Full On Kayak Fishing

It’s time for full on kayak fishing as the winter fishing season comes to an end. There are only a few fishing days left and we are trying to get as much kayak fishing in as possible before we retire the paddle until next fall.

Up at 3:30AM and on the water by 4:30AM. Then a two mile paddle upstream to the fishing spot so we can be there when the sun peeks over the eastern bank of the Colorado River and the largemouth bass, hopefully, start biting.

Sunrise on the lower Colorado River

The reason we get up so early is because sometimes the largemouth bass bite is on from a little before to a little after sunrise. The fishing has not been that good this year and we want to make sure we don’t miss any opportunities to catch fish.

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

The fishing is still not exactly what you would call “on fire”, but the fish that were willing to bite seemed to so earlier in the day rather than later. The fact that daytime temperatures are hitting 100° on a regular basis may be a factor in the early morning fishing activity.

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

There are other fish in the Colorado River besides largemouth and striped bass. I managed to catch a white crappie and this ugly looking catfish. I’ve caught flathead and channel catfish in the Colorado River, but I’m not sure what kind this one is.

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

I caught a few decent largemouth bass in the past few days, but only one really big one. This bass hit the trusty lead head grub and immediately launched into the air trying to throw the hook.

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

It’s a big fish, the kind that straightens out hooks and breaks fishing line. After the initial big jump, the bass hit the air again a few seconds later.

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

After a great fight, I got this nice largemouth bass to the kayak. This was the biggest bass I’d caught for quite some time, one of the best fish of the season for sure.

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

We managed to get some calm fishing conditions and catch a few nice largemouth bass, but the news is not all good. We did catch more fish than we’d been catching, but that’s not saying all that much. The largemouth bass fishing is still below average and I believe a lot of that has to do with the condition of the Colorado River.

The water level of the Colorado River and backwaters, even though it is controlled by dams, is very low. Perhaps the lowest it’s been in decades. Fish habitat that would normally be a few feet or more underwater is now dry land. This would be where fish build spawning nests in the early spring, but that doesn’t happen because those areas are no longer underwater.

Low Colorado River water level and fish habitat that is now dry land

The lower Colorado River gets more shallow and smaller all the time. This is all that’s left of the mighty Colorado River after passing through the major cities of the American southwest. The “beach” the kayak is sitting on would normally be under three or four feet of water. Multiply that three or four feet times a hundred miles and you are talking about a lot of water.

Depleted Colorado River after passing through the American southwest

The situation may not be ideal, but we only have a week or so to go kayak fishing so we are hoping for nothing but calm wind and cool temperatures as we wrap up the season.

Ideal kayak fishing conditions on the Colorado River

I caught the biggest fish of the season last year on the very last fishing trip with one of the last casts so I’m hoping this season ends up with something like that. Check back soon.

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