Monday, November 1, 2010

Same Place, Different Time On The Susquehanna River 10.31.10

Hello Folks,

Pete Hanford and I decided to fished the same general area that we fished two weeks ago to see how the rise in water would effect the smallie bite.

I left Willow Street at 5:30 a.m. in order to meet Pete upriver at 7:30 a.m. I stopped for gasoline at a local Turkey Hill Minute Market and saw Mike Acord from Susquehanna Fishing Tackle (SFT) gassing up his boat. He was heading to Long Level, Pa. to where his fishing club was holding a fall club tournament. We talked for a few moments before I got back on the road.

The drive was long, but was well worth the distance during our last trip. I was hoping for similar results during this trip.

I arrived at the access at sunrise and before Petey. I was able to get my gear ready and put my rain pants on before he arrived. The weather report was calling for sunny skies, 52 degrees, and up to 20 mph winds. The rain pants become a necessity for protection.

When I left home in the early morning hours, the air temp was only 33 degrees with a slight WNW breeze. There were some clouds in the sky, but it was relatively clear with a bright fall crescent moon shining. The further north I drove, the warmer the air temperature and the more overcast it became. In fact, the air temp at the ramp was in the low 40's. Both Pete and I were pleasantly surprised by how warm it actually was compared to the weather prediction for the morning hours.

The last time we were at this ramp, it was Pete's first run after he disconnected the VRO pump. We had a bit of difficulty getting the motor up and running. But once it ran, it ran well.

This time, the motor turned over rather easily... Good!

Petey ran the boat to the starting hole that we fished two weeks ago, but the fish weren't there. There was more water running this time and that may have provided the fish an opportunity to move into newer, deeper pots downriver. So, we went looking for them.

We found fish holding in several spots, the the spots were scattered. Some of the fish were decent in size.

We tossed tubes in several different sizes, Winco's Chillee Willee, The Undulator, CWSD, as well as, jerkbaits. Fish were caught on everything we threw.

Below are a few pics we took of our bigger fish of the day.

Check out this 3.5 lb hawg that Petey caught in the early afternoon.

This 16.5" fish was my first bite on the Chillee Willee.

We tossed the jerkbait in shallower areas of the river. Here is a Rapala Husky Jerkbait 17.5" bass taken in about 3' of water.

Another 17" Chillee Wille smallmouth that was holding in about 4' of water and near the bank.

What a great day to be on the water. Although we didn't reach the amount of fish caught in our last trip to this area, we did manage to put 19 bass in the boat with with plenty of hits and misses. What made the day really nice was that the winds didn't kick in until around 11:30 a.m. and the overcast skies stayed with us for most the trip.

When we were launching the boat, Petey called out to me to look up in the sky. Just above us and quite low was an immature American Bald Eagle! What a great sight to start the day with. We spied that eagle several times during the fishing trip.

We also saw a mink running the bank and looking for food in the same location that we saw one two weeks ago.

We pulled into a cut that had an island to our right and the shoreline to our left. Pete mentioned to me that he often sees deer crossing at the tip of this island. As fate would have it, we were moving up the cut when I heard the rustling of leaves in the underbrush behind me. There stood a decent size doe. It appeared that she was heading to the tip of the island to cross onto the mainland, but decided against it after seeing us. Instead, she walk back up the island and off to our right and out of sight... Cool.

It was a fun trip on a beautiful fall Sunday morning. We had only seen about five other boats all day in this section of the river. As I was traveling south on Rt. 22/322, I drove right past Fort Hunter and looked out onto the river. There seemed to be approximately 10 boats or more situated just off the east shoreline. I couldn't help but wonder whether the big mommas were treating these wind swept anglers to an excellent day of fishing.