I am a devoted Susquehanna River fisherman. The Susky is my first choice when I’m heading out the door to go fishing, however, sometimes nature gets in the way of my plans. When the river is too high or too muddy for fishing it’s time for Fishing Susquehanna Tribs.
Fishing Susquehanna Tribs
The Susquehanna River has a wide range of tributaries, varying from tiny mountainside trickles to waterways that are small rivers in their own right. Some of these, such as the Chemung and the Juniata rivers, have earned reputations for their own brand of quality fishing. Others lesser known sleepers creeks hold surprises to be discovered. One thing the susky tributaries all have in common is that when the Susquehanna and her twin forks the West and North Branches are too high and muddy to fish the tribs will rise, then fall, and be ready to fish again offering alternative fishing opportunities. Fishing action in the tribs can be every bit as good as in the bigger water they feed if you fish smart and hit them at the right time. Species available are the familiar river fish with an occasional brown or rainbow trout in the mix. These fish will tend to run smaller than the there big water cousins but don’t be surprised to encounter an 18 inch smallmouth or walleye and the cats and carp can rival the best the river has to offer. Stealth becomes more important in my mind fishing Susquehanna Tribs. When fishing one of the Susquehanna’s gin clear tributaries. wearing earth tones and scanning the water for visible fish before wading out into the thick of it is advisable. The water is generally shallower, clearer and there is less of it, tending to make the fish more wary and skittish. When fishing Susquehanna tribs small Rapalas and other stick baits are a good choice on the creeks in summer. One overlooked option is the inline spinner. I use them as my go to search lure when fishing artificials in the summer. Blue Fox Vibrax in gold and silver finishes and my personal favorite the Thomas Spinner with the Indiana blade have chalked up countless smallmouth, walleyes, channel cats and fallfish over the years. If live bait is your thing then you will be right at home plying the waters of a Susky Trib. Minnows, crawfish, helgramites and stone cats abound in the Susquehanna’s trubutaries. Most days I just pick my bait by hand on my way to where I will be fishing. Carrying along a flow troll floating bait bucket and filling it with what ever is on hand to use for the bait of the day. Please do not move crayfish from one creek to another as there is an invasive craw, the rusty crayfish, that is rapidly out competing our less vigorous native species. It has been said that these invaders will eat fish fry and eggs, not a good thing. No matter what your preferred method of catching is you will find that it can be adapted to the smaller confines on the tributary creeks and rivers of the Susquehanna. When the Susky is having a bad day, high and roiled, a trip to fish one of her tribs is an alternative that is hard to beat. PA Fish and Boat Commission Fishin247.com SuskyFishers.com