smallmouth bass fishing has been pretty tough lately. When you can’t catch smallmouth bass on the Columbia River, or even the John Day River, on the first week of June, the fishing is really bad. The water conditions are improving and so is the fishing. We caught a lot of smallmouth bass today, so many that I lost count. That’s what smallmouth bass fishing on the Columbia River is all about. Most of the fish were half-pounders, but great fighters on light tackle. I was finally able to get a couple bigger fish, like this nice Columbia River smallmouth bass

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

There was lots of kayak fishing action on the Columbia River today. The river is still a bit on the wild side and it’s going to be windy for a few days, but the smallmouth bass are out there.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com

Looks like windy conditions for a few days, so we’ll try and get the video editing going with more kayak fishing adventures. Keep checking in because we always have something going on.

Jun 052018
 

The wind and high river water has really put a damper on the late spring/early summer smallmouth bass fishing, but we hoped for the best and headed up to the John Day River for some kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. The wind only died down for one day and the water in the John Day River was high and an ugly coffee color from all the muddy runoff. The river conditions have a major effect on the fishing and the normally wide open smallmouth bass fishing was very slow. We didn’t catch any bigger fish and most of the smallmouth bass we did catch were really small. I only caught eight or ten fish the entire day. Normally, you could easily catch that many in a half hour.

There were a lot of people camping at Lepage Park making it seem like southeast Portland rather than rural Rufus, OR. There were a few other kayak fishermen and a normal weekend crowd of power boaters, but there is usually plenty of room for everyone on the John Day. I did get the full shakedown from the river patrol officer for invasive species permit and PFD.

Kayak fishermen on the John Day River near Lepage Park

We paddled upriver looking for the fish but never really hit the jackpot that usually is waiting on the John Day River. One of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the United States, the muddy water shut down the usually hot smallmouth bass fishing.

Kayak fishing on the John Day River

Most of the smallmouth bass we caught were small and the big one did not get away because we did not find any of the big ones.

John Day River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The high water in the Columbia River watershed looks like it is beginning to drop a bit, but the wind continues to blow, which is putting a real damper on the kayak fishing. Looks like a relatively calm day tomorrow, but after that, it looks like at least another full week of wind. We will hit the Columbia first thing tomorrow morning and hope for the best. After that, we will either have to hit the road and run from the wind or trade the kayak fishing gear for mountain bikes.

May 222018
 

We got a brief window in the wind so we hit the road for some kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River in eastern Washington. The Columbia River here in the Columbia River Gorge is inches below flood stage with more water coming downstream. We headed upriver a couple big Columbia River dams where the river is more of a lake. The water levels would be high there as well, but not as noticable as further west.

The wind was 5-8mph most of the time we were fishing, but we did get one cloudy day where the wind stayed calm all day. Always a welcome sight to see dead glass at sunrise.

Cloudy and calm sunrise on the eastern Columbia River

The Columbia River has smallmouth bass just about everywhere and this stretch of the river in eastern Washington/Oregon is no exception. We caught a lot of smallmouth bass. Unfortunately, most of the fish were pretty small. No idea where the big ones were hiding. Maybe the high river water and relatively cool water temps have given the big bass a case of lockjaw.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The Columbia River here is wide with lots of steep rock cliffs and broken rocks on the banks that are perfect habitat for smallmouth bass. It is also pretty windy much of the time so when you get a calm day, you have to milk it for all it’s worth.

Kayak fishing on the Columbia River in eastern Washington

There’s not much in this part of eastern Washington; vineyards, farms, ranches and a few small towns with no stores or gas stations. If you run out of supplies, you can get in your kayak and paddle across the river to Oregon, where there is a well stocked general store. When you go looking for adventure, you can find the whole package around here.

If you need supplies, you can paddle across the Columbia River to Oregon where there is a general store

We like fishing on the eastern Columbia River and we know the big smallmouth bass are there, we’ll get them sooner or later. Waiting for the wind to die down in the next couple days and we will be back out on the Columbia River kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. We already have another kayak fishing trip on the eastern Columbia coming up so check back for more kayak fishing action!

May 162018
 

We are back in the Pacific Northwest and back out on the Columbia River kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. It didn’t take long to notice that the weather has been warm and dry and the snow in the mountains is melting at a rapid clip. The rivers and streams that flow from the Cascade Mountains down to the Columbia River are running high and fast.

Cascade Mountain streams and creeks running high and fast from melting snow

The Columbia River water level is as high as it can go without flooding. The water is only a few feet from the pavement of the boat launch parking lot. Usually, there is about thirty or forty feet from the pavement’s edge to the water.

Extreme high water levels on the Columbia River

Changing water levels in the Columbia River have a tendency to slow down the fishing, I think that may have been true for the first smallmouth bass kayak fishing trip of the season. The river water is still pretty chilly, about 56°F. It probably should be a little warmer, but the rapidly melting snow is filling the river with cold water. Even with all this, we managed to catch a few smallmouth bass. Nothing big, but we won’t get skunked for the year.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The wind came up pretty quickly and blew us off the water after a few hours of fishing, but the 2018 smallmouth bass season on the Columbia River has begun with a successful kayak fishing trip. We have already planned more kayak fishing trips and are waiting for the wind to calm down to get going. Keep checking back for more kayak fishing adventures!

May 082018
 

Our kayak fishing adventures on the Colorado River in the American southwest desert have come to an end. The daytime temperatures in the desert are well over 100° every day now, that’s a bit too hot for our outdoor living gear. It’s been a fantastic fishing trip and we have had a great time. Even though the past few days have been very hot, we’ve been out on the water getting the most out of our final hours of fishing on the Colorado River.

It’s uncomfortably hot during the afternoon, but the mornings are beautiful. We’re out there with our lines in the water before the sun comes up.

Sunrise over the Colorado River in the desert southwest

Most of the time, being on the water early has paid off with some nice fish. Here’s a nice largemouth bass caught just a few minutes before sunrise.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught just before sunrise by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We are primarily fishing for largemouth bass, but there are plenty of other kinds of fish in the Colorado River like this healthy crappie.

Colorado River crappie caught just before sunrise by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We caught a lot of nice fish, lost a bunch more and had a ton of weak hits that didn’t stick, so there was plenty of kayak fishing action.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

We lost count of how many nice largemouth bass we’ve caught, but have plenty of photos and a lot of great video to remind us of all the kayak fishing action. On our last day, I lost a huge largemouth bass the spit the hook right next to the kayak. It could have been the best bass of the trip and a personal best, all I have is the video of the bass throwing the hook as it took to the air.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

One of the highlights of the trip was chasing and catching striped bass. We got lucky when a school of stripers started hanging out just a short distance from where we were camping. I managed to catch at least one striper each of the last four days we were on the river. For a fisherman who, until this trip, never fished for or caught a striped bass, it was really exciting.

Colorado River striped bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River was everything we hoped for and then some.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

Adios, for now, to the Colorado River and Yuma, AZ, which was pretty much our home base. We met a lot of nice people and fished with some real hardcore bass fisherman, we had a great time. Thanks to everyone around Yuma for making us feel welcome and giving us the information we needed to find our way around the area. For sure we will be back.

We have a lot of great video we are working on and hope to start posting it on the watermanatwork.com website and YouTube channel.

May 012018
 

We had a good time fishing for smallmouth bass on the Colorado River at Picacho, but we are really looking for largemouth and striped bass because we will be fishing for smallmouth bass all summer on the Columbia River. Hard to beat the Columbia for smallmouth bass fishing and hard to beat the Colorado River for largemouth and striped bass fishing, so we are back on the lower Colorado River. It didn’t take long to get back in the largemouth bass groove. On this day, I got a fish on the first cast about a half hour before sunrise.

Pre dawn Colorado River largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

By the time the sun started to show over the riverside bushes, I had already caught a few nice largemouth bass and farmed a couple more.

Colorado River sunrise

The warm temperature, glassy river water and early morning sunlight made for some spectacular largemouth bass fishing action.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

Getting out there early paid off again with a number of nice early morning largemouth bass.

Nice early morning Colorado River largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

While fishing the shoreline for largemouth bass, I noticed some surface action out of the corner of my eye. There are a lot of carp and tilapia that wallow around the surface here so I didn’t think too much of it until I looked a little closer and saw it was a school of striped bass chasing baitfish against the bank. I’d never seen a school of striped bass before but I paddled as quick as I could over to the feeding frenzy and tossed the only lure I had tied on; a white 4″ grub, into the school of stripers. On the second or third cast I got hit and the fight was on! After a nice battle, I had my first real Colorado striped bass in the kayak.

Colorado River striped bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

At Picacho, I caught a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass on the same day. One day later, I catch a largemouth bass and a striped bass on the same day. Not sure how much you could ask for as a bass fisherman.

After landing my first striper, I was pretty fired up and chased the school of striped bass around the river until they vanished without another bite. The stripers were gone but the largemouth bass fishing was still on fire.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

We were catching so many fish, even one of the locals came over to see if he could get in on all the fishing action.

Natural fisherman on the Colorado River

The largemouth bass action stayed hot until the early afternoon. As the days get longer and hotter, this seems to be the trend. We caught a lot of nice bass while it was good.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The hotter days mean that our time on the Colorado River is coming to an end. Temperatures over 100° for days on end are more than we can handle with the gear we have so it won’t be long before we are headed back to the Columbia River Gorge and a summer of smallmouth bass fishing. The kayak fishing action won’t stop, it will just be changing location. Stay tuned.