Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Fishing With Josh (08/30/14)

Hello Folks,

The final holiday of the summer, Labor Day, is upon us and I had the opportunity to go fishing with my very good buddy, Josh Kreider. Josh contacted me by text on Friday to see if I was busy on Saturday (08/30/14) and whether I wanted to go fishing or not. I was not locked into anything important and was able to commit to fishing with him at one of our favorite locations on the Susquehanna River above Harrisburg, Pa.

We met at Josh's home at 4:30 a.m. and we loaded my fishing equipment into his G3 1860 CCJ with a 90/65 Yamaha jet motor. We headed to the Mt. Joy Restaurant to eat an early breakfast and made it to the river by 6:00 a.m.

Although rather early, we were actually the second fishing tow vehicle and trailer at the ramp. The first arrivals were Charlie and Stu. These two senior citizens fish this area quite often and we were able to see them down river from us when we launched. In fact, Charlie and Stu never did come north throughout our entire day on the river until they returned to the ramp around noon.

The water level at Harrisburg, Pa. was 3.8'. The water temperature was 73 degrees and the air temp was 63 degrees when we arrived at the launch. The water clarity was good and had a sight green stain.

I was surprised to how cool the weather was yesterday. I found myself quite tired while on the water and when I got home later in the afternoon, I actually fell asleep and stayed in bed until the next morning!
Josh and I both wore our sweatshirts most of the morning to stay warm. There was a cool breeze blowing from the south and the sky was extremely overcast throughout our morning fishing. At around 10:00 a.m., the sun started to peak through the clouds when our spinnerbait bite picked up.

We both had decided to cast our buzzbaits under the overcast morning skies. Josh was using a much larger BooYa Buzzbait with a loud clacker: Cabela's Description

Booyah® Buzz™ Baits

  • Highly effective on post-spawn bass
  • Strike-enticing noise and flash
  • Mimics baitfish skipping across surface
"With premium hard-coat paint, extra large 3D red eyes and flared red gills, the Booyah Buzz planes quickly and runs true out of the package. The Booyah clacker really attacks the blade and the 55-strand Bio-Flex® silicone skirt and a Mustad® Ultra Point™ hook does the rest. Per each.
Sizes: 1/2 oz., 3/8 oz., 1/4 oz.
Colors: Snow White Shad, White/Chart Shad, Chart, Black, Limetreuse."
Josh was using and finding success with the "White/Chart Shad" color.
I was tossing the "Boogerman Racket Buzz": Tackle Warehouse Description 

"The Boogerman Racket Buzz produces a unique sound not produced by any other buzzbait on the market. The Racket Buzz sound comes from the blade making erratic contact with the head of the bait. This causes a totally different squeak and clacking that drives bass nuts."
Josh had a great morning and was able to land three decent smallmouth bass on his 1/2 oz size buzzbait... Two were over seventeen inches, 17.25" and 18.75".
17.25" BooYa Buzz Bait Smallie

18.75" BooYa Buzz Bait Smallie
My buzz bait was much smaller at a 1/4 oz size. This model just didn't seem to be attracting a bite. I tried a larger 1/2 oz. homemade model that wasn't as loud as Josh's BooYah. It, too, didn't attract any interest.
The BooYa was quite impressive with the loud clacker that they use. I definitely need to buy a couple of these to try before my next topwater outing. 
Personally, I had a very slow early morning, but somewhere around 10:00 a.m. and when the sun peaked through the clouds, I started to get strikes on my War Eagle 1/2 oz. Mouse with the double Willow Leaf blades. 
Josh was throwing the same color Mouse War Eagle, but his tandem blades were those of a larger Willow Leaf and a smaller Colorado blade. This set up wasn't producing for Josh as my War Eagle model was.
Anglers often say that color, blade (style and size), scents, etc. make no difference. But I believe that under certain circumstances, these particular details do, in fact, make a major difference and the proof is in the number of strikes an angler receives. 
I have been fishing since I was seven years old and I can remember using live worms. There were different types and colors of worms that just didn't seem to produce as well as the variety and size of a typical brown garden worm. Worms cut in half seemed to produce less than intact worms, etc... The point being is that something was causing a better bite. What it was could be determined by looking at the differences and similarities of both baits or lures, there will be differences that may, under certain circumstances, cause a fish to be attracted to and to bite the lure.

One could tell that it was the holiday weekend. The river had attracted kayakers, small and large motorboats, canoeists, rafters, and even belly boat anglers. The variety was impressive for this area of the river. Most of those angling were just passing through the area that Josh and I were concentrating on. Therefore, I didn't find that these anglers had any negative effects on our fishing outcomes.

We were able to relocate to successful locations as others passed through. Most of our fishing was along the western shoreline and within the mid river islands.

I started the morning by tossing the Boggerman Racket Buzz and as the morning progressed, I tried out different lures... spinnerbaits, tubes, plastic stickbaits (Winco and Yamamoto), lipless crankbait (Cotton Cordell Super Spot). Botht he stickbaits and tubes brought me bites and one fish to hand. But the spinnerbait was my biggest producer overall.
19.25" War Eagle Mouse, 1/2 oz. Double Willow Leaf
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Although I went home and zonked out, Josh went on a catfish trip with a buddy at Falmouth. He said that he counted over 15 boats that were night fishing for flatheads and catfish. There were also two guides fishing for flatheads among the crowd.

Josh and his friend didn't have the correct bait for flatheads (i.e. Sunnies, etc.), but they did have channel catfish bait. Josh had a decent night of channel catfishing! (See Below)
Josh"s Night of Catfishing
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So, while I caught up on my "beauty sleep", Josh was catching up on his catfishing skills... "Good job, Buddy!"

I've always enjoyed fishing with Josh as is proven by the number of blog entries I have written regarding our adventures together over the years in "Fishing With Dad". He had the opportunity yesterday to go the Knoebels Amusement Resort at Elysburg, Pa. But instead of hanging out with Rachel, her mom, and Rachel's nephews and niece, Josh chose to hang out with this old geezer and some stinky ole' fish. "Good choice, Josh"... LOL!
Take Care and Be Safe,