Thursday, September 29, 2011

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

From Susquehanna Fly and Spin Guide Service:

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:

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.


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:

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.


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

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 and his Youtube page at