Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wow, it's officially winter......

I know it is hard to believe, but as of yesterday (December 21st--our Winter Solstice), we have officially moved from fall to winter here in central Pennsylvania..... "Boo, Hiss," lol. Still, we have been lucky in that our recent weather has not yet started to reflect our changing seasons. In fact, I would have to say that so far in 2011 we have experienced one of the mildest Decembers that I can remember.

If you haven't noticed, it seems like our recent weather patterns have been going from one extreme to the other lately... Will it be extremely cold? Or unseasonable warm? Extremely wet? Or bone dry? It is hard to know.

You river anglers can probably remember back to last December. Last year we were blasted by extremely frigid temps in early December, with lots of snow and ice. The result being the majority of our local waterways were locked up by ice early and stayed that way basically all winter long--from mid-December on through early March--major bummer!

Fortunately for us, this December has been the opposite of last. While we have been receiving a good bit of precipitation so far, we haven't seen much snow. The temperatures have remained fairly mild as well, which has served to keep the rivers wide open, and flowing quite well. This has been a great fall for fishing our rivers. Aside from a few frosty mornings, I haven't had any problem with ice at any of my fishing spots as of yet. It has been a joy to fish the fluctuating river levels... And at times we have seen some very productive fishing.
Aside from a couple of short lulls in action, the fall of 2011 has turned out to be the season for large smallmouth for us. My Dad, in particular, has had an awesome season for large, 20 inch + smallmouth, and I have been fortunate to add a couple in that same "C-Class" size range as well.

One morning this past week Dad gave me a schooling on the river... We arrived at our spot, and before I even hooked up on one fish he had already released a 21 inch bass, a 19, and then another 20 incher, lol. I don't think I would have believed it had I not been there... I even threatened to not buy him lunch! :)

Bass haven't been the only name in the game this fall, however... Generally, I 'm not completely happy until there have been at least a couple toothy fish added to the mix, and we have been fortunate to find a few fish with teeth this fall.

When I think of fall, a lot of times I think walleyes... But so far this fall the only way I've been able to have any luck at all with the eyes is to go at night... And even that action has been slow. Since the beginning of November, I have gone on 3 separate occasions at night, and landed one walleye on each trip. I was lucky in that one of those fish was a nice 25 incher, but also unlucky in that it was raining and I didn't get any decent pictures of it to share with you guys. I did get a decent shot of a nice fat 19+ incher that I caught a few days later however.
No report on toothy fish would be complete without muskies... So fortunately, I do have a couple of esox masquinongy to share with you as well. It is a bummer that they aren't as big as the skis from my last entry, but a musky is a musky in my book, and like my buddy Zack says--"Every musky counts." So with that said, I have a couple pictures of the two muskies I caught one afternoon last week to share with you. Neither fish was a giant--one was 29 inches, and the other 32--but each one got my heart beating pretty fast. Every time I hook a fish that I know for sure is a musky I immediately go into panic mode, trying (and hoping) so badly not to loose it... If you have been fortunate enough to hook one of these beautiful creatures, I am sure you can relate, ha ha. Both fish swam away happy.
For now, I guess that is all I have to share with you from our fall on the rivers in 2011. Let's continue to hope that the mild weather we've been experiencing lately decides to stay with us through the following months until spring. I wish you all the best of luck in your own outdoor pursuits this winter. Hopefully I will see some of you guys and gals out there on the water. Thanks again for reading and MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)

Also p.s., GO STEELERS! (Had to throw this one in, a pic from last winter)


  1. Nice blog Toby! This is the first that I've been here, so I've got some pages to catch up on in the near future.

  2. Hey FB... :) Thanks for stopping by the site, and thanks for the note! I definitely appreciate it...

    Enjoy the reading, it's hard to believe it stretches back almost 3 years now! Hopefully I'll have some new content up soon also. Thanks again!

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