Columbia smallmouth Spring 2019


Aervax

Active member
Columbia smallmouth bass bite is on the verge of busting wide open. 3 of us went fishing for smallmouth on the Columbia Saturday. We were catching them here and there, about 20 fish each over the course of the day. For the most part they made us work pretty hard for it. Big fish for each of us went 2.75 - 4 pounds. My big fish of the day in the pic was the smallest big guy from our crew. We all started fishing at different times and places, then joined forces in Hood River for a couple hours, and migrated down river from there. Fish are still on the prespawn with the colder than usual water. They were biting spring finesse and reaction baits. I fished straight up Senko all day, from noon till 8:30 PM. The Hood River area bite finished nicely from 7:45 - 8:15 PM with 7 fish in 30 minutes after the water had all day to warm in the sun, and the wind finally started to subside. I will not disclose particulars of my pal's fishing techniques, but partners both used different methods and colors that were just as effective as my Senkos if not more so. I was fishing a 4" bi-color senko weightless on 8 pound test nylon mono with a 3/0 offset shank hook. My most effective color on Saturday was watermelon over cream laminate. Each spot we hit had surface temp in the low 50s in the morning, but warmed 5-8 degrees by the end of the day. Most of the fish that I caught were grouped up in very specific spots. There could be long dry spells between bites, then several take downs in a row - sometimes on consecutive casts. In one spot at around 2:30 PM two of us caught about 15 fish tossing Senko in a prespawn structure that was maybe 30X20 feet. The majority of the fish came out of the dead center of that spot. I did not see any sign of spawning beds today. The next full moon should change that. This year's spawn has some serious pent up energy. I am accustomed to seeing a few smallmouth spawning in April with numbers building to a peak in mid May, then tapering off over the next 2 or 3 weeks. I covered tons of ground wet wading 7 hours yesterday without seeing a single bed. The last time I saw similar conditions it completely exploded all at the same time after a couple days of 80 degree weather. Pay close attention to Columbia water temp and weather as we approach the next full moon phase. The bigger 4 pound plus females will begin to move shallow cruising and looking for beds. When that happens if you're in the right place at the right time those big bass can sometimes be caught walking the bank, though I catch most of my biggest smallies while wading waist deep or so and casting parallel to the shore near small drop offs as they.are setting up for the spawn. Please share your stories and pics when you catch them!
 

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Aervax

Active member
FRIDAY NIGHT, 5/10 ON COLUMBIA SLOUGHS: The golden poppies are blooming in the gorge. That is the official alarm clock for local smallmouth anglers. When the poppies are blooming the bass move into prespawn staging zones. As the water temp has been increasing the bite is evolving from finesse, to reaction, to aggressive and topwater. Scouted one slough with temp of 62F at 5:00 and caught 5 bass up to 3.5 pounds in 30 minutes. Moved over to another slough where the fish trend bigger, but water temp was 58F there and wind was howling. Caught 2 in an hour at the second spot. Fishing partner showed up with his flyrod, and we went back to the first spot where he proceeded to out-fish me and my traditional tackle by a ratio of 2:1 over the next hour and a half. He and those damn flies conquered the Senko. I caught another 9 with several in the 3.5 pound range. My compadre roughly doubled that quantity. We toasted the start of our fishing weekend with fresh beer and pub food at Pfriem Brewing on the Hood River waterfront. An evening Trifecta with an all around taste for living. What could be better than that?
 

Aervax

Active member
IMG_20190512_220833.jpg


Saturday was a blood bath. 70+ Smallmouth between 2 of us on Saturday 5/20. Several 3+ pounds and one 5 pounder. We were fishing a newly discovered spot for the first time. The slough opened directly into the Columbia and was 100 yards wide X 300 yards long. Water temp at the front half was 57F. Perfect gravel, rocks and depth for spawning, but could not buy a single bite at the front end of it. Water temp at the dead end was 64F. All the take downs came from the back half. Bites were more aggressive than last weekend. Senko was the hot ticket. Prior to this weekend nearly all bites were picked up at a dead stop from the bottom. Now some takes are on the drop, and most are on the twitch and glide. Had to try topwater with the bite picking up, and gave it half an hour. Had 3 blowups and landed one of them, a 3 pound female. 50+ fish between us from late morning til 5:00. Evening bite we hit one of our known honey holes with the fly rods for an hour or so and caught another 20 between us. Lots of bluegills kept slamming our bass lures all day long with a few really big ones hooking up. Big enough to fillet. I might be going back with them as primary target. Epic fishing day that will be remembered for a long time.
 

bass

Well-known member
You are killing it!

I drove back and forth to Walla Walla this weekend. I kept looking at the river during the drive with longing. I need to hit the big C with my yak one of these days!
 

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