Feb 162021
 

The two places we do most of our kayak fishing, at home on the Columbia River in Washington, or here on the Colorado River in the desert southwest, neither one is known for calm, peaceful weather, so to get five consecutive days of calm wind and good fishing is a rare treat. It was a long week of kayak fishing, up at 3:00AM and paddling out by 4:00. Got the kayak fishing gear squared away for the early morning wakeup call.

Getting the kayak fishing gear ready

The good night fishing for largemouth bass continued from where it had left off about a week ago.

Kayak fishing at night with watermanatwork.com

This time of year is not prime largemouth bass fishing season so a good day of largemouth bass fishing may be one or two fish. While you may catch more largemouth bass in the spring and summer, the bass that are active in the winter months are a little bigger. The bigger fish do seem to be more active at night.

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

Only a sliver of the fading moon rose in the early morning sky an hour before the sun.

Crescent moon rises in the eastern desert sky over the Colorado River

After a week of strong desert wind, it’s great to see perfect, glassy conditions for kayak fishing.

Kayak fishing at dawn on the Colorado River

The fishing for largemouth bass is challenging at this time of year. The water levels of the Colorado River basin are very low and the water is perfectly clear. Hard to sneak up on hungry bass with those conditions, but a kayak is the ideal vehicle.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass with watermanatwork.com

The conditions were perfect for kayak fishing, but the fish stopped biting as soon as the sun came up. An early morning largemouth bass like this was usually the last fish of the day.

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

For five straight days it was literally fish, eat, sleep. Getting up at 3:00AM is no joy, but when you know that ninety minutes later, dark or not, you will be catching nice largemouth bass, it’s easier than getting up for work at 6:00AM.

Kayak fishing at night with watermanatwork.com

In the course of the five day kayak fishing run, I caught some nice largemouth bass at night.

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

Sunrise over the Colorado River wetlands is a special time of day. All the animals, especially the birds, are waking up and it gets noisy real quick.

Sunrise over the Colorado River wetlands

The glassy morning water conditions lasted longer than the fish were biting, so we take pictures instead.

Glassy morning water conditions on the Colorado River

Every day was different, from overcast to clear blue skies. Most days there were at least a few clouds in the morning.

Sunrise over the Colorado River

Heading back to the launch into the rising sun, hoping to pick off one more largemouth bass.

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

We managed to have just enough luck in the early morning hours to get nice video of some great kayak fishing for largemouth bass.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass with watermanatwork.com

I caught some nice largemouth bass that made all the effort worth it.

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

The desert wind is blowing again, ending a great stretch of kayak fishing, but giving us time to catch up on all the computer work. We’re getting set up to make blog posts more frequent and post more video, so check back soon.

Feb 042021
 

As America and the world are paralyzed by the COVID pandemic, we here at watermanatwork.com are hanging on just like everybody else. All you can really do is keep your distance from other people and wear a mask in any building. Might as well go fishing. As far as socially distant outdoor activities go, kayak fishing is pretty distant.

It’s especially distant if you launch the kayaks by 4AM. In certain spots of the wide backwaters of the Colorado River, the fishing at night for largemouth bass has been as good, or better, than during the day. Definitely a different fishing experience at night, but I think a kayak is a real advantage in the dark.

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

Just after sunrise, when there is no wind, it’s almost like an optical illusion.

Kayak fishing just after sunrise on the Colorado River

If you stare at the scenery long enough, you may lose your balance and fall out of the kayak. No worries, due to the low water level of the Colorado River, this water is only a few feet deep.

Kayak fishing just after sunrise on the Colorado River

And for some reason, perhaps due to the shallow water where the fish can see you a long ways off, when the sun came up, the fishing turned off. Dodging desert wind storms, the only calm winds were at night. The fish were biting as well.

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

It isn’t dead calm all the time and in the desert, the wind picks up fast and there’s not much to block it. It takes a while to paddle back to the launch, into a headwind most of the time.

Wind picking up just before sunrise on the Colorado River

I’m sorry the only photos of the night fishing are of me holding up fish, but that’s all I can manage when it’s pitch black at night. I have to have photos or it didn’t happen.

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

I’m wearing a glove because I cut myself with a knife. There were a few nice fish caught after sunrise.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

After catching a nice bass at night just an hour or so earlier, I got this largemouth bass minutes after the sun rose over the desert hills. Haven’t had a fill flash shot for Miller for awhile.

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

It’s windy now, but supposed to die down in a couple days, so we’re hoping for the best. We’re working on getting the blog posts quicker, maybe even the same day, so check back soon and stay safe. That’s most important.

Jan 142021
 

We thought the desert wind had put an end to the 2020 fishing season, when the wind suddenly died on the last morning of the year and let us get one more fishing session before this miserable year came to a close.

When I say the wind died in the morning, I mean the early morning, up at 3AM and on the water by 4AM. That’s very early to be getting up on the last day of December, but with the nearly full moon, the conditions for kayak fishing at night were ideal. The largemouth bass fishing has been good at night and that trend continued as the last few bass of 2020 were in the kayak.

Last largemouth bass of 2020 caught at night under a full moon by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

Most of the fish we caught, especially the bigger bass, were caught before sunrise. The fishing conditions were ideal, but as the sun came up, the fishing slowed down. The last kayak fishing photo of 2020.

Just before sunrise on the last watermanatwork.com kayak fishing trip of 2020

New Years Day was windy, but the wind stopped blowing the following morning and the fishing was really good. I caught three or four nice largemouth bass in about forty five minutes.

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

Shooting video and photos in the dark is not an easy thing. If the largemouth bass fishing remains good at night, which we hope it does, we will be looking to get some good video and are working on a night setup. With the bigger fish active at night, we don’t want to miss the best kayak fishing action.

Kayak fishing at night for Colorado River largemouth bass with watermanatwork.com

After great night of fishing, we hit it early again the next day. While we didn’t catch as many fish as the night before, but did manage to catch this nice largemouth bass.

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

The sun came up, it was a beautiful day with hardly any wind. As you can see in the photo below, there were even fish jumping around, but after about 9AM, we did not even get a nibble. We already caught some nice fish while it was still dark, but when the conditions are perfect, you’d like to take advantage of them because it doesn’t happen every day.

Perfect kayak fishing conditions on the Colorado River

Mid winter is not the ideal time of year for largemouth bass fishing in this part of the country, but we are catching nice fish and look forward to more good fishing ahead in 2021. Check back soon and stay safe.

Dec 302020
 

As winter arrives in the desert, there isn’t any snow(around sea level anyway), the days get windier and cooler and the water temperature drops. The wind has picked up to keep us off the water for the rest of 2020, but we did manage to get out kayak fishing on the Colorado River and had some great fishing sessions.

The weather has ranged from clear skies to overcast and even some light rain. Getting out on the water between passing weather fronts is what it’s all about. The wind forecasts are helpful, but sometimes they aren’t real close on the wind speed.

A cloudy winter sunrise kayak fishing on the Colorado River

As it has been lately, the fishing for largemouth bass at night has been good. A lot of these night bass have been pretty good sized fish. One morning, I caught this nice largemouth bass while it was pitch black because of clouds blocking the stars.

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

About a half hour later, I caught another big largemouth bass, maybe a little bigger than the one I just caught. The sun was just starting to rise in the east on a cloudy desert morning that was turning out to be a great day of kayak fishing.

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

The cloudy weather and dropping temperatures made for spectacular sunrises over the Colorado River.

Dawn sky over the Colorado River on a misty winter day

Early mornings in the desert around the Colorado River are active with lots of wildlife. Water is life in the desert and sooner or later, the animals come down to the river to drink, like this family of raccoons.

Raccoons on the bank of the Colorado River

Most mornings the clouds would eventually burn off and the temperature would start to rise, warmed by the rising sun.

The morning sun begins to burn through the clouds over the Colorado River

Catching fish at night is great, but it’s not adding to the watermanatwork.com video library, so we are happy to report that the fishing remained good through the morning hours so we got some great kayak fishing video.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

After fishing in the dark for hours, the morning sun can be blinding because of the low angle of the sun that reflects off the water. I hadn’t even got my sunglasses out when I caught this largemouth bass just as the sun rose over the hills.

2020 has been a year we are happy to see in the rear view mirror. These blog posts may make it appear that everything is great, but it’s not. Things have been difficult for us, just like it has for everyone else, and we hope that things get better soon. Stay safe and check back soon because there will be more kayak fishing adventures!

Dec 132020
 

After a week of non-stop double digit desert wind, we returned to the Colorado River to find the water level a few feet lower than it was the week before. With water from the bottom of the upstream reservoir flushing through the lower Colorado River system at a rapid clip, it was no surprise that the largemouth bass fishing was slow.

Slow fishing during the day and wind coming up in the late morning/early afternoon, we started to fish at night, actually early morning, to see if we might have better luck. The fishing is a bit more challenging at night, but the great night sky show of stars, planets and meteors more than make up for it. If you are a fan of astronomy, this has been a banner season so far.

The moon and Venus before sunrise on the Colorado River

For the past few days, the fishing at night has been pretty good. We weren’t catching a lot of largemouth bass, but the fish we were catching were big. I caught this nice largemouth bass just as the eastern sky was starting to light up from the rising desert sun.

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

The next night we paddled out at a different spot where we thought we might have a little more river water to work with. With the sliver of moon rising just before sunrise, it was pretty dark fishing, although there were a lot of shooting stars for entertainment. Then, out of the blackness, a big hit, multiple jumps all in the dark and managed to land this big largemouth bass.

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

Usually by the time the morning sun appeared over the eastern desert hills, we had at least one nice largemouth on the tab. As the sun rose higher in the sky, we picked off a few more fish, but the best action was at night.

Colorado River sunrise 12-10-20

Once again we are on wind delay for a few days. There is fishing and kayaking gear that needs some work and then we are back out there as soon as the conditions permit.

We here at watermanatwork.com hope everyone is safe and healthy. Take care of yourself, have consideration for others, wear a mask and hopefully we will all be fishing soon.

Dec 022020
 

We’ve had a pretty good run of favorable weather and good kayak fishing on the Colorado River for the past few weeks, but the winter desert wind has made it’s appearance with a week of 15-20 mph wind nearly every day with at least another week of strong winds in the forecast. With the COVID pandemic worsening, we are not anxious to go into town at all, so we are hanging out in the desert until the wind dies down, catching up on computer work and going for a few bike rides.

Before the wind came up, we did manage to sneak out before the wind picked up, usually in the late morning, and get a bit more of some good kayak fishing for largemouth bass. The fishing at night as been as good as during the day. It’s too bad it’s windy because we are missing a week or more of night fishing with the full moon. I didn’t catch any big fish, but did catch a few decent fish before sunrise.

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

By the time the sun began to rise in the eastern desert hills, I had already caught a few nice largemouth bass on a day where the wind was predicted to be marginal for kayak fishing. We took a gamble, especially since the fishing had been so good, and it paid off.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River before sunrise

Largemouth bass are not the only fish in the Colorado River. This aggressive sunfish hit a plastic worm that’s only a couple inches smaller than him.

An aggressive Colorado River sunfish caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The Colorado River fish live in these backwater patches of reeds and bushes. The reeds float on top of the water, providing plenty of cover for the fish. We can only hope to catch the fish at the edges of these reeds. A kayak can get into these patches of reeds, but the water is shallow and the fish are easily spooked.

Backwater reeds in the Colorado River provide fish with cover

Conditions were good until the wind picked up. The fishing seemed to be tapering off somewhat, but we still caught a few nice, hard fighting largemouth bass.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

All we can do now is look at the photos and videos from a few weeks of great kayak fishing on the Colorado River and hope the windy conditions go away quickly so we can get back out there.

Sunrise over the Colorado River 11-23-20

We have all our camera gear back online again and we are ready to go so check back soon for more kayak fishing action!

Nov 202020
 

With calm wind and mild weather, we have been having some great kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River. Not to say the fish have been jumping in the kayak. The largemouth bass fishing has been challenging, to say the least. One or two fish for a long day of fishing would have to be considered successful when the fish you do catch are big fish.

With the best wind conditions early in the morning, we’ve been doing a bit of night fishing. There has been a fantastic celestial show with a number of planets and shooting stars. There is enough starlight to see once your eyes get used to the darkness. The fishing has been about as good at night as it is during the day and we’ve caught some nice largemouth bass before sunrise.

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

The night and early mornings are great times to be out in the desert. It’s even better when you are out on the water in the desert in the early morning.

Early morning before sunrise on the Colorado River

The fishing has also been pretty good right around sunrise. Some nice largmouth bass have been caught just as the sun peeks over the low desert hills.

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

Even if it’s the only largemouth bass in the lake that’s willing to bite, you have to find it. Especially if it’s a big one.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

Just after sunrise and before the wind picks up, the kayak fishing conditions can be just about perfect. The water is unaturally clear and cold because it comes from the bottom of a reservoir. The cold water may be the cause of the challenging fishing.

Perfect kayak fishing conditions on the lower Colorado River

As the wind picks up and the desert sun starts to heat things up, fishing our way back to the launch and famous “one last cast” fishing technique has resulted in a few nice bass.

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

The wind has picked up and a couple of our cameras have taken a dump so we need to head into town to pick up some new gear. We’ve got more video from all the big bass fishing from the last week or so and there’s always more kayak fishing action coming up so check back soon.

Nov 092020
 

We’ve settled into the desert southwest kayak fishing camp and have been kayak fishing every possible day since arriving. With everything that’s happened and everything that probably is going to happen, we aren’t wasting a single potential fishing day and treating every single day the the last day on earth.

Thankfully, after windy summer on the Columbia River, the weather here on the Colorado River has been just about perfect for kayak fishing. With calm winds and moderate temperatures, an early start to the day’s fishing is the way to go.

Colorado River sunrise

The fishing for largemouth bass was pretty good when we first started fishing and caught some nice fish even before the sun came up.

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

The weather ranged from hot, sunny days to overcast and mild, but the wind stayed calm making for perfect kayak fishing conditions.

Overcast sunrise over the Colorado River

The fishing was typical for this spot. You usually don’t catch a lot of bass here, but the fish you manage to catch are usually pretty good size.

Nice Colorado River largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish
Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

With nice weather and calm wind at night, we were able to do some night fishing under the full moon.

Kayak fishing under a full moon on the Colorado River

We caught a few largemouth bass at night, but the fishing was slowing down a bit, so no big fish like we caught last year. The season is just starting though.

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

The best time for fishing seemed to be in the early morning with the full moon and rising sun.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

The weather and kayaking conditions remined perfect, but the fishing started to slow down, probably due to rapidly fluctuation river water levels.

Perfect kayak fishing conditions on the Colorado River

Even though the bass were not exactly jumping in the kayak, we managed to get a few nice largemouth bass. With fishing like this, one or two really nice fish can make a great day.

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

With the fishing that was good a week ago starting to stall out, we headed to some other spots on the river to see if the fishing was any better. Not much of a launch beach, but if the river is higher or lower, you can’t launch at all.

Colorado River kayak fishing launch

The fishing wasn’t that great here either so we headed to try one last spot. Turns out that was a very good decision.

Nov 092020
 

With the fishing being generally slow, we started fishing at places that we normally don’t fish, looking in every nook and cranny for a hiding largemouth bass. Another early start on a beautiful desert southwest morning.

Colorado River sunrise

In a spot we’ve paddled past all the time, we had the best few days of big time largemouth bass fishing in a long time. From sunrise until about ten o’clock, the fishing action was pretty much non-stop.

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

We weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the great fishing.

Fishing birds on the Colorado River

The largemouth bass fishing was great with most fish over two pounds.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com
Nice Colorado River largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The wind picked up and made kayak fishing conditions on the questionable side but we decided, because the fishing had been so good, to try for an early morning session before the wind really picked up to double digits, a headwind paddling back to the launch. We paddled to the windy fishing spot and increasing clouds at sunrise.

Windy and overcast Colorado River sunrise

Hitting it early for one more try really paid off this time because shortly after arriving at the spot just before sunrise, I caught this nice largemouth bass after a long battle.

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

Just a few minutes later, just a short distance away, another big hit, great fight and another nice largemouth bass was in the kayak.

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

The early morning action continued.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with watermanatwork.com

In the race with the rising wind, I managed one more nice bass before we had to head back to the launch.

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

We caught a lot of big largemouth bass, but the biggest one probably got away. A big fish straightened the hook on this jig head and got away. After that, I started using a little heavier duty lead head.

Chewed fishing lure

By the time we returned to camp, the wind was blowing nearly twenty miles per hour and a few scattered storm cells moved through the area.

Rainbow from a passing desert rain storm

A great week of kayak fishing for largemouth bass that is going to be tough to beat, but as soon as the wind dies, we’ll be back on the water. Check back soon for more kayak fishing action!

Oct 262020
 

We had a safe and uneventful trip from the watermanatwork.com headquarters in the Pacific Northwest to the sunny desert southwest and the lower Colorado River. The hot summer desert temperatures were lingering well into October with temperatures reaching into the mid to high 90’s. Like our home in the Columbia River Gorge, everything here is subdued to the COVID pandemic and restrictions. There are noticeably less “snowbirds” and RVers in the area, although that may change as winter sets in. Like everywhere else in the country, there is a sense that there is going to be trouble following the upcoming elections, so who knows how long the fishing trip is going to last?

In order to save trips from the desert into town to use increasing limited public WiFi, I’m posting this using my mobile phone. When I process video with the laptop computer, there will be additonal content, but now we are just getting going.

After a summer of endless Columbia Gorge wind that limited the smallmouth bass fishing, we arrived on the Colorado River to warm weather and calm winds.

Kayak fishing at sunrise on the Colorado River

The fishing for largemouth bass has been pretty good. For the first week of kayak fishing with excellent fishing conditions, I averaged between two and three bass a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but the bass were all two pounds or better.

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

We’ve got a good batch of video for the first attempt of the season. Today, we are sitting out a raging desert windstorm with the wind gusting up to 50mph. It’s supposed to calm down in a day or so and we’re back on the river while we still are able. Keep checking in for more kayak fishing, we’re just getting going.