Monday, December 27, 2010

The Outdoor Show Season is Upon Us!

With the Christmas holidays behind us, and New Year's a few days away, the region's outdoor show season is upon us!

Although you may have winterized your boat and hung the rods up for the winter, you can still visit one or more of the Susquehanna River region's outdoor shows to find great tackle and product deals, hear entertaining seminars, and learn about new products and services.

And just a reminder, Susquehanna Fishing Magazine will be taking part in this year's Monaghan Fishing Show in Dillsburg, PA:
http://www.monaghanfishingshow.com/

You can also purchase discount advance tickets to the Eastern Outdoor Show in Harrisburg online through SFM's website, SusquehannaFishing.com:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

Saturday, December 25, 2010

SFM Wishes Everyone a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Susquehanna Fishing Magazine!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Releases January 2011 Issue

The January 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine is now available for free download via SusquehannaFishing.com.

The new issue reflects SFM's new digital-friendly layout, with interactive embedded links.

Visit SusquehannaFishing.com to view the latest issue and all back issues:
http://susquehannafishing.com/



January 2011 Articles:

Angling: A Healthy Alternative... L. Morris
A CPR Tournament?... J. Oast
Cold Water Bass Fishing... P. Hanford
Keeping an Outdoor Journal... W. Milheim
This Month with a Susquehanna River Guide... L. Dunham
Pouring Lead Head Jigs... B. Wilhelm
Strike Indicators... J. Kukorlo
Warm Water in the Winter?... D. Pelachik
Winter Bassin’... N. Follmer
Winter Paddling Safety... J. Oast

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What was old is now new... Jigs and Grubs on the Susquehanna





Smallmouth bass willingly take grubs all along the Susquehanna River. SFM staff writer Bryan Wilhelm recently (prior to the December chunk ice on the river) caught several dozen bass, casting grubs and home made crank baits while fishing 10 miles above Harrisburg, PA. Susquehanna Fishing Magazine has an article coming out this week in the January issue on making custom jigs like the one that caught this bass. Check it out at www.susquehannafishing.com

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What Lure… When… and Where?; The Bass Lure Matrix (SFM, Oct/Nov 2010)

From the Oct/Nov issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
Download the current and all back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/


What lure… When… and Where???

By Bryan Wilhelm

Have you ever wondered what lure to use?

You hear other fisherman talk about techniques and presentations like drop shot, jerk baits and sinking worms, and wonder when you should be using these techniques and in what fishing conditions.

Below is a chart that answers many of those what and when questions.
Listed there are the conditions you may be facing and times of the year. The selections are based on the seasonal patterns of Black Bass. Start across the top.

As an example, you are fishing from shore and its early spring. Most likely the water temperatures are just breaking 50 degrees. This is the pre-spawn period. Bass will be staged on structure (mostly rock and wood) on routes leading to spawning sights. Look for a rocky point near a sandy shallow cove. Remember, Northern shorelines warm first.

Next, looking at the chart below find deep water (fish are moving shallow, but are not there yet). It’s the first listing across the top. Next, look in your tackle box and match what lures you have with active fish in deep water pre-spawn. The chart shows an "x" for deep crank baits, hair jigs, marabou jigs, jig and grub, lipless crank bait, Carolina rig, and drop shot. This gives you 7 presentations. Pick whatever you have the most confidence in to start, but give all of these techniques a try.


Click above for larger view.

Do the same with this chart for other conditions and times of the year.

Here is another example…

A very popular method is wacky rigging a sinking worm. The wacky rig is simply hooking the worm at its center. This technique works very well. It’s so simple… you just dead-stick the lure, occasionally checking by taking up slack, to see if it has been eaten by Mr. Bass. The chart shows this technique works best when fished in deeper water to aggressive or neutral fish, in clear or stained water, post spawn and all summer long.

Another adaptation of this technique is to rig the worm Texas style, but with the hook in the pointed end of the worm. Then it becomes an effective tool for working grass and heavy cover. Don’t pass this up. It catches big fish and lots of them.

Tight lines…

Bryan Wilhelm is a multi-species light tackle angler with many years experience both as a professional and a sportsman on the lower Susque hanna River. His zeal for fishing grows each passing year. We look forward to him sharing his experiences.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 11/27/10

From the Koinonia Guide Service:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/

Hi Gang,

The river was at 5.2 with 36,200CF of flow and 45 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.9 with 30,600CF of flow and 42 degrees. The BP was 29.90 and falling.

Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday PM and we fished for 3 hours and boated 12 Walleye and we had 6 that were legal. The largest was 19” and we caught it on a stickbait. We caught them on soft plastics and stickbaits. We had 5.2 – Clear – Falling – 36,200 CF and 45 degrees. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 30.40 and rising.

Trip #2 – Guide Fun Trip – This was on Tuesday evening and we fished 2.5 hours and boated 13 Walleye, 1 Fallfish, 1 Rockbass and 1 Crappie. The largest Walleye was 16” and we caught them all on soft plastics. We had 5.0 – Clear - Falling – 31,800 CF and 46 degrees. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 30.10 & rising.

Trip #3 Guide Scouting Trip – This was a Wednesday PM trip and we boated 6 Walleye and the largest was 14.75”. We caught them on YUM Dingers and jig/minnow combos. We had 4.9 – Steady – Clear - 29,800CF and 42.6 degrees. It was cloudy with a BP of 30.50 and steady.

Trip #4 – Guide Trip – No

Trip #5 – Guide Fun Trip – No

Trip #6 – No Trip

The bass fishing is again picking up. The Walleye fishing is still spotty.

We did not fish Thanksgiving – Saturday due to rain wind and temperature.

Bass Pro has some great deals going on hunting and fishing items.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

*CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE - www.Koinoniafishingguides.com*

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

December Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Now Online!


The December issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine is now online and available for free via SusquehannaFishing.com.

The new issue includes useful product reviews for your holiday shopping, as well as a variety of articles appealing to anglers from around the Susquehanna River region and beyond.

http://susquehannafishing.com/

Also, be sure to check out the SusquehannaFishing.com homepage for an exclusive link for discounted tickets to this winter's Harrisburg outdoor show!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 11/20/10

From Koinonia Guide Service:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/


Hi Gang,

The river was at 4.1 with 16,900CF of flow and 46 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 5.2 with 36,200CF of flow and 45 degrees. The BP was 30.40 and rising.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Trip – This was on Monday PM and we fished for 4 hours and boated 10 Flatheads and 1 Channel Cat. Our two largest Flatheads were 28# & 21.15# and our Channel Cat was 5.11#. We caught them on live and cut bait. We had 4.0 – Clear – Steady – 15,500 CF and 48 - 54 degrees. It was calm, overcast and we had a BP of 30.30 and steady.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Trip – No Trip

3. Trip #3 Guide Trip – No Trip

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – No Trip

5. Trip #5 – Guide Fun Trip – No Trip

6. We did not fish much this week due to poor conditions and work schedule.

7. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

8. The good cat fishing will most likely end any day now. However, the Walleye and Bass fishing should pick up.


HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

*CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE - www.Koinoniafishingguides.com*

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Susquehanna Tournament Report, 11/21/10

From Lynda Morris
Member of the of Suskie Bassmasters


Four boats participated in today's fall tournament on the river. Water temperatures were around 41 degrees, very little wind, with some overcast - however, due to the recent rise in water level, then a pretty quick drop, the water was stained and murky, making it bit of a tough bite. Still finding that the typical wintering holes in the Wilkes-Barre / Nanticoke areas continue to be void of the traditional fall schooling of smallmouth. The results of today's tournament was: 1st Place (and lunker): John Centek & Chet Williams with 11.25lbs, 2nd Place: Rob Rosencrans & Lynda Morris with 9.52lbs, 3rd Place: John Chimola and Matt Centak with 9.25lbs.

Tight Lines!!!
~Lynda
Backwater Custom Baits - Pro-Staff
Reels-on-Wheels - USA Affiliate


Contact Lynda or Rob for updates:
http://www.suskiebassmasters.org/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

West Branch of the Susquehanna offers great multi-species opportunities (SFM, February 2010)

From the February 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
Download back issues online for free:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

by Juan Veruete


Author, Juan Veruete, on the West Branch

The West Branch of the Susquehanna is many times overlooked as a fishing destination primarily due to the popularity of its other two brothers to the east and south – the fabled North Branch and the mighty main stem of the Susquehanna. Arguably, these two flowing waters may be among the top river smallmouth fishing destinations on the east coast. That being said, a 2008 Pennsylvania Fish Commission Survey of the lower West Branch revealed just how strong this fishery is. Electro fishing yielded 32 smallmouth bass per hour ranging from 4 inches to 20 inches. Walleye were also collected in good numbers ranging from 15 inches to a whopping 29 inches. As if that wasn't enough, bruiser sized muskellunge were also shocked during the survey. The biggest came in at 47 inches. I certainly wouldn't leave the West Branch off my short list of rivers to fish during the 2010 fishing season.

Upper West Branch of the Susquehanna

Invariably, when I'm talking smallmouth bass fishing with folks, I'll bring up the topic of fishing the upper West Branch. Most folks raise an eyebrow immediately and say "Does that river have fish?" True, the upper West Branch has gone through some tough times due primarily to acid mine drainage, but through the efforts of regulatory entities and the public it is making a comeback.

Towns like Currensville, Clearfield, Shawville, and Lock Haven sit along the banks of the upper West Branch. For the purpose of this article, we can consider everything above Lock Haven to be the upper West Branch. Fishing in the upper West Branch is a little spotty. There are still major sections of the upper river that are affected by acid mine drainage that hold very few game species, if any. On certain stretches of the upper West Branch, you can find good populations of smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and even a few trout in isolated areas.

The river resembles a classic smallmouth bass haven as it winds through the steep remote valleys of north central Pennsylvania. The river bottom is a combination of gravel, chunk rock, and boulders. The flow is characterized by deep riffle sections, runs, and long deep stretches littered with chunk rock, boulders, and a ledge thrown in for good measure here and there. Most of the river is able to be navigated in a canoe, kayak, or jon boat. There are some river obstacles such as the low head dam at Shawville and some mild rapids so consult an outfitter in the area before making any float plans.

Smallmouth bass will be in all the classic locations. Current breaks and chunk rock are all smallie magnets. Channel catfish can be had in the longer deep pools. Trout are fairly rare but can be found where stocked feeder creeks flow into the West Branch. The forage base of the river consists primarily of minnows and crayfish. Smallmouth will readily attack tube baits, crankbaits, and minnow baits like Rapalas. Channel catfish are often caught using old standards like chicken livers or live minnows. Trout will hit meal worms, in line spinners, flies and other standard trout fishing fair.

It is best to do some research before heading to the upper west branch. You'll find fishable stretches between Currenwensville and Shawville. The inflow of clean water from feeder creeks and springs will determine if the stretch holds fish or not. Water quality varies below Shawville and most stretches are not fishable but it starts to improve again as the river rounds the bend into Lock Haven.


Brian Heaton with a West Branch smallie.

Lower West Branch of the Susquehanna

Once the river reaches the small city of Williamsport, water quality is no longer an issue. All stretches of the river are fishable. The fishing from here down to the confluence is excellent. The river passes by towns like Montoursville, Montgomery, Watsontown, Milton, and Lewisburg on its way to the confluence with the main stem of the Susquehanna. There are a variety of species in significant enough numbers to satisfy any fisherman. Excellent populations of smallmouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, and muskellunge can be found in many stretches of the river. I've even heard very reliable reports of trout being caught.

Below Williamsport, the West Branch starts to resemble a river. It begins to widen significantly. The river is characterized by boulders, chunk rock, ledges, riffs, long deep runs, deep holes, gravel bars, and islands. In the summer weed beds and other water plants provide ample cover for fish. The area also has a number of bridges that cross the river so fishing bridge pilings is another option. The river’s topography, structure, and cover is so diverse that everywhere you look you will see a "fishy" looking haunt that could hold a trophy smallmouth bass, walleye, or muskellunge.

The primary forage base in the lower West Branch consists of minnows, chubs and crayfish. Smallmouth bass can be caught on the usual baits like crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, tubes and a variety of other soft plastic offerings. Crayfish are the primary forage for smallmouth on the West branch so anything that resembles or moves like a crayfish will catch fish. Walleye can be caught on suspending jerkbaits, live minnows, and twister tail grubs just to name a few. Big baits catch big fish so if you are going to chase muskellunge on the West Branch, bring the big stuff! Musky sized bucktail in-line spinners or spinnerbaits will do the trick. There are also a ton of great hardbaits in the market specifically designed for Muskellunge fishing. Of course, live baits like shiners, chubs, and even small suckers will work.

I've fished quite a few stretches of the lower West Branch and enjoyed many a great day on the river. You will be able to find good fishing no matter where you are accessing the river. I would highly recommend picking up a river map from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. You will be able to use it to locate access points, ramps, and any obvious hazards such as low head dams. Other great resources are canoe rental establishments and campgrounds situated along the river. I've found them to be a great resource in terms of locating productive spots and general information about water conditions. The West Branch of the Susquehanna is a great river and well worth the planning.

Juan is a member of several fishing industry pro staffs including kayakbassfishing.com and the Centre Sportsman TV Show. He has almost 40 years of fishing experience on the waters of Pennsylvania. Get more great fishing tips, techniques, and reports on his personal blog, www.centralpafishing.com.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Susquehanna Tournament Report, 11/14/10

From Lynda Morris
Pro-Staff for Backwater Custom Bait and a member of the of Suskie Bassmasters

Today we had an 8 hour tournament with a total of 4 boats and 8 anglers fishing and once again, it was a very tough bite. The average smallmouth weight was about 3 1/2 lbs. The tournament (and lunker) was won by John Chimola and Matt Centak.

Lunker: 3.63 lbs 19" long - total weight 10.08lbs

As it stands currently, the weather forecast for next weekend is looking good and the river seems to be holding at around 3.8 ft. If conditions remain constant, there should be another Sunday tournament next weekend from 8am to 4pm.

Contact Lynda or Rob for updates:
http://www.suskiebassmasters.org/

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Koinonia Guide Service; Susquehanna Fishing Report, 11/13/10

From Koinonia Guide Service:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/


Hi Gang,

The river was at 4.2 with 18,200CF of flow and 45 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.1 with 16,900CF of flow and 46 degrees. The BP was 30.55 and rising.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday PM and we fished for 3 hours and boated 5 Bass. The largest was 16” and we caught them all on soft plastics. We caught them on YUM Craw Papi’s and Grubs. We had 4.4 – Clear – Steady – 21,400 CF and 46 degrees. It was extremely windy with 30+MPH and we had a BP of 29.90 and steady.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Trip – This was on Tuesday evening and we boated 23 Flatheads. The largest was 20# and we had many in the teen class. We caught them on live and cut bait. We had 4.5 – Clear - Falling – 22,600 CF and 46 degrees. It was cool and we had a BP of 30.20 & rising.

3. Trip #3 Guide Trip – This was a Thursday PM combo trip and we boated 3 Smallmouth and 8 Walleye. The largest Bass was 17” and the largest Walleye was 13”. We caught them on soft plastics and jig & minnow. We had 4.3 – Steady – Clear - 19,300CF and 47 degrees. It was cool with a BP of 30.80 and falling.

4. Trip #4,#5,#6 – Guide Trip – This was a Half Day PM Trip on Friday and we had 3 boats out. We only boated 24 Bass and the largest was 18.5”. We caught them on soft plastics and stickbaits. We had 4.1 – Steady – Clear – 17,500CF and 46 degrees. It was sunny and we had a BP of 30.80 and falling. We talked to numerous boats that were out and it was poor fishing for everyone we talked to. Not sure why it was so bad but it was not expected that is for sure.

5. Trip #7 – Guide Fun Trip – This was a Saturday PM trip and we fished 4.5 hours. We boated 16 Flatheads and the largest was 28.15#. We also had a 19.07# and a 19.05#. We caught them all on live bait. We had 4.1 – Steady – Clear – 16,900 CF and 54 degrees. It was warm and sunny with a BP of 30.55 and rising.

6. Trip #8 – No Trip

7. Trip #9 – No Trip

8. The bass fishing was off this week but I am not sure why. The Walleye fishing is continuing to build and I expect we should start guiding for them the week after Thanksgiving.

9. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

10. Linda and I traveled to Mt. Pocono on Tuesday and shot a television show with Alex and JoAnne Zidock. They were great host and we enjoyed the experience tremendously. The show aired Thursday, Friday and Saturday and should air tomorrow as well. In a couple weeks it should be on the Out In The Open web site for a week. We will try to let you know when you can view it on the web site.

11. I don’t know how long the catfish fishing will last but it was another great week for catching quality Flatheads.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

*CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE - www.Koinoniafishingguides.com*

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Susquehanna Fishing Report, 11/13/10

A quick report from Lynda Morris (Pro-Staff for Backwater Custom Baits) & Rob Rosencrans of Pittston, PA - both members of Suskie Bassmasters.

Today the water was 44.6, and about 4ft. on the gauge. Bite was slow and spongy. The larger bass don't seem to be schooling yet and appear to still be on a craw bite.

Check out the Suskie Bassmasters online:
http://www.suskiebassmasters.org/

Friday, November 12, 2010

Susquehanna River Report with Bryan Wilhelm (11-12-10)

Stripers and striped bass hybrids inhabit many of the lower Susquehanna River pools. They hang out where there is turbulant water flows at the base of dams and other outlets. Casting diving crank baits will take them most days. These two were taken by Bryan Wilhelm fishing the Conowingo pool. Bryan is one of our staff writers at Susquehanna fishing Magazine.

Check out his articles at www.susquehannafishing.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report, Week of November 9, 2010

From Susquehanna Fly & Spin Guide Service, LLC:
http://susquehannaflyandspin.com/


Despite the cooler windy conditions my clients managed to get a some fish to the boat today. The smallies were taking a variety of moving lures, jigs, and flies. With the windy tough conditions we decided to take what the Susquehanna gave us and called it a day. You know what they say, "A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work." The fall smallie bite should continue to be strong and walleye fishing is only gonna get better as the water temps drop. Musky also have a tendancy to be more active and can make there way to the boat as well. I am booking both smallmouth bass and walleye trips through November and December, so give me call to get in on the action.



Get bent and sling some string with us this fall and winter!-----<*)}}}}}}><
Your Susquhanna River Fishing Guide, Steve Hancock!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

KOINONIA GUIDE SERVICE SUSQUEHANNA FISHING REPORT, 11/6/10

From Koinonia Guide Service:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/

Hi Gang,

The river was at 4.8 with 28,200CF of flow and 50 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.2 with 18,200CF of flow and 45 degrees. The BP was 30.45 and falling.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Trip – This was a full day trip on Monday and we boated 23 Bass and 8 Rock bass. The largest Smallie was 19.25” and weighed 4# and was caught on a hair jig. We caught them on Stick Baits, Soft Plastics and Hair Jigs. We had 4.5 – Clear – Falling – 23,900 CF and 57 degrees. It was cool and we had a BP of 30.45 and rising.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday evening and we fished 2 hrs. and boated 12 Walleyes and 4 Crappies. The largest Walleye was 19”. We caught them on soft plastics. We had 4.5 – Clear - Falling – 23,900 CF and 52 degrees. It was cool and we had a BP of 30.45 & rising.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Trip – This was a Half Day PM Trip on Tuesday and we boated 15 Bass. The largest was 17.25” and we caught it on a craw papi. We caught them all on soft plastics. We had 4.4 – Falling – Clear – 21,400CF and 48-50 degrees. It was sunny and we had a BP of 30.90 and falling

4. Trip #4 Guide Trip – This was a Friday Full Day trip and we boated 3 Smallmouth and 3 Rock Bass. The largest was 14” and we caught them all on soft plastics. We had 4.2 – Steady – Clear - 17,600CF and 47 degrees. It was cloudy and breezy with a BP of 29.50 and falling.

5. Trip #5 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was a Friday PM scouting trip for Bas & Walleye and we fished 5 hours. We boated 12 Bass and 11 Walleye and the largest bass was 18” and the largest walleye was 20.25”. We caught them all on soft plastics. We had 4.2 – Steady – Clear – 17,600 CF and 46 - 48 degrees. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 29.50 and rising.

6. Trip #6 – Guide Fun Trip – This was a Saturday AM trip and we fished 4 hrs. and boated 18 Smallmouth and the largest was 18”. We caught them all on soft plastic jigs. We had 4.2 – Steady – Clear – 18,200 CF and 45 degrees. It was clear and we had a BP of 30.45 and falling.

7. Trip #7 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was a Saturday PM trip and we were scouting for Flathead Catfish. We fished 4 hours and boated 7 Flatheads and the largest was 21#. We caught them on live and cut bait. We had 4.2 – Steady – Clear – 18,200 CF and 48 degrees. It was clear and we had a BP of 30.45 and falling.

8. The cooling water temperature is making the bass fishing better and the Walleye fishing should continue to build as well.

9. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

10. Linda and I will be traveling to Mt. Pocono on Tuesday to shoot a television show with Alex and JoAnne Zidock. The show will air next Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then in a couple weeks it will be on the Out In The Open web site for a week. We will try to let you know when you can view it on the web site.

11. For those of you who have not exchanged a Rod & Reel for a Bow & Arrow or a Fire stick, now is a great time to catch some quality smallmouth. Remember to be safe when fishing in cold conditions. Where your life jacket and take a friend with you because one slip into 40 degree water could be life threatening.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

*CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE - www.Koinoniafishingguides.com*

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Good Vibrations… Jigs, that is (SFM, July 2010)

From the July 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. Download this and other back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Michael John Barton

My apologies go out to anyone who was confused by the title of the article. No, I am not referring to the title of some sort of dance song. I am talking about the bladed swim jig craze that has swept the tackle industry and most bass fishing enthusiasts around the country. The frenzy started about four years ago when the original “Chatterbait” was released to consumers worldwide. While some thought the lure would be a short-lived novelty lure, other anglers soon picked up on the lure’s effectiveness in situations that would usually require throwing a spinnerbait or weedless jig. Stores around the country couldn’t keep these lures on the shelves. They were actually on back order for quite some time before several other lure manufacturers started producing similar products.

So, what is a bladed jig?

Well it’s pretty much just that… a bladed jig. The blade on the front of the lure is actually attached to the eye of the jighead, a snap swivel is attached through holes that are in the middle of the blade itself. When retrieved at a slow-fast motion, the blade rocks back and forth which creates a distinct vibration unlike any other lure on the market. As I stated before, there are several different styles of blades and jig heads that are distributed by many different lure companies. Though most look similar when compared next to each other, there are some key characteristics to each brand of jig. For instance, some may have a wider wobble, or may emit a louder clacking sound than others. Some brands of bladed swim jigs may come through grass and vegetation better than others. These subtle differences are key, because one style might better suit the type of fishing you will be doing or the locations which you are fishing. Determining when to use which is the question. They all have a time and place in an angler’s tackle box.

Over the past four years or so I have fished bladed swim jigs considerably. However, I never realized their full potential until I started fishing the bladed jig in place of spinnerbaits. By doing this I was able to effectively cover more water. I have found that fish often react to a bladed swim jig much better than they will a spinnerbait. Whether it be its gawky blades or wire shaft, I’m still not quite sure what attracts them. One thing I have noticed is that it appears that a bass can feel a bladed swim jig from a much greater distance than a spinnerbait. I use an Ezee Jig’s “Ezee Vibe” 99% of the time when I am fishing a vibration bait. One thing that makes this brand of bladed swim jig stand out from the rest of brands is the addition of a split ring between the blade itself and the eye of the jighead. By adding this simple split ring, “Ezee Jigs” was able to develop a bait that not only puts out more vibration, but can be retrieved at a slower pace, thus giving you the option to fish the lure in deeper water, around the edge of weedlines and such.

I now use the Ezee Vibe (in place of spinnerbaits) on the Susquehanna River religiously. It has become an excellent addition to my river fishing arsenal. With the Susquehanna’s muddied waters, I feel I can entice fish to strike without them actually seeing the lure. I favor using colors such as chartreuse and white when the river is running muddy, and generally stick to Ezee Jig’s “Threadfin Shad” pattern when the water clears up a bit. I fish the “Ezee Vibe” parallel to the bank and retrieve it with a slow cadence. Another good area to fish this lure is around the edges of eel grass, or some other sort of vegetation that lines the Susquehanna shores. Don’t be afraid to fish the lure in fallen trees along the shoreline either. Vibration baits in general don’t hang up quite as often as, say, a spinnerbait would. You can actually deflect the lure off of limbs and rocks without it getting caught up.

I have found that a 6’6 to 7’ medium to medium-heavy action casting rod is suited best for this application. I prefer to use monofilament because of its stretch. To me it feels like it gives me more control over the fish, and it also gives a split second more to set the hook once the fish strikes.

So pick up a vibration bait or bladed swim jig, and start fishing it in places you would normally throw a spinnerbait on the river. Chances are you won’t be switching back to the conventional spinnerbait anytime soon! Tight Lines All!

Michael John Barton, Better known as MJ, is an established tournament angler from Endicott, NY. MJ competes on the Bassmaster Open Circuit, as well as the Bassmaster Weekend Series. MJ is also a prostaff member for Vicious-Fishing, Ezee Jigs, Paycheck Baits, as well as several other companies.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Second Life for Soft Plastics (SFM, Oct/Nov 2010)

By John “Toast” Oast

Do you get tired of throwing away soft plastic baits that are chewed up or mangled? Keep a tube of super glue in your tackle box. It works wonders for reattaching tails on grubs and repairing rips in soft plastic bodies. In many cases it makes the bait as good as new!

John “Toast” Oast is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the Johnson Outdoors Pro Staff and Ocean Kayak Fishing Team.

From the Oct/Nov 2010 Hints & Tips Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. Download this and other back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Restore Your Fishing Rod Grips (SFM, Oct/Nov 2010)

From the Oct/Nov 2010 Hints & Tips Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. Download this and other back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By John “Toast” Oast

Do you have an old rod with a beaten up cork grip? Take some wood putty to fill in the nicks, chips, and cracks. When dry, sand the grip smooth. Try to match the putty color with the original cork for a brand new look!

BLOG EXTRA...

Have you ever had an old, worn, or slightly dry rotted foam rod grip? Take a piece of sandpaper to it, and try to sand off the worn areas. Try to sand the grip evenly to keep a consistent diameter. Use finer paper to retain a smooth finish.

John “Toast” Oast is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the Johnson Outdoors Pro Staff and Ocean Kayak Fishing Team. His kayak rigging videos have received thousands of views, and been linked to websites around the world. For more information, visit http://fishyaker.com/ and his Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/fishyaker.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

KOINONIA GUIDE SERVICE, SUSQUEHANNA FISHING REPORT 10-30-10

From Koinonia Guide Service:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/


Hi Gang,

The river was at 4.1 with 16,200CF of flow and 46 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.8 with 28,200CF of flow and 52 degrees. The BP was 30.45 and falling.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Tuesday evening and we fished 2.25 hrs. and boated 19 Smallmouth. The largest was 18.75”. We caught them on Stick Baits, Rattle Baits and Jigs. We had 3.9 – Clear – Steady – 14,200 CF and 58 degrees. It was cloudy with 15MPH southeast winds and we had a BP of 29.90 and rising.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Fun Trip – This was on Tuesday evening and we fished 5 hrs. and we boated 27 Flatheads and the largest was 28#. We caught them all on live bait. We had 3.9 – Clear - Steady – 14,200 CF and 58 degrees. It was cloudy with 15 MPH southeast winds and we had a BP of 29.90 & rising.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Trip – This was a Full Day Trip on Wednesday and we boated 50+ Bass. The largest was 17.75” and we had several of them. We caught them on soft plastics, stick baits, crank baits and rattle baits. We had 3.9 – Steady – Clear – 14,400CF and 58 degrees. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 30.00 and steady.

4. Trip #4 Guide Trip – This was a Friday Full Day trip that we cut to half a day due to the extreme wind. We boated 7 Smallmouth and the largest was 15”. We caught them on soft plastics and spinner baits. We had 4.0 – Rising – Clear - 16,800CF and 54 degrees. It was 25+ MPH winds and it was cloudy with a BP of 30.30 and rising.

5. Trip #5 – Guide Trip – This was a full day trip on Saturday and we boated 27 Smallmouth and the largest was 19.5” & 4.12#. We caught the big fish on a craw papi and all but one came on jigs. We did catch one on a rattle bait. We had 4.6 – Rising – Clear – 24,800 CF and 50-52 degrees. It was windy and clear with a BP of 30.45 and falling.

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. We had several extremely windy conditions again on Thursday & Friday and we also had a sharp water temperature drop this week. This coupled with all the leaves and debris floating slowed the bite.

8. The cooling water temperature is making the bass fishing better and the Walleye fishing should continue to build as well.

9. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

*CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE - www.Koinoniafishingguides.com*

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Keep Your Hooks Fresh! (SFM, Oct/Nov 2010)

From the Oct/Nov 2010 Hints & Tips Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. Download this and other back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By John “Toast” Oast

Do you ever have rusty or oxidized hooks? It doesn’t take much for a little moisture to ruin a whole tackle box full of hooks. Start saving the small packets you find in packaging after you go shopping. The same way these “freshness” packs keep food, shoes, and medications from being damaged by moisture, they also can help in your tackle box. Place them in your gun boxes, too! Just remember to replace them from time to time, since they will eventually reach their maximum absorbency.



John “Toast” Oast is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the Johnson Outdoors Pro Staff and Ocean Kayak Fishing Team. His kayak rigging videos have received thousands of views, and been linked to websites around the world. For more information, visit http://fishyaker.com/ and his Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/fishyaker.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Five Knots You Need to Know! (SFM, Oct/Nov 2010)

From the Oct/Nov 2010 Hints & Tips Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. Download this and other back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Nathan Follmer

One of the most overwhelming aspects of fishing is choosing the right knot. Think about it for a minute – there are hundreds of different knots being used today, so how do you know which one is right for which situation? The short answer to this question is that there really isn’t a correct answer. It all comes down to personal preference and even your own ability to tie some of these complicated knots. I’ll show you some of my favorite knots. I chose most of these because they are simple, strong and very easy to tie – especially in mid-winter when you’re freezing and can’t seem to get your hands to work.

San Diego Jam Knot -

I haven’t used this first knot very long, but I wish I had found out about this one sooner. Anytime you feel the need to use an ‘Improved Clinch’ knot, give this one a try – “The San Diego Jam”.

I started using this knot when I tied my lures on straight to braid. ‘Improved Clinch’ knots just do not hold well enough with braid. I eventually started using this knot on most of my lure-to-line applications. This knot has not slipped or broken on me yet and that’s more than I can say for the ‘Improved Clinch’!

Rapala Knot -

The next knot is another lure-to-0line knot. This knot is fairly popular, but I still do not see people using this as much as they should. The ‘Rapala Knot’ is a great knot to use on any hard bait. It can also be used on nymphs while fly fishing. This knot frees the lure and allows for a more natural presentation.

This knot looks difficult, but it really is easy after a few practice runs. Keep this one simple, just tie an overhand knot, bring the tag end through the overhand knot, and then finish just like you’re tying an ‘Improved Clinch’. This knot really excels on suspending jerkbaits and nymphs, but can also be used on crankbaits and topwater lures.

World’s Fair Knot -

Another great knot that I have just recently started using is the ‘World’s Fair’ Knot. This knot is a great knot to use when you’re dropshotting. It’s fast, easy to tie and very strong. I have used this on braid, mono, and fluorocarbon with no issues.

I also use this to tie on dry flies when I need them to sit perfectly on top of the water. This is a lightweight knot that will keep your knot from pulling the fly into the water.

Alberto Knot -

Ok, we covered knots that connect lure to line, now let’s move on to some knots I use to attach leaders onto my main line. The one knot that I use almost all the time with leaders is the ‘Alberto Knot’. This knot is a modified version of the ‘Albright Knot’ and is actually easier to tie.

This knot is very strong – I have actually broken 65 lb. braid with the knot being unaffected. Some people like to add a drop of super glue or nail polish to this knot, but I change leaders so often that I don’t see the need to do this. This is the slimmest knot I have seen and it has no problem traveling through guides.

Nail-less Nail Knot -

Here is one for all you fly anglers out there – ‘The Nail-less Nail Knot’. I’ll be the first to admit that I hate tying a nail knot. I still cannot tie one without having to start over multiple times, so this knot is perfect for me.

I’ve seen a few different ways to tie this knot, but I find this is the easiest way to tie it when using those very small leaders.

The last thing I will say about tying these knots is to practice. I’ve tied most of these knots so many times that I can do them in the dark. These may feel awkward at first, but soon you will develop a muscle memory and will be able to tie these as fast as you can tie your shoes! Remember, knots are very important to landing those big fish, so make sure they are tied properly, look neat and are lubricated before tightened.

Nathan Follmer is the owner and creator of ‘Fishing In Pa’, a website dedicated to all things fishing in Pennsylvania. Nathan is an avid bass and trout angler, but will fish for any species. Some of his favorite places to fish are the Juniata River, Raystown Lake and Penn’s Creek. Feel free to contact him with any questions at Nathan@fishinginpa.com.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recycle Your Soft Plastics! (SFM, Oct/Nov 2010)

From the Oct/Nov 2010 Hints & Tips Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. Download this and other back issues free online:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By John “Toast” Oast

If you have a little time on your hands, and some old soft plastics, try this one…

Next time you’re at the store, pick up an aluminum disposable bread pan and some silicone caulk. Next, fill the bread pan full with the caulk. Grab a favorite soft plastic bait (Stick baits are easiest). Then place the bait gently in the top of the silicone, leaving it there for the duration of the drying process to create an impression. Make sure it is not totally submerged and covered up under the silicone. Be sure the silicone is totally cured before continuing (This may take several days). Once cured, remove the imbedded bait.

Then take your old and worn out soft plastics and melt them into an old pan. To maintain specific colors heat similar colors at the same time. Make sure you don’t heat the melted plastic too hot, or it will burn. Carefully pour the melted plastic into the mold impressions. Allow the plastic to fully cool and harden. Then simply remove the new baits and hit the water.

Just be sure of the following…

1. Be careful, the plastic is VERY hot and thick, therefore it REALLY hurts if it gets on your skin!

2. Don’t use your wife’s pan to melt the plastic, unless you have a really comfortable couch!

John “Toast” Oast is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the Johnson Outdoors Pro Staff and Ocean Kayak Fishing Team. His kayak rigging videos have received thousands of views, and been linked to websites around the world. For more information, visit http://fishyaker.com/ and his Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/fishyaker.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Susquehanna River Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report, Week of October 25, 2010


The fall fishing bite is well, "On like Donkey Kong" as they say. My anglers this week have been catching chunky smallies on a variety of lure presentations. Believe it or not, we even picked up a few on fly, one of my favorite ways to catch 'em. It was my angler's first smallie on fly. These fish will continue to feed through the fall and should only get better as the days go on. Give me a call To Get Bent and sling some string this fall!

Your Susquehanna River fishing guide, Steve Hancock!------<*)}}}}}><
www.susquehannaflyandspin.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 10/23/10

KOINONIA GUIDE SERVICE:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/
717-805-7082


Hi Gang,

The river was at 4.4 with 21,900CF of flow and 56 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.1 with 16,200CF of flow and 46 degrees. The BP was 30.45 and steady.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday evening and we fished from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM and we boated 7 Bass. The largest was 17” and we caught it on a Rattle Bait. We caught them on Stick Baits, Rattle Baits and Jigs. We had 4.2 – Stained – Rising – 18,900 CF and 55 degrees. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 30.20 and steady.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday evening and we fished from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and we boated 50 Sunfish. The largest was 9.25” long. We caught them all on worms. We had 4.2 – Rising - Stained – 18,900 CF and 55 degrees. It was cloudy skies and we had a BP of 30.20 & falling. This was on a Lake.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Trip – This was a Tuesday AM half day trip and we boated 14 Bass. The largest was 16.5” and we caught it on a YUM Craw Papi. We caught them all on jigs. We had 4.6 – Steady - Stained – 24,300CF and 55 degrees. It was clear skies and we had a BP of 30.20 and falling.

4. Trip #4 Guide Trip – This was a half day Tuesday PM Trip and we boated 16 Flatheads and the largest was 29.01 pounds. We had several citation size fish and we caught them on live and cut bait. We had 4.6 – Rising – Stained - 24,300CF and 55 degrees. It was calm and sunny and we had a BP of 30.20 and falling.

5. Trip #5 – Guide Fun Trip – This was a full day trip and we boated 60+ Smallmouth and the largest was 19” & 4.4#. We had numerous fish over 4 # and we had many over 18”. We caught them on soft plastics and stickbaits. We had 4.1 – Steady – Clear – 16,200 CF and 48 degrees. It was breezy and clear with a BP of 30.45 and steady.

6. Trip #6 – Guide Trip – This was a full day guide trip on a lake and we boated 40 White Perch and 25 Blue Gill. It was clear and breezy with a BP of 30.45 and steady.

7. We had several extremely windy conditions again this week and the full moon shut down the catfish bite from what we were told.

8. The cooling water temperature is making the bass fishing better and the Walleye fishing should continue to build as well.

9. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

10. Last Tuesday we had PAFB Commission Executive Director, John Arway, out on the river with us and we got to express our thanks and concerns to him. I would like to see a slot limit on the Flatheads to protect the big fish. I would like to see them add the tributaries to the catch and release regulations for Bass. I would like to see them cut the creel limit on Walleyes to 3 per day and only one over 22”.

11. I have been invited and have accepted to shoot a half hour TV Show with Alex Zidock covering what is happening with the Susquehanna River. This is a local show that runs in the Pocono Area. On Tuesday, November 9th my wife, Linda, and I will be traveling to Mt. Pocono to shoot this show.

12. I understand there was a special meeting held this past Thursday evening at Susquehanna Fishing Tackle to discuss how to get the catch and release regulation repealed. Please let them know at the store your opinion on this issue. I can provide contact information for you if you like.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What’s the Deal with Soft Stickbaits? (SFM; June 2010)

From the June 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Juan Veruete (centralpafishing.com)

I'm a tough nut to crack when it comes to new baits. Years ago I can remember seeing my first soft stickworm. It was a Yamamato Senko. I also remember thinking to myself, "what's the big deal?" It was soon after that I began experimenting with the bait and catching fish. A lot of fish! Well, years later stickworms are still catching fish for anglers across the country and we can be rest assured that this bait is more than a passing fad. It has become a mainstay for many largemouth and smallmouth bass anglers. I know stickworms have certainly gained my respect and a permanent place in my fishing arsenal.

Like any bait, it does have some limitations. That being said, I'm always trying to extend the use of a good bait by finding new ways to rig and present it. The stickworm is no exception. Most fisherman think of this bait as a shallow, open water bait. Through some creative rigging and ingenuity, a stickworm can be utilized across many different cover types and depths. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Fishing shallow sparse cover or rock

When fishing shallow water or sparse cover, your best rigging option is often an exposed hook. I prefer exposed hook rigging when possible for two reasons. First, the exposed hook helps increase your hook up ratio. Second, the hooks used in this rigging technique are smaller and lighter and, therefore, will not hinder the vertical slow fall that makes a soft stickworm such a great bait for river smallmouth bass. My two favorite rigging options for a stickworm in sparse cover are "Nose Hooking" and "Wacky Rigging."

Nose Hooking

Nose hooking a soft stickbait is fairly simple. Just as the name implies, you find the nose of the bait and hook it. There are several types of hooks you can use when nose hooking a soft stickbait. A few of my favorites are circle hooks, Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hooks and Gamakatsu split shot/drop shot hook. For example, if I'm rigging a 3" soft stickbait I'll most often use a 1/0 Gamakatsu drop shot hook.

There are several advantages to nose hooking a soft stickbait. I've already mentioned that the exposed hook increases your hook up ratio. A second important advantage is that you have the hook in the place where the fish is most likely to attack the bait. Smallmouth have an uncanny ability to know where the "head" of an artificial lure or natural prey is and hit it. If you've ever observed a smallmouth attacking a soft plastic bait in clear water, you know what I mean. In a smallmouth’s world, the skinny part is the tail and the fat part is the head of a bait.

Wacky Rig

I like "wacky rigging" a bait mainly because I think the name is funny. Of course you know I'm kidding… right? Wacky rigging is one of my mainstay rigging techniques in sparse cover and around rocky areas. I will typically wacky rig my soft stickbaits with a circle hook of some type or even a size 1 or 2 Kamakatsu offset extra wide gap worm hook. Circle hooks are great because they can significantly reduce gut hooking and take very little work to set the hook. Just reel up on the line, sweep the rod, and you’re hooked up!

To wacky rig, just find the center point of the bait and stick the hook straight through. It's important that you find the center point at which the bait balances on the hook evenly. The head end of soft stickbaits is usually a little bigger than the tapered tail end so the "mid point" to balance out the bait is often a little toward the head of actual center.

I'll switch over to an offset worm hook when I'm getting bit but still have trouble getting hooked up on fish. Many times fisherman think they are missing smallmouth because the fish are small. I've found that this is not always the case. The bigger offset wide-gapped hook has helped me connect on fish when the bite is very subtle. I think the bigger wide-gapped hook gets sucked in momentarily and when the smallmouth tries to spit the bait, the hook gets hung up on it's mouth, resulting in a hookup when normally you'd feel a subtle tap… tap… then nothing more.

In general, the wacky rig is great for smallmouth in a negative to neutral mood. Typically under those conditions smallmouth move up on a bait and "mouth" or "taste" it. When a smallmouth does this it is not necessarily attacking the bait at the head. It most often is picking the bait up at the mid point. I've observed this behavior quite often. A good general rule of thumb is to start with the nose hook then move to the wacky rig if you are getting bites but not able to convert them to catches.

Fishing Vegetation and Wood

In the summer, fishing message boards are full of fisherman trying to solve the "weed" problem on the Susquehanna River and other flows that see a fair amount of summer growth. Most often their looking for advice on presentations that will allow them to fish in the weed beds where the smallmouth are seeking refuge during sunny summer days. Fishing cover with a soft stickworm is where we start "weeding out" (pun intended) fisherman who think this is difficult to impossible. Contrary to popular belief, this bait can be extremely effective in wood, weeds, and pads. Two very simple rigging techniques will get you in the thick of things.

Texposed Rig

Texposed rigging is great for sliding the bait through submerged weeds and wood. You can slide it through the cover and when you feel it hit an open pocket of water let it fall. That's typically when smallmouth will hit the bait. When fishing weeds in current, I'll position myself downstream of the weeds, cast up, then slide the bait through the weeds as it moves downstream. This will also help reduce snags significantly. You can also use a similar technique when fishing a downed tree. Position yourself near the crown of the tree and pull the bait through the limbs.

My hook of choice for texposing soft stickbaits is a Gamakatsu extra wide gap offset worm hook. It's a long name for a darn good hook. Size of the hooks will range from to 5/0 depending on the size of the soft stickworm. For example, if I'm rigging a 3" stickworm I'll often use a size 2 offset worm hook. If I'm rigging a 6 inch or large bait the size of the hook will be 3/0 or possibly 4/0. The primary factor that determines hook size is the length and thickness of the bait. I try to use a hook that will allow the body of the stickworm to move out of the way when the bait is taken in and chomped down on by the fish.

Texposing is fairly simple. Insert the point of the hook about 1/4 inch into the nose of the bait and punch it out the side. Flip the point of the hook toward the worm and pull the hook thought until it reaches the bend of the offset hook. Then punch the hook point straight up through the worm and out the other side. The worm should be rigged perfectly straight on the hook. If not, most likely you punched the hook point through the worm at an angle or in the wrong spot. Try backing it out and punching though again.

Wacky Rig with weed guarded hook

Emergent weeds on surface of the river? No problem. This is an excellent situation to wacky rig your soft stickbait with a weed guarded hook. My favorite hook is a Gamakatsu finesse wide gap weedless hook. It has a nice little flexible weed guard that you can drag through some serious slop without getting hung up. Typically when I'm tossing soft stickbaits into emergent weeds, I'll throw bait that are 5" or larger. I find that a size 1/0 hook does the job nicely with this size bait.

The bait can be presented two ways. First, you can just drag it across the weed slop and let it sit on top of it. This is more of a "top water" presentation and it is very effective in early morning or overcast conditions. It is also what I refer to as a "horizontal" presentation of the bait. Second, you can cast it to holes or gaps in the weeds and make a more vertical presentation by letting it drop on a slack line. Let's take this one step further. You can also combine both presentations by casting the bait out across the surface weeds, dragging the bait across the slop and as the bait reaches a gap, hole, or the edge, let it free line down. This can be an extremely effective presentation because the smallmouth will be able to track the bait across the weeds and then jump all over it when it falls though a hole. Strikes will usually come in the first foot of the drop so hang on!

Fishing deep water and current

Now it's time to take our soft stick bait fishing to a new level. Most river smallmouth fisherman will fish the bait down to 5' or 8' but find it very difficult to fish the bait effectively any deeper. I'm of the mind that if a soft bait can catch fish at 5' it can probably also do the job at 10 feet or more. We just need to find a way to get it down. We also need to be able to keep reasonably good contact with the bait so we know when we have a hit or when we are bumping bottom. Here are a couple of solutions that will not only get the bait down but also enable you to fish the bait in more current than you thought possible.

Nail Weights

As the name implies, nail weights look like nails but are made of lead. I saw my first nail weights back in the mid 80's when they were developed for the new soft jerkbait referred to as a Slug-Go. The nail weights were inserted into the plastic baits to get them down deeper. Nail weights are typically about 1/2 inch long and can be used as is or cut into pieces depending on how much weight you want insert into your soft stick bait. The weights are basically pushed into the soft plastic so that they are completed buried under the "skin" of the bait. When nail weighting soft stick worms you need to make sure that you use a single weight in the center, or if you are going to use multiple weights, make sure that the weight is evenly distributed across the bait so that it still falls in the horizontal position.

Jig Heads

Using a jig head with a soft stickbait is a great way to get the bait down to smallmouth holding in deep runs. It does negate the action of the bait but it still presents that great soft stickbait profile that smallmouth love. I will typically only use a jig head with soft stick worms in the 3" or 4" length. Longer baits just have too much bulk and the weight needed is just too much to make a good presentation. Most often when rigging the 3" or 4" stickbaits I'll used a standard 1/8 oz. jig head. I fish the bait much like a tube, bouncing it along the rocky bottom keeping contact with the bait so I can feel the most subtle strike.

A soft stickworm is one of the most effective summer time baits for river smallmouth. Almost every fisherman I know has at least a few in his or her bag of tricks. Some of the best fishermen I know catch fish because they have a handful of go-to baits that they are able to adapt and present in a wide range of fishing conditions. As you've seen, with a little thought, experimentation, and effort even a simple straight worm can be adapted and presented in a wide range of fishing conditions. This was just a quick overview of what you can do with the bait. Hopefully it will be food for thought and lead you to more ideas and ways to fish the bait. Like I always say, experimentation is a fisherman’s best friend. Without it, we would still be fishing with live baits and bone hooks.


From top to bottom: 4" bait wacky rigged on a size 2 offset shank worm hook, 4" bait wacky rigged on a size 1 Gamakatsu Octopus hook, 3" bait nose hooked with a 1/0 Gamakatsu split shot/drop shot hook


From top to bottom: 5.25" bait texposed rigged with a 4/0 Gamakatsu offset shank extra wide gap worm hook, 4.25" bait weedless wacky rigged on a Gamakatsu finesse wide gap weedless hook


From top to bottom: 3" bait rigged on a 1/8 oz. jig head, various sized nail waits that can inserted into a wacky rigged stick worm increase the depth that it can be fished

Juan is a member of several fishing industry pro staffs including kayakbassfishing.com and the Centre Sportsman TV Show. He has almost 40 years of fishing experience on the waters of Pennsylvania. Get more great fishing tips, techniques, and reports on his personal blog, www.centralpafishing.com.

Friday, October 22, 2010

SFM Hints & Tips Issue Now Online!

The Susquehanna Fishing Magazine October/November 2010 Hints & Tips Issue is now online and available for free download via the SusquehannaFishing.com website.

http://susquehannafishing.com/

Check out Bryan Wilhelm's "Black Bass Lure Selection Matrix", Nathan Follmer's "Five Knots You Need to Know", and select Hints & Tips which will improve your angling skills!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report; Mid-October 2010



Well you can tell its fall as football season is here once again on the Susquehanna River as many football shaped Smallmouth Bass have been making their way to the boat for my anglers this week. Congrats to some of them as these were some of their chunkiest smallies they have have ever caught. Some double hook ups were had as well. This is a great time to experience the smallmouth bite and to get bent and sling some string with us!

Until the next report, tight lines!-----<*)}}}}}><
Your Susquehanna River Fishing Guide, Steve Hancock
http://susquehannaflyandspin.com/

Monday, October 18, 2010

KOINONIA GUIDE SERVICE: SUSQUEHANNA FISHING REPORT 10/16/10

Hi Gang,

The river was at 6.1 with 54,700CF of flow and 64 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.4 with 21,900CF of flow and 56 degrees. The BP was 30.20 and falling.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday evening and we fished from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM and we boated 11 Walleye, 1 Channel Cat and 1 Bass. The largest Walleye was 20”, the Bass was 14.5” and the Channel Cat was 24”. We caught them on Stick Baits, Rattle Baits and Jigs. Three of the Walleye were legal. We had 5.1 – Muddy – Steady – 34,500 CF and 60 degrees. It was clear we had a BP of 30.00 and steady.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Fun Trip – This was on Tuesday evening and we fished from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and we boated 10 Flatheads. The larges was 41.5” long and weighed 38.05#. This is the largest one we have caught to date. We also had several this night over 20 pounds. We caught them on live bait and cut bait. We had 5.1 – Steady - Muddy - 34,000 CF and 60 degrees. It was cloudy skies and we had a BP of 30.20 & falling.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM and we boated 2 Bass. The largest was 14”. We caught them on YUM Craw Papi’s. We had 4.7 – Steady - Muddy – 26,300CF and 58 degrees. It was clear skies and we had a BP of 30.30 and falling.

4. Trip #4 Guide Trip – This was a half day Saturday PM Trip and we boated 20+ Flatheads. The largest was 28# and we had several citation size fish. We caught them all on live bait. We had 4.4 – Stained – Steady - 21,970CF and 56 degrees. It was windy and we had a BP of 30.20 and falling.

5. Trip #5 – Guide Trip – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – Guide Trip – No Trip

7. We got blown off the water on Thursday and Friday.

8. The cooling water temperature is making the bass fishing better and the Walleye fishing should continue to build as well.


9. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

10. There is an article today in the Republican Herald news paper. This article is based on an outing that we took Doyle Dietz on and it can be seen at www.rpublicanherald.com. Go to sports and then outdoors and click on the article.

11. Last Tuesday we had Commissioner Bob Bachman out on the river with us and this Tuesday we will have Executive Director John Arway out with us. We will continue to express our concerns to them about the Bass situation, the walleye creel limit and creating a Flathead slot limit.


HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PA Fish & Boat Proposes Susky/Juniata C&R Regulations

From today's Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's press release:
http://www.fishandboat.com/newsreleases/2010press/bass_cr.htm

"Following years of declining numbers of smallmouth bass in the Juniata and lower Susquehanna rivers, the Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today moved to protect the fisheries by placing catch and release regulations on sections of the two waterways which are currently regulated under the Big Bass Program."

"The Board of Commissioners voted at its quarterly meeting, held today at the Genetti Hotel, to approve the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking containing the proposed regulations. Pending a final vote by the board at a subsequent quarterly meeting, PFBC Executive Director John Arway signed a temporary emergency order which allows the changes to take affect Jan. 1, 2011."

Check out the linked press release for specifics...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fly Fishing For Monster Trout Seminar with George Douglas (10/6/2010, Harrisburg, PA)

Harrisburg, PA — Hall of Fame author, fishing guide, filmmaker and publisher of Kype Fishing Magazine, George Douglas, will be in the Harrisburg area on October, 6th. This free event will be held at the Gander Mountain Sports in Harrisburg from 6:30 to 8:00pm.

This should be a fantastic evening for those of you who are interested in becoming a better angler and perhaps looking for a fishing adventure, as Douglas will provide his recommendations for your next trip. He will be showing variety of fishing footage on an eight foot screen that features some of the best fishing in the country for trout, steelhead and salmon. Douglas will be speaking on strategies and techniques for trophy fish, and will shine light on solutions to common mistakes.

After the films and seminar, George will be signing copies of his new book titled, "Fish Like A Guide.” He explained that Professional Fishing Guides produce consistent action for their clients, and it is not done by luck--there is a science and a discipline behind the results. His book goes far beyond how to catch a fish by revealing the formula that leads anglers to success through planning, preparation and advanced thought process that will consistently place an angler in high percentage fishing situations.

This free event is sure to improve your knowledge base and get you ready for this fall season. More information is on his website at KypeMagazine.com

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Electric Kayak Fishing Revolution (SFM, May 2010)

From the May 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Jon Shein


The Ocean Kayak Torque’s Minn Kota propulsion system

Kayak fishing is exploding across the country as it finally starts to penetrate into freshwater. It’s ironic because most people think of kayak angling as a freshwater sport, but the majority of its growth and the use of kayaks for fishing have been in saltwater. Many of us got started because we became tired of watching stripers and blues blitz beyond the range of our casts. Kayaks allowed us to catch those fish. Kayak fishing is growing in leaps and bounds and that was with very little growth in freshwater. That’s all changing now and it makes sense. There are very few environments a kayak can’t fish. Still one of the limitations that prevented the sport from being as popular as it could be was many fishermen weren’t interested in providing propulsion. They weren’t interested in the exercise. You either had to paddle or pedal a kayak, until recently. Now there’s another revolution in the sport that’s going to alter it considerably. That change is the rise of the machines, like in Terminator, but these machines aren’t robots, they’re electric kayaks (EK). For years the regional Ocean Kayak rep and I tried to get the company to make an integrated electric motor model. That’s because the parent company, Johnson Outdoors, also owns Minn Kota. This past summer they finally did it and introduced the Torque. It wasn’t the first production EK though. Legacy Paddlesports introduced the Volt a few months earlier. However the two kayaks are very different. I’ll discuss all the options available and different models along with features later in this series.

Putting an electric motor on a kayak isn’t new. Cobra kayaks and later on Malibu kayaks have offered motor mounts for years. They allowed one to attach a standard trolling motor. Also anglers would build their own mounts and attach a motor. While writing my book, Kayak Fishing, I spent seven months in the Everglades and there were three anglers who built a rear mount that functioned nicely. All these worked but they weren’t near what a proper integrated system could be. Every now and then I’d see a neat system on the various internet forums where someone with far more mechanical and engineering skills than most of us would build a really cool setup. However most of us are not capable of such things, and unless we knew someone we weren’t going to have one. Things took a significant turn for the better when an aftermarket company called Bassyaks started doing the same and offering them to the public. Bassyaks has kits for all the popular kayak models and they’ll design one for any kayak. A buddy of mine got one a couple years ago and could spend all day on the water without needing to use his paddle.

I’m a big fan of EKs, but I often hear people say if you want a motor just get a boat. There are a lot of reasons why I would much rather have an EK. For starters it’s still a kayak; the motor just replaces muscles with electricity. So let’s take a quick look at kayaks and why they’re such good fishing vessels.

First they’re inexpensive, relatively light, easy to transport and incredibly versatile. I don’t know of another craft that can float down the Susquehanna and then the next day launch through the Jersey surf. You can put the kayak on a set of wheels, called a cart, and wheel it into a remote section of river or a lake nestled back in the woods. These are places that you may only have been able to previously fish from shore, or via an inflatable or a float tube. A kayak can be customized to your needs and allow such places to be fished in a manner they may have never been before. There’s a lot a kayak can do and an EK allows it to do more. More next month…

Jon Shein is a veteran kayak angler. His recently released book, Kayak Fishing, can be purchased at the following website:
http://www.kayakfishingbook.net/

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fly Fishing Egg Patterns (SFM, April 2010)

From the April 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Jim Kukorlo

The “Incredible, Edible Egg.”

Fish know what we know about the food value of an egg. It is a high-protein, high-fat and high-energy food.

Spawning season in the Susquehanna Region runs from late August to late May. This cool water period is when insect activity is in decline, and fish are looking for a high protein food source. It is instinctual for fish to eat fish eggs and is a great time to fly fish egg flies. You will find success fishing egg patterns throughout this cool water period.

The most popular colors are white, pink, dark pink, and orange. Carry an assortment of sizes from one eighth to one quarter inch. Smaller ones seem to be more effective in late summer and low water conditions. Larger ones are a good imitation of egg clumps or clusters. Eggs don’t swim, they roll along with the current on or near the bottom.

A drag free, dead drift is the most effective way of fishing eggs patterns. This is to fish the fly without imparting any additional movement while keeping the lure moving in the current. Add a split shot eight to ten inches above the fly to get down where they feed. If you are not getting hung up occasionally, you are probably not fishing deep enough.

Cast quartering upstream and hold your rod high, keeping most of your line off the water, to get your fly down on the bottom with little drag. Having a drag-free drift is important. This is much like nymph fishing.

Try using two flies with a bead head nymph as the first fly. Attach 12 to 18inches of 3x tippet material or 4 pound mono filament at the hook bend of the first fly, then tie on your egg. Add split shots above the first fly and between the two flies depending on the depth and speed of the water.

Often, fish will gently take the egg fly and it is difficult to detect the strike. Using a strike indicator will increase your chances of success. When fishing a strike indicator, it should be moving along with or more slowly than the bubbles on the water.

Low-water summer conditions call for a different approach to fishing eggs. Again, you can use two flies, but, use a dry fly on top. A Hopper pattern floats well and is a great choice with this method. Attach the egg dropper fly in the same manner as before, but make the drop lead longer to reach the bottom. Whatever the depth is, one and one half times that is a good starting length for the drop leader. The Hopper will be your strike indicator as well. When it stops…set the hook.

Try tying your own egg flies. Mc Fly Foam works great for egg patterns. Use egg hooks in size 14 to size 10. The most popular colors have been listed… yet, be creative. Try different colors and fish them in different water conditions. In your selection of egg patterns you should also have some sucker spawn flies. Sucker spawn is tied simply by looping yarn and tying the loops to the hook to look like a sucker fish’s egg sack. White, pink, yellow are the popular colors for sucker spawn flies.

Fish eggs are a prized high-energy food source in rivers and streams of the region. Fish know this and now, so do you. Give them a try!


Lisa Kamerzel, 19 inch bow on an egg.

Jim Kukorlo has fly fished Fishing Creek near Bloomsburg, PA and surrounding waters for over 40 years. He is a skilled angler, fly tyer and a fly fishing guide, who enjoys taking photos of fly fishers and their catch.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crafting Homemade Fishing Lures (SFM Sept. 2010)

From the September 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Bryan Wilhelm

This is the first of what is to be a series of articles for anglers who may be interested in making their own fishing tackle. Like previous articles in SFM on making and fishing jigs, the purpose of this series is to introduce interested anglers to the procedures of tackle making. Subsequent articles will cascade through intermediate level projects, ending with more complex ones like making wooden crank baits, painted and finished to commercial quality or beyond.

We will begin with a simple project requiring only a few tools using purchased materials while learning elementary skill.

Stay with me through the whole series of articles to gain an understanding of how homemade lures are built and what makes a great lure work. Follow along…because all of the lures you make will attract and catch many of the Susquehanna regional sport fishes.

Our first project works magic on bass, pan fish and trout. It is the 1/8 ounce inline spinner.

There are just a few basic tools which are needed. They are: 1.Round nose pliers 2. Wire cutters. If you plan to continue making lures for a while, buy quality tools that will last for years. Many of the tackle component suppliers sell these quality tools.

Buy a kit of all the needed parts from your local tackle shop or one of the online/mail order houses like www.lurepartsonline .com (formerly Stamina Components) or www.Jannsnetcraft.com. This will allow you to focus on learning tactile procedures of this craft without all the complications of trying to determine part selection, sizes and compatibility.

As we work, I will describe proper techniques and correct procedure and include photo examples to guide you. The results of your work will be effective fishing lures you will be proud to use.

Let’s get started...

What follows are all the parts you will be working with:

- 6” piece of .031 wire with a readymade loop on one end
- Spinner blade
- Wire clevis
- 1/8” bearing bead
- Brass lure body
- Number 6 treble hook
- Colored plastic tube as embellishment for the hook shank

To become familiar with what we will do… if you have a computer or a way to go online checkout http://www.youtube.com/user/JannsNetcraftTV. Play the video…it shows all the steps we will go through to make our inline spinners.

Assembly –

1. Insert a clevis into the hole in a spinner blade.
2. Slide the blade clevis assembly onto the 6’ wire perform with the convex or rounded side of the blade facing the pre-formed loop in the wire.
3. Slide a bead bearing onto the wire.
4. Slide a brass lure body onto the wire (as shown in photo no.1).
5. Slide a ½’ piece of colored plastic tube onto a treble hook shank.
6. Bend the end of wire into an open loop 1” from the lure body.
7. Add the treble hook and close the wire loop. Your finished lure should look like this (see photo no. 2 of finished lure).


Photo #1


Photo #2

This is all there is to this. It is a nice and easy way, to make a great lure. I like easy! Improving your spinner – to reduce line twist while fishing, bend the loop end of your lure that the loop is off center from the shaft like this (see photo no. 3). This will reduce the lure tendency of rolling on the retrieve.


Photo #3

Now that you have confidence working with these tools and materials…start all over again with larger parts to make several ¼ ounce lures.

When finished, you will have produced a number of new lures to add to your fishing gear. Use these skills to create your own hand crafted lures. You can expand on what you have learned here to make very light spinners using plastic beads for fly fishing and huge spinners with larger blades and larger, heavier bodies for larger fish like musky.

I recommend fishing these 1/8 ounce lures on a 5 to 5 ½ foot spinning rod spooled with 4 or 6 pound test monofilament line. Inline spinner lures combine flash with vibration –
a winning combination to catch crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and trout.

One tip for fishing spinners in moving water - cast across current. Immediately begin your retrieve when your lure touches down. Vary the speed of your retrieve to suite the flowing water you are fishing. Whenever the water color is murky or stained…try a spinner….and hang on!

Have fun fishing!

Bryan Wilhelm is a multi-species light tackle angler with many years experience both as a professional and a sportsman on the lower Susquehanna River. His zeal for fishing grows each passing year. We look forward to him sharing his experiences.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2010 TKAA Kayak Fishing Tournament Results

2010 TKAA KAYAK FISH FOR CHARITY TOURNAMENT WINNERS:
Norfolk, Virginia


Hobie Kayaks Slam Winner (largest red, trout, flounder):

Ben Swenson Williamsburg, VA Slam Total 49.5” (Hobie Mirage Pro Angler)

Appomattox River Company Speckled Trout Division:

1st- Tim Morris Hampton, VA 24” (Ocean Kayak Prowler Trident 15)
2nd-Kemarin Kim Newport News, VA 19.75”
3rd-Ben Kleeger Virginia Beach, VA 17.75”
4th-Robert Clemente-Woodbridge, VA 16”

Tar River Paddlesports/Nu-Canoe Redfish Division:

1st- James McDermtt-Lorton, VA 45” (Nu-Canoe Solo Adventurer Kayak)
2nd- Ron Rucker Norfolk, VA 30.75”
3rd-Jim Kukura Virginia Beach, VA 28.5”
4th-Justin Mayer Gloucester, VAN 26.25

Native Watercraft Flounder Division:

1st- Marty Mood Yorktown, VA 22.25” (Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12 Angler Kayak)
Graciously donated to new Farmville Chapter of Heroes on the Water. Thanks Marty!
2nd-Brandon Poulter Virginia Beach, VA 21”
3rd-Rob Choi Richmond, VA 19.75”
4th-Michael Williams Richmond, VAN 19.25

Keith Hamlin Striper Division:

1st- Mark McKenzie Virginia Beach, VA 22.25” (Feel Free Moken 12)
2nd-Don Fields Buxton, ME 20”
3rd-Doug Wilson Williamsburg, VA 15.5”

KayakBassFishing.com/Wilderness Systems Largemouth Bass Division:

1st- Forrest Short Yorktown, VA 18.25” (Wilderness Systems Commander 140)
2nd- Charlie Hill Ashburn, VA 17.25”
3rd-Kyle Sawyer-Virginia Beach, VA 17”


Old Dominion Kayaks/Malibu Kayaks Female Angler Division:
(largest fish, any targeted species)

1st- Emma Johnson Virginia Beach, VA 14.75” Flounder (Malibu Kayaks Pro Explorer)


Bass Pro Shops Youth Division:
(largest fish, any targeted species)

1st- Louie Argiro Chesapeake, VA 22.5 Catfish (Ascend 10 kayak)
2nd- Chris Smith Virginia Beach, VAN 17” Croaker
3rd – Rose Oast Bloomsburg, PA 15” Flounder
4th-Stephen Hilowitz Virginia Beach, VA 14.5” Redfish
5th-Alissa Tharrington Virginia Beach, VA 11.25” Croaker

Highlights:

Close to 200 anglers, from Maine to Florida to Washington, participated in this year's event!

The event raised a record amount of funds to support a new chapter of Heroes on the Water in Farmville, VA.

Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, donations for prizes, raffle items, and captain’s bags there were approximately $55,000 in prizes and drawings!

Mark you calendars for next year... Sept 23/24, 2011

KOINONIA GUIDE SERVICE SUSQUEHANNA FISHING REPORT 09/25/10

From Koinonia Guide Service:
http://www.koinoniafishingguides.com/


Hi Gang,

The river was at 3.0 with 4,000CF of flow and 72 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.0 with 4,100CF of flow and 75 degrees. The BP was 30.20 and falling.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Fun Trip – This was on Monday evening and we fished from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM and we boated 16 Bass and 1 Walleye. The largest bass was 19.25” and weighed 4# and the Walleye was 21.5”. We caught them on Rattle Baits, Swim Baits, Top Water and Spinner Baits. We had 3.0 – Clear – Steady – 3,800 CF and 72 degrees. It was extremely windy and we had a BP of 30.45 and falling.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Trip – This was a Thursday PM half day trip and we boated 10 Bass and 2 Walleye. The largest Bass was 17.25” and the largest Walleye was 17”. We caught them on Rebel Wee Craws, Rattle Baits and Spinner Baits. We had 3.0 – Steady - Clear - 3,900 CF and 76 degrees. It was clear and we had a BP of 30.55 & falling.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Trip – This was a half day AM Trip on Friday and we boated 10 Bass and 2 Walleye. The largest bass was 15” and the largest Walleye was 18”. We caught them on Rattle Baits, Rebel Wee Craws and Spinner Baits. We had 3.0 – Steady - Clear – 3,900CF and 76 degrees. It was windy and we had a BP of 30.55 and falling.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was a half day Saturday AM Trip and we boated 12 Bass and 1 Walleye. The largest bass was 17.5” and the Walleye was 19”. We caught them on Rebel Wee Craws, Spinner Baits and Rattle Baits. We had 3.0 – Clear – Steady - 4,100CF and 75 degrees. It was extremely windy out of the north and we had a BP of 30.20 and falling.

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Dave’s new boat is now in service and will be used for guiding starting this week. This is the boat we gave special consideration too regarding catfish trips.

7. The cooling water temperature is killing some grass and the extreme wind is causing it to float and made it difficult on Saturday to throw baits with treble hooks.

8. Please write the Fish and Boat Commission and express your concerns to them. We can provide you with email addresses if you need them.

9. Every time I fished this week we boated legal Walleye.

10. We currently have a good bite going for white perch for those of you who are interested in some good eating fish.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND LUV THE TUG………REB

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report: Sept 23,2010

The Susquehanna River was low and clear, but the fishing flood gates were open for my anglers today as they boated lots of smallmouth bass and two walleyes on various lure presentations. If you want to get in on the fall bite Give us a call to get in on the action!





"Get bent and sling some string" with us this fall!----<*)}}}}}>< Your Susquehanna River fishing guide Steve Hancock

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service:
http://susquehannaflyandspin.com/

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mastering the Jig for River Smallmouth Bass (SFM, April 2010)

From the April 2010 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Bryan Wilhelm

In the first and second editions of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine were articles on jig fishing. The first edition had Winter Fishing for Smallmouth Bass and the second edition was Smallmouth Candy. Both detailed the attributes of jigs… plus how to select and fish jigs in rivers. This third and last in the series of articles gives greater detail of the advanced jigs (what I call Master Jigs) and how and when to fish them. In addition, this third article reviews and summarizes all three installments. When you have read all three you will have a better understanding of what jigs to use in what situations for best fishing success.

There are three additional jigs that I would like to introduce…

First is what I call the flippin and pitchin (f&p) jig.



Flippin and pitchin jig is shown above.

This f&p jig is a very effective jig to use anytime of the year. The one shown is dressed to emulate a crawfish. Rabbit strip claws, rubber legs, and large eyes are key trigger features. A multi-stranded weed guard is one of these jigs features. It comes in a wide selection of weights from 1/8 through 2 ounces. You should select a size and weight that maintains bottom contact but does not anchor the bait in the current.

Second is the river jig.



The river jig

The river jig is again made to appear like a crawfish. The Erie head shape sets this jig in the defense posture while fishing. It can be made in many weights from 1/8 through ¾ ounces, 1/8 and ¼ ounce versions are most popular. It is dressed with feathers to suggest claws, has eyes, and includes latent features such as craft fur (which I call Bozo Hair) and flash to suggest movement. The craft fur retains scent extremely well. Sometimes bass will nose or bump a lure. If the lure is scented… they will commit and bite.

The third jig is a finesse jig.



I call this my jig. It weighs just 1/16 ounce. I always fish this jig on a short (4½’ to 5’), fast action spinning rod with 4 pound test mono. It is the most difficult jig to fish because of its light weight. Even with the slightest breeze you will have a bow in your line. Watch the bow for a subtle tick…. then set the hook. Most times you will not feel the take. This jig is made to fish soft plastic, like 4” do-nothing worms or 3” grubs. Select color and translucency of plastic to suit conditions.

Summary –

Jig selection:
• Match the jig color to the bottom color of the river you are fishing.
• Use brighter colors in stained water and darker muted colors in clear water.
• Fish muted colors and low flash when fish are neutral. Use bright flashy jigs when the bass are aggressive.
• Add minnows or leaches when fish are neutral and reluctant to bite.
• Fish the lightest jig for prevailing conditions (depth, current and wind).

Preparation and Presentation:
• Wash your hands before handling lures… rewash several times each day.
• Fish with 5½ to 6½ foot medium-to-fast action graphite spinning rods for light jigs and 7 foot flippin sticks with 30 pound test braid for heavy cover.
• Tie a 6 foot leader of Fluorocarbon line to super braids with back to a back uni-knot.
• Use as light a line as possible … open water: 4 lb test, heavy cover: 20 lb test and greater.
• Use scents
• Fish jigs in close, and maintain loose contact to reduce snags and detect takes.
• Immediately strike when you detect a fish. Wait to feel them and it’s all over. Smallmouth will pop it and drop it in a heartbeat.
• The most important thing is… when your lure hits the water, maximize your concentration. Think of nothing but what is going on down there. Focus on the other end of your line.

I sincerely hope this information helps make you a better fisherman.

Tight lines… Bryan Wilhelm

Bryan Wilhelm is a multi-species light tackle angler with many years experience both as a professional and a sportsman on the lower Susquehanna River. His zeal for fishing grows each passing year. We look forward to him sharing his experiences.