Great Kayak Fishing for Largemouth Bass

Another short break in the relentless desert wind resulted in some great kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River. We watched the full moon come and go and knew we were missing some good fishing. Fishing at night during the full moon is really cool and we’ve caught some big fish at night.

Full moon Sonoran Desert

The weather forecast was for light morning wind for a couple days, it would be our only chance to go fishing for at least another week. We got all the fishing gear ready to go for a very early morning on the Colorado River.

Kayak fishing prep

The conditions were good with only star light for navigation, but it’s no problem once your eyes get used to the dark. We caught a couple small bass until the action started to heat up just before sunrise.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

In this part of the river, the largemouth bass are most active around sunrise and you can catch a lot of nice fish in a couple hours.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with

The river water here is very shallow, less than three or four feet deep, and the water is unnaturally clear because it comes from the bottom of a large upriver reservoir. The bass are easily spooked and can see you coming a long way off.

Shallow water reeds

This paddle kayak is ideal for conditions like this because there is nothing sticking out the bottom of the boat. Without a motor, I can glide up on the fish in the shallow water without spooking them.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with

For a couple hours, the fishing was on fire. Most of the hard fighting largemouth bass were nice fish, only a few small ones.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The fishing slowed down as the sun and the wind began to rise. We took one last look at a glassy Colorado River wondering if the wind would give us another shot at the fish here before we headed back to the PacNW.

Glassy Colorado River

When we paddle out here, you pass through several backwaters. Kayaks easily pass through here, especially at night when we paddle through here with only the moon and stars for light.

Colorado River backwater

Stoked with great fishing and tired from a long day of paddling, we got back to the campsite, dried everything out and got ready for another early morning on the river. The fishing was good here, but I knew it would be better at another spot, that’s where we were going.

Kayak fish camp

This spot is a little harder to get to and a long paddle, but it’s almost always worth it. The wind is more of a factor there on a larger part of the river. The wind has been coming up quickly lately, often ten miles per hour or better in less than a half hour.

The fishing at night here is usually not that good, the plan is to paddle upriver in the dark and arrive at the fishing spot just before sunrise. If you get there a few minutes early, you can make a few casts, trying not to lose any gear in the dark. The largemouth bass don’t usually bite at night, but this striped bass did.

Colorado River striped bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

I hooked another one a few minutes earlier, but it got away. As the morning sky began to brighten, the largemouth bass started to bite.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

There was a lot of largemouth bass fishing action with most of the bass being really nice fish. The Colorado River is larger here and so are the largemouth bass.

Kayak fishing on the Colorado River with

Unlike the place we were yesterday, the great fishing did not slow down when the morning progressed. As it has been for most of the winter, the wind started to increase quickly and put an end to the best day of kayak fishing we’ve had for months. On the way back to the launch, if we stopped to make a quick cast, we usually caught fish. I managed to get one last bass before we had to stop fishing.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

Out of the wind and back to the roughest boat launch on the Colorado River. It’s a lot steeper than it looks, made up of loose rocks. It’s hard to walk up and you must be super careful driving the truck down. If you loose traction, you’re in the river. We unload the kayaks here in the dark.

Colorado River boat launch

A quick check of the forecast let us know the great run of kayak fishing would end here.

Windy forecast

Every fishing trip here now is more valuable. If the wind continues to increase as it has in the past few years, or even if it stays like it is now, the future for fishing on this part of the Colorado River appears to be in some jeopardy. The river has a lot of water in it now, but that is a temporary situation. Sooner or later, the overuse of the Colorado River is going to have to be reckoned with.

Desert sunrise

Another sunrise on an already windy desert morning. We know where the fish are biting on what we’re throwing, as soon as the wind stops, we’re out there so check back soon.

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