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Re: 30" Browns

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2013/2/12 12:31
From Camp Hill, PA
Posts: 638
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The thread "afishinado" posted "Spawning Trout" should be read, if you ponder "to fish OR not to fish to spawners. "Link below to a great article about spawning trout, written by Steve Swensky of Fly Fishers Paradise in State College."

http://flyfishersparadise.com/learnin ... er/to-fish-or-not-to-fish

I do not condone fishing for Large trout in spawning mode. Look for them. Let them be. Then anticipate where they will be post spawn. Historically, it may have been acceptable to go after spawners...I currently, begin to believe it is not the ethically correct decision.

The 21" brown I have posted in the fish photos, was ripe with eggs. It was stuck below the dam as it migrated from the Susquehanna into the Yellow Breeches. This is not uncommon. It is disturbing, at some level, to see mature fish instinctively motivated to reach breeding waters and can't because of a dam. Some big fish, I am told, make it over the dam. I assume that flooding takes them over the dam and then they return later. This can be the case for wild and stocked fish.

RE: mishandling of fish. This too is a learning process as is any of the topics we discuss on here. I am on this sight to better myself in the activity I have come to love. Educate...and don't just scream about it! I have lots of pictures...hoist and grin type...that would trigger response. No gill grabs though. Gotta get that picture. I am working on it and encouraging many others I encounter. Being referred to as a serial "Fish Murderer" tends to make one think about their actions.

On that note..."Have A Super Sparkly Day"...you bunch mass murderers!

Posted on: 2013/11/5 12:37


Re: 30" Browns

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2013/6/6 14:16
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I keep seeing reference to electrofishing here as the means to "knowing" where these fish are. I can tell you right now, that PFBC doesn't have nearly the knowledge that you think they do regarding these kinds of outliers in the system. Sometimes, I question if they even know what the general population consists of, but that's another tangent...

Electrofishing, plain and simple, is an acceptable means of sampling to get an idea of what the general population is in an area. Start talking about truly large fish that may only comprise 0.5% of the population in the right river, and you have a very high likelihood of that fish never being found. It's a needle in a haystack, regardless of how you want to catch them.

First off, size of the fish has little to do with how effective the e-fishing is. Actually, the larger surface area of a bigger fish causes them to get hit harder. The preferred habitat of bigger fish during the day probably has something to do with them not turning up more often too, but again, we are talking about a small segment of stream being surveyed here. There may only be a few of them in a particular system. Again the law of averages is against finding one.

Also, there is a zone of effectiveness that comes with e-fishing gear that has what I like to call the "tickle range" where bigger fish feel the outside edge of the juice, and power out of there before being hit hard enough to stun. This is where the size, and related power of bigger fish comes into play. Unless you have them pinned against an obstruction, such as a rootwad, riffle, or a block net, they are often gone before you even knew they were there. Look into the difficulty PFBC is having with finding a suitable system for assessing river muskies (it's in their management plan), and you'll get a better understanding of the limitations of e-fishing.

The bottom line is that we all know those fish are out there, and we even have a pretty good idea of where they are. what makes them special is that they are so rare. If everybody could catch a 30" trout, we'd be talking about 40" trout here. That's just the way it goes.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 13:23


Re: 30" Browns

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2010/1/7 0:41
From "THE VILLE"
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River muskys are on the move constantly. I've caught purebreds miles, I'm talking like 25 away from the closest stocking points. And a 30 inch trout would no different as far as the predatory aspect as far as cover and food as a 30" musky or more so a pike. Each has a different temporal need. But are alpha predators in there own right. I think that's why allgheny below kinzua is such a greatb trophy trout and musky fishery.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 14:27
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Re: 30" Browns

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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I'm looking for comment from Just_Jon or Dave Weaver to support my wild claims of "the ditch" holding absolute monsters back in the 80's. Mostly Brown but some bows were in there too. You could park and walk to the pipe and see 100 fish in the 4 pound range and 10 fish near the 10 pound range. I know it wasn't good for the resource but the feeshin was good.

I'll agree with prior posts that there are some beasts that live in what most of us would call marginal water. Without a doubt, there are trout that live in the Susky, Swattie and other waters where most would fish for bass or chubs. I've seen a photo from a guide of a 28" brown that they took on the Delaware River about 20 miles below what many would consider "trout water". It was taken while bass fishing.

There's no doubt that the Yough, Delaware, Lehigh and below Kinzua all hold some fish that would threaten the 30" mark on a tape measure. The CV limestoners also hold that type of fish.

In one of the early posts, someone mentioned a beast near Cacoosing over on the Tully. I'd call BS but one morning during the trico hatch we had 3-4 forum members fishing that area and one of the guys waved me down. "See if you can get him to take something. I've tried everything." and then he pointed to an enormous brown that was over 25".

Sas,
If you are going to do this, you'll need to put your tomato plant stake away and get out the graphite pole. :)

Posted on: 2013/11/5 14:36
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Re: 30" Browns

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2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
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Kray, yeah there were some huge fish in the ditch...caught this 'bow below the outlet, but above the road bridge in '96. 26-27"er?

Resized Image

The ditch did hold some very big fish back in those days, but not sure if I'd consider any of them wild...as messed up as that stream was, I always figured the vast, overwhelming majority of the fish packed into the ditch were escapees from the hatchery, other than the occasional brookie with that unique kink in its fin.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 15:49


Re: 30" Browns
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9283
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Quote:

krayfish wrote:
I'm looking for comment from Just_Jon or Dave Weaver to support my wild claims of "the ditch" holding absolute monsters back in the 80's.
:)


Heck, you don't need me to verify this (it's true).

I remember some enormous fish there. I don't think any that I saw were an honest 30" but some were mighty close. About 14 years ago I remember seeing two big fish in the ditch laid up next to each other, a brown and a bow. The bow just dwarfed the brown. I cast a small scud at the bow and remember watching the "little" brown swim over to eat it. I almost pulled the fly away. Anyway, I got the little brown and he taped 21 inches. The bow was at least a tail longer and then some - maybe 27 to 29(?). There were bigger fish than that. They're still there although spread out these days (the browns are getting scarce but are still there too and big ones continue to be caught, including recently).
The Don Martin state record brown was an honest 30+ fish caught back in the late 40s when the ditch was an impoundment. Back in the 80s it was rumored that a 30+ lived below the old fish barrier and I tried back then to catch him but I never saw that fish (this barrier is gone today).
There was similar local lore about a 30+ that lived in Spring Creek in the Paradise at that time too. According to locals, this guy lived below the jack dam just above the metal bridge (that jack dam is gone today and the bridge is now a stone arch). I never saw him either. Such stories kept many of us young FFers motivated back then.....as I suppose they do for every generation. Although extremely rare, 30 inch brown trout do exist in PA streams and rivers. Just gotta keep casting.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 17:23


Re: 30" Browns
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Tomi,
Wow, that's a pig - looks to be about 8 lbs or so?

Posted on: 2013/11/5 17:24


Re: 30" Browns

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
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Dave,

I also tried to get one of the rumored hogs below the deflector without any luck. If you know where the spring seep is (mid ditch)., there was habitat made of phone poles. Had a brown ease out from undercut bank, grab my 7" brookie and head under the phone poles. He simply swallowed ny fish and left. Guessing he was over 10 pounds.

I'm also familiar with the story of the paradise monster. Fished below the jack dam that's now gonne and snagged my sculpin. Guy driving stocking truck stopped and ran down yelling "did you get hm.? I explained that I was snagged and he told me they shocked paradise 2 days ago and it yielded a 36" fish from that pool. !! Not many of them but they do swim among us.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 18:00
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Re: 30" Browns

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2006/11/10 8:32
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The objective in PFBC sampling is to get representative samples; it is not to find the biggest fish in each stream. This means that while there may be large holes on a given stream, if the large holes are not representative of the stream's typical habitat, sampling sites may not be located to include them.

PFBC electrofishing crews miss big fish in wadable streams; they don't miss a lot of big fish. When holes are not wadable or when they are only partially wadable, some big fish are going to get by. Often, large fish are flushed out of hiding by the electrical field and, in effect, are pushed upstream to wadable water where they are captured. Furthermore, when the population is large enough, a second electrofishing pass or even a third one occurs, giving personnel two or three shots at the fish that evaded them on the first pass. Few evade two passes. Nevertheless, some holes just are not wadable or capable of being sampled effectively by a wading crew.

On larger streams, such as Penns, boat electrofishing is very efffective. It is more of a crap shoot in rivers when boat electrofishing, however. In those river situations, the best one can hope for is to get a representative sample rather than one that is exhaustive unless a very substantial effort, possibly involving multiple days and multiple crews is put forth.

Thirty inch fish are not representative in Pa. Additionally, there is no relationship between the ability of PFBC boat electrofishing crews on rivers to collect muskellunge and their ability to collect similar size trout. There are vast differences between the two fish families and their respective reactions to electrical fields. Trout are easily caught! To perhaps think that 30" fish, just because of their size and regardless of species, would present at challenge to PFBC electrofishing gear would also be an error. For example, numerous 30 inch and longer striped bass are electrofished from the Delaware River with limited difficulty each spring. These fish are much more powerful than a 30 inch trout. Some species have higher conductivities than others, and those that conduct electricity better are affected more by the electrical current. Furthermore, with respect to body structure, it is the length of the fish that is important. The greater the length, the greater the difference in electrical potential from head to tail, and the greater the impact of the electrical current. I am unaware of any relationship (or else don't recall it) between fish surface area and the reaction to electrical fields.

As for the largest trout that I have electrofished, it was a 29 inch brown trout from the ditch at Big Spring back in the late 1970's. My experiences on Penns, Ltl J, Spring, Fishing, Ltl Lehigh, Loyalsock, Kettle, Falling Springs, Codorus, Bushkill, and Letort never came close to that. Only Logan Branch approached it with a 27 inch brown. We work many "off the beaten path" streams around the state and "off the beaten path" locations on many of those streams; we also receive numerous reports from anglers and hear numerous rumors. It is worthwhile repeating: there aren't many thirty inch browns around.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 20:45


Re: 30" Browns

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2012/5/7 14:55
From Cambria County
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While I didn't have a tape with me, this guy went well into the 20's. I was thinking it may have been the brown of a lifetime for myself. Caught in a FFO section of a popular limestoner. I've caught two from this same pool that were on par with this one. Talking to the locals, they claim there are bigger ones lurking in there. So my school of thought is if they can get this big in pressured water, I'd love to see what can be found off the beaten path.

Resized Image

Posted on: 2013/11/5 20:47


Re: 30" Browns

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So after five pages of rumors and stories and pictures and stats from the PFBC--outside of trout from Erie and other large lakes--no proof of 30" fish from any PA stream or river has been set forth. Some have come close, but perhaps the upper 20s is the absolute limit in the flowing waters of the commonwealth.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 20:56
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Re: 30" Browns

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2010/8/12 17:05
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In response to sbeckers comments. I thought this was a 30" fish thread not a fish handling thread. First of all I am 100% sure the fish was fine. Second of all I really dislike passive aggressive people and know it alls. sbecker I know a little more than you might think. I know it wasn't the best way to handle a fish but what you didn't know was i only touched the gill plate and mouth. Its a little easier to hold a fish of that size and avoid the gills. I was very careful not to touch the gills and that fish was out of the water 5 seconds max. I catch plenty of large trout and am almost always alone with no camera. So this one time I had someone there with a camera and seen it was hard to a good estimate of actual size from the first pic based on the perspective. I only decided to carefully pull the fish from the water after i seen the pic turned out bad. That would have never happened if the first pic gave a better representation of actual size. sbecker I knew someone such as yourself would say it was a "fishtale" if there wasn't a better perspective. So knowing a thing about the perspective of photos I got into a position I knew would provide a better perspective even if the photo did not turn out well. I was just happy and grateful someone was there with a camera to take pics. The fish had plenty of fight in it, it was unharmed. As pcray1231 states, "monsters like that are a lot hardier than your run of the mill 10 incher." I totally agree.
On a side note sbecker you know nothing about me don't assume what this guy knows and doesn't know. The animosity and trying to insult my intelligence is unnecessary. I would be happy to meet and discuss what you think I know and don't know. Heck, I'd even be willing to put my money where my mouth is and say 24hrs on an arbitrary river with a $500 wager for the biggest trout between the two of us. Guarantee the results won't be what you expect.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 21:06


Re: 30" Browns

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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Quote:

greenghost wrote:
So after five pages of rumors and stories and pictures and stats from the PFBC--outside of trout from Erie and other large lakes--no proof of 30" fish from any PA stream or river has been set forth. Some have come close, but perhaps the upper 20s is the absolute limit in the flowing waters of the commonwealth.



You're looking at a relatively small sample size for the state of Pennsylvania here. Also I would venture to say that if there are 30" fish in PA, a fly rod is not the weapon of choice to catch it so this is the wrong audience to talk to. I suck at catching big trout, but maybe I have to actually fish in order to catch anything of size. I did however catch one of the biggest smallies I've seen on this site, but that's a whole other thread.

(cabin fever seems to be setting in already on PAFF)

Posted on: 2013/11/5 21:18
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Re: 30" Browns

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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You must have missed this post; it's the only visual that claims to be over 30". All other claims are from lakes, Erie-run fish, or are the one that got away (I caught one that was 26", but saw one that was at least ten inches bigger, man!).

There's a lot that is reported as fact, but I wonder how much of that is whisper-down-the-lane knowledge that gets twisted as it gets whispered. For instance, a fish biologist has posted, who I would deem to be qualified to speak to the effectiveness of electrofishing. Others have posted, who state that they have talked to PFBC guys, and out of that, we have that the PFBC admits they miss all the big fish??

Was thinking of doing a summary of the thread as I see it, with my own opinions mixed in:

1) 30" browns exist.
2) They are rare and are not often hooked, caught, or handled.
3) Many of them exist in our minds or are the ones that got away.
4) Water makes fish look bigger than they really are (or people are far better at accurately estimating fish length at distance, through a medium that has a different refractive index than air).
5) Big browns may inhabit non-traditional trout habitat. I, for one, am a firm believer that the length of the Susquehanna is a conduit for browns. The vastness of the large rivers of the state and the transient nature of the fish make catching them all the more difficult.
6) CV and Central PA limestoners are the other areas to target. Other limestoners may hold fish too (see for instance one of the repeat anglers on the biggest fish in PA; three fish came from the same stream, although there is a chance they are also all pelletheads, given the stream).

I'm back to my original analogy - 30" browns are the mountain lions of trout in PA They exist, but there aren't too many of them around. If I ever catch a 30" brown, I will post it and I will name the thread "Lion Trout". On the next episode of Wild PAFF - Stalking the native 20" brookie..

Posted on: 2013/11/5 21:20


Re: 30" Browns

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2012/5/7 14:55
From Cambria County
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I believe you've hit the nail on the head Ryguyfi. Cabin fever is already setting in for some and it's only November. Settle in boys, it's going to be a long, cold winter at this rate.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 21:33



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