Sunday, July 6, 2014

On The Susquehanna River With Josh (07/05/14)

Hello Folks,
It has been over two months since I was last on the Juniata River with Josh. We took a three day "Trifecta" on the Juniata River back in April after being flooded out of our Spring trip to the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.

The weather hasn't been too bad since our three days on the Juniata River. What has basically kept me off the water has been the windy conditions we've encountered since our fishing days in April. Not only does the wind interfere with casting and the feeling of your lure, but it also can cause concern with boat handling especially when you are by yourself... and in my case, handicapped.

My handicap prevents me from moving quickly from bow to stern. And when you are in windy conditions, there are times when you must move from one end of the boat to the other rather quickly to prevent accidents.... from hitting boulders, running over ledges, etc.

But the wait was well worth it. We had a beautiful day on Saturday, July 5, 2014. We saw way more recreational kayakers than we saw boaters. Some of the kayakers were angling with a buddy or two. It reminded me of the days we spent close to the water in our kayaks. I have total respect for those who use "paddle power" to seek out smallmouth bass.

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We did get the opportunity to meet "Stu and Charlie" while out fishing. Stu ran a red painted  "Express" hull. They had a good, morning tossing tubes, but their catching had slowed down. While drifting above us, they had the opportunity of watching us catching smallies with spinnerbaits. That excited Stu and he powered his "Express" over to talk with us. He showed us the 3/8th oz. spinnerbait he had been using and it had a white trailer with a white skirt. He noticed that neither Josh nor myself had a trailer on our spinnerbaits. He questioned us about the use of trailers. I told him they are helpful for creating a thicker silhouette and also gave the lure buoyancy in more shallow water. But in the contions we were currently fishing, the smallies were intersted in taking our spinnerbaits without the use of a trailer.

He asked me to remove his trailer, which I did. I then tossed my War Eagle 1/2 oz in Green Shad skirt out into the river and demonstrated how we retrieved them in a slow roll.

It was nice coming across a couple of older anglers who were still interested in learning new techniques in catching smallmouth.

I had been tossing my new Alabama rig for the first time today and Charlie had been watching. He said that he had an Alabama Rig up in his truck at the launch and would have run to get it if I had started catching smallies with mine... But today was more of a practice "get-use-to -it" day. Catching a smallie would have been like icing on the cake.

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It was a pleasure meeting "Stu and Charlie".

Our hot lure was definitely, and by far, the 1/2 oz. War Eagle spinnerbaits in Mouse and Green Shad skirts. The largest smallmouth was landed by Josh. She measured in at 18 inches. We did nail several a few more just below the 18 inch mark.

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Josh lost some of his "Catching Mojo" when his War Eagle wire snapped after landing that 18" "Momma". After releasing her, Josh gave the line a heafty toss and there went his two willow leaf blades! "DANG IT!"

What impressed us the most with our fish today was the strength they exhibited in the current. Several times we thought we had much bigger/heavier bass than came to hand. Some were rather in girth and when they turned to their sides, it was like someone had put on the breaks. Then they would dig for the bottom, a very common smallmouth response pnce hooked.

The air temperature started out at 56 degrees at 3:30 a.m. and it rose to 80 degrees by 1:00 p.m. by the time we pulled away from the launch.

The water temperature was 75.3 degrees when we launched around 5:00 a.m. and pretty much stayed the same. I assumed the river water temp had dropped a few degrees from the air temperature dropping overnight and the cold rains we've just had over the past day or two.

The sky was crystal blue or what anglers often refer to as a "Bluebird Sky". Normally, it's not the best conditions for bass fishing.

I was really surprised at how well the fishing was after the cold front, low night temperatures, and the mighty winds we had over the past three days. The "river gods" were smiling upon us on Saturday, July 5, 2014!

Take Care and Be Safe!