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Offline 1iarrowking

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Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« on: August 01, 2019, 06:07:24 PM »
Harry and me put in at City Island this morning at 8:15.  The gauge has been at 3.9 ft for six days and I was hoping we were going to finally have a good day.  The water had cleared up enough to see bottom at 3 feet in most places.  Started out fishing the docks for a change and nothing so I ran up the east shore on plane all the way to the ledge without hitting a rock and only one submerged log.  Fished the ledge for an hour then drifted down past the 81 bridge. At this point Harry lost three and I had one hit.  Ran to our final spot, the drift through the shallows out from front street.  We both caught a 10 incher through there and hit about a dozen rocks.  Even hung up on one and Harry had to go in and push.  Before last summer we fished this same area from the same boat with the same tackle and caught 20 to 40 smallies and since last year we can't catch s___.  I'm not reading anybody else's success stories either so what happened to the fish?  Next time out I'm going to make the horrible tow up 309 to Bloomsburg and see if our luck changes.

The older I get, the better I used to be.

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Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« on: August 01, 2019, 06:07:24 PM »

Offline DRY

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 06:56:08 PM »
You must have just had a bad day...wrong conditions...wrong baits...all those bass must have been off their feed  ;)  >:(

Smallmouth fishing is in a big time recovery...so they say.

https://www.pennlive.com/life/2019/01/susquehanna-river-smallmouth-bass-continue-recovery-big-time.html

Bill

« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 07:21:18 AM by DRY »
The hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the lives of men!!

Online Brewguy

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 07:30:11 AM »
You know Bill I do wonder if over fishing is possible.  I know the river is huge but there are a ton of people fishing.  I was out 2 weekends ago for the first time and fished around fort hunter.  My buddy and I caught 3 healthy fish in a couple hours and others were also catching fish.  Maybe the fish are getting too used to seeing lures going by?  Especially in the popular areas. 

I know I was amazed when we fished a very small creek that is probably never fished.  They were super aggressive and we caught tons of fish.  Then go to the conodoguinet and even the pan fish act like they don't care, they just nibble at the tail of the bait.  Not sure what explains it other than fishing pressure.

Offline afishinado

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 07:54:30 AM »
The smallie fishing sucks all over PA, at least in the eastern part of the state including the Susky, the Delaware, the Juniata, the Schuylkill and many of the smaller rivers and streams.  This tells me it's not the fish population, it's the conditions. 

Looking a the USGS site, the rivers haven't had a normal flow in two years.  As soon as the river starts getting down to a level near normal, it shoots back up.  Plus the water clarity has been off for nearly the whole time.  The yo-yo flows and murky water are the cause.

When (if!) the monsoons subside and the rivers stabilize to a more normal flow and clarity, that's when we should judge how the smallie population is doing in each river. 

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 07:54:30 AM »

Offline DRY

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 08:53:35 AM »
The smallie fishing sucks all over PA, at least in the eastern part of the state including the Susky, the Delaware, the Juniata, the Schuylkill and many of the smaller rivers and streams.  This tells me it's not the fish population, it's the conditions...

I am sure the guides are catching bass. They are out there every day and have jet rigs that will go anywhere. They know where the smallmouth hang out that are left in this depleted fishery.

But for the average fisherman, the weekend angler, the youngster fishing the shoreline, the occasional wader......smallmouth fishing is not a productive experience anymore. It used to be when I was a young man...but not anymore.

I believe you are correct that water conditions are the issue. Excessive algae, low oxygen concentrations in the water, high water levels during the spawns, chemical pollution that changes the sex or kills the fish...all have a negative effect on recruitment (reproduction)...and the fastest way to devastate a species is to limit its reproduction.

Invasive species, like flatheads, also hurt the fishery but I do not believe fishermen or aversion to fishing lures is the problem.

With fishing license sales at an all time low...

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/04/with-fishing-license-sales-at-50-year-low-pennsylvania-aims-to-hook-kids.html

The PFBC needs to put a happy face on the fishery...that's their job. Most of us who fish are not happy.

Bill
The hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the lives of men!!

Offline 1iarrowking

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 09:35:37 AM »
You must have just had a bad day...wrong conditions...wrong baits...all those bass must have been off their feed  ;)  >:(


Bill

Yea I guess your right, Bill.  We just had another bad day. ;D  But like the Billy Currington song says,"a bad day of fishing beats a good day of anything else."
The older I get, the better I used to be.

Offline 1iarrowking

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 09:56:03 AM »
You know Bill I do wonder if over fishing is possible.  I know the river is huge but there are a ton of people fishing. 

I don't know where all these people are fishing but it sure isn't Harrisburg when I'm there.  We fished four times this summer and didn't see very many.  Yesterday there were two trailers parked at C. I. when we got there.  When we left they were gone and one different trailer was there.  There were two trailers parked at the private ramp under the 81 bridge. I only caught a glimpse of another boat a few times all day.  I didn't see one shore fisherman.
The older I get, the better I used to be.

Online Brewguy

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 10:13:26 AM »
I don't know where all these people are fishing but it sure isn't Harrisburg when I'm there.  We fished four times this summer and didn't see very many.  Yesterday there were two trailers parked at C. I. when we got there.  When we left they were gone and one different trailer was there.  There were two trailers parked at the private ramp under the 81 bridge. I only caught a glimpse of another boat a few times all day.  I didn't see one shore fisherman.

We were up at ft hunter, there were many trailers in the lot.  While we were there 5 kayaks fishing the same area, several boats came up and down fishing, I think most nights during the week there are people out there.  But like Bill said that is probably not the case. 

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 10:13:26 AM »

Offline Phil Sweeney

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2019, 09:31:03 AM »
This is my third season in retirement. This year I am rating fair-good. Last year was good until the rain (my notes July 22 and forward). Until the rain I was having a good year. Three years ago I fished 70 days on Susquehanna and was a great year. Last year 40 days.

As of last week some of my hot spots dwindled (previouly the SM were herding minnows in the canal entrances) and unless it is my imagination it seems I am seeing fewer herons in those areas. So I am moving to other areas. As I posted elsewhere my total numbers are down. But not my daily average. I also have not caught as many bigger fish this year. Seem to be getting a few more LM also.



We are down close to Peach bottom.

Offline zelmo

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Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 04:32:05 PM »
Years ago I would go to the various shows and take notes at the seminars. I recently came across the notebook that I used and found an entry on a seminar by Penrod at Timonium that was called Seasonal Patterns on the Susquehanna.

I wrote down “July and August - forget it.”  While I am still catching fish it certainly isn’t as good as other times of the year.  Keep looking and when you find them work the area well.

Susquehanna River Fishing Forum

Re: Where are the smallies in the Harrisburg Area
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 04:32:05 PM »

 

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