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Bass, Bigfoot & A New Kayak

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Bill Matthews Outdoors Smallmouth Bass

I got a break in my schedule on Friday, and was able to try out my new Jackson Big Tuna Kayak on some pre- spawn Smallmouth. My biggest goal for the day was to learn the basics of my new Big Tuna. I bought it this winter from the Kayak Shed in Hood River Oregon, and have not had a chance to use it. I was especially interested in seeing how the “Tuna Tank” would work as a live well for fish.

It was slightly overcast, 60 degree day with some wind when I launched the Big Tuna. Water temps were still pretty cold, and the weather can change on a dime this time of year, so I wore my wet suit and a couple of top layers just in case. I had to adjust my seat, rods, net and tackle to figure out how to best access them in my new kayak. Once I had everything situated I headed out on the mighty Columbia River. It did not take long for me to see that The Big Tuna has tons of room, it is easy to maneuver and is super comfortable to fish in!! I had no problem accessing rods or getting the kayak angled in great fishing positions.

After a couple of hours enjoying the day, but not catching any fish, I decided to try one last spot before heading in. I situated the Big Tuna in the wind, which had picked up considerably by then, so that it would drift me past a 1/4 mile stretch that I wanted to fish. Third cast into the drift and it happened....WHAM!....a Big Smallie crushed my Norman Deep Little “N”! After a great fight, I was able to land my first fish in my new kayak! - a 17 inch, fat, beautifully colored Columbia River Smallmouth Bass.

Just as exciting, I could now test out the Big Tuna “Tuna Tank”. I opened the hatch and

dropped her in. I was surprised to find that even in the “high” position there was still enough water to keep her alive and well.

I rowed back to try the drift again and on my first cast I caught the twin sister of my first fish!! OMG! I thought to myself...the bite is on! I put my second Smallmouth Bass into the Tuna Tank. The two fish seemed a bit crowded so I adjusted the Tuna Tank into the “Low” position that allows for more water in the tank. They both looked perfectly happy and content to hang out with me while I looked for more of their friends.

As it turns out I filled the Big Tuna “Tuna Tank” with five Smallmouth Bass, all between 16 and 17 inches and let several others go!

Bill Matthews Outdoors Jackson Big Tuna

Although it looked crowded in the Tuna Tank, all of the fish remained alive and I released all five healthy and happy back into the river after at least an hour in the tank.

After releasing the fish, I headed back to shore and loaded up the Big Tuna in my Ford F150 and headed home. I was enjoying the drive, thinking about my great day, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted something big on the side of the road. There it was....a Bigfoot! I hit the breaks, pulled to the side of the road and snapped a couple of pics before he

Bill Matthews Outdoors Bigfoot

slipped back into the deep woods of the Columbia river Gorge. Who knew that Bigfoot liked Ice Cream so much!!

Another great day in the Pacific NW! Thanks For reading!


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