Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Muddy Water Smackdown! 08/15/09 Susquehanna River

Josh asked me to fish with him today and of course I accepted. Being out yesterday gave me a good idea what conditions to expect today. Last evening, Steve (Ifishblades) called me to see what the conditions were like. We had a nice talk and he threw down the gauntlet... We're gonna have "The Muddy River Smackdown!"

I arose at 3:15 a.m, washed and shaved, got my fishing clothes on, headed to the first floor to pack all my gear into my truck. I was finally on the road and heading north by 3:50 a.m. I meet up with Josh at his Mt. Joy condo. I loaded all my gear over to his truck and we headed to the shed where he stores his G3 DLX.

[Side note: I passed all my gear from one vehicle to another (including the boat) 5 times per trip when Josh takes his jet rig.]

Our usually routine is to eat a good breakfast before we head to the river. Josh hasn't been feeling well lately, but he wanted to eat breakfast. :) No need to upset our routine over a little illness. LOL!

After breakfast, we gassed the boat up at a local Sheetz and headed north to the ramp. We arrived around 6:15 a.m. and met up with Steve (Ifishblades), a buddy of younger Steve, Steve, Sr., and Tyler (Steve's son). Tyler was fishing with his grandfather today. Our teams were set to go and away we went into the split pea fog... :eek :

"We can't see a thing up here!" was the message we got from Steve when he called Josh. Okay... Today we're gonna conquer this fog!! Josh and I headed upriver between an island and gravile rock island. We headed for our favorite first fishing hole. Well, as we came out from b/w those two islands, the fog thickened even worse and Josh headed in, what he thought, as a pretty northerly direction... Wrong! By the time we could see anything, the west bank appeared before us. We corrected the boat's direction and eventually reached our destination.

The water was dirty, dirty, and dirty. We both chose to throw a chartreuse bladed spinnerbait. Within 15 minutes, Josh hooked into what seemed like an 18+ smallie. I asked him, "Do you need the net?" He responded by saying that he had it. During the fight that pursued, I asked him at least three more times, "Do you need my help with the net?" Each time he answered emphatically with a "No."

He attempted to reach down with the net and guide the big smallie into the net... Bing! The fish broke free withing 2 feet on the net. This is not the way to start out th "Muddy Water Smackdown".

We fished the entire area w/o another hit. We headed south on the other side of a grass bed and I changed up to my 1/2 oz. War Eagle spinnerbait with a more translucent skirt. It was then that I felt a strong hit and I set that hook to cross the fish's eyes. We weren't going to lose this one... Wrong!

I set that darn hook so hard that I BROKE the spinnerbait! The blades came flying back at the boat and this monster fish leaped twice. Josh asked me if I broke off and I said, "No! I broke my spinnerbait!" Just when I said that, the bass leaped for the sky trying to toss that hook and skirt. Not only did she jump once, but two more times. I could hear her crying out, "Get this dang thing off my lip!"


We had a great laugh over that one and Josh took a pic to remember that event.

Here we had two monster fish hit and none in the boat. :(

We headed further north and found an area where the river water was a bit cleaner than the rest of the river. Of course the word "cleaner" is relative to how dirty the entire river was already. We were able to grab a few bass on our spinnerbaits.

It was at this time that I decided to toss my newly painted black Big O. I caught about 8 fish on that hand panted lure. In fact, that lure was clicking and clacking the bottom so much that the old Firetiger color was beginning to show.

The sun came peaking through towards late morning (see how foggy it was in the above pic). I made a crucial decision to put down the black Big O and pick up a black back/chrome Cotton Cordell Big Spot.

It was a great decision because I proceed to hammer about 10 bass from tiny to 16.5". In fact, I caught a bass on my first cast with that lure!

We had gotten word in th morning thatTyler caught the biggest smallie of his life. It was a beautiful 19.75" Steve's fishing buddy for the day nailed a 19" ealy at 7:30 a.m. and itwas his last fish all day... ugh.

Josh and I had nearly 20 fish b/w us and I believe that we walked away with the coveted "Muddy River Smackdown" trophy... Uh, okay, we didn't have any trophies and we were just extremely happy that we were able to catch so many in those poor conditions.

The sky was thick fog in at launch time. The air temp was 68 degrees and rose to 84 degrees by noon. We had slightly overcast skies that provided an much needed respite from the hot, hot sun.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the water was pretty yucky (new term for water conditions). It was a pure coffee colored brown to even heavier towards the middle river grass beds.

Way to go to Tyler for his biggest smallie ever and a very big thanks to the other guys who fished with us today. Once again, thank you Josh for putting up with me today.