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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:19 am 
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It's no secret that the 2016 salmon fishing season will possibly go down as one of the worst in ten years. The preseason returning fish counts were way high and the way things look now, even the recently "downgraded" numbers are going to be high as well. The numbers of returning salmon are about 40% below the ten year average. The timing of salmon runs in the Columbia River is amazingly predictable, the numbers of fish returning each season is an educated guess. There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the future of salmon fishing in this part of the world, so is this just one bad year(the previous two years have been all-time good), or are the negative impacts on salmon habitat and overfishing finally starting to show in the numbers of returning salmon?

The salmon fishing has been slow and there was really bad weather on the way, so we were lucky enough to get out on the Columbia River for, at least, one more day of salmon fishing. On a day that was literally the "calm before the storm", things started out slow, but finally got a solid strike and managed to get a nice size Coho salmon to the kayak.

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It was a nice hatchery fish, but pretty dark, so I released it. You can eat the darker fish, but it's not as good as the salmon caught earlier in the season. Still, the way the fishing has been and the way it's looking for the next couple weeks, I was happy to get at least one more salmon. Seems like you never get tired of catching 15-20 lb. fish. I kept fishing and got another big hit and fish on.

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Got this one closer to the kayak and could see it was another dark male Coho salmon. This one was a native fish. Close to the end of the spawning run, I would have to try and release this fish with the least possible harm.

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Releasing a big fish like this, one that has teeth, is not that easy. Seems like when you are trying to catch them, they come unhooked very easily, when you are trying to release them, it's like major surgery. Don't want to use the net, because that harms the fish. Of course you don't want to get hooked or injured either. I managed to get this guy unhooked without to much trauma and back on his spawning way.

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We are in the midst of some bad weather; lots of rain and high winds. It's supposed to last nearly a week, which is going to blow out all the rivers. High and fast water will make fishing difficult, if not impossible, for, at least, a few more days after the rain stops. By that time, the only salmon left in the system that you would want to catch will be a few late run Coho salmon. Places to fish for them will be limited and most likely, very crowded as fishermen realize that this could be it for the season.

That's pretty much how salmon fishing goes.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:23 am 
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It's a sad day in the kayak fishing calendar when we pack away the kayak for winter, but that day has come. Due to much lower than expected number of salmon returning to the Columbia River, the salmon and steelhead fishing on the main river was closed last week. You can still fish for salmon on the Columbia tributaries, but there is only one of those within reasonable driving distance, and it has been very crowded, as you would expect. It's been raining on and off for the past couple weeks and that looks to continue, making the rivers run high and fast. There are a few fish being caught, but fishing on a twenty yard wide river packed with boats, kayaks, float tubes and bank fishermen is not our kind of fishing. The boat ramps along the Columbia River, normally very busy with salmon and steelhead fishermen, are strangely quiet.

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With restricted salmon fishing, the fishing options suddenly became pretty limited. The river water was still fairly warm and the weather wasn't all that bad so we tried for some late fall smallmouth bass fishing. We didn't really know what to expect because we never fish for smallmouth bass at the end of October, we are usually 100% committed to salmon fishing. We tried the smallmouth bass fishing and didn't have any success. When you can't catch smallmouth bass on the Columbia River, especially at a place where we've caught hundreds of them, the fishing is pretty bad.

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With a relatively poor salmon fishing season ending early and few other options, it was time for the kayak to go to it's winter home in the garage. You could fish all year round if you wanted to, but the winter weather in this part of the Pacific Northwest can be pretty miserable and the odds of catching fish are diminished in the cold weather. Some of the lakes freeze over. We don't have anything to prove as kayak fishermen, so we spend a few months of bad weather and slow fishing doing something else.

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We got an early jump on salmon fishing this year and caught a fair amount of fish considering how poor the salmon run was. This year may wind up being one of the worst salmon fishing seasons on the Columbia River in the past ten years. We had a few days when we caught limits and we had a few days when we caught nothing. It was a challenging year for salmon fishing, but we spent a lot of great days on the water and averaged out to a little over one salmon per fishing day. No steelhead this year. There are worries about the future of salmon and steelhead sportfishing on the Columbia, this season will certainly add to those concerns.

Now it's time to go back through the video and photos we have from this fishing season and see what we've got.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:01 am 
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After a record long, cold, snowy winter and an exceptionally rainy and windy spring so far, we were able to get out on the Columbia River and get the 2017 kayak fishing season started. Water levels are high and the water is off color due to all the snow and rain, but the river is warm enough and the smallmouth bass are waking up from their winter break.

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Early season smallmouth bass fishing can be hit and miss since not all the fish are up and moving, but by fishing the shallower parts of the river where the water is a bit warmer is the ticket to early spring bass fishing success.

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There may not be as many fish due to the cooler water, but the fish you might catch are usually a little bigger than average. You can catch big smallmouth bass in the Columbia River all the time, but the best shot of catching those trophy 20" smallmouth bass is in the spring.

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We are happy to put the brutal 2016-17 winter behind us and get back out on the water. A successful first fishing trip of the season is a great way to start.

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:32 am 
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Days are getting longer and warmer, the Columbia River is settling down after a harsh winter and rainy spring. All we need now is the wind to be calm once and a while and the smallmouth bass to come out of their winter coma and start biting pieces of plastic with hooks in them.

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We have typical spring bass fishing conditions; not as many fish caught as in the summer, but the spring smallmouth bass are usually bigger since the bigger fish start moving around earlier than the smaller ones.

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The Columbia River is still off color and saturated with sediment. The river is still running fast and high with the water level changing as much as a couple feet in twenty four hours. This makes for challenging fishing conditions, but if you keep looking, you'll find the fish.

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The big bass are out there waiting for you to drop that lure in front of them, and if you do, you might wind up with one of those chunky early season smallmouth bass.

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 Post subject: Smallmouth Bass Fishing
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 7:55 am 
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As summer approaches, it's time to spend as much time on the Columbia River as possible, searching for smallmouth bass. In a couple weeks, it will be full-on summer vacation time and there will be a lot more people on the water and on the roads. Until then, there are the usual traffic jams on the way to the fishing spot.

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The water in the Columbia River remains high, fast and silty from the winter's record snowmelt. It snowed up in the mountains last week, so it's going to stay that way for at least another couple weeks. We've had to look for alternate launch spots because some of the usual places are under water.

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The weather has been pretty decent, mostly sunny with scattered showers at times, sandwiched between the usual Columbia Gorge wind events.

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The high water, constantly changing water levels and sediment in the river has made for challenging fishing conditions. We are getting a few fish, but at this time of year, the smallmouth bass fishing should be a little better than it is.

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If you're a real fisherman, you always think the fishing will be better tomorrow, so we are packed up and ready to hit it again tomorrow morning.

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You have to take every opportunity to do the things you like to do because you never know what the future will bring. Today is a good time to do the things you want to do.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:55 am 
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The days are getting longer and warmer and the smallmouth bass fishing on the Columbia River is starting to pick up a bit. The early sunrises and nice weather make it easy to get out there fishing as soon as the sun comes up. Earlier start means more time on the water with less wind and less chance of that first major sunburn of the summer.

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The nicer weather means more people on the water.

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As summer approaches and the water warms up, the small to medium size smallmouth bass are the most common catch. The Columbia River is one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries anywhere so the possibility of landing a bigger bass is always there.

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Time to get out there and go fishing!

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Hey Waterman, great fishing shots.

What did you use to create the gifs? I like those.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 4:54 am 
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NOHUHU wrote:
Hey Waterman, great fishing shots.

What did you use to create the gifs? I like those.


Adobe Photoshop for the photos and GIFs

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 3:22 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 7:20 am
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Location: Bulgaria
For video files you can use the online converter, it's fast and easy.
https://ezgif.com
1. Upload video
2. Convert
3. Done!

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 12:01 am 
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Thanks guys.

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 Post subject: Smallmouth Bass Lures
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:03 pm 
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We do a lot of smallmouth bass fishing, so over the years we have kind of figured out which lures work the best. We've described these lures on our blog, so if you are interested in smallmouth bass fishing from a kayak, you might want to give it a look.

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We're not sponsored by anybody and we're not selling anything. In fact, we usually go for the cheapest lures you can buy that will catch fish.

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All the advice comes with a money back guarantee, so you can't go wrong.

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 Post subject: Hot and Smoky
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:52 pm 
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The smallmouth bass fishing here in the Columbia River Gorge has been slowing down considerably as the entire Pacific NW continues to bake and burn. With daytime temps well over 100°F for days on end, the water in the Columbia River is warm and low. The smallmouth bass have scattered to the deepest and coolest parts of the river and are not exactly in a fighting mood. Partially due to the hot, dry weather, there are a lot of wildfires burning locally and farther away that have filled the air with smoke. We've been driving around to all the places that usually produce good smallmouth bass fishing, but have not had much luck.

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Even launching before daybreak offered little relief from the relentless heat and smoke.

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We managed to catch a couple decent smallmouth bass and a few more smaller ones, but the heat and smoke made it like fishing after a nuclear strike, pretty unusual fishing situation.

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Salmon and steelhead season will be getting under way here in a few weeks, we are hoping the weather cools off a bit so the warm water does not deter the fish from swimming upstream. Record heat this summer, record snow and rain last winter, record poor salmon season last fall, we are not liking the way things are trending here in the PacNW.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:22 pm 
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We finally got out on the Columbia River to get the salmon fishing season going, but the big story here are the wildfires that are burning a short distance away. The fire is very large and is filling the air with thick smoke and ash, making outdoor activities uncomfortable, at best. The interstate highway is closed and even the Columbia River has been closed to boat traffic for a twenty mile stretch near the fire. Despite all this, we did manage to get out on a very smoky Columbia River to try and get the first salmon of the season.

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I did manage to get two salmon to kick off the season including this huge Chinook that made long runs and big jumps out of the water

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A typically challenging day of salmon fishing, made even more challenging by the disastrous conditions from the burning forest. Last season was the worst salmon fishing season in a long time, this is not the start of the season we were hoping for. Hopefully, things will get cleared up and the salmon fishing will get back to what would be considered "normal".

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:19 pm 
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8) Wonderful experience with my KACOOL waterproof dry bag,I get all of this 20L roll top backpack + waterproof waist pouch + waterproof phone case even not over $20
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:50 am 
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jasonz wrote:
8) Wonderful experience with my KACOOL waterproof dry bag,I get all of this 20L roll top backpack + waterproof waist pouch + waterproof phone case even not over $20
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We have this same kind of spam here in the PacNW only it's called "KA KOOK"

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