Kayak Fishing Amid Worldwide Pandemic – Part 1

When the coronavirus hit the United States and travel restrictions were announced, we were camping in the desert southwest, kayak fishing for largemouth bass. Services and personnel on this BLM land were reduced, but the land stayed open. Far from civilization and close to good fishing, we were fortunate indeed to be self quarantined here. The internet service is slow and intermittent, no TV, all there is to do is go fishing, so that’s what we did.

Spring sunrise on the lower Colorado River

Whenever the wind allowed, we were kayak fishing for largemouth bass. With the arrival of spring weather and warmer river water, the bass fishing improved daily. Some days were a bit slower than others, but overall, the fishing was very good with some nice fish caught.

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

With the calm wind and full moon lighting up the desert and water, we started fishing at night. Getting up about 2AM as the moon was high in the night sky, there was enough light to see. As we had hoped, the fishing at night was good. Fishing for largemouth bass during the day is challenging enough, it’s even more challenging at night.

Colorado River largemouth bass caught under a full moon by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

Fishing at night adds another dimension for the kayak fisherman. The fishing was good in the middle of the night, so it wasn’t that hard to get up to go fishing. A few hours of night fishing, the usually pretty good sunrise action and maybe a few more fish before noon.

Just before sunrise on the lower Colorado River

The cool desert night air causes the warming river water to steam until the sun rises enough to raise the temperature a few degrees. A spectacular time to be on a quiet kayak on a calm river

A steamy Colorado River on a cool spring morning

Early mornings are a busy time in the desert around the Colorado River. Water is life in the desert so all the animals make there way down to it sooner or later. Beavers, birds, fish, bugs and this curious desert coyote were all busy.

Desert coyote checking out the watermanatwork.com kayak fishermen on the bank of the Colorado River

The lure that was really working for us was a 5″ watermelon plastic worm. Using a worm hook and Texas rig, this setup was relatively weedless and caught a lot of largemouth bass, day and night. When you have to replace lures because the fish keep chewing them up, the fishing has got to be pretty good.

5" watermelon plastic worm Texas rigged with a 3/0 worm hook

We were hoping the wind would stay calm during the full moon so we could get out for more great night fishing. Get up at 2AM, check the wind and head out if it wasn’t too windy. Catching largemouth bass like this makes it easier to wake up when many people are just going to sleep.

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

With a few nice largemouth bass caught at night, fish caught as the sun rises are icing on the cake.

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

As the wind usually picks up in the late morning, we fished our way back to the launch. Usually, we can get another fish or two on the way back, sometimes you get lucky and get a bigger fish.

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

The fishing is good, the weather is nice and the desert with a full moon is spectacular, which makes it more of a harsher contrast to what is happening in the world. The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it and what the future will bring is anybody’s guess. A trip to the nearest city for supplies brings that reality into sharp focus.

Coronavirus pandemic food line waiting for grocery store to open

Being in a high risk group, I do everything I can to avoid human contact. Being in this remote area makes that a little easier. I camp and fish as far away from civilization as possible and hope I don’t get infected. I use public WiFi to post to this blog, each time I do that, I risk exposure to the virus. Like everyone else, hard decisions must be made.

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