Kayak Fishing for Largemouth Bass

It’s been a long time since we made a kayak fishing blog post. We are camping some distance from the nearest city so it’s difficult to get there to use WiFi to make blog posts. We don’t carry our laptop into the desert, only the stuff we need to camp and fish. Today, we are in town downloading photos and video to the laptop, tomorrow we will upload the blog post and head back out into the desert because the fishing is getting good as the weather warms up. Here in the city, there is panic and hoarding as coronavirus fear, unfounded or not, has gripped the town and we are more than willing to get out.

Now that the water temperature of the Colorado River and adjacent waters has warmed enough to get the fish biting after a long winter break, the biggest problem is the wind. The nights and early mornings are still cool, causing the warming water to steam until the sun comes up.

The misty Colorado River on a cool spring morning

Even if it is cool and overcast, the fishing in the early mornings before the wind comes up has been pretty good. We’ve caught some nice largemouth bass that makes the paddle out in the dark early morning well worth it.

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

Paddling around in the dark is a bit spooky. There isn’t much boat traffic, but there are floating and submerged logs and trees. Morning is a popular time of day for bugs. You can’t see them, so it’s best to stay covered up. Not too many dangerous animals, but you still have to be alert because there are things you need to look out for, like this water snake.

Colorado River water snake

When fishing on the lakes connected to the Colorado River, the largemouth bass tend to hang out in and under the vegetation that line the banks. Casting into these shoreline plants is normally where you find a lot of bass.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass in the shoreline reeds

It doesn’t seem that big fish would be hanging out in dense reeds and shallow water, but they are. Extracting big bass from these reeds is quite a challenge.

Largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We’ve tried a number of fishing spots as the water warms up and the fishing gets better. The lakes warm up quicker than the Colorado River, especially the shallow sections. Because water is always being released from dams, the river nearly always has some current and the water, from the bottom of the upstream reservoir, is colder.

Kayak launch on the Colorado River

The weather is not the only concern here in the American southwest. Wildfires are a fact of life in the American west and the Colorado River basin is no exception. A familiar sight anywhere in the western United States.

Wildfire on the banks of the lower Colorado River

Along with the persistent wind, there have been a number of severe rain events that have caused flash flooding. In between storms, there has been some good fishing, but you don’t want to be out on a kayak during a desert thunderstorm.

Kayak fishing between severe desert rain and wind storms

When the wind is calm, it’s tough to beat a beautiful desert morning as the sun comes up over the low lying hills.

Calm morning glass as the sun rises over the low desert hills
Early morning largemouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

As winter fades and spring takes over, the fishing is getting better every day.

Kayak fishing for largemouth bass with watermanatwork.com

The largemouth bass are currently in pre-spawn mode. They are making spawning nests and hanging around the shallow water reeds. The clear water makes the fish easy to spook, sneaking up on a kayak does a good job at this. Pretty soon, mating will take place and the bass will be guarding these spawning nests and attacking anything that comes close.

Largemouth bass spawning nest

Even in pre-spawn mode, there are plenty of big largemouth bass moving around. Usually the big bass are the first to become active as the water warms up and that certainly seems to be the case.

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

We are looking forward to more great fishing as long as the wind does not shut down kayak fishing operations. This is a great time of the year in the desert and we want to take advantage of every day we can.

Sunrise over Squaw Lake near the lower Colorado River

Of course we don’t know what’s going to happen with the whole coronavirus deal. Common sense seems to be in short supply and the “every man for himself” syndrome seems to have gripped the population. We’re headed back out into the desert wondering what civilization is going to look like the next time we come to town. We continue to make photos and video and will publish them as long as we are able, so check back soon.

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