In this interview, we talk to Tristian Casaus about his Colorado River bass fishing. Trisitan catches some big bass on the River and shares how he does it.
How long have you been fishing the Colorado River?
I’ve been fishing the Colorado River for the past three and a half years almost. More serious this past 2017 and 2018 than any other year.
I started out as a bank fisherman here in Uuma but before that I was born in Phoenix, Arizona. My family moved to Yuma when I was just five years old and my dad came from a family of outdoorsmen, mostly hunters. He decided one day to go fishing at some random canal where we caught our first bass together and from then on out, the addiction began.
We bank fished for several years until we got our first little 12 foot aluminum boat with only a trolling motor. We decided one day to go fish the Colorado River and see what all the hype was about. It didn’t occur to us that the current was very strong at the river and we ended up floating down stream for quite some time, catching some decent sized fish along the way. Our battery ended up dying and we had to have the sheriffs pull us all the way back to the marina, which was about 4ish miles away.
What section / area of the Colorado River do you primarily fish?
So in my head I divide the river into three parts because we have three dams. I classify them Upper, Middle, and Lower. I fish all these parts of the river very evenly all year.
For tournaments it’s mostly the Upper or what we call Fishers Landing. For big fish I love the Middle and Lower parts of the Colorado because of the very hard to access backwaters and current it has to offer.
Honestly, the Colorado River area from a bass fishing perspective in my own opinion is what I consider every man’s fishing paradise. It has just about all kinds of structure and the neatest of them all is fishing the cane in the current. You’re pretty much throwing your bait into some bushes knowing a double digit could possibly bend your rod at any moment.
What boat are you using to fish out of on the river?
I started in a little boat of 12 feet…that I still have…and then bought a 16 foot Basstracker with a 50hp Mercury on the back of it and the pros are endless about that boat. Her name is Titty Uber and she can run over sandbars approximately 2.5 feet shallow allowing me access to where the big fiberglass boats can’t get to. She’s small enough to squeeze through some of the gnarliest backwaters I’ve ever been in, and most of all she’s super simple. The only con I have about her is she’s slow compared to big boats, but that doesn’t even matter when you are catching fish.
How important / necessary are good electronics on the river?
If you have electronics use them, but the sticks I know down here you probably won’t see that on their boats. I personally think you never need them down here and that they’re useless. The deepest water we fish is probably a little over ten foot in some areas. Most the time though you’re fishing shallow water and current so to me once you get an idea of where the fish are then you’re really sitting solid.
What is your favorite time of year to fish the Colorado River?
Honestly I love fishing the Colorado all year. There is never a time when the big fish don’t bite. In Summer they spread out and slam topwater and just about anything else, and in the cooler months they school up allowing you 20 to 30 plus fish days. It sounds easy but the biggest thing is you gotta put in time to find the fish, especially when the weather conditions begin to change.
What is your best 5 fish limit on the River?
My best five fish limit is only 14 pounds. I don’t really keep fish for limits but more for size, I guess you can say I’m always looking for a big bite. I love the way a big bass fights and most of all, the boat flip at the end. Maybe some day I can get a limit of six pounders.
What do you feel the potential is for big bass?
My personal best bass in the Colorado is 10.5 pounds and she was skinny. Meaning if she was full of eggs at the time, I believe she could have easily weighed in at 13 pounds. I know for a fact that there are 14 and 15 pound fish in the river but to catch em’ is like shooting a bullet through another mans scope at a hundred yards. My goal for this next coming year is to actually catch a teener. I have tons of 4’s, 5’s, 6’s, and 7’s under my belt and I know there is something bigger out there waiting for me to rip into.
I can tell you love fishing tackle so this will be a tough question. What do you consider your three favorite baits for bass on the Colorado River?
My top three baits for fishing the River is number one the Cheater Swimbait by Billy Skinner. What makes this bait so amazing is it’s a 5 inch soft plastic swimbait that was designed to be skipped across the surface and swam back on the surface as well. What sets it apart from other topwater baits is that it has crazy drawing power and is skipped into places you can’t get another bait into.
Number two would be any kind of frog, I mean this is cliche but who doesn’t love a great topwater bite.
Number three would one hundred percent be the 3 inch cheater swimbait because it’s so versatile and you can use it ALL year long here. There is one key to fishing all these baits successfully, it’s plain an simple and that’s time. If you put in the work, you’ll get the results.
Overall, what advice that you have for fishing your area of the Colorado River?
I don’t really have a whole lot of advice to give other than get up, get out there, chuck a line, pay attention to detail, write it down in your brain, and never lose it.