Friday, August 15, 2014

Fishing Muddy Water with Josh Above Harrisburg, Pa (08/14/14)

Hello Folks,

This past Monday, I helped my oldest son pick up a king-size mattress and move it into his second floor... Not a smart thing to do for a guy with metal hips, knee, joints and a fused back. Chris' wife helped and together, we were able to eventually get it up the stairs, but not before I strained my upper left thigh just below my groin... Ugh!

The pain didn't start to show up until Wednesday and Thursday... Of course, I had plans to fish with Josh on Thursday! Josh was dropping off his big semi-truck at the shop and I was picking him up off of Lincoln Highway East. We then drove to his home where he got his pickup truck and our fishing gear into his boat. Our plans were to stop for a fast lunch above Harrisburg, Pa. before hitting the "MUDDY" Susquehanna River for an evening of smallmouth fishing.

What I noticed when we were on the water was that the pain in my thigh was subsiding somewhat, but my muscles and tendons remained rather tight. It was still better than what it felt the day and evening before. I had to ice my leg down on Wednesday night in order to just fall asleep.

We arrived at the ramp around 1:30 p.m. and noticed a "Game Commission" truck and trailer parked in the "No Parking" area at the launch. This is not an uncommon practice because I had seen this done several times before at the same launch. The location of the truck and trailer didn't hinder us from launching our boat, but it may have had there been other vehicles parked at the launch.

We have no issue with this practice as long as "the public" can still access the ramps. I always feel that the fish and game commissions provide a vital service to us outdoorsmen. Their presence is good for those of us who appreciate the service they provide.

We had noticed as we crossed the Rt. 22/322 Bridge that the Juniata River was dumping mud into the river. The river looked "slightly" better above the bridge, but not by much.

Once we launched, we fished for about twenty minutes in the muddy water with brightly colored spinnerbaits and crankbaits...

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This was fruitless and we decided to take a boat ride inbetween the islands and over to the middle river grassbeds...
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That is when our first fish was caught. It was a 17 inch smallmouth on a 1/2 oz. War Eagle Green Shad colored spinnerbait with chrome Double Willow Leaf blades. Our second fish was this beautiful 18" smallmouth that came on the same lure... I think a pattern was started on the mid-river grassbeds in the dirty water.

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Josh was a "multi-species angler" today. His very first fish in the boat was a 22+ inch walleye. Check out this beauty and we aren't talking about the guy in the beard!... photo 193fcf0e-17c3-4b08-af9c-4c636b0d0a98_zpsfc420844.jpg

Josh had first began fishing the afternoon with a 3/8 th oz. chartreuse bladed spinnerbait. After we had a couple of smallies in the boat, he switched over to a 1/2 oz. War Eagle Mouse spinnerbait with chrome blades. But he still failed to get any strikes on the smaller Double Willow blades until he switched to the larger bladed Mouse and look what happened...
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Right before he caught this 17.5" smallie he told me that everything he seemed to catch was not a "S'mouth"!

We made several very important decisions during this muddy water fishing trip. The first was that we looked for less muddy waters in and around the mid-river grassbeds after about twenty minutes of fishing the muddier west shore. The second big decision was hanging on the mid-river grassbeds and islands and tossing the spinnerbaits in and around the cuts and edges of the eddies. And the final big decision was when Josh realized that his smaller bladed spinnerbait in the Mouse color was not getting any hits. So, he switched over to the larger bladed 1/2 oz. spinnerbait War Eagle Mouse color... His confident bait!

The weather was partly-cloudy and it showered lightly a few times on us. The air temperature was in the mid-70s and the river water temperature was between 69 and 74.5 degrees. It was really much muddier on the west shore side of the river and cleaner towards the middle and east shore line. There was a also a fairly good wind blowing, but we held our position on the west side of the mid-river islands which kept us basically out of the wind.

We had noticed at least three immature bald eagles flying in our area. As evening set in, we got a really good close up view of one of them. It landed just east of us on a mid-river island tree. We slowly drifted towards it and got some really good pictures..
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Notice in this picture, there is a second eagle soaring off to the left...
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It was now getting on in time and I knew that I was getting tired after fishing for over six hours straight. I also knew that Josh's feet were bothering him after standing most the fishing trip. When we started the fishing trip, his "butt seat" power pole that he bought just about a year ago went out on him. He had to remove the seat and stand on the deck with no support.

As we were discussing that leaving the river, Josh laid into a fish and yells out, "This is the biggest fish of the night!" He was certainly correct, but it wasn't a smallmouth bass. This huge fish was a Blue Catfish and she was certainly big... LOL!

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We had a good time figuring out how to get the hits today. After the clouds gave way and we got some help from the sun, the spinnerbaits gave us enough reflection to attract the smallmouth attention in the dirty water... Good job, Josh!

Although I did Josh a favor by picking him up at the truck service station on Rt. 30, I appreciated his driving us to and from the launch above Harrisburg. He even treated me to a late lunch at Hardees on the way to the ramp. Julie had prepared some food for us while on the water which we both enjoyed.

Take Care and Be Safe!