Fantastic Day on the Columbia!

I had a fantastic day on the Columbia on Sunday the 16th. The day was forecast to be be mostly cloudy with some wind in the afternoon. Just perfect conditions for aggressive bass. I could hardly sleep the night before and I was up before my alarm went off. There was excitement in the air. I got to the water and was fishing by 5:45am. I started out throwing a stick bait but after 3 misses on that lure I switched over to a plopper style (Berkely Choppo) and that ended up being a good call.

On my second cast with the Choppo (90 size) I had reeled the lure in almost all the way to the kayak, maybe 2' of line out, when KABOOM! A violent strike right at the kayak just as the sun was peaking over the hills. It was like a scene from a movie where you say to yourself, "that is kind of stupid, it is too perfect". After a nice tussle I had my first fish of the day. A clearly skinny, post-spawn, 17.75" 2lb 12oz smallmouth. Now that's how you start a day!!

I would occasionally switch lures for a few casts, especially after a miss on the Choppo but for the most part I kept that Choppo in my hand for the next few hours. A short while later I made a long cast and after just a turn or two of the handle my Choppo was once against destroyed by an incredibly violent strike. After another fun battle I had an 18.25" 2lb 13oz smallmouth in the kayak!

I just kept tossing that Choppo and those bass were blasting it like it was making fun of their mothers!! Some of the fish would just suck it down but so many of the strikes I was getting were just filled with hatred and anger. After a handful of smaller fish I was reeling the lure in when once again just a few feet from the kayak I had a huge strike where the bass came completely out of the water - but missed the hookup. I made a quick short cast and when I got the Choppo beside the kayak I could see the bass tracking it but not biting. I set down the Choppo and dropped a Ned rig right beside the boat and let it drop to the bottom (in 5' of water). When I lifted the rod I felt weight and set the hook. Another nice bass to the kayak. This one just shy of 17".

After that the day was blur of action. Just fish after fish wanting to destroy my Choppo. I missed quite a few and lost more than I should have. The heartbreak of the day was when I saw some fish chasing bait about 100 yards away. I pedaled over just as fast as I could. By the time I got there the fish had gone down but I fan cast the area and on my third cast my Choppo was destroyed by a huge fish. I fought that fish hard and got him to the net. I went to scoop and the fish tried to jump as I scooped and it bounced off the rim of the net, shook its head and my lure went flying. That one really hurt. I am pretty sure that fish was well over 20". After a taking a few moments to berate myself I went back to fishing.

The topwater bite continued until almost 11am but then the wind picked up and I stopped getting bit. I know in the past I have done well with a spybait in those conditions so I finally put down the Choppo and picked up my spybait rod. That turned out to be a fantastic call on my part. I just started slaying them even faster than I had been on the Choppo. I picked up 11 bass in the next hour and a half including a ton of beauties including my best of the day. A 19.25" 3lb bass that like all the others was skinny as a rail:

There were so many nice fish on the day. I just hammered them with that spybait for quite a while. When I made a few casts with no hits I switched to a wobblehead jig and scraped up a few more nice ones off the bottom. Eventually I stopped getting bit completely on that spot.

I spent the rest of the day moving from spot to spot and tossing the spybait. By the early afternoon the wind had picked up to the point of waves breaking over the side of my kayak so I called it a day. What a day it was. I had caught 35 bass with at least 10 of the them being over 17". I think I had a few others that probably went 17 that I did not even bother to measure. I did have some dinks for sure but by and large I am probably caught 20-some quality fish. My best five went 93" but only weighed 14lbs. Those fish are so skinny right now. In a few months that bag would be pushing 18lbs. lHere are some of the other 17+" fish on the day:

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