Sunday, December 2, 2012

Welcome back!!! :)

 Hey guys and gals! Welcome back... :)

I thought I'd take this opportunity to drop in here to say hi again... Obviously it has been a while, and I apologize for that... But good things take time; and believe it or not, this time, I have some cool things to share with you guys.

First and foremost, I'd like to introduce you all to my newest fishing buddy! If you haven't met him in person yet, at least you can have a sneak peak at him here on my blog. This soon-to-be, little fisherman is Trevor John Jones:
Even though he is only three months old right now, I can already tell that it will not be long at all until he is following his papa along the river bank. Before Trevor was born I used to think that time moved fast, but since he has come along it seems like time has shifted into and entirely different gear--he has been growing so fast that it boggles my mind... His mommy and I love him so much, and he is by far the biggest blessing in our lives! (Plus he's already a Steelers fan--so take that Ravens!) :)
Here is one more shot that I have to add of Trevor, along with our girl Lucy... Mommy and Daddy's two babies! 
Moving on, since this is a fishing blog, I guess I should get on to some outdoor oriented postings, haha!

But before we start talking fishing, I need to take a little time to brag on my nephews a little bit... I am sure that most of you know it is currently deer season here in PA--as many of you, no doubt, have been spending much of your free time in the woods lately, hoping to bag a nice whitetail buck. So, considering the season, I have to post a couple pics of my nephews Bailey and Gabe, who both got bucks this year. Bailey shot his first buck, a nice six pointer; and Gabe got his second buck, a very healthy looking spike. Both boys also shot antler-less deer back in early muzzleloader season, needless to say the freezers will be full of venison this year in the Coder house hold. Congrats men!


I also have to post a pic of Gabe with his first red fox that he caught this year trapping... I am not a trapper personally, but I know how much effort Gabe (and his Dad) have put into catching this fox--a real accomplishment. Definitely proof that hard work and dedication always pays off.
My brother-in-law Chad was also rewarded for his hard work this hunting season--when he got a crack at real nice 7 pointer on the first day of rifle season. Congrats, Chad! Unfortunately I don't have a picture of Chad with his deer yet... In case any of you ladies out there were wondering who the good looking fellow in the pic with Chads deer is... it is our friend and fellow hunting club member, Justin (aka... "Dirty") Miller... just an FYI... Hi Dirty! :-)
 Ok... Moving on to some fishing--finally!!

Personally, I haven't spent a lot of time on the water the past couple months but I do have some reports to share with you. Currently our waters here in central PA are very LOW, considering the season. Also to make things worse, it has been getting pretty darn cold as well--not a great recipe in my book.

Still, we have been able to put some fish on the bank this season. It definitely pays to have a full repertoire of spots that fish well at different water levels... Most of our high, cold-water spots have been barren. The clear, shallow water, has the fish holed up in deepest spots and the bite can be tough. Right now, it would pay to have a nice jet boat to access those hard to reach areas.

Anyway... my dad has been plugging away at a slow pick of some very nice smallmouth so far this fall. It seems like just about every trip he manages to hook up with at least one trophy bass. Likewise, the text message inbox on my phone has been filling with quite a few pics of some beautiful smallmouths. He is a machine!
Personally, I've spent the majority of my free time (which hasn't been much) targeting muskies... So far, the pickings have been slim, but I have managed a couple beautiful smallies on muskie lures, as well as a surprise northern pike, which we don't see enough of on the Susquehanna, in my opinion. Finally, just this past week, I did manage a nice 37 inch muskie--the first I've landed in quite a while, and the perfect cure to a long string of missed opportunites. Serisously, I think I lost the last 6 or 7 muskies I hooked before landing this one, lol. A long time coming! haha... :) The only problem is that I need to hire a new cameraman, as my self-shot photos of this fish were just terrible! But I guess it is just an honest tribute to how hectic, our very short encounters with these toothy fish actually are.
 In closing, I'd like to thank all of you guys and gals for stopping by my site periodically... Hopefully it won't be so long until I have an update for you in the future. I hope you enjoy the pics, and I wish you all the best of luck out there in the woods and on the water this coming season! Who knows, maybe I will see you out there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A long dry-spell...... :)

 Hey guys, welcome back! Talk about a long dry-spell... It seems like it has been since forever that I have posted here! It also seems like since forever that we have had some decent rain and normal flows in our local waterways. This summer has been a hot one so far--hot and dry! Unfortunately our local flows have been in pretty rough shape... In fact, according to the USGS website, the Harrisburg gauge on the Susquehanna recorded water temps at almost 90 degrees just a week ago.... That, my friends, is some scary warm water. Let's say our prayers and hope for some cooler temps and some rain to help make things a little more comfortable for our slime-covered friends!
As far as fishing reports go... I do have a little bit to share with you. Due to the water temps it has been a while since I have done much fishing locally, but I was fortunate to make a short beach run this past week. My nephew Bailey and my buddy Chad both came along with me. We fished 2 nights hoping to connect with some Delmarva resident stripers and also spent the better part of a day fishing for some flounder.

As luck would have it, we didn't get skunked... But we didn't end up setting things on fire though either. Water temps were very high (in the upper 70s), which makes the striper fishing tough and also unfortunately tends to draw in numbers of huge stingrays. Had our fishing trip been centered around catching rays, we would have had an awesome time LOL! In the end, I ended up landing the trip's only striper (which actually was a very nice-sized one--for me especially, ha ha), and we each had to settle for just a couple small flounder. In fact, I think Bailey may have set the record for catching the smallest flounder on record! :)
 Back home in the rivers, My nephew Gabe and my Dad have been keeping some of the local smallmouths honest. In fact, Gabe caught a beautiful smallie a couple weeks ago that was his new personal best. He has also recently taken up fly fishing and has been enjoying catching a number of fish on flies that he has been tying lately. Not to be outdone by his brother, my nephew Bailey also adopted a new hobby this summer--noodling for catfish! Ha ha!
 In closing, I just want to thank you guys for dropping by my site and reading from time to time... Obviously it has been a while since I've posted any updates. With all that Marianne and I have going on at home, I would say that chances are this trend will continue through the coming months; however, I fully intend to keep the blog going here... And will in time get back to posting more often I am sure. As always, I wish you guys and gals best of luck when you get out on the water... Hopefully, I will be seeing you out there! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thumbs Up! It's Springtime!

Welcome back everyone! It's hard to believe that it has been over a month now since my last post... It seems like the time has just been flying by lately.

One thing has remained constant since my last entry, and that is the strange weather that we have been experiencing here in Central PA. We moved on from what was probably the warmest, wettest winter that I can remember, into an extremely dry and now (somewhat) cool spring. In fact, it was reported just a couple weeks ago that the Susquehanna River (in Harrisburg) was the lowest it has been in April since 1910... What strange weather!

Anyway, needless to say, the strange weather has affected our fishing... The warm temps that seemed to spark the springtime fishing so early this year, have since gone away. And the cooler nights have now brought our water temperatures back down to what I'd say is more typical for this time of the season.

From what I have seen, most places (in the river and local lakes) the majority of the bass are now on their beds. And some have probably already completed spawning. Still, with the early start our fish got this year, I believe if water temperatures remain steady and cool like they are now, we should see an extended spawning period. Let's hope that our local bass are successful at producing lots of little ones for the years to come--especially the smallmouth in our rivers. We need a booming year class of baby smallmouths, let's hope that it happens this year...

Just a note, as of today--May 1st--the season is closed for targeting smallmouth bass (until June 16th) on the lower Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers. So please keep that in mind if you are planning to do some river fishing in the next few weeks. The state has decided that our momma bass need some time to be left alone as they try to successfully spawn their young... Coming from a husband with a pregnant wifey at home... This sounds like a good idea to me! :)

As far as how things have been going lately on my own personal fishing front... I would have to say--pretty decent. I have been leaving the local bass alone for the most part lately, and focusing the majority of my effort on muskies, so needless to say the catching hasn't been too good. Still, I have been learning a lot lately and I have had quite a few close calls that really got the heart pumping.

One close call in particular did not even involve a fish... In fact, it involved just me and a plug (actually a beautiful, custom-made surface plug that had just been finished by Jeremy Wagner of Tuscarora Tackle). Jeremy had dropped the plug off for me the day prior, and I decided to take it down to the river to do some test casting with it. It didn't take me long to learn a valuable lesson--do not try to shut the trunk of your car while holding a fishing lure in the same hand. It seems I was the holding the lure upside down in my hand, and as I pushed down on the lid of the trunk, the back hook of the lure caught the spoiler. The rest was history, as the downward momentum of my hand drove the middle treble hook of the plug deep into the bottom knuckle of my thumb... Pretty nasty! There was blood, almost some tears, and needless to say I was out of commission for a little while. All I can say is thank God for my understanding wife (Marianne) who was willing to miss her scheduled pedicure appointment to drive her dumba$$ husband to the ER... I love you honey! :)
 Moving on from Homo sapiens (or in my case Homo habilis), believe it or not, I actually did put some hooks into some other species this month... In fact, between my Dad and I, my nephew Bailey, and my buddy Chad we actually landed quite a few different species of fish. Believe me when I say, I tried to get some musky pics for this entry. Unfortunately, it just wasn't in the cards, but not for lack of effort. Still, Dad and I did manage to land a few individuals of the other "esox" species that calls Pennsylvania home. I hope you guys enjoy the pics...
Before I close this entry, I would like to make a "shout out" for my good friend Andy Wagner, who (like me) resides in McAlisterville, PA. If you are an angler who has spent much time on some of the world famous trout waters that we are so blessed to have near our home here in the central portion of the state (like Penns Creek, Spring Creek, and the Little Juniata River), there is a good chance that you and Andy have crossed paths at some point over the years. If you haven't met Andy yet, you really should meet him in the future...

After guiding for other outfits for over 5 years, Andy just recently decided to launch his own, new, guiding business called PA Undercurrent Outfitters. If you click on the text, it will link you to his website. I have known Andy since way back when we were just little kids... probably even younger than grade school age. Almost as long as I have known Andy, he has had a passion for the outdoors and fishing--fly fishing in particular. Over the years he has grown into the most passionate and experienced fly fisherman (and fly tier) that I know. In fact, I would say that he probably fishes the hardest of all my fishing buddies. The term "Fly Bum" doesn't even begin to describe this guy.  So, if you are interested in booking a really great fly guide, one who has 5+ years experience guiding and teaching the art of fly fishing, definitely check out PA Undercurrent Outfitters. I know for sure you will not regret spending a day on the water with Andy.

Also, when you are on his website check out his blog... It is very well written, and contains some excellent photography... The pics of large, stream bread brown trout are pretty easy on the eyes as well--one one the most photogenic fish out there in my opinion.

For now, I don't have much else to say, so I guess I should conclude this entry. Thanks again for stopping by the site and as always, thanks for reading! Hopefully I will be back with you again here soon, and who knows, maybe I will even see you out there on the water!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is here! :)

Summer, whoops, I mean SPRING is here! hahah... Just for you guys and gals who may have been too busy soaking up the sun lately, instead of paying attention to your calendars... Today is the vernal equinox for 2012, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of Springtime here in the northern hemisphere. I look forward to this date each year, and this year I couldn't be happier. "Why?" You may ask... Because somehow we seemed to have skipped right through winter this year. No long periods of frigid cold temps, no snow, no ice, no battling dangerous road conditions--its' like mother nature hit the pause button for a few months back in November, and then skipped tracks straight ahead into Springtime.

Fortunately for us, the weather was not the only great thing about this past winter... The fishing was equally great. Most years once the middle or end of December rolls around, we start to see ice on our local flows here in central PA. It never happened this year. The rivers stayed wide open all winter long, and likewise we kept fishing all winter long.

Since my last report, (with the exception of our quick trip to Erie) we have spent a fair amount of time targeting bass and muskies in the rivers here locally, and we have been fortunate enough to make some pretty cool catches... My Dad made an especially great catch about two weeks ago. He and I were lucky enough to catch a nice period of falling water on the river after a strong rain had spiked the flow charts. We made a quick trip to hit a couple spots that we thought might hold some good fish... It didn't take Dad long. About 3 or 4 casts into our session he hooked up with a bruiser! The big musky fought hard and spent a lot of time on the surface thrashing its head. The big girl ended up measuring 42 inches and weighed 24.5 pounds--a big fat fish that was obviously full of eggs. It was a pleasure to watch her swim back to the depths... She woofed down a large-bodied, trout colored crankbait.

Dad wasn't the only guy in the family to have success with muskies lately either... My nephew Bailey joined my dad one afternoon for a quick musky hunt and had some success. In fact, he landed his first musky! A pretty 30 incher... WTG Bailey!

Obviously, the toothy critters hold a pretty special place in my heart, but for the most part the majority of our action the past couple of months has been with bass. I did pick up a small muskie one morning on my daily commute home from work, but mostly it has been picking up a couple bass here and there for me. My dad has been out slaying them most afternoons and a couple mornings as well... He has landed a few in the 20 inch plus range recently.
With all the warm temps that we have had lately, the bass are full-out in pre-spawn mode right now, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if some of them start spawning soon if these temperature trends continue. This is probably the best time of the year to get a shot at the largest bass in our local rivers and lakes, so if you have the time, get out there and enjoy the awesome weather that we have been having lately. It's not every year that we have summer weather in March, and the fish don't always wake up this early. Who knows, maybe you will catch a trophy.

However, please keep in mind the local bass fishing regulations that will be going into affect this spring. In the lower sections of the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers you will not be allowed to target bass during a designated spawning season, which runs from May 1st until June 15th. So, please be aware of the section of river you are fishing this spring and whether or not you are permitted to target the bass.

In closing, I am sure most of you have noticed that I haven't been updating my blog here nearly as much as I had in the past. I just wanted to let you all know I this will probably continue. Marianne and I are moving into a new phase of our life together... One that we are very excited about! Come September, we are going to have a new addition to our family... (and no it's not going to be another puppy dog---Lucy can breathe a sigh of relief) So if you happen to notice in the coming months that I haven't been on here to update my blog, you will know why-- I will have had many more important things to do, haha! Still, I will be back with updates from time to time, who knows , maybe even more than I think. So keep checking back... I will try to keep you updated as best I can. As always, thanks for reading, and hopefully I will see you guys out there on the water.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A late winter steelhead trip.... :)

First, you must start the morning out right! :)

Then, you must provide some breakfast for the fish...

The result is some happy anglers with some hungry fish... <><