We braved the 105° afternoon heat to do a little kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River. A few days ago, water was released from the upstream Columbia River dam which raised the very low river water levels and probably cooled the water off as well, which seemed to make the smallmouth bass more eager to bite. Today, after a couple 100° days, the water is lower and no doubt warmer, so the fishing was a little slow. It’s always harder to find bass in the hot summer months than it is in the spring. The bigger fish are in deeper water, so the best place to fish is along underwater dropoffs. With the new Lowrance Elite 3X on the blink, finding these underwater ridges is much more difficult. We caught a few smaller fish and I managed to get a nice one on one of the underwater ridges before the intense heat forced us off the water.
I do the best I can to protect myself from the sun using sunscreen, protective clothing and sunglasses, but a couple days on the water in over 100° has left me with some sunburn and feeling pretty drained. The heat and drought conditions are not good for the fish either and the news about the drought’s effect on the local fish is not good. Salmon and steelhead fishing will, hopefully, begin in earnest here in the next week or two, but it doesn’t look like the weather is going to cool down very much, who knows what’s going to happen?