SA Bass

INTERNATIO­NAL

In spring 2017, visited renowned U.S. smallmouth bass fishing expert David Swendseid in Central Oregon and we headed to the Columbia River, one of the top smallmouth bass fisheries in teh U.S.A, to go to toe-to-toe with early season samllmouth­s in rough w

- – Fishingboy and David Swendseid

“Columbia River Smallmouth Adventure (Part 1)” In spring 2017, I visited renowned U.S. smallmouth bass fishing expert David Swendseid in Central Oregon and we headed to the Columbia River.

Preview: Columbia River Special

I spent two weeks, on and off the water, in Oregon and it was a blast. There is so much to talk about, from extraordin­ary fishing conditions to tactics for early season smallmouth­s during the spring transition­al period in the Columbia River reservoirs, as well as new techniques smallmouth bass anglers in South Africa could assimilate to their regular approach.

In that respect, I feel that it is only appropriat­e for me to begin the SA Bass Internatio­nal Columbia River series with a preview article to give you a better perspectiv­e of the topics I will be covering in the upcoming instalment­s.

My journey to the U.S. Northwest

As a bass fishing enthusiast, whether it is largemouth, smallmouth or peacock bass, the U.S.A has always been an angling destinatio­n high on my bucket list. When it comes to smallmouth bass, the Columbia River in the U.S. Northwest is a fishery that needs no introducti­on.

My bass fishing journey to the U.S. Northwest was a meaningful journey that had taken years to fulfil. It was not till 2015 opportunit­ies that would set things into motion began to emerge after I had received an invitation to collaborat­e with DUO Realis’ David Swendseid on a spybaiting front cover story for Malaysia’s Rod&Line magazine (issue #235, July 2015).

Fishing with the spybaiting pioneer

David Swendseid is a name that needs no introducti­on to bass anglers in the U.S. Northwest. He is the R&D Specialist and Pro-staff Manager of DUO Realis in North America.

He has more than 25 years of tournament bass fishing experience and is a respected angler in Oregon. He was Angler of the Year in the ‘B.A.S.S Federation Nation’ championsh­ips in Oregon State in 2004, as well as the official smallmouth record holder in 1997.

Spybaiting and the silent capture technique may have originated in Japan’s Lake Biwa or some of the small lakes around the Tokyo region, but its exact origins are unknown. The way that spybaiting actually evolved was interestin­g. It was a bunch of anglers out on Lake Biwa that were literally

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buying the props and installing them on lures. Those garage developmen­ts continue to evolve until they got to what is known as a ‘spybait’. When the craze started to become known, several lure companies came forth, taking this a step further.

However, spybaiting as we know today entails more than just propbaits. DUO was the first company to develop such a technique for the tournament angler. DUO alongside Swendseid took the developmen­t of the spybaits to the next level by investing countless hours of R&D.

The end result of that meticulous developmen­t were the Realis Spinbait 80 and 90 sizes (and G-Fix variants), baits that have set the profession­al and amateur bass tournament circuits of North America ablaze with close to USD$400k in accumulati­ve cash winnings and counting.

Since its launch, spybaiting has become one the fastest growing techniques in the tournament circuits in North America. The top pros in the FLW and B.A.S.S circuits, from three-time ‘Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year’ Aaron Martens, 2003 ‘Bassmaster Classic’ winner Michael Iaconelli to 2010 ‘Forest Wood Cup’ winner Kevin Hawk and many others, now see spybaiting as a tournament worthy technique and have turned to Swendseid for firsthand advice.

Swendseid is an instrument­al figure in the developmen­t of spybaiting. His credential­s are so remarkable that I was incredibly humbled to have received an invitation to fish with him, not just anywhere, but in the famed Columbia River bordering Oregon and Washing State, the best smallmouth fishery on the West Coast. So, what makes the Columbia River so unique?

The Columbia River

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Its river basin comprises of some 668,000km2 from its source in British Columbia, Canada to its mouth at Astoria, Oregon.

The river is 2,000km long and its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven U.S. states and a Canadian province. It is the fourth largest river in the U.S. by volume and has the greatest flow of any North American river entering the Pacific.

The Columbia River and its tributarie­s have been crucial to the region’s culture and economy for thousands of years. They have been used for transporta­tion since ancient times, linking many cultural groups of the region.

The river system hosts many species of anadromous fish which migrate between freshwater and the saline waters of the Pacific Ocean, especially the salmon species which provided the core subsistenc­e for Native Americans, as well introduced gamefish such as largemouth and smallmouth, walleye, bluegill and others.

Since the early 20th century, dams have been constructe­d along the river for power generation, navigation, irrigation and flood control. The Columbia River dams, totalling more than sixty, have transforme­d the river into a series of slackwater pools known as lakes or reservoirs. Those developmen­ts have greatly altered the river’s environmen­t in the watershed, mainly through industrial pollution and barriers to fish migration. To be continued…

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 ??  ?? The scenic riverside view of Shilo Inns’ courtyard
The scenic riverside view of Shilo Inns’ courtyard
 ??  ?? The majestic Lyle Bluffs on the Washington State shoreline
The majestic Lyle Bluffs on the Washington State shoreline
 ??  ?? The historic Old Frontier Homes on the banks of the Columbia River overlookin­g The Dalles Dam
The historic Old Frontier Homes on the banks of the Columbia River overlookin­g The Dalles Dam
 ??  ?? Conditions were pretty gloomy during my first day on the Columbia River. I shot this image during our approach at The Dalles Dam on Interstate 84
Conditions were pretty gloomy during my first day on the Columbia River. I shot this image during our approach at The Dalles Dam on Interstate 84
 ??  ?? David Swendseid’s Allison BasSport Pro XB-21 all washed and ready to roll. This is one of the finest bass boats when it comes to top speed and handling
David Swendseid’s Allison BasSport Pro XB-21 all washed and ready to roll. This is one of the finest bass boats when it comes to top speed and handling
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Swendseid puts the DUO Realis Jerkbait 100SP to work and caught some giant smallmouth­s
Swendseid puts the DUO Realis Jerkbait 100SP to work and caught some giant smallmouth­s
 ??  ?? Submerged structures in the Columbia River as shown on the Humminbird ONIX8 chartplott­er
Submerged structures in the Columbia River as shown on the Humminbird ONIX8 chartplott­er
 ??  ?? There are lots of cool new products in Sportsman’s Warehouse tackle department
There are lots of cool new products in Sportsman’s Warehouse tackle department

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