Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Land of Giant Smallies

Well today was un-freakin-believable!  I met Harry around 9:30 this morning and after a brief discussion and looking at a few maps we headed to the river.  Neither of us had ever floated the Juniata before, but we had high hopes for the day.  When we got to the water it was definitely up and off color, but we said why not and got the boat in the water.  We started the float at the confluence of the main stem of the Juniata and the Raystown Branch.  The Raystown Branch was low and crystal clear while the J was super high and dirty.  The two currents combined to create a healthy flow with a good amount of color to the water.  Within the first 100 yards of the float we saw at least 10 smallmouth over 16" on the clear side of the river... a good sign for sure, but we only had one average bass eat.  As we got further downstream, however, the magic green color that I love to see was formed when the two flows mixed and then it was game on.  Within a few yards downstream of a large set of riffles that mixed the water I was into a good fish.  Two casts later I caught an even bigger fish and the rest is rock and roll history.  We had good action all day long with Harry and I each catching a bunch of fish and losing a good number as well.  Overall, it was an outstanding day on some new water with a good buddy.  Can't wait to do it again Harry!  I leave for PSU next Saturday, so I'll be floating the J a bunch trying to learn the water as well as I can when I get to school.  If the fishing is as good as it was today on a regular basis I might even end up guiding out there.  Stay tuned for more!

And now for the good stuff... THE PICTURES!

Harry workin his magic


Scenery along the bank

Average bass

Gettin' bigger

He crushed it

Super spunky fish


SOO WEE! What a piggy

Harry on the sticks for the first time

Beautiful fish

This guy was pissed and super strong

The toothy critters didn't come out to play today, but fear not... I'm not giving up and the day will come yet again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

State College Smallmouth

In just a few hours, I'll be on the road headed to State College, PA to do a little smallmouth fishing with a good friend of mine, Harry Tomlin.  For any of you that frequent TCO State College, you know exactly who I'm talking about.  Harry is a crazy dude and can always make me laugh whenever I talk to him, so needless to say, I'm pretty stoked about it.  We will be floating the big Juniata in search of fat bronzebacks and as always, I'll be on the lookout for the big nasty toothy critters known as muskellunge.  Hopefully I will have a great story and some awesome pictures to post, so stay tuned for more.  Peace and love. 

Smallmouth goodness ready for tomorrow

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Countdown to the End

I'm still hitting the bass hard this summer before I leave for State College and while I'm excited for college, I know I won't be able to fish like I can now, so I'm putting in as much time on the water as possible.  Two weekends ago, my uncle and I took my pontoon boat onto a small lake in South Jersey right by his house.  My uncle is a great fisherman and a great dude.  Over the years he has taught me a ton about fishing and about life in general.  Whenever we get together and hit the water, I know it's gonna be a good time.  It was hot and we could only fish during the middle of the day, but we got it done with quite a few largemouths that were still willing to play.  My uncle, affectionately known to everyone as "Bub," cleaned up with texas and carolina rigged rubber worms on a light spinning outfit and I picked up a few bass casting large streamers to structure and weed beds. We had a blast and I can't wait to do it again!

Uncle Bubba with his first of the day

A little bit better bass

Last Sunday, I was going to float the lower Schuylkill river a little bit closer to home with a buddy I went to high school with, but when he called and couldn't make it, I called up a customer turned friend, Josh, to see if he was game.  Turns out he was free, so we met in Phoenixville and then shuttled the cars and my boat up to Limerick.  I had never floated this stretch of the Skuk, but we figured the bass fishing would still be decent.  Well it turns out we figured wrong.  The stretch we floated was shallow, slow and pretty much structureless.  We saw a few nice bass, but nothing crazy and those that we saw were super spooky and didn't want to eat.  We did, however, see a number of GIANT carp, so I might be back to do a little sight fishing on those big sandy flats in that stretch of water.  I pretty much just rowed and coached Josh through his first time fishing streamers for bass off of a drift boat.  Josh was great on the boat and fished the whole time, never complaining about the lack of action.  His persistence payed off with a solid smallmouth that gave us an awesome acrobatic aerial show right before last light.  Even tough the fishing was definitely far from great, I still had an awesome time and I hope Josh did too.  We'll get 'em next time man.  Remember, when the weather gets hot and the trout fishing gets slow, grab a bigger rod and chase smallmouth... They are a ton of fun on the fly rod and can really turn a hot summer day into an awesome day of fly fishing!

Josh with a great Schulykill River Smallmouth