I Caught a Double, 28.75" of Bass on One Cast!!

I hit the Willamette out of 10th street on Saturday and had a really wild day. I almost did not get up to go because I was tired from getting up in the middle of the night to start a brisket the night before. I was seriously thinking of just rolling over and staying under those warm covers. I finally thought, "Well let me start to get ready and see how I feel".

I am so glad that I did. The day started off pretty normally for the Willamette. Lots of topwater action but most of the fish were small. I still find it a lot of fun as long as I have my expectations in order. The morning started off calm which was a pleasant surprise since the forecast had called for it to be breezy all day. That forecast did ring true after a while but I enjoyed the reprieve to start the day.

The first bizarre incident of the day was when I almost accidentally hooked a beaver. I had made a long cast to some rocks along the shore when a beaver popped to the surface and started swimming along in the path of my line. I could neither reel the topwater fast enough or lift the line high enough to clear the beaver. I through a bunch of slack in the line and the beaver caught in my line. I saw my lure dragging towards the beaver. I was holding my breath. When the lure touched the beaver it slapped its tail and dove. My lure dipped under the surface and I felt it bump off the beaver but thankfully it did not catch. Whew! I needed a minute to calm myself after that!

My next bit of oddity happened when I made a long cast with my topwater. I had just moved it when SPLOOSH a good sized fish grabbed my lure. After a pretty hard fight I was disappointed to see a 3+lb pikieminnow instead of a smallmouth on my line. I know pikieminnows get a lot of hate but any fish that will bust a topwater and give me a good fight is alright in my book

The day progressed and I switched from mostly throwing a topwater, to fishing subsurface baits (mostly a vibrating jig and a swimbait). The bass would bite in spurts with some lulls in between. Overall it was a fine day of hungry fish and very few people on the water.

Eventually around noon I made it up to what ended up being a spot that was loaded with fish, by far the best location of the day. There were certainly plenty of small fish there but a surprising number of good sized fish mixed in as well. It felt more like a spot on the Columbia than the Willamette in terms of quality. The bass would occasionally bust up some bait and if I could get a cast in quick enough I was guaranteed to get a hard strike. It is hard not to have fun when the bass get greedy.

My best fish of the day came on a spybait (which is what I was throwing at that spot, but I am not sure that the particular lure mattered). Now a 20" bass on the Columbia is a nice fish but a 20" bass on the Willamette is a bit of a unicorn. That fish put up a great fight and I was really stoked when I got that big girl in the net.

What an awesome fish. I did not get a weight on the fish as it flopped off the board and into the water as I was trying to see if I had gotten the fish in the frame when I took its picture on the board (so glad that I did!). If that fish did not way 4lbs it was dang close to it.

I figured I would not top that for excitement for the day but what happened next may be even cooler. As I mentioned earlier I would occasionally see fish busting bait. Well I had just mad a long cast when I saw fish churning on the surface off to my right. I burned in the lure as fast I could reel and launched a perfect cast right where those fish had come up. I few turns of the handle and WHAM! A massive strike, but that fish immediately came unbuttoned. I turned the reel handle just another turn or two when WHAM, another hard strike. I worked the fish into the kayak and in the clear water I could see that I had hooked double (one on the front treble and one on the rear treble)!!

Now I hook doubles every year but I almost always lose one of them at the kayak. This time the fish cooperated nicely and I was able to land my first double in Oregon (I had done it in NC a time or two in the distant past).

Why catch them one at a time when you can catch them twice as fast catching them two at a time :)

Unfortunately shortly after this my video camera card was full so I did not get video of the rest of my day. It stayed pretty magical with two 17" bass and an 18" bass amongst some more small fish. The day would have been perfect but the fishing gods never quite allow for that.

I made a super long cast in the mid-afternoon when I felt another really hard strike. I set the hook and the rod tip did not move. For one second I thought it was a snag for sure but then it started peeling line off my reel. I could not believe I had hooked another pig. I worked the fish to the kayak, when it was about 30' away it came out of the water and landed like cinder brick. My eyes nearly popped out of my head. After that the fish just stayed down. I got it under the kayak and would get it part way to the surface when it would just dive back down. On the last of those power dives the hooks just pulled out. I almost cried.

I believe that fish would have easily beaten my personal best 5lb 14oz fish from earlier in the year. I am still a little stunned feeling but I guess I just have to say things like "That's fishing" until the pain stops hurting.

Still overall it might have been my favorite day ever on the Willamette. Usually if I catch one fish in the 17-18" range I call that a good day. Getting 4 fish of 17+" including that 20" fish was a personal record for me. My best 5 fish were about 90" which is a spectacular day on the Willamette.

Here is some video from the first half of the day - I did go out and buy a bigger memory card after this :)

  • Like
Reactions: fromthelogo, FairweatherFisher, Vintageflyguy and 1 other person
Very cool report, thanks for sharing. Im hoping to chase smallmouth on the Umpqua this afternoon, since it's so close and the fish are plentiful.
Very cool report, thanks for sharing. Im hoping to chase some smallmouth on the Umpqua this afternoon.
oops, sorry for the double post, not sure what happened.:oops:
Top Bottom