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!