Great Kayak Fishing on the Colorado River

Despite interruptions by persistent desert wind, we managed to find some great kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River over a three day stretch of mostly light wind. Things started out a little slow, but a change of location made all the difference and we wound up with lots of kayak fishing action and some big largemouth bass.

After a week of non-stop desert wind, we were anxious to get back on the water. The wind stopped blowing about midnight and we were on the calm Colorado River a few hours later. The fishing was not as good as we had hoped, especially after a week of essentially no fishing pressure. What fish were active were once again biting at night.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

After landing that nice night time bass, there was very little action until I hooked and landed this nice largemouth bass just as the sun was peeking over the low desert hills to the east.

I caught two nice largemouth bass, but the fishing seemed kind of slow for this time of year with good fishing conditions, so we decided to head to a different spot on the Colorado River.
It’s a longer drive, rough launch site and a long upstream paddle, but were hoping the bass were more willing to bite. The bass on this stretch of river do not usually bite at night, at least not as much as other spots, but it takes about an hour to paddle to the fishing spot, so it’s still an early start. We arrived at the fishing spot just as the eastern sky was beginning to lighten and after a few casts, had the first largemouth bass in the kayak.

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

As the sun rose in the eastern desert sky, we could see the river was clogged with shredded river reeds and other various debris. They are always dredging this section of river to store more water for the thirsty cities of California and Nevada. The dredging operations upriver chew up shoreline and sandbar vegetation like a giant shredder and send it all downstream. These large rafts of debris blocked entire sections of river, depending on the wind and current. The kayak slid over the stuff fairly easily, but a peddle kayak or boat using a trolling motor would probably have a difficult time.

Shredded river vegetation from dredging operations on the Colorado River

Avoiding the river debris, we went searching for Colorado River largemouth bass. We found a lot of nice fish ready to fight.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with

After a few hours of great fishing, it appeared we had made the right call to make the long paddle to this spot. As we made our way back to the launch, we hooked fish after fish. We caught a lot of nice largemouth bass, hardly any “one pounders”. After an exciting and exhausting day of kayak fishing, I landed the last fish of the day, a nice largemouth bass, within sight of the launch.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

My arms were aching after a long day of paddling, but we had to rest up and get ready for one more day of calm wind with the fishing about as good as it gets. When we woke up at 4AM, the wind was blowing harder than forecast and predicted to increase in the early morning hours. It was a borderline call, but with the fishing being as good as it was, we had to give it a go.

The wind was blowing in our faces as we paddled upstream. Combined with weary arms from a long day yesterday, it was slow progress. Dodging floating river debris, we made our way to the fishing spot and after a few casts, began to catch nice largemouth bass. This continued all morning, with a number three to five pound bass caught.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass on the Colorado River with

As we fished our way back to the launch, I got a nice hit and the fish headed to the bottom. I could tell it was a nice fish and after a long fight, I was able to land what might be one of the biggest largemouth bass I have ever caught here. I could probably have stuck my fist in its mouth. It was barely hooked and returned to the river to fight again.

Large Colorado River largemouth bass caught by kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

I caught a few more nice fish after landing this big bass, but this bass will be the poster fish for a great stretch of kayak fishing on the Colorado River. We got some good video of the great fishing so it’s a double win for us.

The fishing is really shaping up so check back soon for more kayak fishing action!

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