I went out for another day of bass and sturgeon fishing on the Willamette on Saturday. While wheeling my kayak down to the water I dropped my Olympus tough camera. I figured no big deal.
With the cloud cover I was expecting a red hot bite. One hour later I was still waiting for my first bite. I had thrown topwater, dropshots and cranks up to that point without avail. I decided to stick with the crankbait as my search tool. I fished a few more points without success when finally I hit paydirt. On one point, that is pretty identical to the others, I caught 4 bass, lost one and had two other follows to the boat. The second was a nice looking 16" bass. I got out my camera to snap a picture and nothing. I push the on button multiple times, it is dead. After cussing the "tough" designation I figured that perhaps the battery was knocked funny when I dropped the camera earlier. I pop open the battery compartment and there is no battery.
I forgot to put it back in after charging last time. Camera works fine when tested with the battery at home later.
Enough of my stupidity, back to the fishing. The next few points were empty and then I got to one of my favorite offshore humps. I picked 3 bass of that one and lost two more. Then once more the bite stopped. At that point I stopped to have a nature call on Hog island and I got to chat for a few minutes with a fellow in an Outcast pontoon/kayak looking thing. He said he had only gotten a few dinks up to that point. I shared what was working for me and we went our separate ways.
At that point I decided to fish back on the other side of the river. The bite seemed to become more normal to me. I picked up seven more scattered bass as I worked my way back, but there were not tightly clustered like they were earlier. I also say some fish on a boulder in 15' of water, lowered my dropshot and caught a nice smallmouth of about 17" (I left the scale at home as well). That was a really cool use of the new depthfinder!
After that I switched to sturgeon for a bit. I was pretty excited since the current was running better than it had been for the past few weeks. First spot I fished for about 45 minutes without a sniff. I moved to a second spot and the bite was on. I landed 6 sturgeon in 2 hours and missed a few more. Two of them would have been borderline legal and the rest were in the 25 to 30" range. After that the current started to slow and the bite stopped.
I decided to hit the bass for one more hour along the shady side of the river. I only picked up two more dinks.
Overall a pretty good day given the slow start. I ended up with 16 bass, 6 decent sized and 10 dinks and 6 sturgeon.
Fish tremble when they hear my name
A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928