Friday, December 30, 2011

North American Fishing Club Susquehanna Flathead Article

Susquehanna Fishing Magazine contributor Rod Bates and Koinonia Guide Service are featured in a new article on the North American Fishing Club's website.

"Early Winter Flatheads" is an article about an outing Koinonia took on the Susquehanna River for big cats.

http://www.fishingclub.com/magazine/articles/articletype/articleview/articleid/3230/early-winter-river-flatheads

Dress to Impress (SFM, December 2011)

From the December 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

Dress to Impress

By John “Toast” Oast

Each year as the temps drop I try to spread the word about dressing properly for kayaking and canoeing during the winter months. And these recommendations are just as important for anyone hanging around the water from now through the first half of 2012. Heck, that is why these sports are called “water sports”. There are always a few unseasonably warm afternoons before the water starts to return to comfortable temperatures. Every year we hear about people on the water, needing to be rescued or worse, when there is a nice sunny day. People forget that just because the air temp may be nice on a sunny day, that the water takes a considerably longer time to warm.



Growing up around the water I always saw news reports of people falling in the water and becoming hypothermic in a matter of minutes. The water only needs to be a few degrees lower than a person’s body to substantially lower one’s core temperature. Always wear the proper warm weather attire. Depending upon the activity, this attire may include waders, dry suits, or a combination of dry pants and a dry top, but always be prepared for the worst case scenario. And of course, always wear your personal floatation device.

Do you carry a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle, just in case? Do you have a fire extinguisher in your boat or kitchen, just in case? Well, shouldn’t you dress properly around cold water, just in case?

John “Toast” Oast is an American Red Cross instructor, is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the 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://youtube.com/fishyaker.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Susquehanna Fishing Magazine, January Issue Coming Soon!

The 23rd issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine will be published and online, available for free download, within the next week. Stay tuned for the release!

http://susquehannafishing.com/



Note: Advertising and article/photo submissions are still available

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from Susquehanna Fishing Magazine!

Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and SusquehannaFishing.com wish everyone a great holiday!

Remember, if you haven't checked out the December issue of SFM, you can download it for fee at SusquehannaFishing.com:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

The January 2012 issue should be online during the first week of January. Feel free to forward your article and photograph submissions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Susquehanna Fishing Magazine - December Issue

In case you have not checked out the December issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine, download it for free at SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/



This issue includes a super-informative cold water fishing article by Al Winco, winterizing and off-season maintenance articles by Bill Milheim and Bryan Wilhelm, holiday product reviews, and Lance Dunham's monthly guide article.

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 12-10-11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 6.5 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 8.4 with 103,700CF of flow and 42 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Tuesday and we fished from 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM and we boated 50+Bass, 1 Musky and 1 Carp. The largest bass was 19&7/8”, the Carp was 30” and the Musky was 30”. We caught them on Soft Plastics and stickbaits. We had 5.7 – 51,400CF – Rising – Stained and 47 degrees. We had overcast skies and showers and the BP was 29.90.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Fun Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 2:30 AM to 6:30 PM and we boated 50+ bass. The largest was 18.5” and we caught them on soft plastics and stickbaits. We had 5.8 – 51,900CF – Falling – Stained and 45 degrees. It was raining and we had a BP of 29.40 and Falling.

3. Trip #3 – No Trip

4. Trip #4 – No Trip

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. The river is back up high again so we will probably not be fishing until later this week. We will continue to check for Walleye.

7. We will soon be starting our show and seminar season and we will keep you posted on our schedule.

Please check out our Web Site at WWW.koinoniafishingguides.com

HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS SEASON AND LUV THE TUG………REB

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna River Fishing Report, 11/26/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 5.1 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 9.3 with 122,000CF of flow and 45 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Monday and we fished from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and we boated 40 Bass and 7 Fallfish. The largest bass was 18.75” and the largest Fallfish was 15”. We caught them on Stickbaits, Hair Jigs and Soft Plastics. We had 5.1 – 33,200CF – Falling – Clear and 43 degrees. We had rain showers and a BP of 30.15 and Rising.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Tuesday and we fished from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM and we boated 50+ Bass. The largest was 19.75” and we caught them on Stickbaits, live sunfish and soft plastics. We had 4.9 – 31,900CF – Rising – Clear and 44 degrees. It was raining and we had a BP of 30.20 and Falling.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Friday afternoon and we fished a lake for 3 hours. The river was muddy and at 10.8 with 133,300 CF. We decided to try lake fishing since the river was not fit to fish. We only boated 1 White Perch and 1 Sunfish but we located a lot of Sunfish for tomorrow. We had a BP of 30.20 and steady.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Scouting Trip – The river is unfishable so we went lake fishing. We fished from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and boated 60+ sunfish. We brought home a nice cooler of fish for the freezer. We also boated 2 Largemouth Bass and 1 Crappie. This bite should stay strong until ice.

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. The river is clearing and we should have another good week of bass fishing this week. We will continue to check for Walleye.

Please check out our Web Site at WWW.koinoniafishingguides.com

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 4.6 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 5.1 with 37,400CF of flow and 43 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Trip – This was a half day Combo Trip on Monday in the middle of the day. We boated 3 Bass and the largest was 17”. We caught them all on soft plastics. We had 4.5 – 24,300CF – Steady – Clear and 46 degrees. We had a BP of 29.55 and Rising.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM and we boated 50+ Bass. The largest was 19” and we had 6 over 18”. We caught them on Spinnerbaits, Stickbaits and soft plastics. We had 4.5 – 23,200CF – Falling – Clear and 48 degrees. We had a BP of 29.75 and Steady.

3. Trip #3 – Scouting Trip – This was on Thursday mid day and we fished from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and boated 3 Bass. The largest was 17” and we caught them on soft plastics. We had 4.4 – 23,000 CF – Steady – Clear and 45 degrees. The BP was 29.75 and Rising and it was extremely windy.

4. Trip #4 – No Trip

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. The river is clearing and the bass fishing is picking up. We will continue to check for Walleye.

Please check out our Web Site at WWW.koinoniafishingguides.com

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 11/12/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 5.4 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.6 with 26,600CF of flow and 46 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Trip – This was a Monday PM half day Bass Trip and we boated 30+ Bass. The largest was 18” and we caught them on soft plastics and stick baits. We had 5.2 – 38,500CF – Falling – Clear and 48 degrees. We had a BP of 30.35 and Falling.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Trip – This was a Monday PM half day trip for Catfish and we boated 14 Flatheads. We caught them all on live bait and the largest was 21.13#. This will probably be our last Flathead Guide Trip for the season. We had 52 – 38,500CF – Falling – Clear and 50 degrees. We had a BP of 30.35 and falling.

3. Trip #3 – Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and we boated 23 Bass. We caught them on Rattle Baits and soft plastics. We had 4.9 – 33,400 CF – Steady – Clear and 48 degrees. The BP was 30.10 and Falling.

4. Trip #4 – No Trip

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. We now have our Catfish Gold Punch Bait in Stock. It comes in original and blood and the cost is $6.95 per pint.

8. The river is clearing and the bass fishing is picking up. We will continue to check for Walleye.

Please check out our Web Site at WWW.koinoniafishingguides.com

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report November 2011

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

With the winds and sun in full effect, the smallmouth made an appearance for several of my clients this week. Congrats to my father and son anglers, as they experienced taking smallmouth bass on fly for their first time and ended up with many large smallies on both fly and spinning gear. The largest was just over the 20" mark. The fall fishing is in full swing and so are our flies so get in on the action while it lasts!

Your Susquehanna River Fishing Guide, -----<*)}}}}}>< Steve Hancock.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna River Report (11/5/11)

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 5.3 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 5.4 with 44,800CF of flow and 48 degrees.

Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 5:00 to 7:00 PM and boated 7 Flatheads. The largest was 21# and we caught them all on live bait. We had 5.9 – 58,900CF – Steady – Stained and 44 degrees. It was cloudy with a BP of 30.60 and Falling.

Trip #2 – Making Bait – This was on Wednesday and we boated 50+ Sunfish, 1 Walleye and 3 Largemouth Bass. We caught them all on a jig/worm combo. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 30.60 and falling.

Trip #3 – Combo Scouting Trip – This was on Friday evening and we fished from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM and we boated one 17” Walleye. We caught the Walleye on a modified grub. We had 5.6 – 47,600 CF – Falling – Clear and 48 degrees. We had sunny skies and extreme wind. The BP of 30.20 and Rising.

Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was a Full Day Combo Trip on Saturday and we boated 5 Bass, 3 Walleye, 1 Carp and 1 Musky. The Musky was 35.5” long, the largest Bass was 17”, the longest Walleye was 17” and the Carp was 8#. We caught them all on jigs. We had 5.4 – 44,800CF – Falling – Clear and 46 degrees. It was sunny and we had a BP of 30.40 and Steady.

Trip #5 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Saturday and we fished from 3:45 to 6:15 and we boated 10 Flatheads. The largest was 13.12# and we caught them all on live bait. We had 5.4 – 44,800CF – Falling – Clear and 50 – 52 degrees. It was sunny and we had a BP of 30.40 and Steady.

Friday PM Trip and we had two boats on this trip. We boated 25+ Flatheads and the largest was 14.13 pounds. We caught them on live and cut bait. We had 5.3 – 42,000CF – Steady – Stained and 55 degrees. We had cloudy skies with a BP of 30.55 and Falling.

Trip #5 – No Trip

Trip #6 – No Trip

Trip #5 – No Trip

We now have our Catfish Gold Punch Bait in Stock. It comes in original and blood and the cost is $6.95 per pint.

The river is clearing and the bass fishing is picking up.


Please check out our Web Site at WWW.koinoniafishingguides.com

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

Friday, November 4, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna River Report (10/29/11)

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 6.9 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 5.3 with 42,700CF of flow and 50 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Trip – This was a half day PM trip on Tuesday. We boated 14 Flatheads and the largest was 14.01#. We caught them all on live bait..We had 5.9 – 54,700CF – Falling – Muddy and 58 degrees. It was cloudy was windy with a BP of 30.50 and Steady.

2. Trip #2 – Making Bait – This was a Wednesday PM Outing and we boated 30 Rockbass and 20+ Sunfish in 2 hours. It was cloudy and we had a BP of 30.20 and falling.

3. Trip #3 – Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished most of the day. We boated 31 Bass and the largest was 19”. We caught them on Rattle Baits and Salty Spider Jigs. We had 5.6 – 49,400 CF – Falling – Stained and 55 degrees. We had cloudy skies and a BP of 30.20 and Falling.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was a Friday PM Trip and we had two boats on this trip. We boated 25+ Flatheads and the largest was 14.13 pounds. We caught them on live and cut bait. We had 5.3 – 42,000CF – Steady – Stained and 55 degrees. We had cloudy skies with a BP of 30.55 and Falling.

5. Trip #5 – Guide Trip – Saturday Trips were cancelled due to the snow storm.

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. Trip #5 – No Trip

8. We now have our Catfish Gold Punch Bait in Stock. It comes in original and blood and the cost is $6.95 per pint.

9. The river is clearing and the bass fishing is picking up.

Please check out our Web Site at WWW.koinoniafishingguides.com

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

November Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Now Online!

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

http://susquehannafishing.com/



The November issue of SFM features:

"Thoughts on the Recent Flooding", by R.A. Roma
"Dress to Impress", by J. Oast
"Evolution of Winter Wear for Kayak Fishing", by J. Little
"This Month with a Susquehanna River Guide", by L. Dunham
"Why Did I Wait So Long?", by R. Bates
"Fishing with JERKS", by M. Stephens
"Red Ear Lou System", by B. Wilhelm

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service, Susquehanna Fishing Report 10/22/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 6.6 at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 69 with 70,900CF of flow and 58 degrees.

Trip #1 – Guide Trip – This was a half day PM trip. We boated 13 Flatheads and the largest was 34#. We boated 4 over 30#. We caught them all on live bait. We had 7.2 – 81,100CF – Falling – Muddy and 57 degrees. It was sunny and windy with a BP of 29.90 and Steady.

Trip #2 – Making Bait – This was a PM Outing and we boated 30+ Sunfish in 1.5 hours. It was sunny and we had a BP of 29.90 and falling.

Trip #3 – Guide Trip – This was a Friday AM half day Trip and we boated 16 Flatheads. The largest was 30.07# and we caught them all on live bait. We had 6.8 – 70,900 CF – Steady – Muddy and 58 degrees. We had cloudy skies with extreme wind and a BP of 29.40 and Steady.

Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was a Friday PM Trip and we boated 20+ Flatheads and the largest was 30+ pounds. We had 2 over 30# and we caught them all on live bait. We had 6.8 – 70,900CF – Steady – Muddy and 58 degrees. We had cloudy skies and windy with a BP of 29.40 and Rising.

Trip #5 – Guide Trip – This was a Saturday Full Day Combo Trip and we boated 4 Walleye, 10 Smallmouth and 1 Stiper. The largest Bass was 17”, the Walleye was 20” and the Striper was 18”. We caught them on Rattle Baits, Stick Baits and Jigs. We had 6.8 – 70,900CF – Falling – Stained and 53 degrees. We had clear skies and a BP of 30.45 and falling.

Trip #6 – Making Bait – This was on Saturday morning and we boated 50+ Sunfish and 1 Crappie. We fished for 1.5 hrs. and we had clear cool weather.

Trip #5 – Guide Trip – This was a Thursday PM Trip and we boated 25+ Flatheads and the largest was 14#. We caught them all on live bait. We had 5.1 – 47,800 CF - Rising – Stained and 59 degrees. WE had a BP of 29.90 and falling.

We now have our Catfish Gold Punch Bait in Stock. It comes in original and blood and the cost is $6.95 per pint.

The catfish fishing continues to be very good and you can expect to catch a fish over 10 # with a good shot at a 20# Flathead.

The river is clearing and the bass fishing is picking up.

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

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Now Online!

The October 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine is now online and is dedicated to those affected by the recent flooding in the region.

Visit SusquehannaFishing.com to download the latest and all back issues free:

http://susquehannafishing.com/



Remember, you can also donate to your local Red Cross chapter to help those in need:
http://www.redcross.org/



This month's title sponsor is the World Fishing Network...
WFN is now available in the Philadelphia area!

http://getwfn.com/

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report: September 26, 2011


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

The Susquehanna River is finally getting back to herself and the fish have been biting good in certain areas. The Smallmouth are stating to fatten up and have been in the 14"- 19" range. On a side note its amazing to see some of the areas that were flooded and just how high the water reached.



PFBC licensed Guide, Steve Hancock, Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna River Fishing Report: 9/24/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 6.0 with 55,900CF at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 5.2 with 38,500CF of flow and 66 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 3:30 to 6:30 PM and we boated 20 Flatheads. The largest was 18# and we caught them on Live and Cut bait. We had 5.0 – 33,800 CF – Falling – Stained and 65 degrees.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Trip – This was on Thursday and was a half day PM trip. We boated 25 Flathead and the largest was 14#. We caught them on Live and Cut bait. We had 4.8 – 31,000 CF - Falling – Stained and 66 degrees. It was sunny with a BP of 30.40 and rising.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Scouting Trip - This was on Thursday and we fished from 8:00 to 1:00 PM and we boated 40 Smallmouth. The largest was 19” and we caught them all on soft plastics. We had 4.8 – 31,000CF – Falling – Stained and 66 degrees. It was sunny with a BP of 30.40 and rising.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was a half day Saturday AM trip and we fished from 9:00 to 1:00 PM. We boated 16 Flathead and the largest was 16#. We caught them all on live and cut bait. We had 5.2 – 38,500 CF – Rising – Stained and 66 degrees. It was cloudy with a BP of 30.40 and falling.

5. Trip #5 – Making Bait – This was Saturday afternoon and we fished from 3:30 to 5:30 PM and we boated 73 Sunfish. We caught them all on Jig/worm combo. It was sunny and warm.

6. We now have our Catfish Gold Punch Bait in Stock. It comes in original and blood and the cost is $6.95 per pint.

7. This past week was one of the better weeks in months with the Bass fishing and the Catfish fishing being very good.

8. The catfish are starting to bite in the daytime and we should not have to run night trips again until next June. So, for those of you who want a shot at a 10# + catfish and don’t want to fish at night, now would be the time to book a trip.

9. The flood has caused two of the ramps we use for Catfish Fishing to be closed so we are still working out the details of how we are going to handle our catfish trips but I think we have it all dialed in.

10. Remember, if you don’t want to have bass season closed for 2 months next year, you need to write your commissioners today as they will be voting on this tomorrow.

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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Be Safe Out There!

With all the flooding in the Susquehanna River region, we wish all of our friends and neighbors the best, and hope everyone is safe. Please avoid unsafe areas and activities.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 9/3/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 3.4 with 7,500CF of flow and 78 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.8 – 29,600CF – Stained - Steady and 77 degrees with a BP of 29.60 and Falling.

1. Trip #1 – Guide Fun Trip - This was on Wednesday afternoon and we fished from 2:15 PM to 5:15 PM. We boated 50+ Sunfish and 35 White Perch. We caught them on jig/worm combo and crawler harness. We were able to drift over the White Perch and jig them with ultra light gear. We had 6.6 – 68,500 CF – Muddy and 78 degrees. We had a BP of 30.60 and falling and it was sunny.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Fun Trip – This was on Friday evening and we fished from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM. We boated 25 White Perch and 50+ Sunfish. We were able to anchor on them and catch them with Jig/Worm combos. We had 4.8 – 29,600CF – Steady – Stained and 78 degrees. We had a BP of 30.35 and Falling and it was cloudy.

3. Trip #3 – No Trip

4. Trip #4 – No Trip

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. Trip #7 – No Trip

8. We had to cancel early in the week do to river conditions.

9. The lake White Perch bite continues to be very good so if you want to get some good eating fish I would suggest you book a half day PM trip. Dave has offered to help you clean your fish if you follow him back to his house. We did get some this week for the annual fish fry. Dave has now purchased a new boat for lake fishing and he will be able to take 3 anglers comfortably with this boat.

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

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What’s in a Name… Judging a Kayak’s Quality

By John “Toast” Oast

We usually wait a month after a new issue has gone online before posting current articles, but we felt this was an important one and could come in handy as the Fall fishing bite comes in...

From the September 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To download this and all back issue free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

I always am asked, “What brand kayak is best?” Well, I usually respond with the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Don’t get me wrong, there are great deals to be had, and someone on a budget can usually find a used fishing kayak and save some money. That being said, some brands are better than others. What I mean by “better” is the quality of the workmanship and durability of the product. Keep in mind while shopping for a kayak that not all kayaks are created equally.

A good rule of thumb is that if you shop at a specialty paddlesports retailer, you will rarely come across an inferior kayak. The same cannot always be said for the “big box” stores. While some of the larger retailers do carry higher-end kayak products, they typically specialize in more entry-level, inexpensive boats. And the training and knowledge of staff at the larger retailers will usually not come near that of those who demonstrate products at local retailers. Oh, and it’s also good to support your local businesses…

Brand names aside, what should one look for in judging the quality of a kayak for fishing? Well, the best informed paddlers know it’s not about all the “bells and whistles” the kayak comes with. Many lower quality kayaks come with various accessories, which are typically after-market products, to distract the buyer from the workmanship of the hull. Most kayak anglers launch from cement ramps or may drag their kayaks through brush and gravel to gain access. Underwater obstructions, such as gravel bars, rocks, pilings, or oyster beds may also be encountered. Each of these obstacles creates the need for a durable hull.



I always tell potential buyers to check out the underside of the hull. Typically the cockpit of the kayak is displayed to show the boat’s ease of rigging and comfort of the seating area, but the underside is just as important, and not just in how its shape creates the vessel’s stability and handling. I always recommend feeling the plastic in the hull to see how prone to scraping it may be. I also tell buyers to push on the bottom of the hull to see how flexible the plastic is, and how thick the plastic may be. Then one can check out and compare the quality of various kayaks. If the hull feels thin, and flexes like a milk carton from your refrigerator, beware.

Most modern fishing kayaks are made using the rotomolding process. This involves a manufacturer heating up the plastic material while rotating the mold to properly spread the molten plastic evenly throughout the mold. If the sections of the mold are not aligned properly prior to the molding process, the seams may have blemishes. When shopping, look at the main seam around the outside of the boat’s hull. If there is an uneven spot there may be a thinner section of plastic, which may cause the kayak to be more vulnerable to leaking. Also, if looking at a sit-on-top kayak, look into the kayak’s self-bailing drain holes, called scupper holes. Make sure the scupper seams are also aligned properly. Scupper holes are the most common warranty issue with sit-on-top kayaks, and aftermarket repair in these locations is extremely difficult.

Once confident of the kayak’s plastic durability, thickness, and workmanship, the shopper can begin to inspect the boat’s riggings and accessories. Make sure that all bolts and rivets are properly installed, and the handles are strong and appear to be able to handle an acceptable amount of wear and tear. Make sure that any hatches seal properly, with a snug, watertight fit. If a seat is included with the kayak, check its stitching and construction materials. If it looks like it might tear, fray, or break, it probably will at some point.

So, “what’s in a name?” The bottom line, as far as product quality goes, some brands really are better than others. The kayaks manufactured by companies many of us are familiar with, and are typically found at specialty shops, may have longer life expectancies and be less vulnerable to a kayak angler’s abuse. Like I said, “You get what you pay for.” Spending a little more money for one kayak versus another may result in a product which will last years longer. If you are on a confined budget, you can still get a high-quality used kayak by looking at a local newspaper classifieds, Craigslist, or Ebay. You might even spend less than you would on an entry-level, big box kayak!

John “Toast” Oast is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the 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, August 31, 2011

September Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Now Online!

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

http://susquehannafishing.com/



This month's issue features:

The Great Alaska by R. Bates
Bass and Bourboun Weekend by D. Pelachik
Focus on Fish Health Photo Contest
What’s in a Name by J. Oast
This Month with a Susquehanna River Guide by L. Dunham
Two Ways to Improve Your Fly Fishing by J. Kukorlo
About the River... by W. Milheim
What is a NuCanoe? by N. Follmer
The Fall Bite by W. Milheim

You can also join the Susquehanna Fishing Magazine email list, and be the first to see new issues! Just drop an email to:
susquehannafishingmagazine@gmail.com

Monday, August 29, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 8/27/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 3.6 with 9,800CF of flow and 78 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.4 – 7,500CF – Clear - Steady and 78 degrees with a BP of 29.90 and rising.

1. Trip #1 – This was on Monday and we fished from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. We boated 50+ Sunfish and 15 White Perch. We caught them on jig/worm combo and crawler harness. We had 3.5 – 8,100 CF – Clear and 78 degrees. We had a BP of 30.20 and steady.

2. Trip #2 – Scouting Trip – This was on Tuesday and we fished from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and we caught 5 Bass and the largest was 11”. We caught them on Craw Papi’s, Rattle Baits and Crank Baits. We had 3.6 – 9,300CF – Steady – Stained and 78 degrees. We had a BP of 30.35 and Steady. We ruled out guiding at this location.

3. Trip #3 – Making Bait – This was on Wednesday and I fished from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM and I caught 30+ Sunfish, 13 Rock Bass and 5 Smallmouth. I caught them all on a jig/worm combo. We had 3.5 – 9,300CF – Steady – Stained and 80 degrees. We had clear skies and a BP of 30.30 and falling.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was on Wednesday and we fished from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. We boated 4 Flathead and the largest was 6#. We caught them all on live bait. We had 3.5 – 9,300CF – Steady – Stained and 80 degrees. We had a BP of 30.30 and falling. We had extreme wind out of the south.

5. Trip #5 – Guide Trip – This was on Thursday night and we got rained out. We did catch on Channel Cat that was 5# 110z. and we lost a big flathead before the trip ended. We caught them on live bait. We had 3.4 – Steady – Clear – 7,200 CF and 79 degrees. We had a BP of 30.1 and rising.

6. Trip #6 – Guide Trip – This was a Saturday AM trip and we boated 15 Bass and the largest was 16.5”. We caught them on Rattle Baits and Crank Baits. We had 3.4 – Steady – Clear – 7,500 CF and 78 degrees. We had a BP of 29.90 and rising.

7. Trip #7 – No Trip

8. We have updated the web site so please check out some new pictures and testimonials.

9. The lake White Perch bite continues to be very good so if you want to get some good eating fish I would suggest you book a half day PM trip. Dave has offered to help you clean your fish if you follow him back to his house. We did get some this week for the annual fish fry. Dave has now purchased a new boat for lake fishing and he will be able to take 3 anglers comfortably with this boat.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 8/20/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 3.6 with 9,700CF of flow and 82 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.6 – 9,800CF – Stained - Steady and 78 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – This was on Tuesday evening and was a half day Catfish Trip and we boated 4 Flatheads and 3 Channel Cats. The largest Flathead was 8# 11Oz. and the largest Channel Cat was 7# 4Oz. We caught them on live bait and shrimp.We had 3.8 – 11,900 CF – Stained and 78 degrees. We had clear skies and a BP of 30.20 and rising.

2. Trip #2 – Making Bait – This was on Thursday and we fished from 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM and we caught 30+ Sunfish. The largest was 8” and we caught them on worms and corn. We had 3.7 – 11,100CF – Steady – Stained and 80 degrees. It was pleasant with a BP of 30.35 and falling. Thanks L & L for the hot spot.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Saturday morning and we fished from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM. We boated 2 Channel Cats and 2 Flatheads. The largest Channel Cat was 5# and the largest Flathead was 6#. We caught them on live bait and shrimp. We had 3.6 – 9,800CF – Steady – Stained and 80 degrees. We had clear skies and a BP of 30.30 and falling.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was on Saturday evening and was a half day trip. We boated 8 Flatheads and the largest was 8#. We caught them all on live bait and we went to a different spot than we scouted in the morning. We had 3.6 – 9,800CF – Steady – Stained and 82 degrees. We had a BP of 30.25 and falling.

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. Trip #7 – No Trip

8. We have updated the web site so please check out some new pictures and testimonials.

9. The lake White Perch bite continues to be very good so if you want to get some good eating fish I would suggest you book a half day PM trip. Dave has offered to help you clean your fish if you follow him back to his house. We did get some this week for the annual fish fry. Dave has now purchased a new boat for lake fishing and he will be able to take 3 anglers comfortably with this boat.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Susquehanna Slamma' by Fishyaker.com

A video short from Fishyaker.com:



And remember, the September issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine will be out soon! We are still accepting article, photo, and advertising inquiries. September will mark SFM's 19th issue!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011 Kayak Angler's Choice Awards


Vote online for your favorite kayak angler, kayak fishing guide, boat, product, and forum...

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/kayakfishing

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service 2011 Summer Fishing Report

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

The Susquehanna River fishing has been great the last few weeks and have had smallies from the 6"-18.5" range coming to the boat for my clients. The catfish have been making appearances along with the smallmouth aggessively attacking our artificial presentations. We have had some good days that the smallies were taking properly presented flies on the fly rod as well. The Carp have been roaming and feeding in certain areas and now is a great time of year to try your hand at these goliath fish that can bend your rod and peel off line like no other fish in the river.

Late summer and fall fishing is upon us and the fishing will be excellent. I refer to this time of year as football season for good reason. Those of you who have fished with me during this time of year know that they will be begin to fatten up for the winter and take on a football like shape and can really put a bend in your rod. Fly fishing for them can be a blast this time of year as we had some days last season where some of my spin anglers gave the fly rod a shot and had success hooking and landing their first smallmouth on fly. On these fall days it is not uncommon to catch 15" to 20" fish reaching the 4.5 lb. mark with 15 to 25 fish days as an average. Whether fly or spin fishing its a great time of year to get your fix before the cold weather sets in for winter. Give us a call to Get Bent and Sling Some String this 2011 Season!

Your Susquehanna River Fishing Guide, Steve Hancock
www.susquehannaflyandspin.com
717-576-4217

Monday, August 15, 2011

Koinonia Guide Service Susquehanna Fishing Report, 8/13/11

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

Hi Gang,

The river was at 3.3 with 5,800CF of flow and 82 degrees at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.6 – 9,700CF – Stained - Steady and 82 degrees.

1. Trip #1 – Bait Trip – This was on Tuesday afternoon and we fished from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM and we caught 25+ Sunfish. We caught them all on a jig/crawler combo. We had 3.5 – 8,500CF – Steady – Stained and 82 degrees. We had sunny skies and a BP of 29.65 and rising.

2. Trip #2 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Wednesday morning and we fished from 3:30 AM to 8:00 AM and we boated 6 Flatheads. The largest was 35# 8 Oz. and we caught them all on live bait. We had 3.9 – 12,900CF – Steady – Stained and 83 degrees. It was pleasant with a BP of 29.80 and rising.

3. Trip #3 – Guide Scouting Trip – This was on Thursday afternoon and we fished from 3:30 PM to 6:15 PM and we boated 50+ Sunfish and White perch. The largest was 10” and we caught them all on crawler harnesses with worms. I brought a mess home for the fish fry. We had 3.7 – 11,200CF – Steady – Stained and 82 degrees. We had sunny skies and a BP of 30.15 and rising.

4. Trip #4 – Guide Trip – This was on Friday evening and we fished from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM and we boated 6 Flatheads and 5 Channel Cats. The largest Flathead was 35# 8 Oz and the largest Channel Cat was 5#. We had 3.8 – 12,000CF – Steady – Stained and 83 degrees. We had a BP of 30.35 and rising.

5. Trip #5 – No Trip

6. Trip #6 – No Trip

7. Trip #7 – No Trip

8. We now have our Catfish Gold Punch Bait in Stock. It comes in original and blood and the cost is $6.95 per pint.

9. We have updated the web site so please check out some new pictures and testimonials.

10. The lake White Perch bite continues to be very good so if you want to get some good eating fish I would suggest you book a half day PM trip. Dave has offered to help you clean your fish if you follow him back to his house. We did get some this week for the annual fish fry.

11. I have attached pictures of two flatheads we caught this week. They were 35# 4 ounces and 35# 8 Oz.

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

What Structure, When (SFM, July 2011)

By Bryan Wilhelm

From the July issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To download this and all back issues free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

Fishing is a great sport. For each season there are many things that you can count on.

This article reviews those aquatic features which we call “structures” and will help the reader to understand when one should look for fish holding on each of them.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are different, but they have several things in common.

• They follow their prey (food)
• They move about in regular, predictable ways (seasonal movements)
• They hide from predators
• Although they feed little each day, they can be made to bite almost anytime

The characteristics they share help fisherman know where to look and what presentation or methods to use. What follows are a few of those locations and methods.

Winter is a time of rest. Much of the bass population will be collected in what is known as a “winter-over place” (a winter hole). Because the females have to feed to nurture their eggs, this is a time to catch big fish. Find their winter holes and you have an opportunity to catch the biggest fish of the season. Look for main river depths that provide a break from the current. It can be as simple as upstream from a big rock, to downstream from a ledge. Manmade structures, like bridge pillars and abutments, are prime spots. Use tube lures and hair jigs. Remember, these fish carry next year’s spawn. Enjoy the sport, but catch and release on the spot.

Spring is a time for renewal. Both basses move to the shallows. They migrate along structure as the movement progresses. Think big picture… They may follow a long ledge across the main river to an esker (a rock strewn point). Smallmouth bass will show up first, but can be allusive, as they move in and out depending on wind, weather and water levels. If you find a shallow point with sand and gravel with deep water close by, mark that spot. If fish are not there, check back on your spots later and often while fishing. Largemouth can use these same points, but will likely be on wood or rock features in shallow water. Both like sand and gravel. Smallmouth bass prefer big chunk rock, broken rock, and well graded gravel (stones of differing sizes). They can hold on a one foot rock like a trout, but three foot boulders are bronzeback magnets. Largemouth bass like to be out of the current and have limited access to their nest. Stumps, shoreline, boulders, discarded tires, and other features hold largemouth.



Summer follows the spawn all the way into fall. Both of the basses like edges. Shorelines, the surface, and confluence areas (where two rivers or currents meet) are some of these edges. The predominate cover is grass. Grass holds food. Aquatic insects use these grasses to transition into adults and carry out their propagation rituals. Minnows follow the bugs, and the bass follow the minnows. Crayfish are also present in the grass. Learn to fish the grass. When the grass is below the surface, try a spinner bait. It allows you to cover ground quickly. When emergent (the grass is up to the surface), try the edges and holes with a floating or sinking worm.

Fall can be challenging. It’s like summer, yet different. There is grass, but now not all grass holds fish. There is plenty of food and it’s everywhere. The young of the year fry will school and move about on the surface in open water… and the bass will follow. Search open water to find these fish. Look for what many call “nervous water”. Any surface disturbance that doesn’t fit in is a sign of schooling minnows. Birds may be working the school too. Both basses will loosely school, working together to cash in on the food bounty. A wise fisherman once said “they are either deep, shallow, or they are somewhere in between.” Bass seem to spend a considerable amount of time in 10 feet of water this time of year. Start there. Find the rock ledges, isolated boulders, logs, and grass beds that are alive and green. Floating and suspending stick baits like X-Raps and plastic minnows, like the fin-s-fish or fluke, are the best search baits. Rig two flukes using a dropper on the end of your line. Retrieve with a series of crank and jerks. It is a fun way to fish, because you can start a feeding frenzy.
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 Susquehanna River. His zeal for fishing grows each passing year. We look forward to him sharing his experiences.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Elements, Part VI: Live Bait (SFM, July 2011)

By William Milheim

From the July 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. To download this and all back issues free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

We’ve come a long way, if you have been following along with the elements of fishing article series, from weather to selecting artificial bait. This month we’ll look into live bait and how to collect it along the river.

“Natural” or “live” bait comes in many forms, and most will attract the fish you are after. Our target fish will be the smallmouth bass. Most live bait will attract a smallmouth. In regards to worms, most of the garden variety will work just fine. Minnows, leeches, crawfish, stone fly nymphs, mad toms grass hoppers, and crickets all work well also.

When I was a kid I laughed at a man who was buying night crawlers at a bait shop. I thought it was odd that he would purchase something so abundant, as well as easy and fun to catch. Often my farther and I would go down to the river with no bait. We would spend some time gathering what we could find along the banks and in the water, then go fishing. Times have changed, but the use of live bait remains relatively unchanged.

A lot of lessons were taught by my father on those evenings along the river collecting bait. While holding an insect, I’d ask “Have you ever caught a bass on this?” He would always answer, “Hook it up and see.” I‘ve caught bass on slugs, beetles, tent caterpillars, whatever I could find, either on the shore or in the water.

Care must be taken while hunting bait, either in the water or on land. Some insects are sticky, like slugs, and others may bite. Turning over rocks to find bait can be a frightening experience, from huge fishing spiders to coiled-up snakes.


The author and his buddy, Scott Baker, collecting bait.

As I said, you can’t go wrong with worms for bait. Any fish in the river will eat a worm. One way to harvest worms is with a shovel. Turn over the soil and pick the worms out. On a rainy night, head out with a flashlight and look for night crawlers. I prefer night crawlers (night walkers). They are a longer and beefier worm. Rainy nights are the best, as the rain fills up their holes and they come to the surface. They are very quick to go back in their hole if they feel your footsteps or if you shine your light on them for too long. After a dozen or so you will get in the grove and be a night crawler picker. Make sure that you put them in good soil and keep the soil moist. A damp rag overtop the soil will keep them for a long time.

Minnows are a good choice to entice almost every fish in the river. I use a minnow trap, which you can purchase at any sporting goods store. I bait the trap with a rolled up ball of bread. Throw the trap in water where you see good sized minnows, wait an hour or so and pull it up. Keeping minnows alive until you fish or while you are fishing is a bit more complicated. They take some effort on your part. Captured minnows will not live long without oxygen. Either keep them in a minnow bucket in the water at all times, or purchase a portable aerator to give them that much needed oxygen.



Leeches are great bait for smallmouth… I admit, I do purchase leeches. I’ve never found a spot where I could harvest them where they are as big and long as store bought ones. Leeches do well in the container they are sold in, provided the water is on the cool side. Try to keep the container out of the sun. They will not live if they are subjected to water temperature changes. They do well in a refrigerator.

I use a stream net to collect stone fly nymphs, mad toms, and hellgrammites. The net is three feet wide and three feet high. Place the net in moving water. Have a buddy move upstream from the net and start turning over rocks. Every now and then pull up the net to collect your harvest.

Mad Toms (stone cats) are a small catfish that I catch using a stream net in fast water, turning over rocks in the front of the net. Mad toms are excellent smallmouth bait. They can be kept like minnows. Be aware that they have pointed barbs on their pectoral and dorsal fins that will give a painful puncture wound.

Stone fly nymphs and hellgrammites can be kept like minnows as well, and caught using a stream net. Hellgrammites are excellent bait. I have yet to see a smallmouth pass up a mite. Stone flies are great bait also. They can be kept with minnows, and like the minnows, they need oxygen to stay alive. Keeping your hellgrammites in a minnow bucket with an aerator will work, but they love to fight each other. If you keep them in water, use a clean piece of balled up burlap, and put it in the water, this provides them cover. Hellgrammites can be kept out of water as well, just wet and wring out a piece of burlap and place them in. Be very careful with a hellgrammite, they love to pinch.

Crayfish you can either collect by walking along the shore or with a net. Either way it’s best to turn over rocks in the water. Remember, they also pinch. Crawfish will keep in a minnow bucket with an aerator.



I spend a lot of time collecting and keeping bait. I still find it fun. I don’t have the large quantities of bait on hand as I did when I was a kid. I do find myself re-living those nights along the river collecting bait and learning about the world around us.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different live baits. You would be surprised at what a fish will eat. Remember, fish are opportunistic feeders, they can’t wait for their meal to arrive in a white Styrofoam container.

Next month we will be looking into the most important element of fishing, bait presentation.

Bill Milheim has been fishing and guiding the North Brach of the Susquehanna River for over 25 years.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kayak Fishing is a Drag! (SFM, July 2011)

By John “Toast” Oast

From the July 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. To download this and back issues online free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com: http://susquehannafishing.com/

A kayak is a great tool for any angler. Not only is it an easy, affordable, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get to the fish, it may also aid in landing a fish. I often use lighter weight rods and line when fishing from a kayak than I do from a larger powerboat or from shore. The reason is that the kayak itself acts as a drag system when fighting a fish.



Many kayak anglers refer to the towing action when being pulled by a sizable fish as a “sleigh ride”. In addition to the thrill of being towed by a fish, the mobility of the kayak allows the angler the ability to stay in close proximity to a fish during a more lengthy fight. In contrast, heavier gear may be needed to land a similar sized fish from a larger vessel or shore, due to the static nature of the angler. In other words, the angler must remain relatively stationary while fighting the fish. Since the angler may not be able to move with the fish, such heavier gear may be necessary to avoid line breakage or spooling.

The only downside is that a kayak angler may be towed into a less desirable location during the fight. This may be into a channel with oncoming boat traffic, into swift current or even whitewater conditions, or into structure that may cause a fish to break off more easily or be hazardous to the paddler. So, always know your surroundings when fishing from a kayak, and always carry a knife, just in case you need to cut your line in an emergency situation.

So, you’re thinking, “I don’t catch fish big enough to tow me!” Well, honestly it doesn’t take a massive fish to be able to reposition a kayak. I have been towed by plenty of largemouth and smallmouth bass. And if you hook into a decent catfish, carp, or musky on the Susquehanna, hold on and enjoy the ride!
Paddle safe, and always wear your PFD!!!

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, August 2, 2011

August Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Now Online!

We are excited to announce the release of the August issue of Susquehanna
Fishing Magazine.

To download the August issue and all back issues free, visit
SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com



August issue articles:

Profiles, with Jim Kukorlo
Destinations; Alicante, Spain, by Marcus Barth
This Month with a Susquehanna River Guide, by Lance Dunham
Do Unto Others, by Lynda Morris
Hints & Tips, by Bryan Wilhelm
Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Tournament, by John Foley
It's All About Presentation, by William Milheim

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Tournament (SFM, August 2011)

By John Foley

From the August 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:
http://susquehannafishing.com/

Several friends from the Maryland and Northern Virginia kayak fishing community are organizing a kayak fishing tournament for the mid Chesapeake Bay area. As we all know, there are well established tournaments in the Norfolk area and all over the country as well. We believe the time has come for a Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers tournament. It is, after all, the largest estuary in North America. We should have our own!

We have put together a State of Maryland non-profit organization with three main goals:
• Raise money for charities
• Promote conservation of the Chesapeake Bay
• Promote kayak fishing as a recreational and low impact environmental outdoor activity



Visit our website:
http://www.chesapeakebaykayakanglers.com/

This year’s philanthropy is the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic. The event will also be holding a raffle of kayak fishing related products to benefit the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland (CCA-MD).

The inaugural tournament is planned for September 9th and 10th. September 11th will be the rain date, in case of inclement weather. In keeping with our conservation objective, the format will be catch-photo-release (CPR). There will be a captain’s meeting on September 9th at 7:00pm at Camp Wright. Fishing starts at first light Saturday morning and check-in (weigh-in) begins at 12:30pm Saturday. We have a launch site lined up, and a tent camping area reserved at Camp Wright in Stevensville, MD (http://www.campwright.com/). Tent camping Friday and Saturday night is included in the entry fee. Shared cabins (no electricity) are available for an additional fee. Each cabin sleeps eight people. A club or organization may want to reserve an entire cabin! We plan to include an option for entrants to have a breakfast of coffee, juices, donuts and rolls. The venue can handle up to 160 people.

Ryan Hickey and Easton Cycle and Sport in Easton, MD and is our primary sponsor. We have sponsor contributions from Hobie Cat Corp., Backyard Boats, Yakattack (makers of VisiPole kayak fishing safety lights), and Kevin Whitley (aka KayakKevin) is donating some of his Chesapeake Bay Tour and kayak fishing DVD's. These and many more have shown their support and have offered encouragement and tips on putting this all together.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Report, July 2011

The fishing has been good during various times of the day and evening hours, if you are at the right place at the right time. Some nice size summer smallies have been making their way to the boat for my clients, with some aggressive visual eats and some high acrobatic jumps as they make their way boatside. Please remember to properly handle and revive them before release as this will help ensure they will be around for others to enjoy.



Until the next report...

Tight Lines!

Susquehanna River Fishing Guide Steve Hancock:


http://susquehannaflyandspin.com/

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Walking-the-Dog (SFM, May 2011)

By Allen C. Winco

From the May issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To download this and all back issues free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

Walking-the-Dog is a top-water technique using a cigar shaped surface plug that moves side to side on the retrieve. It is a deadly technique for smallmouth and largemouth bass. Many anglers try the technique, but become easily frustrated when the plug won’t go side to side with a constant cadence. I became fascinated with the technique 20 years ago, and quickly found that all plugs are not created equal, and many fail miserably in moving water. Here are some tips to help you master this technique.

How I walk the Dog

Standing in a stream, I work the spook type plugs with the rod tip at the 10 of 12 or 10 after 12 position. Remember, walking the dog is performed on SLACK line. For every turn of the reel handle, your lure should complete two to four complete left to right maneuvers. Simply, walk the lure …. Left to right, and then take up some of the slack. Repeat. Always cast slightly upstream and work your plug across the current and down. There comes a point working downstream where the lure WILL NOT walk due to current pull and the swing - which removes all of your slack line. When this happens and/or you wish to work a tail-out section of the river, simply raise your rod quickly, pulling up five to seven feet of line and start walking with quick wrist flicks. DO NOT TURN THE REEL HANDLE. Repeat when the SLACK GOES OUT.

Practice in a Quiet Pond / Drifting a slow section in a boat or canoe

Go to a pond with NO wind or current and practice until you can coordinate four left to right walking maneuvers first and one reel turn next. In a lake situation, never try to walk the dog with a strong wind blowing from the side. It takes the slack out of your line and inhibits the side to side action. Drifting a slow section of a river in a canoe or boat is the easiest way to learn. Since you’re drifting with the current, you don’t have to reel the slack up, and can concentrate on your wrist movements to create an appealing, injured baitfish, side-to-side type of retrieve.

Water Temps/Retrieve Speeds/Tackle

I do best in water temps above 70 in rivers and streams. Springtime water temperatures of 62 to 64 degrees can provide fast and furious topwater action BEFORE the spawn. Usually a constant retrieve works best. Folks would be astonished if they witnessed my aggressive retrieves with a 4 1/2 to 5 inch spook-type plug, and watched how savagely smallmouth bass attacked them during weather frontal periods of light winds and overcast conditions. I make up to eight complete left to right maneuvers in a five second period when they are really turned on. That being said, there are many times when the fish want a more subtle retrieve, with pauses between the left to right “walks”. In my opinion, when bass hit your plug with their tail, they are either a small fish or the plug is being retrieved too quickly for their “mood- of- the day.” However, I have experienced many times when four deliberate left to right walks (in a five second period) followed by a fifteen second pause was the “match that lit the fuse”!

A 6′ to 6 ½’ medium-light spinning outfit with 8 to 10 pound test works best on these plugs in the 3 to3/12 inch size. I personally prefer 10 pound Sufix Performance Braid for creeks and rivers) with an 8 to 10 pound mono leader joined to the braided line with a double Uni-knot. The plug is joined to the monofilament line with a Palomar knot. Do not use a fluorocarbon leader with topwater lures – it will inhibit the walking action with the sinking leader. Casting tackle is recommended for the 3 3/4 to 5 inch models. Practice and perfect the technique and you’ll enjoy some of the most exciting and explosive smallmouth fishing of your life.



The thrill of summer-time top-water smallmouth bass

Rattles / Tail feathers/Missed Strikes

Rattles will create attracting noise in plastic, hollow models. The pointed nose models are usually poor for creating a spitting, popping noise in wind and wave conditions. Under these conditions, it has been my experience that models with a nose cup do have the advantage of drawing the attention of aggressive smallmouth bass. I believe the addition of any tail feathers to create a target are not necessary and the feathers would interfere with the walking action. If you get just the smallest piece of weed on the tail hook, the walking action is greatly reduced. There are going to be times when fish miss or boil under the plug. When the bass are really turned on to the topwater W-T-D bite, multiple passes (attacks) are normal when they strike at a lure going side to side. That’s the nature of the beast -so to speak. When they boil or slash and miss you plug, keep your retrieve in motion and don’t stop the routine. If they didn’t feel the hooks on a previous pass, cast out again to the same rock or pool and another strike may result. I once hooked and landed four Smallmouth bass (from 16 to18 inches) on seven casts to the same 4×4 boulder in a 3 ½ foot deep, slow-moving riff in the Susquehanna River. I’ve also had some monstrous smallmouth bass come completely out of the water and miss the plug and refuse to give me another pass at the plug. Frustrating, but that’s the reality of top-water lure fishing.

Summer-time, top-water smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass are funny and picky fish at times. It has been my experience during the summer months on the Susquehanna River, that smallmouth’s will respond better to a smaller (3 to 3 ½ inch) W-T-D type bait under stable weather conditions. They only seem to give the bait one shot and will not pursue them with multiple strikes. Now when you have an approaching weather front or thunderstorms with a falling barometer taking place, that’s the time to put away the small surface plugs and bring out the big guns. Now the bigger bass will aggressively attack plugs in the 4 1/2 to 5 inch sizes that are splashing, popping and walking 6 to 12 inch side to side in an aggressive manner. The strikes are absolutely vicious, heart-stopping attacks with multiple strikes the “norm” until hook-up. Many times I’ve purposely worked the plugs extra fast to entice multiple, savage strikes. All smallmouth bass anglers should have the thrill and excitement of experiencing this type of fishing.



My younger son Brian with a Susquehanna “football” smallmouth bass

Custom Wooden W-T-D- plugs

I have manufactured my own type of wooden Walk-the-Dog plugs for the past 20 years. I became very frustrated with the available, commercial plastic models. Their inconsistent action and inability to attract strikes during windy conditions gave me the need to create my own type of W-T-D surface plugs. The special angle and depth of the nose cup is similar to but different then a popper. This creates more fish-attracting splashing sounds on the zigzag retrieve. They also have a fixed, internal tail weight and are balanced to sit on a precise angle in the water (they do not stand straight up). I make 4 basic colors in 2 sizes - all have pear colored bellies.



These medium size plugs- 3 - 3 1/2” are the most popular with anglers





Visit Al Winco at at Winco’s Custom Lures:
http://www.wincoscustomlures.com/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spinnerbaits for Smallmouths (SFM, May 2011)

From the May, 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To download this and all back issues free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Pete Hanford

As the weather gets warmer, so does the water. The smallmouth start looking for areas to move to before they spawn. As the water temps hit the 50 degree mark, it’s time to shine those blades and get ready to start chunk’n and wind’n. The smallmouth will start getting aggressive and start to feed up before they spawn. My spinnerbaits of choice are ¾ ounce white when the water is clear, and when the water is stained I will go to ¾ ounce with chartreuse skirt and chartreuse colored blades. Mainly, I throw them at an angle towards the bank or along islands, as well as behind ledges. When these smallies hit the lure, be ready… they will try to rip the rod out of your hand. Throwing these lures at an angle will get the bait deeper in the water, and closer to the bottom of the river, where the smallies are feeding primarily on minnows.



There are so many companies that sell spinnerbaits, and most work as well as the next. The ones I typically use are Picasso spinnerbaits, as well as War Eagle and Strike King. If you see that the smallies are working the surface, chasing minnows, then it’s time to change to ¼ ounce spinnerbaits, and start burning the baits just under the surface to imitate the minnows. This high speed action will get the smallmouth fired up to hit the bait really hard. So when the river gets back into shape and down to a safe level, get out there and throw some spinnerbaits. I use baitcasting reels for spinnerbaits with 17 pound test. The heavier line doesn’t affect the action of the bait at all. I use the heavier line, so that it doesn’t break when fishing over rocks and with the smallmouth trying to throw the bait out of their mouths. You don’t want to lose your lure. My rods are all 7 feet long, to make those long distance casts when the water is clear. You can also use spinning rods, if you don’t feel comfortable with baitcasting reels. I would recommend a medium-heavy action rod as well.

Pete Hanford is the tournament director for the Mountain Valley Bassmasters.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Susquehanna River Fly and Spin Guide Service Fishing Report, Week of July 13, 2011

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

The summer season is upon us here on the Susquehanna River. The water has been stained to slightly stained and is improving in clarity every day. Gin clear water is soon to come . The river is in its summer fishing patterns and the smallmouth and even a few walleye have been aggressive at times, chasing insects, baitfish, and crustaceans.



We have had a variety of fly and spin anglers both young and old, novice and avid. On the hot days we even managed a quick swim in the rapids. For you fly anglers, this is a great time to get a good size smallie or a large carp to eat a properly presented fly with low and gin clear water setting the stage.

Practice proper handling and catch and release techniques, especially during the warm water periods. Get bent and sling some string with us this summer on the beautiful Susquehanna River.

Tight lines, from your Susquehanna River fishing guide, Steve Hancock.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Elements, Part V: Bait (SFM, June 2011)

From the June 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To download this and all back issues free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

By William Milheim



What bait do I use? That’s the question I get asked most often. I can understand why it’s asked. We as fisherman are bombarded with television shows, magazines, seminars and books, all promoting new baits. Each year I wait to see how they will better themselves from the year before. Promotion and marketing keeps the fisherman interested in our sport, the sum of which is a fisherman armed to the teeth with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic, and so on. I’m fine with that all of that. It’s a huge industry giving the fisherman the cutting edge.

In previous articles we’ve looked at weather, water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels and lunar tables, now we’re ready to select bait. As a smallmouth guide, I use these factors for selecting bait: size and weight, available color, color patterns, action and price.

Smallmouths prefer smaller sized artificial baits for the most part. Big flashy noise making baits will scare a smallmouth in clear water conditions. They also tend to strike bait that is moving slow, completely different from their close relative the largemouth bass. Smallmouth will look bait over and size it up, unlike the huge reaction strikes of a largemouth. Smallmouth will follow bait awaiting the right time to strike. When I select spinnerbaits I purchase the micro size. The big willow or Colorado blades on the larger size spinnerbaits are too much when river fishing. But, there are exceptions to size. I’ve found that four or five inch crankbaits are more productive than the two inch sizes. This is very true, as it relates to plastic baits. I’ve caught more smallmouth on five inch wacky worms than the shorter sizes. Same is true with jigs and tubes – the magnum size seems to be the best bet. I will start with a smaller size and gradually move to larger sizes while I’m prospecting for a strike.

We as river fisherman have many issues to address before our first cast. One of them is current speed and high water. Automatically our mindset is to throw heavier bait. That’s not the best rule to follow. The heavier the bait, the harder it is to control. As a rule I try to keep my artificial bait around a 1/8th ounce. Heavier baits work too fast in high and stained water conditions. When water is moving at normal speeds I will try to use as light of an artificial bait as possible.

Color is a huge factor when selecting bait. I always keep this phrase in mind when I’m fishing, which helps me when I’m purchasing bait: dark day use a dark color, bright day use a bright color. So, when I find bait which appeals to the smallmouth fisherman in me, I make sure the bait comes in both dark and light colors. If you have a go-to bait which works most of the time, try to purchase it in other colors. Smallmouth can be very color sensitive; being armed with a rainbow of color is your best bet.

We know now that color is a big factor; color patterns are just as important. While one color gets the smallmouth’s attention, the others within the pattern might not be as palatable. It’s hit or miss when selecting color patterns. I feel that artificial baits catch more fishermen than fish. If it looks good to you, it might not to a bronze back. Trying to match the natural bait via color and color patterns works some of the time. Really outrageous colors and patterns that would look good on a race car, but have no business on bait work great other times. Don’t be afraid to try outrageous color patterns.

Action is the way the bait moves through the water. Action will mimic a wounded aquatic animal or erratic swimming creature. There are several types of action on bait. There is tail action, body action, and spinning action. All will attract the attention of a small jaw. There are fast action and slow action baits, all are effective.

Finally, it will boil down to price. I don’t know about you, but if I lose a nine dollar crank bait I’m upset. Some manufactures are proud of their baits and the price reflects it. Don’t get me wrong – nothing beats quality, but there are cheaper manufacturers out there, so shop around.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty cheap; frugal might be a better word. I fish more than most, so I’m purchasing bait all the time. Before I’ll buy a bait in several different colors, I’ll purchase just one to decide how the weight and action are, then if it’s a successful bait I’ll purchase it in different colors. Take it from a frugal fisherman, I’ve got bags of bait that don’t work and never will. Try the bait before you buy in bulk.

Oh, by the way, the bait I use on the river ninety nine percent of the time is plastic. I use grubs, tubes, and wacky worms. They come in a million different colors, sizes, and weights. They have great action and can be fished fast or slow, and are relatively inexpensive.

Next month we’ll look into live or natural bait, what’s good, how to catch and keep them and put them on a hook.

Bill Milheim has been fishing and guiding the North Brach of the Susquehanna River for over 25 years.

Monday, July 18, 2011

You Know it’s Time to Toss a Spinnerbait When… (SFM, April 2011)

From the April 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To download this and all back issues free, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Juan Veruete



I’m not a big believer in absolutes when it comes to fishing. I think fishermen sometimes limit themselves by making statements like, “suspending jerkbaits are clear water baits” or “big baits catch big fish”. These kinds of statements and beliefs can be our worst enemy if we cling to them too tightly. I’ve seen fishermen stick with a bait that just isn’t working on a particular day because “It should work”. I’ve certainly been guilty of this at times. That being said, it’s always good to have a few mental guidelines as a starting point to help us make decisions about what bait may work under certain conditions. Since the spinnerbait is one of my favorite lures for catching river smallmouth, I thought I’d outline some of the conditions that tell me it’s time to toss a spinnerbait!

Rising Water

Rising water initiates of a variety of conditions that are perfect for spinnerbait fishing. First, the water is typically stained or muddy. The bigger profile of a spinnerbait and the vibration the blades produce is perfect for these water conditions. Also, fish feeding behavior is very often activated by rising water. When the fish are in a feeding mood and willing to chase a bait down, a spinnerbait can help you cover water quickly and catch the biters. Pay close attention to feeder creeks on the river system you are fishing. Sometimes they will receive a “blast” of water that the main river has not. This will often create a “mud line” several hundred yards downstream. Fish will move along the mud line to feed, creating another great opportunity for spinnerbait fishing.

Cloud Covered Days

Despite water conditions, cloud cover can create low light conditions that are conducive to fishing with spinnerbaits. When it is sunny, fish tend to hold tight to shade that plant life, wood, or rock can create. In sunny conditions, fish may be hesitant to move from their position to chase down a bait. When cloud cover moves in, fish will often begin to roam and feed. I’ve seen this happen many times when fishing rivers. If I notice that the day alternates between sun and intermittent cloud cover, I’ll often make sure I have a spinnerbait tied on. When the cloud cover moves in, I start chucking the spinnerbait!

Chutes and Ladders

I use the term “chutes and ladders” to describe sections of river that have either ledge rock or rock accumulations that create a cluster of eddies and water chutes (downstream V’s). I call them “chutes and ladders” for a reason. The “chutes” are the downstream “V’s” that bring food to the fish holding in eddies. The “ladders” are the small eddies created by the rock where the fish hold… kind of like resting on a rung of a ladder. Spinnerbaits are great for fishing these types of waters for a couple of reasons. First, you can move the bait fast through the chutes, which triggers the fish’s instinct to hit the spinnerbait before it misses the opportunity. In this situation I’m really looking for a reaction bite, so I will fish “chutes and ladders” with spinnerbaits even if the water is clear. The other reason I like fishing spinnerbaits in this type of water is that you can quickly “strain” water as you pass through the fast water. Basically, the spinnerbait allows you to hit many targets quickly and accurately.

Over the years I’ve been able to boat some really nice smallmouth using spinnerbaits in the types of waters and situations I’ve described. There is nothing like having a smallmouth bass slam your spinnerbait so hard it nearly rips the rod out of your hand! That’s one of the reasons I love fishing spinnerbaits. Fish seem to have a lot of animosity for this bait. I often wonder what it is about the combination of metal and rubber that makes smallies see red. Regardless, I’ve had some heart stopping moments tossing a spinnerbait. I’m always eager to tie one on the end of my line!

Juan Veruete is owner and operator of Kayak Fish PA, LLC (KayakFishPA.com) and offers Guided Kayak Fishing Classes on the Juniata River and various other waters of central Pennsylvania. He has nearly 40 years of fishing experience on the waters of Pennsylvania and is on the pro-staff of Temple Fork Outfitters, Winco's Custom Baits, and Kayakbassfishing.com.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Choosing a Kayak for Fishing (SFM, May 2011)

From the May issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.
To read the current and all back issues, visit SusquehannaFishing.com:

http://susquehannafishing.com/

By Jon Shein

You’d have to be blind not to notice the increase in kayaks being used for fishing. It’s the fastest growing part of both the kayak and fishing sports. Most anglers, however, aren’t sure how to get started. If they have a friend who’s already an enthusiast it’s a big help, but often that isn’t the situation. More often they go down to the local kayak shop and tell salesman they want to fish from a kayak. However, unless someone at the shop is a kayak angler, it is often a recipe for disaster. That’s because the only thing a person that is a recreational paddler and kayak fisherman have in common is the kayak. Just like vehicles, kayaks come in a wide array of sizes and configurations. If you were buying a car would you go to your local dealership and just ask for their recommendation without them knowing anything about what your needs were? If you need a pickup truck you don’t settle for a 2 seat sports car; it’s the same with kayaks. When you go to the car dealer to buy a car you already have a good idea what you want. By answering a few questions and doing a bit of research you can do the same with a kayak purchase.

There are several things you have to ask yourself and consider before you choose the models that make the most sense for your needs. The first consideration is you: your height, weight and inseam. If you’re tall then you need a model that has lots of leg room. At a recent kayak show, a buddy wanted to get a pedal-drive kayak. I’m 5’9” with a 30” inseam and my favorite model from that company didn’t have enough legroom for him. They didn’t have the 16’ model on the floor and got one for him to try. He fell in love with it and now owns one.

The next criteria has nothing to do with the kayak directly. It’s your vehicle and how you plan on getting the kayak to the water. For instance, if you plan on doing all your fishing in your backyard, because you live on a lake or river, then there isn’t much to consider, but most of us transport our kayak to where we fish, so your vehicle becomes a major factor. If you have a pickup truck and plan on using the bed it’s simple. By law the kayak can’t stick out by more than a few feet. Each state’s law is different, so check, but figure that more than 3’ needs a bed extender. As long as you can get the kayak into the bed of the pickup, you can transport any kayak. I get lots of people asking me about the Hobie Pro Angler. It’s a really cool kayak, but I tell them unless they’ve got an empty pickup truck bed or a trailer to consider another model. Most of us transport a kayak on the roof using a rack. So you have to be able to physically get the kayak on the roof without hurting yourself or the vehicle. Again your build and strength is important. If you’re 5’6” and weigh 150 pounds, getting an 80 pound kayak onto the roof of a Suburban or pickup with a cap is going to be somewhere between difficult to impossible. So choose a kayak that you can handle. The weight and your size matters.

Next you need to consider where you plan on using it. Keep in mind kayak fishing, no matter what you think it might be, is more than that. I like to use the analogy that you’re like Dorothy in the movie The Wizard of Oz and before getting a kayak you’re stuck in Kansas. After getting a kayak it’s as if you’ve landed in Oz. It’s a significant leap up the access scale in fishing. You’ll be able to hit lots of places shore-bound anglers can reach, along with lots of places boats can too, but the best part are all those neat places neither can effectively fish or reach. That’s where some of the best fishing is, because those fish aren’t seeing fishermen. So consider where you plan on using your kayak and what’s possible. That kayak you’re buying to fish the Susquehanna can take a road trip to the Jersey shore for stripers and bluefish, or can take a vacation down to Florida in the winter for snook, tarpon, redfish and more.

When I was a retailer I used to get a lot of calls from fishermen in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Many wanted a 15 to 16 foot kayak for fishing the salt. A longer kayak is a better choice for saltwater, but I’d talk them into a 12 to 13 foot kayak. That’s because while they’d make a trip to the Jersey Shore once or twice a month, they had lots of opportunity to fish in their own backyard. Many of these places were rivers or hike in-ponds and lakes. For such situations a shorter kayak was a better choice. Still these models performed well enough in the salt, but more important was they could maneuver much more easily in small tight places, environments those longer kayaks couldn’t handle.

That brings us to our next consideration: kayak dimensions and how it affects performance. Two things affect performance the most. They are length and width. The longer the kayak, the faster it will be, and the wider it is, the more stable. Most beginners are willing to sacrifice speed for stability, but this isn’t a good idea. While most fishermen have never been in a kayak before, the learning curve is very fast. It’s similar to learning how to ride a bike. Those training wheels were only good for a day or two. Learning to use a kayak is even faster. So you don’t want to sacrifice a lot of speed/efficiency for stability. The difference between an 8’ and 10’ isn’t worth it. That’s because you’re the motor and your energy is finite. Factors like wind and current have a huge affect on kayak efficiency and it becomes the most important consideration when you have to cover more than a couple miles on the water. This one phenomenon is why I am not a big fan of demo-ing kayaks. A good friend of mine said it well. Trying out kayaks without any experience is a lot like test driving cars without having gotten a driver’s license yet. There’s no point of reference. So most non kayakers buy the slowest, most stable kayak they can (a bicycle with training wheels) and after only a few times on the water they realize their mistake and want to get a more efficient model. Unlike the bike, where the training wheels come off, you’re stuck with the slow kayak. You may ask what the big deal is. So what if it takes a bit longer to get somewhere? The problem is. because you’re the energy source and that energy is finite, it may take more than you have to get somewhere, especially if you have to paddle against wind or go upriver against current for any distance.

To some people color is important. I say either go with a highly visible kayak or a dull one. Either way you can make a dull kayak bright by wearing bright clothes, having a bright paddle blade and most importantly by adding a flag. You can’t make a bright kayak dull, though. If you hunt, using a kayak for this sport is also growing rapidly, and camo or muted colors are the most popular with hunters. Even if you don’t hunt you may fish places where you don’t want to be seen by other people.

Now you’ve got a better idea of what you’re looking for in a kayak. There are some great resources to help you more. Online forums are a great place to ask questions. Also I’ve written the most comprehensive book on the subject, Kayak Fishing, and it covers everything you need to know. Another thing I tell beginners is try to find a used kayak, if possible. That’s because until you’re a participant in the sport, you won’t know what it’s truly all about. Getting back to kayak choice, don’t be an experiment either. By this I mean there are certain kayak models the majority of anglers fishing the same region and waters you do are using. There’s a reason -- because they work well in that environment. Let others test out the new kayak that looks cool, but nobody knows if it’s going to do the job or not. You don’t want to make an expensive mistake.

Within each class there are going to be several kayaks that will do the job nicely for you. Now your choice often comes down to a variety of criteria. Availability is one. If the shops in your area carry the model it’s easier to buy local, but keep in mind you can have it shipped to you. However, you can’t sit in it if it’s being mailed to you. So that’s a consideration. Each model is going to have different features. Some kayaks have integrated seats, while others allow you to add one. Some have accessory systems where you can attach things easily or have surfaces that allow you to mount things. It’s a lot like choosing between a Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry at this point. They both do the same thing, but people choose one over the other every day.

Whatever you do, don’t let paralysis stop you from getting started. Most of us who fish from kayaks wish we’d started sooner. You will too.

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