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Event Article

Targeting Smallies in the Columbia River, G.Loomis Style


Date: 5/9/11
Event: Fishing the Columbia River, OR for Smallies
Manufacturer: G.Loomis
Reviewer: Zander

After the conclusion of the G.loomis plant tour we were joined by Pro Angler Renaud Pelletier to fish for smallmouth in the Columbia River and surrounding tributaries. We armed ourselves with an assortment of G.Loomis rods including sticks from the NRX lineup for contact baits and finesse fishing as well as a few Deep Flex series rods for tossing reaction baits.


Right after the G.Loomis factory tour we headed to the Columbia River to fish for smallies


The mighty Columbia: Iíve heard from just about every Pro Angler that the Columbia is among the hardest bodies of water to fish, not only because the bite can be challenging at times but weather can play a major factor, especially the wind. Here Smallmouth are the primary target of bass anglers but there is also a population of largemouth, and many fishermen flock to the Columbia and its many tributaries to target trophy sturgeon,  Coho and Chinook salmon, Shad, and Steelhead.


We fished the Columbia Gorge a very picturesque section of the river...


The Columbia is the fourth largest river in the U.S. and has the greatest flow of any North American river that drains into the Pacific Ocean. In total the river is over 1,200 miles long and its drainage basin extends into seven U.S. states and Canada. For our trip we decided to fish the first day at the Columbia River Gorge area, a steep canyon area in Oregon. Here the atmospheric pressure differentials from the Cascades create a wind tunnel effect that can generate high winds that make this area, especially the Hood River section, a very popular windsurfing and kiteboarding destination.


...complete with waterfalls, including the famous Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon


There are many tributaries and even a few scenic waterfalls in the region as well, including the world famous Multnomah Falls which is the tallest waterfall in Oregon (620 feet) and is visible right off the Columbia River highway, which runs adjacent to some of the very best fishing areas.  The steep gorge makes for a very beautiful backdrop for fishing, making it very easy to get lost in the panorama.


When we started out there was some wind and chop on the water


Get to fishing: Bruce enlisted the help of his friend and Professional Angler, Renaud Pelletier for our trip and with good reason. Renaud  was hot off his TBF win where he took first place in the TBF Northwest Divisional Championship just the week prior. The water level drops during the week of the tournament had the fish moving out to deeper water so the same rattlebaits he was fishing with earlier in the week were no longer working. For this reason he had to target fish deeper using tubes. By the end of the tournament Renaud finished with a stunning 3-day total smallmouth weight of 49.06lbs.


The fishing starts out good with a smallie taken on a jig on the third cast


We head out into the Columbia Gorge with two Ranger boats, I fished the first day with Bruce while Jeff Gustafson from In-Fisherman fished with Renaud. As we launched the rain was already starting to come down but the wind was manageable at only about 10mph. It didnít take long to get things started and I caught the first fish with a small jig on my third cast right off a rocky point.  Bruce landed the next fish shortly after using a tube and immediately I began to wonder just how many fish we were going to catch if the bite was this good.


As the wind starts to pick up Renaud and Jeff fish the point

Next Section: Just when you think you have the the fish...









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