Saturday, March 12, 2011

Susquehanna Fishing Tackle (SFT) Sale and Seminars

Hello Folks,

This past week, SFT held their annual "Cabin Fever" sale. It ran for four days (Wednesday, March 9 to Saturday, March 12). My youngest son, Zach, and I made our first visit into the shop on Wednesday (See past blog post below).

During that visit, my son mentioned that he would really like to start fishing with me once again. He used to fish with me from childhood through his mid-teen years. In fact, he participated in the youth club that I ran with the Lancaster County Hawg Hunters and Penn Manor School District (Lancaster, Pa.).

I ran a school-based club with the Hawg Hunter club for over 20 years. When we were associated with B.A.S.S. Pa. State Federation, we had several highly talented youth anglers who attend the Bassmaster Classic Youth Tournaments that were held several days prior the Classic and during the pre-Classic events. I believe that the Hawg Hunters are now associated with the FLW.

Zach is now twenty-two years old and has come back to wanting to fish on the river once again with me. While attending the SFT sale this past Wednesday, he said that he would really like to own his own rod and reel combo rather than borrowing mine all the time. I told him I would talk to mom and see what we could do.

He had expressed and interest in some of the seminars during the "Cabin Fever" sale. So, this morning, we all got up and headed into SFT to look at rods and baitcaster reels, as well as, attend Pete Gluszek (FLW Pro) and Mike Acord's seminars.

Prior to the first seminar, we corralled local fishing guide, Dave Shindler, and picked his brain on which size, make, and model rod and reel would suit Zach's needs. We settled on a Shimano Compre ($99) and a beautiful 7.0:1 Shimano Curado 200E7 ($179.99). Both the rod and reel were 10% off, plus the rod had a $20.00 mail-in rebate. I still had $14.22 left over on my $80.00 worth of gift certificates that I used earlier in the week. The total cost of the combo was ($99.99 - $10.00)+ ($179.99 - $18.00) = $251.98 plus sales tax $15.12 = $267.10 - $14.22 (Gift Certificate Leftover) = $252.88 - $20.00 (Mail-In Rebate) = $232.88 Total Cost of both the rod and reel. Not bad for a very nice combo!

Pete Gluszek presented an outstanding seminar on "Creature Baits in Tidal Water" and "Side Imaging Sonar". He spent time discussing seasonal patterns on the Susquehanna Flats and which creature baits he's currently using and how to rig them.

He has been using the "PowerTeam Lures" and tosses the 3.5" and 4.5" Texas-Rig Jig® in grass. He also uses the Buckeye Mop Jig during the Spring. The Mop Jig has a large flaring skirt and is a big bass attracting lure.

When the grass begins to mat over, Pete will go to the 4.5" Bully Grass Devil or stay with the 3.5" Texas-Rig Jig® and use a heavy Tungsten weight to break through matted grass.

He also suggested throwing straight or what I would call a "Worm Hook" when using creature baits. Pete claims that an angler will get more hook ups using the straight shank hook. He also mentioned that it is a bit harder to use compared to the off-set hooks.

When using a frog over heavy matted grass, Pete likes to keep a 3.5" Craw D'oeuvre rigged with about 12" of line out for a quick follow-up cast to missed strikes. He'll toss the 3.5" Craw D'oeuvre beyond the missed strike and work it towards the hole where the bass struck. When it reaches the hole, he allows it to fall. Pete claims that he gets a high percentage of follow up hook ups this way. The bass remains in a highly agitated state and this smaller offering is perfect for the taking.

After Pete's seminar, it was time for Mike Acord's presentation on "Smallmouth Fishing on The Susquehanna River". I always enjoy listening to both Mike and George talking about local fishing spots on the river. It is a topic that I can highly relate to. In fact, in today's seminar, Mike spoke about some of my "home waters" and how he fishes them during the early spring months all the way into the summer months.

I really enjoyed having my son and wife with me today. It has been some time since Zach has expressed an interest in fishing. We have been on the water only once or twice together over the past years. Maybe we can spend some anticipated quality time together this coming spring and summer!

Take Care and Be Safe!