in the Columbia River, G.Loomis Style
didn’t waste any time tying on the same bait and we went to town on that bank
cranking every inch of it and landing nine more quality smallies ranging from
1-4lbs. in the process. These were some of the healthiest looking smallmouth
that I have ever seen, and many of them showcased extremely beautiful brown and
a fish using a custom crankbait...
Throughout the afternoon
Jeff caught a few fish with his marabou jigs that afternoon but he had to work
for them. Renaud thought that if the water had been clearer and the wind was
down they would have probably smoked them with that particular jig. Nonetheless
Renaud and Jeff caught a good amount of fish including a 5lb. smallie using a
variety of plastics.
discover is a wood crankbait that he makes himself called the F&R crank
When the two boats were
fishing close to each other I noticed that Renaud was also catching fish on a
flat bodied crankbait that I couldn’t identify. It looked like a custom crank of
some sort and I asked Renaud what he was fishing. It turns out that during the
Winter offseason Renaud makes his own baits with a friend of his. Previously
when Renaud lived back east he sold these baits under the F&R (initials for
Renaud and his partner) brand. The F&R crankbait he was fishing was a medium
diving hand carved custom. Renaud's partner carves the baits and Renaud
assembles and paints them. These lures are available in a variety of patterns,
different profiles, and even multiple lip options.
hammers both the river and us
Renaud told me a story
about how he selected the right clear coat finish for the baits. He had been
trying to find the right finish for years. Some of the very durable finishes
started out clear but would yellow over time while others were very clear but
would chip or were simply not resistant enough to shock or abrasion. One day
after fishing he was in a bar where he noticed the lacquer on the
establishment’s custom tables, he asked what finish they were using and obtained
the contact information for the company. Within a week he was dipping his wooden
lures in the new coating and he finally had found the perfect solution. The new
finish was stronger than ever and even after a season of fishing there was no
discoloration in the gloss or painted finishes underneath. These days
makes these custom baits for friends and a few customers that know about his lures.
(If your interested in finding out more about Renaud's custom cranks he can be
email) I didn’t get to fish them that much on this trip but did take a few
of them to try out back on my home water of Clear Lake and the Delta.
As the storm
breaks a rainbow appears on the Columbia River
After our flurry of fish
we changed spots and the bite died down yet again when the rain gave way to
hail. “This storm really is not messing around,” I yelled through the deluge.
There was a short break in between the hail and the rain and we were treated to
a rainbow that extended over the Columbia River. While we hoped the break would
hold the rainbow was gone as quickly as it appeared and the rain and wind
returned yet again. At this point Bruce was starting to have a hard time holding
the boat steady in the wind and it was clear that our day out was quickly coming
to end. I wanted the real Columbia River experience and I got it.
The next day
on the Willamette River we run a gauntlet of salmon boats to get to the bass
The next morning the plan
was to head to Hood River, a popular town for windsurfing on the Columbia River.
This town offers world renowned wind and kitesurfing and when we arrived at the
launch in the morning it was obvious why. The winds were howling and there was a
herd of “sheep” from bank to bank. Bruce decided it was a better idea to head
into Portland and fish the Willamette River rather than get beat up for a second
day in a row.
for smallmouth near central Portland