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Offline zelmo

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Different sections of the river
« on: November 02, 2019, 11:18:48 AM »
I have been toying with the idea of adding a shallow water boat so that I can fish areas where I cannot go now.

First, some background.  When I decided to get a boat to fish the river 15 years ago I did some research and had decided on a G3 with a jet.  When I brought up the subject at dinner one evening my wife liked the idea of a boat but she wanted a pontoon.  My high school age sons also thought a boat was a great idea so they could go waterskiing.  I quickly made the tactical decision that I would rather have a boat that could pull skiers than a pontoon so I let my sons fight that battle for me.

The result was that I got a fiberglass bass boat with a prop.  That has worked fine for the few times a year we went skiing and the rest of the time I have used it for fishing.  That means, however, that on the river I am confined to the deeper pools below Harrisburg.  I also use it for lakes and the bay.

That brings me to present day.  I am now retired and can fish as often as I want.  I am wondering if being able to get to new areas of the river would improve my SM fishing results?  I can fit a second boat in my garage and choose which one to take out based on where the fish are biting and how skinny the water is in that area.  There are plenty of threads on here about how results are down on the river, but generally they don't make a distinction as to where.

I would like to hear opinions about the fishing in different areas so I can decide if this is a good idea or not.

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Different sections of the river
« on: November 02, 2019, 11:18:48 AM »

Online Phil Sweeney

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 11:47:47 AM »
I have a bassboat and a jon w jet. My jonboat is small, I would say the guys who can stand to navigate probably can get there better (like Ft Hunter). Going slow I can go anywhere. Almost all of my river fishing is out of Muddy Creek Access. I did go out of Howe twp one time this year (because of river levels) and did well for my first time. Actually I am watching the levels there right now. Once it gets to be 5' for a day or so the area seems to normalize whereas the river would still be high and muddy.
However for the rest of the  season at Muddy Creek when I can I will probably use my bassboat because of wind.

Online Phil Sweeney

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 12:08:56 PM »
I am not sure how to interpret this. But I assume it applies to the operator also.

"Operate a boat less than 20 feet in length at greater than “slow, no wake
speed” while a person is standing on or in the boat."

Sounds to me that technically one could be cited for operating while standing in a boat under 20'
That is interesting because there are quite a few boats made to be operated this way and they are not 20'
 :-\
I can see the advantage to operating a boat this way.

Offline 1iarrowking

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 07:57:18 PM »
This probably should be in the boating section but I'll chime in.  My boat is a 16 1/2  2012 Rockproof with a 80 HP merc jet.  It's a tank and the 80 is at the bottom of it's power range.  It maxes out at 28 MPH according to the Lowrance with two on board and all the gear.  I usually cruise at about 24. I mostly fish out of City Island but I've fished Bloomsburg and Columbia enough to be familiar and a few other places once or twice.  If the Harrisburg gauge is 4.3 I can plane up the east shore up to the ledge above I 81 with no problem.  Got to make sure your right in the trough from the First Church of Christ up tp Riverplaza Apartments.  At 4 ft I'm probably going to bump something and 3.7 I am going to hit something going through there.  Never tried it at less.  The few times I've put in at less than 3.7 I stayed south of the Governors mansion.  Fishing back down I pull the motor and the Minn Kota out of the water and bounce off the rocks in that area.  Got hung up a few times and Harry had to get out and push. ;D  A friend just bought a slightly used two year old G3 and before he brought it home he had the 1/2 inch high impact plastic installed for 6K.  He's only used it once at Columbia so I don't know more about it.  It's got a 40 Yamaha jet.
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 07:57:18 PM »

Offline zelmo

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2019, 09:48:43 PM »
The reason I didn’t put it in the boating section is that I really wasn’t asking about boat performance. I am aware of what jet boats can do and where they can go.  I owned one of the first generation of them back in 1977. It was 18’ with a 460 Ford V8 turning out 375 HP through a Berkeley jet.

What I wanted to ask in this thread was if fishing for SM changes from one section of the river to another.  Put another way, if they aren’t biting on Clarke or Frederic would a section like Fort Hunter have a chance to be good, or is the bite going to be off everywhere?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 07:24:54 AM by zelmo »

Offline jonsie

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2019, 11:18:15 AM »
yes - especially during the winter and spring seasons. Right now 90% of the bass are in or are heading to wintering holes. These are where to fish now. Not saying you can't catch a few resident fish, but if you want to get into the 40 to 80 bass a day you must be mobile.

Offline zelmo

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2019, 08:12:58 PM »
Ok.  Once they are in a winter hole do they stay put?   Will you find them all winter in the same place?

Offline jonsie

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2019, 10:59:07 AM »
This is just my theory....

Most bass will winter in the same holes year after year making sometimes long migrations. Some will start to move after ice out (bigger pregnant femals) due to all the smaller fish getting the food. Some will stay longer.


Then you have resident fish that will winter in smaller areas all year and won't move until later in the spring.


I think of it as geese. Some migrate to Canada and some live around here all year.

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2019, 10:59:07 AM »

Offline icemole

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2019, 11:18:49 AM »
 Quite a few years back there was an article about SMB migration in "In Fisherman"  very much like jonsie's theory.... If you "google" SMB migration you will get all kinds of hit's to read.

Offline zelmo

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 09:25:19 AM »
I have been toying with the idea of adding a shallow water boat so that I can fish areas where I cannot go now.

This idea blows hot and cold for me.  I was out earlier this week with a friend who has a tin boat with a jet and we had a long discussion about fishing the skinny water areas.  After comparing notes it seems he is as likely to have good and bad days as I am fishing the deeper pools.

One of the spots I really want to be able to get to is the community pool below the statue.  He told me that when it is on fire there can be 50 to 70 boats out there.  When I questioned the ability of Fort Hunter to handle that many boats he told me they are parked on both sides of Front Street for a half mile in both directions.

That would be an absolute disaster for me trying to launch and load by myself to say nothing of fighting other boats for a spot.  I guess I'll put this idea on the shelf and just go with my friend a few times a year.

Online Phil Sweeney

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 09:50:37 AM »
This idea blows hot and cold for me.  I was out earlier this week with a friend who has a tin boat with a jet and we had a long discussion about fishing the skinny water areas.  After comparing notes it seems he is as likely to have good and bad days as I am fishing the deeper pools.

One of the spots I really want to be able to get to is the community pool below the statue.  He told me that when it is on fire there can be 50 to 70 boats out there.  When I questioned the ability of Fort Hunter to handle that many boats he told me they are parked on both sides of Front Street for a half mile in both directions.

That would be an absolute disaster for me trying to launch and load by myself to say nothing of fighting other boats for a spot.  I guess I'll put this idea on the shelf and just go with my friend a few times a year.
I hear you. 4 boats at that launch would be too much for me. One of my buddy's said just because there are boats there does not mean they are catching fish. He lives close by.

Offline jonsie

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 11:35:41 AM »
When I fish the Juni if there is a lot of boats at an access - I'll go to another spot.

Susqy is just the opposite. Those guys usually know where the fish are (winter). I have been fishing below the statue with 30 other boats and amazing enough everyone was catching fish. We ended up with 89 bass that day.


Same with Dry's area. When they were running warm water - boats everywhere + fish galore. Crazy!



Don't let alot of boats scare you off on the Susqy.

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 11:35:41 AM »

Offline zelmo

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 01:35:55 PM »
I don't doubt that there are enough fish for all.  The bigger problem are the logistics of launching and loading when I am by myself.

Offline jonsie

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 02:31:33 PM »
I don't doubt that there are enough fish for all.  The bigger problem are the logistics of launching and loading when I am by myself.


Once you get used to your jet rig, you will have no problem at that. One of the first things you should do is buy some 3/4 plastic for your bunks. Simply counter sink screws through the plastic and put them on top of the bunks. I used Superior Plastics - they cut it to my requirements and sent it to me. https://www.professionalplastics.com/contact There are many different places that makes this stuff - check Bass Pro or Cabelas also. Here is a video I quickly researched on the subject
You will able to push your boat off without being in the water much. Keep a long rope tied to the boat and as soon as the boat clears the trailor - just pull it back to the downstream side of the shore.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 02:40:17 PM by jonsie »

Online Phil Sweeney

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2019, 02:50:57 PM »
When I fish the Juni if there is a lot of boats at an access - I'll go to another spot.

Susqy is just the opposite. Those guys usually know where the fish are (winter). I have been fishing below the statue with 30 other boats and amazing enough everyone was catching fish. We ended up with 89 bass that day.


Same with Dry's area. When they were running warm water - boats everywhere + fish galore. Crazy!



Don't let alot of boats scare you off on the Susqy.
Sounds good to me - thanks!!

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Re: Different sections of the river
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2019, 02:50:57 PM »

 

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