Smallmouth Bass on the Willamette River near Portland Oregon
We set out this weekend in the canoe to the Willamette River near Portland Oregon. Oregon rivers are known for their huge salmon and steelhead and almost anytime you tell someone who asks what you are fishing for they are almost surprised when you say bass. Thats just how we like it. Now, we know their are plenty of bass fisherman in Oregon but there is just not as much fishing pressure for bass here and the fish can grow large and healthy running from these King Salmon and giant Sea lions.
I set out solo in the canoe in the early afternoon hoping to catch the evening bite. The weather was pleasant that day about 80 degrees and sunny. By about 4 PM the temperature dropped about 10-15 degrees and the sun ducked behind the large evergreens casting a shadow on the west bank. I found a deep eddie off a main channel with some brush that had been piled up from the current pushing it into the river bend. These are the areas you will find your big fish most of the time in the rivers.
I was throwing a green pumpkin KVD 3.5″ tube bait with a cable 1/8 once jig head. I made a cast about 2 feet to the right of a large lay down the protruded about 20-30 feet out into the river. On the drop the fish took the bait and as I reeled down on the slack I felt the tension and set the hook. This fish did not realize if was hooked for about the first 30 seconds as I did not put a ton of pressure on the fish at first but always kept a tight line. After he realized he was hooked he put on a show, diving for the bottom and peeling drag on my Light range spin cast. I shot the footage from my GoPro in full 1080 HD and it helped capture the experience first hand. As you can hear in the video- I was pretty nervous landing this fish, I had put in a lot of hours to hook into a River Smallmouth of this size and I was not about to let it get away.