Monday, April 5, 2010

Fishing The Susquehanna Flats 04/05/2010

Hello Folks,

What a great day to be on the water! My buddy, Mike Burton, phoned me Saturday and asked if I wanted to hit the Flats today... "Well of course!"

I stopped by Philips Bait and Tackle off of Rt. 272 S after my granddaughter's first Easter egg hunt on Saturday and picked up a Maryland Tidal Water license for $15.00. When I got home, I went on the NOAA site to pick up their new National Saltwater Registry card for those who fish Coastal Saltwater. Maryland is now demanding that all Flats anglers carry one of these cards. It's a very easy process to register. I am assuming that the Federal Government is going to phone survey anglers on catches. I'm not in complete understanding of the process yet.

( )

I got up at 4:30 a.m. and prepared for Mike to arrive at 5:30 a.m. I had readied my tackle for largemouth fishing, as well as, smallmouth fishing the day before. That's why I love the Flats so much. I can go after both species of fish in the same waters.

The Susquehannock State Park (Lapdium) launch is currently closed for renovations. It's a good thing we wanted to launch there this morning because Mike's bass club will be fishing the Flats this Sunday and they were going to launch there! Luckily, we came across this closing before their boats arrived and realized they couldn't enter the park. Now they can chose another location site to launch from.

We ended up launching from under the RR bridge in Havre De Grace, Md. - Jean Roberts Memorial Park. It's a very nice launch and it's free during the week. There's limited parking, so I'll assume it gets filled rather quickly on the weekends.

The tide was out once we got on the water. There was very little breeze in the morning and we decided to try our luck for some Stripers. Alas, luck wasn't on our side and we didn't hook up with any... Again! I say "Again" because Mike and I have traveled many times to the Flats in search of Stripers and have yet to hit it on a good day when they were running... LOL.

Mike did manage one "Golden Fish"...


He caught (snagged) this one on a plastic Striper jig and it weighed a whooping 18 lbs!! Thank goodness for good tough braided line.

We finally decided to run up into the Susquehanna River. In fact, we ran all the way up to the islands just below the Conowingo Dam. They were pushing water for the shad migration and there were a lot of folks fishing for them along the banks. I did not see a single shad caught.

We did, however, see a lot of shad busting in the confluence of the Octorara Creek., the last significant tributary of the Susquehanna River. This is a fresh water creek and neither Mike or I had our fresh water license which would have permitted us to go into the creek and see whether we could have caught them or not.

Although we didn't catch a single fish up river from 8:00 a.m. until Noon, we did see several mature Bald Eagles flying overhead. What a beautiful site!

We headed back down the river to fish for largemouth. We got pelted with spray from the wind on our ride back down river. It was the worst area that we rode through all day long. Usually, it's nicer in the river and a rougher ride down in the Flats. But the opposite was true for today as the SSE winds were funneled upriver.

Mike and I had a few spots to try that we hoped had emerging grasses. We found a great spot with several patches of hydrilla starting to green. Mike caught a nice 3 lb LM on a lipless crankbait at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

I was fan casting a 7" worm as Mike worked the crank. Well, Momma didn't raise no fool! After I saw him catch that nice LM, I picked up my Super Spot and tossed it for a few minutes and look what I found...


A beautiful female largemouth came to hand that weighed in at 3 lb 8 oz.

A few mintues later, I landed a 15" largemouth. That one was followed in about 30 minutes with a beautiful 16", 2 lbs 8 oz. largemouth.

We had fished a full 7.5 hours without a single hit and withing and hour and a half, we had four legal-size largmouth in the boat.

What a great way to finish the day out.

The air temp was around 48 degrees when we launched and the water temp was 51 degrees. Up in the river, we got water temp readings of 55 degrees. This same temp held for several of the coves we fished throughout the day.

The water clarity was pretty good upriver on the west side. The east shoreline was a bit murky, yet not too bad.

We threw a lot of different lures today... Tubes, Winco's Predator Craw, Carolina Rig with Watermelon Lizard, lipless crankbaits, Crankbaits, Baby Brush Hawgs, 7" Blue Fleck Power Bait worms, JBs, Spinnerbaits, and Senkos.

As you can see, we threw everything but the kitchen sink at 'em!

I can't wait for my next adventure on the Flats. It's such a beautiful habitat!