Updated: Dec 15, 2022
Today was an incredible day! First it was my sons Michael’s 18th birthday. We love birthdays in the Matthews house and my wife Ann always bakes muffins for a morning birthday party - it ‘s a Matthews’ tradition. However, on this birthday we made a decision to eat the muffins later in the day because Michael and I had planned a kayak bass trip on the mighty Columbia River. The Columbia river is an incredible Smallmouth Bass Fishery. Most people think of Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon on the Columbia, but it is also an incredible fishery for Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.
I got up at 5am, loaded the kayaks and all the gear. Michael got up around 6 and we were on the road by 6:30. We got to our spot on the Mighty Columbia River, loaded and launched our kayaks. It was a glorious day with very little wind - a rare gem in this part of the world! We rowed for about 20 minutes to get to our fishing area and almost immediately Michael hooked a nice 15” bronze back. I was about 100 yards away from Michael watching him fight the fish. I loaded up my tiny torpedo (Baby Bass Color ) and launched it towards a nice looking ambush spot. I began retrieving it and BOOM!! a beautiful smallmouth exploded on my lure!! It was an incredible top water bite, one you dream about. I caught up to the fish and as soon as I put the slightest bit of pressure on it, the giant jumped completely out of the water - and it was then that's I knew that this was a special fish - one that I have been looking to catch for a very long time.
From 100 yards away, Michael saw the fish too and started rowing his Jackson Coosa Kayak towards me to see if I would need any help netting the fish. By the time he arrived I was sliding it into my net and the relief of seeing that fish in the net was incredible.
I unhooked the fish and put it on my board, the moment of truth was upon me. I settled the fish down, nosed it to the top of the board and saw that magic number.....20.5”!!!! Finally a smallmouth over 20”. I have caught thousands of smallmouth in my life, many over 19” but one over 20” had eluded me until this day!! It was 20.5” and had a girth of 13” a true trophy smallmouth in my book! I caught the fish using an Eagle Claw Skeet Reese Pro Carbon Spinning Rod and an Eagle Claw Skeet Reese Pro Carbon Spinning Reel
After taking several pictures, I released the beauty back into the river. It was not even 10:00am yet and it was already a day for the books!
I started fishing again, but my mind was still focused on the fish I had just caught. I was drifting a tube, still in a daze when I heard Michael frantically yell. DAD!!!!!!!! I snapped out of my daze and saw that Michael had hooked into a big fish, and I mean big!!! I started rowing towards him as fast as I could. I could see that his his rod was bent into the water and under his kayak. Whatever he had, I knew it was a monster. As I got closer I saw Michael grab his Eagle Claw Trout net, and try to net the fish that was ridiculously to big for it, but he made the scoop and put the fish into his kayak. As I eased along side of him I could tell that this fish was huge. He put it on the measuring board and it was 21” with a girth of 14”...WOW!!! another trophy fish - bigger than the first!!!!!! Two trophies in one day. He released the fish back into the river and we sat silent as we watched it swim away. Michael caught his on a tube jig with a Trokar hook, using an Eagle Claw Skeet Reese Pro Carbon casting rod
We fished for a couple more hours and caught many more fish, but none that could compare to the trophies we caught earlier in the day. I plan on getting replica mounts of both the fish together and will post a picture when I get them back.
It was another magical day for us, and I told Michael that his grand kids will never believe him when he tells them about our fishing adventures - and that is one reason I keep this blog. We arrived home about 4:00 that afternoon, and had our birthday muffins, they were the best muffins I ever had!
Thanks for reading.
© 2017 Bill Matthews Outdoors