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  • Writer's pictureBMO

Early Spring Smallmouth Fishing

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Doubled up on early spring smallmouth.

Spring has sprung in the Pacific NW. The grass is turning green and the trees are starting to bloom which means the Smallmouth Bass are starting to bite!

I know every year that when this tree pops into its beautiful pink spring colors that it is time to start smallmouth fishing on the Columbia river.

I went out this past weekend with my son Michael to see if we could find any early biters. We loaded up the Kayaks and took crankbaits and soft plastics, knowing that this is all we should need for these early fish.

We started fishing around 10am, and had no luck for the first couple of hours. We were using Rapala OG Slim crankbaits trying to find some biters, but nothing seemed to be working. It was still pretty cold, about 48 degrees, so we switched over to using Ned rigs on the new VMC 3/16oz Ned Jig. We moved out from the bank and starting fishing some water that was 15 - 20 feet deep. It did not take long to feel my favorite “Tap Tap”, and I set the hook on a chunky 17 1/2” Bronze Back. I was so happy to have my 1st smallmouth of the year!

Another one on the VMC Ned Jig!

The action stayed pretty good for he next few hours, picking up two or three fish in each spot- all on the Ned, and then it just died off.

By now the day warmed had up to the high 60’s, so went back to fishing the Rapala OG slim. We fished some rock points and islands and we were able to catch one or two fish off each area. It was consistent, but always only one or two fish per location.

Rapala OG Slim worked great in the afternoon.

All in all it was a great day. The weather was beautiful and we found success on our first Smallmouth trip of he year!


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