Challenging Kayak Fishing

While the kayak fishing conditions have been good, the river water situation has made for challenging kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River. Calm morning wind and comfortable temperatures made for perfect kayak fishing conditions.

Sunrise on the Colorado River

We managed to catch a few fish in the early morning darkness, but even in the dark it was obvious the the below average fishing was still going on.

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

This section of the Colorado River and it’s many backwaters are still full of underwater weeds. They appear to be dying and turning into a decaying slime that covers the surface of the water. When rivers and lakes are full of this kind of seaweed, it has a negative effect on the fishing. We’ve experienced this here on the Colorado River in the winter and back on the Columbia River in the summer.

So the fishing was not exactly on fire to begin with, when a lot of water was drained out of this section of the river. This time of year, after a long, dry summer, the demand for Colorado River water is the highest its ever been. Due to river dams, and there are some big ones on the Colorado, the water level is regulated by the authorities. The river water level goes up and down, mostly down this time of year. The water is crystal clear, coming from the bottom of an upstream reservoir, that’s kind of unnatural. When the river water levels go up or down, that also seems have a negative effect on the fishing for a couple days. On this day, the river level dropped by about a foot in twenty four hours, which is a lot. You could tell by the “bathtub ring” on the shoreline rocks.

Colorado River water level drop

That all makes for challenging kayak fishing. It’s a shame because the conditions are so nice. I managed to catch a few fish a day, mostly smaller ones, but caught a couple pretty nice largemouth bass.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We headed over to another section of the Colorado River where the fishing might be better. It’s a bit of a drive and a long paddle, definitely an all day trip so the wind has to be cooperative. On top of that, it has the knarliest launch ramp on the Colorado River. It doesn’t look that bad in the photo, but the kayak is over a ten foot hole. Boat trailers go in but they don’t come out.

Primitive boat ramp on the Colorado River

On this section of river, the water level was high with plenty of the dreaded decaying seaweed. It’s hard to say if the fishing is better than average or worse, but at places you’ve had success before, there are expectations. The largemouth bass fishing here was also pretty slow. A lot of small bass, a few nice ones and no big fish.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with

Even if the fishing is excellent, you probably won’t catch five or six eight pound largemouth bass but you might get one or two. Got get out there at every opportunity because you don’t catch anything unless you have a line in the water.

Waning moon pre dawn Columbia River

The fishing will be picking up soon so stay tuned. We’re ready for the big ones to wake up.

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