Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Evening on the Susquehanna River 05-18-09

My buddy, Dell, called me last week and asked if I could help him get his jet rig running for the season. Dell and I share a love for bass angling and basketball. He was the head basketball coach at Penn Manor S.D. for six seasons and Donegal S.D. for another six seasons. The past two seasons, I have assisted him in coaching the junior high program and Penn Manor.

He bought a jet rig two seasons ago and I help him winterize the 2-stroke motor and get it running in the spring. He thought he had the batteries fully charged and he most likely did, but...

When we got to the ramp, the starter battery was kicked. We switched out batteries and was able to get 'er running. I believe I found the problem when we parked at the high school for bball skills practice. I heard a humming and thought at first that the bilge pump. It wasn't the bilge, but his aerator. He must have hit the toggle switch when he was getting the boat ready two days before. That would answer the "no battery power" question. ;-)

The water was muddy on the east shore due to a small feeder creek just above the ramp that was pumping out mud. However, from the middle to west bank, the water was only dirty. I didn't get a water temp since he has no gauge on his boat. I assumed it was in the upper 50's to low 60's. It was quite windy throughout the day with gust up to 20 mph. The current was swift (50,000+) and the water was rising in Harrisburg... gauge was 5.5' and going to 6.03' today.

We stayed along the west bank searching for bass that would be up close and tight. After doing the battery work, we only had an hour or so to fish before we had to leave for basketball practice. So we had to make every minute count and we did.

I tossed my God-awful chartreuse bladed spinnerbait. Dell looked at me and the first words out of his mouth were, "T, we aren't going to catch a dang thing!" I told him that he always says that and we always seem to catch fish and always to his amazement. Last night would be no different.

Dell tossed a white/chart spinnerbait and I tossed my chart. spinnerbait as we headed down the west shoreline. I explained to him how the fish use the rising water as a feeding opportunity to access areas that they normally cannot reach. I instructed hi to throw the spinnerbait as close to the bank as possible. We came across one small eddy and I tossed my spinnerbug into the upriver end of it, WHACK! To Dell's surprise, a nice 15" smallie hammered it. "Okay, skunk is out of the boat!", I yelled to him.

The very next cast and about 10 yds downriver, SLAM! Another bass took it. "T, do you need the net?", asked Dell. "I'm not sure yet, Dell. She's running with us." Well, I needed the net for this pigbeast!


Another shot:

A 20+" smallie and my first of the season! We didn't have a scale to weigh her, but she was definitely thick.

We ended the night with 8 bass in less than an hour... 20+", 17.5", 15.5", 15" and a bunch b/w 12 and 14".

What an evening on the river! I told Dell that if it wasn't for his starter battery misfortune, it may have been a totally different story to tell.

Dell caught three smallies on an orange colored crawdad pattern crankbait. I always get a kick out of fishing with him. He is only now experimenting with different lures and he's having such a blast. Although he didn't catch anything with the spinnerbait, he had the crankbait working last evening... Cool!


p.s. Congratulations to my buddy, catfishhunter, for taking the catfish tourney out of Goldsboro this weekend and to my buddy, Mike Burton, for taking second in the 2 day FLW amateur event on the Flats this weekend. Mike had two fish on the first day that weighed over 9 lbs! The one LM went 5.3 lbs! To top it all off, he was a rider. Great job, guys!