Oct 052020

As the Coronavirus summer comes to a smoky end here in the Pacific Northwest, we finally got out on the Columbia River for some kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in eastern Washington. The coronavirus pandemic has changed life forever but we have to get back to the things that give life meaning. Like fishing.

Salmon fishing has been exceptionally poor and exceptionally crowded. This is the first time in decades we have not fished for salmon and assume that we have pulled our last Columbia River salmon into the kayak. Fishermen who usually might fish for salmon are now spending the early fall fishing for walleye and smallmouth bass.

On top of everything else, we have rampaging wildfires filling the entire area with smoke. They say there’s no problem a good day of fishing can’t solve. It’s a tall order these days, but we are going to give it a shot.

Smoky sunset over the Columbia River

We paddled out early on a calm Columbia River with the October harvest moon lighting the way.

Harvest moon shines over the Columbia River

The sun rose low and slow in the smoky eastern Washington sky. Summer days are long here, but in the fall, they start to get short real quick.

Smoky sunrise over the Columbia River

It took a while to find the smallmouth bass who were hiding out in deeper water outside the widespread seaweed that choked the water closer to shore.

Kayak fishing on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com

Most of the bass were aggressive “half pounders” with the bigger fish farther out from shore in deeper water.

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

A reminder of how dangerous the risk of fire is was made clear by this small brush fire that seemed to start out of nowhere. It looks like small clouds, but it’s a brush fire.

Brush fire starting on the bank of the Columbia River

The weather was nice, the wind was mostly calm, which has been rare this summer, and the fish were biting so it was a pleasant and much appreciated break from reality.

Kayak fishing on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com
Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

This is going to wrap up the 2020 fishing season, but the good news is that the situation in the desert southwest has stabilized to the point that we can head south for some kayak fishing for big Colorado River largemouth bass. Stay tuned and stay safe!

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