Updated: Dec 15, 2022
Fall is one of my favorite times of year fish. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors and the fishing can be spectacular. Over the next couple of months there are many fishing opportunities including King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Steelhead, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Crappie and Smallmouth Bass. I hope to get the chance to fish for all of them. Here is a recap of my first fall fishing trip - Smallmouth Bass fishing on the Columbia River
The weather is unusually warm for October with highs in the 80s and the water temp in the Columbia is in the mis 60s. The river is low, the current is very slow, and the weeds are much thicker than usual.
I fished a new section of the river near The Dalles, Oregon, so I knew this would be a hunting mission to locate fish. It took me a while to find some fish but when I did the action was outstanding.
I had to paddle my 12 foot Hobie PA 360 through some thick weed patches to get out into the river, before I could drop my peddle drive down. Once I was out of the thick weed mat I began fishing pockets in the submerged weed. I was dropping a Senko in any open area I could find, but that only yielded some small fish. I kept moving down the river looking for a spot that looked more promising. About a mile down river I came across a small rocky point that stretched out into the main river. I followed it out to a depth of about 15 feet and I could feel that the bottom was still weed free and full of gravel. I was surprised that I did not get any bites, and rowed back up to the top of the point to try it again. I started in deeper water this time, fan casting a Rapala OG Tiny to see if I could find any active biters and I got crushed on my second cast.
Rapala OG Tiny helped me find some active fish
I caught a couple more on the OG Tiny but then the bite stopped, so I rowed back up again and worked the drift with a VMC Ned Rig Jig. I positioned the Kayak to work the point at the 15 foot depth and dropped the Ned Rig down. As soon as it hit the bottom I felt the "THUNK" of a smallmouth bite and set the hook on a fat 16" fish. As I got him close to the Kayak I could see two other fish with him, so I know I found a good pocket of fish. I continued to work the drift for a couple of hours and caught another 15 fish, all chunky between 15" and 17".
Fat Fall Smallmouth Love The VMC Ned Rig Jig!
The bites were aggressive, and the fish were fat and feisty - It was an awesome day of fishing and a great first stop on my fall fishing adventures!