Monday, December 20, 2010

Quality... Not Quantity :)

If you happen to live anywhere near central PA, you know how cold it has been lately. We have been pounded by northwesterly winds and freezing cold temps... With daytime highs in the 20s and nighttime lows in the single digits, most of our open water is now slushy or frozen--making things really tough to get out there and fish.

Still, if it sounds like I'm complaining... I'm really not. I actually caught two of my best fish of the year in the last couple of weeks. I was only able to get out twice, and both trips were short... but they were productive.

My first trip was a nighttime excursion for walleye--and believe it or not, I actually found a couple... Conditions were pretty nasty and it was raining and freezing so photo opportunities were not great, but I pulled in two pretty walleyes in about an hour. One was just over 20 inches and the other measured 26 inches and was really fat--6lbs. + easily.

My other trip was a quick little stop by the river following an afternoon of Christmas shopping... I fished a small open water section for a little over and hour just before dark--with the end result being two nice bass. One bass in particular was especially nice--measuring 20 inches and very fat.

This winter's fishing has been pretty tough due to the cold so far, but the action has been quality not quantity... And I will take that any day of the week, at any time of the year.

With the holiday's coming up, there is a good chance that this will be my last report for 2010. So for now, I would like to wish you all tight lines and a very Merry Christmas! Thanks again for reading, and following my blog in 2010. I will catch you guys and gals later in 2011... :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas came early this week... :)

Somebody must have forgotten to ask Marianne, because somehow I made the "nice" list again this year... :) It turns out that Santa (actually the Good Lord) left a nice, toothy-little present for me in a local river eddy this past week. It was nice to have the many hours of fishing and not catching pay off. She measured 37 inches, and swam away strongly after our brief encounter.

Dad and I fished on three separate afternoons, and scored some good smallies too. It was cold, but definitely worth it. Not too bad for freezing cold December weather... :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Before the rain...

Here we are. It's early December, the rivers are blown out, and it has been COLD and windy lately. I wish that I had a nice up-to-date report to share with you guys, but the truth is... I don't. Honestly, the only outdoor activity I've been taking part in lately has been hunting.

However, about a week and a half ago--before deer season started--I was able to get out a little bit one afternoon. The river was on the rise, and the fish were being pushed into the eddies. Lucky for me I picked up one nice walleye (my first since September) and snagged a bunch of carp.

I wasn't able to fish the next day, but my Dad and nephew Gabe went out after them. They returned to the spot I fished the previous day and had an awesome trip. Instead of walleyes, they caught bass. I don't think they caught a lot of bass, but boy did they get quality. In fact, Gabe reeled in the largest of the trip that measured 20 inches! Great work, gentlemen!

I wish I had more for you guys, but as far as the fishing goes, that's all I have to share right now... For the time being I am patiently waiting for the river levels to recede and some milder temperatures to return (hopefully).

Before I close, I do have one more "shout out" to make, and that is also to my nephew Gabe. Last Tuesday morning Gabe shot his first buck. He was hunting with his Pappy John Coder when the 8 pointer walked by, and Gabe made an excellent shot. Congratulations on what will hopefully be the first of many bucks, Gabe! Nice work!

In closing, here is to hoping that my next report will include a little bit more sunshine and hopefully some warmth instead of all this cold stuff... Until next time, thanks again for reading and good luck staying warm! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I wish I had more to share....

It's mid-November, and I wish I had more to share with you. In past years, this would have been peak time for our local fishery. Still, I have been out a fair amount the past couple of weeks without much to show for it.

The majority of my time on the water recently has been spent musky fishing... and that fact in itself does lend to poor catching, but aside from a few stray smallmouth here and a there... the majority of my fishing time has been time spent with the skunk. There have been no signs of musky for me, and no walleyes either... which has also been a disappointment.

This past week, we finally got some rain to boost the low/clear flows in the river. It was my hope that this would really kick the fishing into gear (specifically the walleye), but so far it seems like things have been a bust... At least for me. Time will tell, and action should turn on at some point in the next few weeks. It would be nice to put a couple good-sized eyes on the bank this coming season.
Aside from the fishing, I did get to spend some time in the woods chasing bucks around during the last couple weeks of archery season. Though I didn't harvest a buck, it was nice to see a couple... And it was even better to help my Dad with the nice 6-pointer that he arrowed. Congrats, Dad!

To all you guys that will be heading out into the woods for the PA firearms deer season next week... I wish you the best of luck, and please stay safe and be responsible in the woods! Also, to all of you faithful readers of my blog, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Don't forget to thank our creator for His provisions, and His many, many blessings... :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The temps are cooling down, but the fishing has been warming up! :)

It's been getting colder here in Central PA lately... And it's not just the air temps that have been dropping, the water temps have been dropping too.

Consequently, the fish have been falling into their coldwater patterns... bunching up in certain areas, and putting on the feed bag to prepare for winter.

My Dad and I have found them biting a few times in past couple of weeks... And some really nice fish have hit the bank. Most of our luck has come on jigs and soft plastics, but some nice fish have also come on jerkbait.

The coldwater months can provide some of the best opportunities of the year for the larger fish. So if you haven't been fishing lately, now is the time to get out there after them!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ocean City with My Girls :)

Marianne and I actually had a couple of days off work that we could spend together this past weekend. So we decided that it would be fun to pack up our pupper dog, load up the Pathfinder, and head south to Ocean City... It was time to breathe in some of that salty air!

We both love the beach in the off season... And we were fortunate enough to have great weather for our trip. The only thing else we could have wished for were a few extra days so that we could have stayed longer.

This really wasn't a fishing trip, but we did get a little bit of fishing time in. I got to try out a nice new rod and reel. And in fact, I was lucky enough to catch a pretty little speckled sea trout on the new outfit. I have caught many weakfish (grey trout) in the past, but this was the first speck I had ever caught. Although they are very common further south, specks really are a special treat to catch in Delmarva--as this is pretty much the northern-most part of their range.

All in all, it was just a wonderful trip... We soaked in a beautiful sunset, spent some nice time on the beach, ate some great food, and had a nice long walk on the boardwalk. Lucy would also like to add that she got to dig some nice deep holes in the sand (her favorite thing to do at the beach)... :)

We didn't get a lot of great pictures, but I will share with you some of what we have. Until next entry, thanks again for reading!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the water with Pops :)

Man it seems like the past couple of weeks have been tough for finding time out on the water... Still, Dad and I were able to get out and spend a few hours chasing some smallies around the river one morning last week.

The river levels had finally receded to the point where we could wade fish an area that is often productive for us... So we donned our waders and hit the water.

Fortunately for us, the fish were there... :)

We fished mainly jigs and soft plastics... tubes, grubs, and small swimbaits. When we finally finished up, I had around 15 total bass and Dad had 10. There were a couple nice fish around 16 inches or so, but for the most part they probably averaged 12 to 13 inches. No monsters, but it was a great day.

One of the keys we found to getting the most bites, was to constantly switch the color and profile of the plastic baits we were using. It seemed like the fish would get locked on to one type of plastic for a little while, then they would totally abandon it completely. After a quick change to a different type of bait, the bite would pick up again... This type of behavior is something that I have noticed quite often with smallmouth. So the next time you are on the water, and the bite you are on suddenly dies, keep this in mind.

Until next entry, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the pics!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Falling waters...

After a long, dry summer here in Central PA, we finally got the rain that we have needed so badly. Unfortunately for us, it all came at once. Tropical Storm Nicole dumped buckets of water while passing over our part of the state last week, and the result was fast rising streams and rivers with mild to moderate flooding in some areas. Our creeks had water in them once again, but this time it was almost too much!

Still, I've found throughout the years that some of my best fishing generally occurs when our local streams and rivers are recovering from high/muddy water events. You have to pay attention, know how quickly your local waters recover from storms, and play your cards right... But if all of your stars align and you are in the right place at the right time, falling waters can make for some great fishing.

If work had not kept me tied to my desk for the most part this week, I would have been out there as much as possible. Still, I did get out for a quick trip on two occasions. One trip in-particular rewarded me with a very nice smallmouth, that ate a 6.5 inch swimbait. I do love fishing in the colder months!

Until next entry, keep your eye on our streams and rivers... Watch the waters rise and fall, and fish when you think it's right. Eventually you will pick up on certain patterns that occur at certain levels on the waters that you fish. Good luck out there! And again, thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rhode Island Tides

Holy smokes its been a while! I know I've been slackin' on keeping up with my blog lately, and I hate to keep you guys waiting. But fortunately for me, I have a good reason for it--I've been fishing! :)

After a pretty long dry spell on the fish front, this past weekend was much needed. I had a couple days off work coming up, and my gracious wife had given me the fishing "go ahead." So I hit the road late on Friday, and made a quick trip up to NYC to visit my good buddy Pete who I hadn't fished with in ages... Pete also had some free time for the weekend, so we decided it was officially time for us to hit the beach!

After Tropical Storm Nicole had finished soaking the Eastern United States late Friday night, we pointed the Pathfinder North up Rt. 95, and set out towards our fishing grounds in South County Rhode Island.

We arrived with the sunrise early Saturday morning, and found a falling tide ripping out of Charlestown Breachway. At first we were a little bit unsure of how the fishing would be, due to the affects of the recent storm... But fortunately for us, our worries were soon dissolved as the tide was right, and Pete and I both hooked up with scrappy little stripers only minutes into our trip.
The good fishing continued on the dropping (ebb) tides again Saturday night and early Sunday morning. We fished a few different spots, and found decent fish almost everywhere we wet a line. Our best action came late on Saturday night, when we got into a school of very large (12 lb. plus) bluefish at a different South County breachway... These blues were mean, and extremely strong in the hard falling current. Both Pete and I (and a bunch of the other guys) lost a fair collection of plugs to the fish that night. It was a great time!

I wish I had more fish pics to share with you from the trip, but conditions just were not great for taking many pictures. Still, I'll be happy to share with you what I have... I hope you enjoy them.

Until next entry, thanks for reading!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finally some teeth! :)

If you've been following my blog lately... you probably know that I have been a little bit fixated on muskies the past couple of months. Unfortunately for me, I haven't been able to catch one all summer long--and not for lack of effort.

Well, I had a couple of days off work this past week, and the weather had been very "fall-ish" lately... So I decided to deposit some more time into my musky hunting bank account--who knows, maybe I would get lucky and find a hungry one that was thinking about fattening up for winter.

Tuesday turned out to be a beautiful day. The sky was blue, the morning started off cool, and there was a nice breeze blowing that put some decent chop on the water. I spent the better part of the day throwing lots of big, noisy lures hoping to draw some interest at a nearby lake... And believe it or not, I actually did. About 1 PM I had a beautiful tiger musky follow a large spinner bait back towards my perch up on the bank. He didn't hit it, but the follow was at least enough to get my blood pumping.

I wasn't able to get out fishing on Wednesday, but I couldn't help but think about the nice fish that I had raised the day before... So, when Thursday morning rolled around I was ready to fish!

My plan for Thursday was to try a local bass/walleye spot for an hour or two in the morning before returning to the spot I had seen the nice tiger at two days earlier. As luck would have it, I didn't need to return to my previous spot, because I found a nice, hungry-little musky at my first spot of the morning. It wasn't a monster, as it measured somewhere in the 3o to 32 inch range... But it put up a very exciting fight (leaped completely out of the water), and I was happy to watch it swim away healthy after the release. FINALLY, some teeth!

I also picked up a nice little walleye on the morning as well. Both fish came on a new type of soft plastic swimbait that I am experimenting with... I think I like it! :)

So the moral of the story is... If you really want to catch a musky, just go walleye fishing. Lol!

Obviously, I'm not serious. But it did work for me today... and I'll take it! I wish that I would have had my better camera along (for better picture quality) and that I wouldn't have been alone. Still, it is nice to finally have a couple toothy critter pics to share with you--I have been trying to get them for a while now (but don't expect many more too soon, ha ha). Until next time, thanks again for reading and good luck on the water!