Jul 182017
 

We are going to spending some time on the road, so we here at watermanatwork.com are in the market for a laptop computer that can handle the video and photo editing tasks as well as do a little bit of video gaming on the side. As always, price is a factor. If we had unlimited funds, the decision would be a lot easier, but we need to get the most bang for our bucks. As always, we pay for all of our gear just like you do, so our reviews and articles are not biased in any way. We build all of our own workstations, servers and desktop computers, but laptops are generally pretty limited when it comes to upgrades and customization, so you pretty much have to get the main components you want, like the CPU(processor) and GPU(graphics processor), out of the box. Some components can be upgraded, we’ll cover that as we go along.

We have a pretty good idea of what we would like to spend and the components we can get at that price point. Like most computer purchases, you’ll find computers with mostly the same specifications from different manufacturers. That’s where things like warranty, customer service and company reputation come into the picture. For this computer, we want to stay in the $1200USD range, give or take a few dollars. For sure we want an 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core CPU. This powerful 2.8Ghz(3.8Ghz Turbo) processor will be able to handle all of our editing and gaming needs. It also has onboard graphics, but for our graphics, and especially gaming requirements, we want a dedicated graphics; a graphics processor separate from the main CPU. This will give us much better graphic quality. The best price/performance GPU for our needs is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory. To go with the dedicated GPU, especially for our editing jobs, we want an IPS LCD display. There are cheaper LCD panels, but this is one place we don’t want to skimp. Things we would need are 16G of RAM minimum, a PCIe SSD for our operating system and at least one SSD or hard drive for storage. These components are usually upgradeable, but if we can get what we want from the manufacturer, that will save us money down the road. We’ll get into more details as we go along.

A basic decision is should we go with a traditional mobile workstation or a recent newer line of consumer gaming computers? Mobile workstations are nice; powerful, durable and built for heavy duty work. They also come with a heavy duty price tag, probably close to double what we would like to spend. We are looking at a relatively new genre of laptop “gaming” computers. This type of computer has plenty of power necessary to run demanding computer games which means they have all the power needed for the 1920×1080 video editing and photo work we have. The downside of gaming computers is that they are not as durable as mobile workstations and the cooling may not be as good. Since we will be spending a lot of time traveling, we won’t be able to easily ship the computer back and forth for repairs, so reliability is one of the most important purchasing decisions. As with most computer purchases, it’s a price/performance/reliability trade off that usually causes a potential computer buyer to spend hours doing research trying to figure out which computer or component to purchase.

We’ve been looking around for awhile and have a couple laptops leading the pack for our hard earned money. The Dell Inspirion 15 7000 Gaming(7567) and the Sager NP6852 are the computers that seem to have everything we are looking for. Dell is one of the most well known computer brands while Sager is a laptop specialist popular with enthusiasts.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop computer(7567)

The Dell Inspirion 7567 is a solid computer. Positives would be Dell’s generally good record for quality products and solid warranties. The battery life is very good, perhaps the best, in this computer class, that’s a big plus. Negatives would be Dell’s proprietary software and partitioning scheme that can make upgrades and software configuration difficult, if not impossible. We have a good deal of experience with Dell computers and while Dell Business Customer Service is very good, for everyone else, it is hit and miss. Since we will be in there with “everyone else”, we have to count Dell customer service as mostly negative. For the price and what you get, the Dell Inspirion 15 7000 is still a leading contender, as long as nothing goes wrong.

Sager NP6852-Clevo N850HK1 Sager NP6852-Clevo N850HK1

The Sager NP6852 is actually a Clevo N850HK1. Clevo is a Taiwanese OEM/ODM laptop computer manufacturer, Sager is one of a number of resellers for their laptop computers. The upside of the Sager NP6852 is that is is more user upgradeable/serviceable and for a few bucks more comes a 250G Samsung 960 EVO M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, where the Dell Inspirion comes with a 128GB SSD and 1TB 5400RPM hard drive. The absence of bloatware and proprietary software is a plus. The downside of the Sager NP6852 is the question of reliabilty and customer service. Although reviews on the internet seem mostly positive, we have personally never had any experience with Sager. This is a big negative for us. Sager may be the best company on the face of the earth, we just don’t know anything about them.

We’ve sent emails to both Dell and Sager asking a few questions about their computer’s components and configurations. We’ll see what they have to say and continue with our research. We will also be checking out laptops with basically the same specifications like the Lenovo Legion Y520 and laptops from Asus and MSI. We’ll be updating this blog as we get closer to making a final decision.

7-20-17 Update We’ve been looking at a lot of laptop computers and finally the time spent researching has paid off. We liked the Dell Inspiron 7567 but could not get any information about the computer’s components. Buying a $1200 computer without knowing the brand and model of the PCIe SSD, hard drive and especially, the display panel is ridiculous. I could not get a straight answer from anybody at Dell despite repeated attempts. Emails to Dell sales department went unanswered. Throw in Dell bloatware and proprietary software to compliment the poor customer service and that’s all she wrote.

Despite the fact I had never heard of Sager until we started looking for this laptop, they seemed like they were willing to provide the customer service we would expect. We really liked the Sager NP6852/Clevo N850HK1, but Sager informed me the computer used an LG LP156WF6-SPK3 display panel, which is not a very good IPS panel. We were hoping we could find the Clevo N850HK1 computer from another vendor with a better IPS display panel and we came across Eluktronics.

Eluktronics H850HK1

Eluktronics sells Clevo laptops, but while the chassis, motherboard and other core components are the same, different vendors have different components like display panels, memory, solid state drives hard drives and other components. Eluktronics sells the Clevo N850HK1 as the Eluktro Pro N850 Series N850HK1. It has all the stuff we want; Intel i7-7700HQ Quad Core CPU, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16G DDR4 2400MHz RAM and a 256G M.2 PCIe NVMe Flash SSD. What sold us on this version of the Clevo N850HK1 is that Eluktronics specs their version with Crucial memory, their “house brand” 256GB Eluktro Pro-X Performance M.2 PCIe NVMe Flash SSD, which is a Samsung PM961 Polaris M.2-2280 PCI-e 3.0 x 4 NVMe Single-Sided Solid State Drive and a huge plus is an LG LP156WF6-SPB1 display panel, which is significantly better than the LG LP156WF6-SPK3. Like Sager, I had never heard of Eluktronics until a few days ago. When I contacted them for information, they responded quickly with all the information I asked for. I asked them to swap a hard drive that we really didn’t need for an upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro, they said it would be no problem. Free shipping is also another big plus. Along with a slew of great reviews about Eluktronics, I feel pretty good about purchasing a laptop from them.

Now all we have to do is wait for the new computer to show up!

Jun 152017
 

We get a lot of requests asking what smallmouth bass lures we use. We here at watermanatwork.com do a lot of smallmouth bass fishing on the Columbia River and it’s tributaries and have a pretty good idea what works and what doesn’t. Not all the lures below will work everyplace, everyday, but as a fisherman, what lures to use where and when is what it’s all about. We can’t tell you everything you need to know about every single smallmouth bass fishery, successful fishing has a lot to do with experience. The more you learn, the better your chances of regular success as a bass fisherman.

Smallmouth bass hang out in many different environments depending on the time of year and the water conditions. Finding the fish is the first priority and then getting them to bite a piece of plastic with hooks in it is the second. That’s pretty much smallmouth bass fishing in one sentence. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but that’s pretty much it. The fishing environment and time of year will determine which lures will be successful almost all the time.

We use three main kinds of lures for smallmouth bass fishing; crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics, which include grubs, worms and other soft baits. We’ve caught big twenty inch plus smallmouth bass with all these types of lures so it’s more about using the right lure at the right time and the right place than which type of lure works everyplace all the time. There is no single lure that is guaranteed to catch bass everyplace all the time. It’s your job as a fisherman to figure that out.

We’ll start off with crankbaits. Crankbaits are hard plastic lures with a plastic lip that will make them wiggle around and dive anywhere from a couple feet to more than ten feet or deeper depending on how fast you reel them in. Bass crankbaits usually come with two treble hooks. There are a lot of crankbaits to choose from, but we only use a few types that have proven themselves over time.

Smallmouth bass crankbaits

On top is a floating crankbait the dives below the surface on retrieve. This is kind of an old school lure because it is actually made out of balsa wood. This floating crankbait works best in shallow water so it would be used mainly in the spring and early summer when the smallmouth bass are spawning in shallow water when the water is cool. As the water warms up, the fish head to deeper water. The second lure is a suspended diving crankbait, or “slashbait”. “Suspended” means it will float, or “suspend” below the surface of the water and dive deeper on retrieve. This lure is also hollow and has a ball in it that rattles, but we’re not sure if that actually does anything or is just a marketing deal. This is a really nice lure and will catch lots of smallmouth bass, but it costs about ten bucks, which makes snags, which are common with smallmouth bass habitiat, very expensive. The lip on this particular lure broke off after a short time, not too happy about that. The last lure in this photo is a “Wiggle Wort”. You will probably see this lure more in our salmon fishing posts because the Wiggle Wort is one our favorite salmon fishing lures, but it works for smallmouth bass as well. We don’t catch a whole lot of bass with this lure, but all the smallmouth bass we do catch with it have been big ones, so we keep throwing it out there.

Big Columbia River smallmouth bass caught on a Wiggle Wort

What is our favorite crankbait? Until further notice, it would be the Berkley Flicker Shad. This is a really basic diving crankbait. It works when casting for bass and also can be used to catch smallmouth bass by trolling along dropoffs or weed lines.

Berkley Flicker Shad crankbait for smallmouth bass

A big advantage of the Flicker Shad is that it is inexpensive and readily available. The watermanatwork.com home base is in the Columbia River Gorge and the nearest sporting goods store is a long trip away. The Berkley crankbait is available at Walmart for about four bucks, so losing one is not going to break the bank. We’ve caught a lot of smallmouth bass with this humble and cheap lure.

Smallmouth bass caught with a Berkley Flicker Shad crankbait

Fishing for smallmouth bass with a crankbait is a lot of fun because the bass hit the lure hard, there’s no guessing if you have a bite or not. Varying the speed the lure is retrieved or pausing the retrieve for a moment, then reeling quickly for a few feet will often induce a smallmouth bass to strike. At times, a crankbait may not work as well as other types of lures because the fish are sluggish due to water condtions and will not bother to chase what they think is an escaping baitfish, but we almost always have a crankbait on one of the fishing poles, because we have caught a lot of big smallmouth bass on crankbaits.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught on a diving crankbait

We think that placement and depth are most important when fishing with crankbaits. Color and action, not so much. Putting that lure right in front of a hungry bass is what is going to get the fish to strike. While we don’t feel lure color is the most important thing, we like to have a little bit of red on the smallmouth bass crankbaits. Red eyes are good and when the hooks on the lure get worn out from catching fish or dragging them over rocks and tree stumps, we usually replace the stock black hooks with red hooks. It seems to work, maybe it’s just one of those lucky fishing things guys do.

Next up we have spinnerbaits. These particular spinnerbaits would probably be more accurately described as “safety pin” spinner baits because, well, they resemble a safety pin. The spinnerbaits we use are equipped with a Colorado spinner blade. The round blade with a deep cup create noise and vibration that catch the attention of smallmouth bass. By adjusting the rate of retrieve, you can control the depth of the lure and the amount of ruckus the spinner blade will produce. The vibrations made by the spinner’s blade make it a good choice in murky water or at night when the fish may not be able to see the lure.

Spinnerbaits with Colorado blade for smallmouth bass

Like other smallmouth bass lures, spinnerbaits come in a wide variety of colors. Our general rule of thumb for the best lure color is that on dark days, use a dark color and when the conditions are bright, use a light colored lure. Some smallmouth bass fishermen claim that certain colors work better when the water levels are high and other colors work well when the water levels are low. The same goes when the water is moving fast or if the water is moving slowly. We suspect that this is more of a localized theory and may or may not work where you fish, but if you pay attention to the conditions and lure color, you may discover a trend where you fish for bass. Spinnerbaits are our least used lures, but we have caught fish on all the spinnerbaits in the photo above.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught with a spinnerbait

We have had the most success with the orange, yellow and green skirted spinnerbait. It seems we wind up using these lures during the summer when the sun is out and there are a lot of bass moving around.

Smallmouth bass caught with a spinnerbait with a Colorado blade

Like crankbaits, when a smallmouth bass hits a spinnerbait, there is no doubt if you have a bite or not. The bass hit the lure and the fight is on. Another great thing about spinnerbaits is that they are inexpensive. You can buy into the hype and pay two or three times as much for a “Pro endorsed” spinnerbait, but the truth is that you will most likely catch just as many bass on a lure that costs a couple bucks. We’ve caught some big smallmouth bass on spinnerbaits, but we use them mostly on summer days when the water is warm and there are a lot of medium size bass moving around looking for food. Casting a spinnerbait on light tackle is a lot of fun because even smaller bass put up a great fight.

The final group of lures we use can be grouped in the general classification of “soft plastics”. Almost every bass fisherman has a boatload of this type of lure because the come in so many configurations and colors, as well as being the cheapest smallmouth bass lures you can buy. This is important because smallmouth bass tend to hang around rocks and underwater structure like sunken trees and it is inevitable that you are going to lose some gear.

Soft plastic smallmouth bass lures

At the top of the photo there are two soft plastic swimbaits. This type of soft plastic lure has a lead core with a soft plastic body and a tail that spins when retrieved. This is a good lure to use in a place where you might want to use a crankbait but the potential for snags is high. Instead of losing an expensive crankbait to a snag, using a soft swimbait that resembles a small baitfish like a crankbait does will only set you back a buck or two instead of losing a crankbait that costs three or four times as much. These swimbaits work well when the smallmouth bass are hanging on the very bottom. Drop the swimbait to the bottom and do your best to make the thing look like an injured bait fish. We have caught some big smallmouth bass with swimbaits fished along the bottom.

Smallmouth bass caught on a soft plastic swimbait

Another popular soft plastic bait are plastic worms. You may also hear fishermen call this type of plastic worm “Senkos”, which is a brand name for a kind of plastic worm. They come in all sorts of colors and different lengths. Used with a lead head hook, the plastic worms are fished off the bottom. Letting the worm settle on the bottom, raising it up, reeling in a bit and letting it fall back to the bottom works well with smallmouth bass. Often, the bass will hit the worm as it falls back to the bottom, but smallmouth bass are aggressive fish and will hit a lure any time it’s in the water. Along with plastic worms and plastic fish, there are soft plastic frogs, lizards, crayfish, leeches and grubs; all in various sizes and colors for you to spend your hard earned cash on.

Our favorite soft plastic lure, in fact, our favorite smallmouth bass fishing lure, is a leadhead grub. The ones we like best are about three inches long in a clear/reddish pink color used with an 1/8 ounce yellow lead head with red eyes. As with other soft plastics, these grubs come in many colors and sizes. The lead heads also come in a wide variety of colors and weights. Since we use lightweight spinning tackle most of the time, the 1/8 ounce size casts a long way and doesn’t get snagged as easily as heavier lures.

Leadhead grubs for smallmouth bass fishing

I can’t tell you how many smallmouth bass we have caught on these simple lures. Many days, this will be the only lure we use. If a lure is catching fish, why would you change it? We might have to change to a new grub because the one we’ve been using is completely chewed up, but this is definitely our “go to” smallmouth bass lure. A smallmouth bass favorite food is crayfish and I guess this looks like one to them, that’s probably why we’ve had so much success with it.

Smallmouth bass caught with a leadhead grub

Casting a grub up against rocks on the river bank and letting the grub bounce down the rocks under water, waiting a couple seconds, then lifting the lure off the rocks or the bottom will often get a strike from a smallmouth bass that hangs along the rocks waiting for a crayfish to swim out. The key is casting the lure right next to the rocks, bouncing off the rocks is fine. You will get a few snags fishing like this, but in a kayak, you can paddle right up to the rocks and usually get your lure back. These grubs are probably the cheapest setup you can use. Even if you lose a whole pack of them, it would probably cost less than a single crankbait. That’s one of the big reasons we like these things. If it costs less to catch fish, why would you pay more? You can also cast the grubs, let them go to the bottom and sit for a second or two, then lift the lure off the bottom as you retrieve a few cranks and let the grub settle back to the bottom. Like the plastic worms, smallmouth bass will often hit the lure as it falls back down towards the bottom. Even though these grubs are small lures, we have caught many large twenty inch plus trophy smallmouth bass with them.

Nice Columbia River smallmouth bass caught with a leadhead grub

That’s pretty much our collection of smallmouth bass lures. Not saying we are the world’s greatest smallmouth bass fishermen, but we do OK and have caught quite a few big smallmouth bass all with the lures described in this article. As with all the product reviews and descriptions here on the watermanatwork.com website, we buy all these things ourselves just like you do. We are not sponsored by anybody, we don’t belong to any clubs and we don’t promote anything except for having fun kayak fishing without spending a lot of money. We are just guys who love to fish and we happen to use kayaks.

Now that you know what you need to catch smallmouth bass, you should get off your phone or computer and do some fishing.

May 242017
 

One thing about the Pacific Northwest; things change all the time and sometimes they can change pretty quickly. The Columbia River Gorge is noted for it’s “natural beauty”, but almost everything is controlled, or has been altered by humans. The one thing that still is 100% natural is the weather, there is plenty of that. The nice weather months seem to pass very quickly, spring is nearly over and summer is almost here. The sunrise is earlier every day.

Early morning kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River

The smallmouth bass fishing on the the Columbia River is starting to look more like summer conditions as well. More fish moving around and willing to bite, but most are smaller fish eating to grow.

Only the big ones get away

The state record smallmouth bass is about eight or nine pounds, we use pretty lightweight tackle so we can have fun with the smaller fish. The fishing line we use may be a little heavier than normal, say about ten or twelve pound test, in case we do manage to hook into a new state record fish, but mostly because the bass are around rocks and you get a lot of snags.

With summer rolling around, there are more people out on the river, perfect timing for this SUPer to watch me catch a fish.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River

Smallmouth bass are aggressive fish and great fighters when hooked. Even the small fish put up a great fight. Regardless if most of the bass are in the quarter to one pound range, you have to keep on your toes because not all the fish are small. The Columbia River is one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries anywhere and there a lot of big fish in the river. Nice day, good fishing and a big smallmouth bass is pretty much perfect fishing.

Smallmouth bass caught kayak fishing on the Columbia River

Get out there and go fishing!

May 212017
 

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest is starting to look more like summer. When the wind is calm, and it is not that easy to predict when that will occur, we are out again on the Columbia River for a little kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. The Columbia River is one of the best places for smallmouth bass fishing in the United States. The smallmouth bass can be found just about everywhere on the river, all a fisherman has to do is find them.

Kayak fishing in the Columbia River Gorge

There are many places to launch kayaks on the Columbia River. As long as you can get to the river’s edge, which in places is easier said than done, you can launch the kayak and look for the fish. A fisherman could easily spend the entire spring and summer on the Columbia River fishing for smallmouth bass. There are places to camp and the environment ranges from temperate rain forest to high desert in just a couple hundred miles.

Kayak fishing on the Columbia River at a remote launch site

As it has been since springtime struggled to emerge from the brutal 2016-17 winter here in the Columbia River Gorge, the water levels in the Columbia River remain high with strong currents and high river flows. The water level in the river is controlled by the dams and there is plenty of water from snowmelt to keep the pools behind the dams at maximum levels. I don’t think they can let much more water through the dams without flooding at this point. The high water, constantly changing water levels and sediment in the water have not made for the best fishing. Perhaps the oxygen level of the water, which comes from the bottom of the pool behind the dams, is lower than normal, making the fish sluggish. All of this is making for much slower than normal smallmouth bass fishing. We are catching a few bass, but you really have to work at it. We’re catching more small fish, so the spawning season is over and we should be seeing a little more action from the small to medium size smallies, but at this point, the smallmouth bass fishing around here remains challenging.

Early morning smallmouth bass fishing

We’ll be back out on the river tomorrow, then we have some business to take care of so we might not have a chance to go fishing as much as we would like to. The kayak is on the truck and ready to go in the morning.

Kayak fishing

When you have an opportunity to get out and do something you like to do, you should get out there. You can never be sure what tomorrow will bring. The only thing you can be sure of is that things will always change, many times not for the better. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next weekend or when the weather is better. Get out there today!

May 122017
 

We had a stretch of nice days with moderate winds so we were out on the Columbia River on the kayaks doing a little smallmouth bass fishing. There was a slight delay in launching in the morning as we waited out one of the Columbia Gorge’s infamous long trains. The tracks usually run along side the interstate so you don’t often have to cross train tracks, but if you do and there is a train coming, you may be in for a long wait watching the flashing red lights.

Early morning freight train in the Columbia River Gorge

The water level in the Columbia River is extremely high. It’s as high as I’ve ever seen and don’t think it goes much higher without calling it a flood. The upriver dam controls the amount of water in the river so unless there was some kind of huge natural disaster, there wouldn’t be any serious flooding on this part of the river. The water is high and the current is super strong, keeping us off the main channel until it calms down a bit. The water is still off color as well and the smallmouth bass fishing remains challenging. We did manage to scrape out a few fish before the early afternoon wind ended the kayak fishing day.

Columbia River smallmouth bass

The size of the fish seems to be getting a little smaller so that may mean the bass are starting to move around more as they normally do when the water warms up. That’s good news for the fishing, but now we are back to very windy days so it will be another day or two before we can get back out on the water. Perhaps the water level will drop a little and the water flow will start to settle down.

May 072017
 

It was a beautiful spring day today, perfect for a bike ride around Hood River, Oregon. This area is undoubtedly one of the best places in the United States to ride bikes. Riding on the road through the valleys and mountains of the Columbia Gorge or on one of the many trails on a mountain bike, it’s pretty hard to beat. We are lucky enough to be able to ride here all the time, something we are very thankful for.

The road through the Hood River valley to Mt Hood

The spring pear blossom bloom is pretty much over. Some of the apple trees are still blooming. Lots of bees flying around.

Mt Adams 5-7-17

The mountain biking is great, but we are on a short and quick fitness program, so you get more workout bang for your buck on the road bike. For the next couple weeks, if we aren’t kayak fishing, we will be bike riding. Looks like decent weather as well so we are looking forward to every day.

May 052017
 

We had a few nice days that have gotten the kayak fishing for smallmouth bass season going full speed ahead. The sun is out and the wind is mostly calm, that’s winning half the battle right there.

Kayak fishing on the Columbia River

The river flow has calmed down a bit, but there are still plenty of sections of fast moving water and dangerous currents. The water in the main channel is still on the off-color side, hopefully it will settle down over the next few days. The fishing conditions remain challenging, as they always are in the spring, but we managed to land a few nice springtime smallmouth bass.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught while kayak fishing

The silty water is not the only challenge as far as river conditions go. There has been a lot of rain and snow this winter/spring, so there is plenty of water running down from the mountains into the Columbia River. As the huge river dams let water out, the water level between dams rises pretty quickly. When the dams cut down on releasing water during the dry summer months, the water level drops. We’ve found that these changing water levels tend to considerably slow the smallmouth bass bite. You can see in the photo below by the markings on the riverside plants how much the water level in the river can change in a day or two.

Changing water levels makes for challenging fishing conditions

No matter what time of the year, you must hunt for the smallmouth bass. You not get a bite in the morning, but catch a fish in the same spot in the afternoon. As the water levels and temperatures change, the bass will move and you have to find them.

Columbia River smallmouth bass

The smallmouth bass are there, we are hoping that the river water clears up a little. We think once the water is a little cleaner, the bass fishing will really turn on for the season.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River

We’re pretty stoked to have been able to catch a few nice smallmouth bass in the past week or so. Spring bass fishing is challenging but those big fish are waiting.

Columbia River smallmouth bass

Had some wild thunderstorms last night and looks like a couple more days of wind, hoping the river will clean up and be ready for some great smallmouth bass fishing!

May 032017
 

We’ve had some good weather so we are out there kayak fishing for big smallmouth bass on the Columbia River. The weather is nice and the river water is actually pretty warm for this time of year, but the main channel looks like cement. Visibility is maybe a foot, if that. It’s the same story every season; get out early season and the bass are bigger, but you don’t catch nearly as many fish as you would in the summer. Last year the water was really low, this year it’s really high. Currents are very strong with a lot of water coming through the dams.

Early morning kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River

Even though the conditions are not ideal, this is the time of year for the big bass. We got a couple nice ones, but had to put in a lot of paddling and casting to get them. More photos in the next day or two, but the first back to back long kayak fishing days after a long winter of fattening up have got us tired out. Looks like one more try for the lunker smallmouth bass tomorrow and then the wind is back for a few days.