Kayak Fishing Basics

In this post, we are going to cover some kayak fishing basics that apply everywhere. We’ll start by showing a little winter kayak fishing on the Colorado River like we usually do this time of year, but things are different this time around.

It has been very windy here in the Colorado River basin and we haven’t been doing much fishing. Local fishermen say it’s been getting hotter and windier every year. Since I’ve coming here, I would agree with them, but I am not here in the summer.

Finally got a few days of calm wind to finally get back on the river. The endless desert wind had finally stopped, not a cloud in the sky. As a bonus, it was a full moon that would make night kayaking a breeze.

Full moon desert southwest

We got started fishing early in the morning. Very early. The calm wind in the morning is only temporary and the wind can come up quickly. The fishing can be very good at night but we hadn’t been fishing in weeks, so we had no idea what the conditions would be like. The full moon and glassy conditions were ideal for kayak fishing at night.

Kayak fishing full moon over the CO River

The largemouth bass fishing was not on fire, to put it mildly. The dead of winter is not primetime bass fishing, but you can usually catch nice fish. We have caught some nice largemouth bass at night and before sunrise, but this night I only managed a couple small bass. I was momentarily distracted from the mediocre fishing by the incredible Colorado River sunrise.

Colorado River sunrise

Even if the fishing sucks, if I can get a couple nice photos or even one great thirty second video clip, the day has been a success. There is always something going on with nature and a kayak is a great way to get around on the watery parts of it.

Early morning CO River

Just when you think all the fish in the river are dead, a nice largemouth bass comes along to save the day. In two days of fishing, this was the biggest bass by a long way.

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

The unusually slow fishing is what brings us to the kayak fishing basics. The one thing you need to go kayak fishing, before the kayak and all the fishing gear, is water. That is the one thing that is missing from the Colorado River. If the water level in the river gets any lower, there won’t be any river at all. There seems to be little doubt that the fact there is no water has upset the life cycle of the river, including the fish.

CO River osprey

To see on the news every day about the historic drought and low water levels of the Colorado River doesn’t quite get the point across. When you actually see in person that the Colorado River is nearly dry, it’s alarming. After all, water is a limited commodity here in the western United States. When it’s gone, it’s gone. People don’t even think about it.

Anyway, no telling when we’ll get out on the river again. The water is too low for fishing and so much water is being pumped through the system, who knows what is going to happen. Either for the end of the Colorado River or more kayak fishing for largemouth bass, check back soon.