Monday, April 23, 2012

Before The Rains Moved In (04/21/12)

Hello Folks,

I took another trip this past Saturday with my good fishing buddy Jeff and his wife, Penny... It was the day that the rains moved in. Thunderstorms hit our area after 7:00 p.m. that evening and it has been raining ever since. The Susquehanna River and the local area had reached almost drought levels dating back to Aprils of 1910 and 1948!! The Harrisburg, Pa. gauge was reading at 3.8' and dropping before the rains.

The NOAA predictor in Harrisburg, Pa. is showing a rise to 4.7' by this coming Thursday... Good for the spawn and all of us anglers. We are racing toward May 1, 2012... Which is next Tuesday... when bass season will be closed from Sunbury, Pa. to the Holtwood Dam (98 miles of river). This closed season will last until June 15, 2012.

When I placed my gear and tackle in the truck at home, there was a ton of dew on my truck cap. As I drove towards the river, I came across some higher elevations that had fog forming. But when I reached the river, the fog had dissipated with overcast skies.The sun tried to break out all morning and the temperature rose from 53 degrees to 74 degrees while we were fishing.

Thank goodness I brought along some sunscreen! When I got home, my wife told me that my face was a bit red... LOL!.

Despite the low river, we found the channel that the old Conestoga River formed and began tossing lures against the shoreline. Penny and Jeff were casting chartreuse bladed spinnerbaits and I chose to toss the 3/8th oz. Cotton Cordell Chrome Super Spot. During the drift, both Jeff and I caught smallmouth.

"Go Tell Your Momma I'm Looking For Her!"

"Give Jeff some lovin's"

Penny wasn't getting any hits. But she was working hard by trying different baits, including the Lockett Minnow and some stinky ole' power baits.

After about a two hour float, we decided to switch locations and ran across the rock-ridden river. We were noting rocks and boulders that we normally would not even see as we made the run.

I changed over the my Strike King KVD Rattling Square Bill Crankbait in Green Gizzard Shad color. I have had some luck with this lure last week when I caught that nice 18 1/8th" largemouth. So, I thought I'd give it another try.

Well, within a few casts, I had a decent size smallie chase the crankbait back to the boat. What I found funny was that we were all facing the same side of the boat and all three of us saw this smallie chasing my crankbait. I slowed down as I got it to the boat and the bass swiped twice at it, missing both times! :)

Within several more casts, I was able to hook up with this nice 17 3/4" smallmouth on the KVD.


I didn't "crop" the above picture because I wanted to share with you the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Everything is so bright and green right now. I can just imagine how this recent rain will make things explode with color.

Penny needed to be at their daughter's wedding shower at 2:00 p.m. and we left the river at noon.

Jeff told me that he was at the tuxedo rental shop this past week to be measured for his tux... "The guys asked me all these questions about wearing a bow tie or regular tie. Heck, I don't know. I told him this is what I normally wear, jeans and a t-shirt." LOL!

Don't worry guys, you'll just love whatever you chose to wear and it will be a wonderful day!

Last week, Jeff sent me some pictures of the low water situation on Lake Aldred. These are areas that we often navigate and fish. As you can see from the photos below, it would be physically impossible to past by some of these areas with the water being so low...



I'm so happy that the river is on the rise. With such low water levels, the young fry would be susceptible to the Columnaris Virus... The virus is always present in the water, but the low water also brings low oxygen levels that places the young fry under stressful health situations, such as back in 2005. The smallmouth population doesn't need to experience that again. We have not had a good spawn for over a decade and placing the fry under stressful situations doesn't do them well at all.

The weather has been changing since last week. We actually had a day when the air temperature reached 88 degrees. That air temperature jump help raise our river water temperature into the low-60's. A jump of almost 10 degrees from the week before... We may see the water temperature drop a bit as this cooler air moves in during the coming week.

It is not suppose to rise above 45 degrees today. I was surprise to go outdoors this morning and had to return to put a heavier jacket on. Not only was it cooler outside, but there was a good NW wind blowing once again... Brrrrrrrr.

I was able to get the yard mulched last week and bagged up some of the left over mulch before the rains arrived. It had been three years since I last mulched. My joint surgeries... right elbow, wrist, and left knee... have kept me from doing such major yard improvement for almost three summers in a row.

Tomorrow, we had a half scoop of regular 3' rock arriving to shore up a few spots in our backyard from soil erosion. It will also help us keep our little Jug in the yard. She just loves to sniff out the local critters and she gets herself in and under the fence at any spot her little chubby body will fit...

"Little Missy"

The following Tuesday, we have 9 scoops of Maryland River Rock arriving from the Thomas' Trucking Company. We will be placing this decorative rock in and around our tall grasses and on the hillside garden in our backyard. We will never need to mulch that area again and will only spray the weedkiller on it to keep it under control. Both my wife and I are looking forward to that... I'll put up some pics when we have it all finished.

Take Care and Be Safe!