Wet Wading Smallmouth Bass
There something about wading the Susquehanna in an old pair of cut off jeans, a t-shirt and a beat up pair of hi-top sneakers that just seems right. It is simplicity embodied, wet wading is. I look forward to it every year as summer approaches, as much for the handfuls of delicious black raspberries I pick on the walk in to my favorite spots, as for the ravenous smallmouth bass that wait among the boulder filled runs and riffles. You will need a few things to round out your costume before you are ready to get wet in the susky. A hat with a visor, a good pair of sunglasses and sunscreen are all advisable. A Fishing vest to hold a selection of lures, and tackle and an expendable camera is indispensable. Depending on how adventurous you are a good stout piece of rope comes in handy to help one get up and down the, overgrown and sometimes slippery, steep river banks. When properly outfitted you will look quite unsophisticated but you will be a lean mean fishin’ machine. Everyone will have their own opinion about what constitutes the perfect wading rod I prefer a 8 foot class spinning rod with a limber tip section that gets solid down near the bottom ferrule. Any medium action rod that will toss light lures and baits a 60 feet or more with 4 to 8 pound test line spooled will suffice. Load your vest with small spinners, Rapalas, a few lead jigs and soft plastic baits. Some guys specialize in fishing top water baits. You may want to include a few poppers, torpedo types, and the smaller size Zara Spooks too. Live bait enthusiasts will want a selection of hooks, split shot, and swivels to rig according to the type of bait they will be employing. I have a friend who uses half crawlers to tempt smallmouth bass out of their hiding spots among the North Branch boulders. Others prefer helgramites, stone catties or crayfish all of which are excellent smallie baits. Whether you prefer to fish live baits of toss artificials take a break from the hustle and bustle and get back to the basics. There is nothing as relaxing as the simple pleasures of wet wading smallmouth bass in the Susky.