Friday, October 9, 2009

Fantastic Day with a Super Guest! - Susquehanna River 10/08/09,

My fishing partner today was the one and only Al Winco, a site sponsor from Winco's Custom Lures. We had been talking over the past year or so of hooking up and hitting the mighty Susquehanna River for a day of fun and fishing. Well, we finally were able to work our "busy" schedules out and met yesterday.

Al had a two hour drive from the Bristol, Pa. area to Willow Street, Pa. After several back surgeries, I know that such a drive can be hard on him. But he showed up at my home at our appointed time of 7:00 a.m. and hungrier than a bear!

We loaded his gear into my truck, headed to the gas station to fill up the truck, and then off to our local greasy spoon for a hearty breakfast and a few steaming hot cups of coffee.

We planned our strategy for the day. Al has been working on a new beetle spin style lure which he and I discussed. He had some old wires and a few of his custom molded plastics that he threw together and wanted to take out for a test run... there will be numerous modifications before the final lure is up and on his web site. The lure we had in hand yesterday was like a creation from Dr. Frankenstein... parts borrowed from here and parts from there.

We got on the water at 9:00 a.m. and headed to some of my favorite spots. As fishing goes, the morning started out slow. We had a strong front go through a day before and the fishing was slowed a bit. I finally hooked up with a nice 14" bass on a Super Spot. A short time later, it's twin came into the boat on a Big O.

Okay... we now see that the fish are hooking into cranks and lipless crank. We tossed plastic jigs and larger spinnerbaits w/o any success.

The water temp was 57 degrees when we hit the water. There were some clouds that hid the sun throughout the morning. The air temp was in the low 50's and rose to the upper 60's by the time we exited the water.

Throughout the day, the sun would break out and warm our old bones and heat the water. The water temp rose to a nice 59.7 degrees. The sun brought the winds from the NW up to 15 mph. However, as the afternoon wore on, the winds died down to a pleasant breeze.

Al was treated to the sight of several of our resident eagles. They were quite active throughout our fishing trip, soaring above us. We were able to enjoy a rather close-up view of an immature as it sat perched on a boulder about 40 yd. downriver from us. It was practicing being the 'King of The Air' as the cormorants and seagulls kept a safe distance away.

We also located a swan tucked in and feeding along a small mid-river island. I haven't seen a swan in this location for several years!

We only caught one "legal" bass yesterday. It was a beautiful 18.25" smallie that hit my "Ugly " lure. She was cruising some faster moving water just south of a distinct ledge.


Now that we knew that some fish action was happening, I decided to lay all other lures aside and concentrate on Al's beetle spin style creation. I was near a shallow run that dropped off into about 4' of water. It took about three casts to bring the first ever 'Bronze Bushwhacker' bass into the boat.

dad - First Winco Bushwacker Bass Ever!

Within a few minutes, I was able to hook into a second bass.


Al was beside himself! We were laughing and enjoying the moment. Those custom poured plastics looked really good coming through the water on this rig. They have a very fine finesse tail and a small minnow shaped body. If I was a fish, I would definitely eat this thing!

In a few moments, Al hooked into his first ever 'Bronze Bushwhacker' bass. Way to go, Al!


As you can see, it wasn't a monster, but she sure did excite Al. Each bass we caught reassured us that the bass were willing to take this Frankenstein-ish lure with his custom plastic trailer.

I have a favorite ledge that I can usually catch a few hawgs off of. However, because of the water flow, I could not reach it in the morning. However, by late afternoon, the flow had slowed and I was right there tossing Super Spots and Al tossed his weighted lipless. We were able to pull in 6 bass and missed another 5 before the flow picked back up and we found it too difficult to remain on the spot.

Here is Al's 16.5" on his weighted lipless crank.


This 17 1/8th came in soon after Al's bass. The downward angle doesn't do this girl justice. She fought like a determined prizefighter!


Boy, did we have a great day! Although, had we could have caught more fish, the day would have been perfect. The amount of fish we did catch kept us from losing our concentration. But there were times when we were laughing so hard that we most likely missed a fish or two! :D

Thanks, Al, for a great day with a lot of fun and laughs. At times, I felt like we were aboard the USS Orthopedic. Between the two of us, I believe we had to have put several surgeons' children through college!