The Columbia River is a major river; fourth largest river in the United States and a treacherous waterway for kayaks. There are strong currents, eddies and whirlpools, then add in the world famous Columbia Gorge wind, it’s a real challenge for even the most experienced kayaker. The ocean has tides, which are hard to paddle against and of course there are waves, but you (should) know which way the tide is going and as far as waves go, well, you can see them. If you can’t make it past the surfline, you get beat back to shore. The currents in the Columbia are often unseen until you are in them, they are very strong and can easily capsize a kayak and dump you in the cold Columbia to swim for your life. However, the Columbia River is full with all kinds of fish, when conditions are right, you jump on it.
Of course, the Columbia is famous for salmon and sturgeon, but they are out of season, so today we are going after smallmouth bass. The rocky banks of the Columbia are ideal territory for smallmouth bass, there are plenty of them. Today, there was virtually no wind, a real rarity in the Gorge, so out on the Columbia for smallmouth. As usual, we couldn’t wait to get going for a day of fishing, so we were on the river before sunrise
Started out with a leadhead grub, usually that works pretty well here, but got nothing today. Switched to a spinnerbait, started getting hits right away and landed the first smallmouth bass of 2012
The idea is to cast the lure as close to these rocks as possible and reel in. Usually you get hit on the first couple cranks. The shoreline drops off quickly; the kayak here is in about fifteen feet of water
There was no wind and the sun was warm. After a winter in the Pacific Northwest, this pretty much feels like heaven. The bass kept hitting the spinnerbaits; here’s the biggest one of the day
Always hoping for a bigger fish, but these smallmouths are great fighters, lost more than we caught.
Great day on the Columbia River. Looks calm and serene in the photo below, but the dangerous currents are right around the bend. This is a rare sandy beach on the river, most of the shoreline is steep and rocky
Hoping the wind stays down so we can get out there again tomorrow.