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Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012
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The YOY (young of the year) surveys for smallies on the D are out. The short version is that the 2012 spawn was about average for this river when compared to data over the last couple decades. The good news was the bass production was a bit better than last year and pretty good in the upper river but, overall......pretty average.

Of note - if you look at the graphs, it's striking how good the spawn was in the 2005-2008 years with numbers way above average. These years produced good bass classes across much of the Mid Atlantic rivers (the lower Susky being an obvious exception) and these fish are now in the 12-16" size range.

Delaware YOY Link

Posted on: 2013/2/5 19:23


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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Thanks been concerned about the smallies here seeing as our catching fell thru the toilet the last few years. Hopefully this year is better

Posted on: 2013/2/6 7:38


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012
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Quote:

Love2fish wrote:
been concerned about the smallies here seeing as our catching fell thru the toilet the last few years.


Yeah, Afishinado, myself, and others haven't had great summer fly rodding for bass the last couple years or so.

My personal feeling is that this is unrelated to populations (except in the lower Susky where there really is fewer fish). I look at rivers with good population data, like the upper Potomac, and despite having clearly good fish populations, they don't fish as well for me as they used to. Please keep in mind I'm talking about summer fly fishing, mainly with poppers. The spring and fall fishing with streamers is gangbusters and I'm getting more big fish than ever. However, the summer bite that used to be so good on poppers every evening really seems to me to have changed. Maybe it's just me.
The fish are there.

Posted on: 2013/2/6 9:48


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Quote:

Love2fish wrote:
been concerned about the smallies here seeing as our catching fell thru the toilet the last few years.


Yeah, Afishinado, myself, and others haven't had great summer fly rodding for bass the last couple years or so.

My personal feeling is that this is unrelated to populations (except in the lower Susky where there really is fewer fish). I look at rivers with good population data, like the upper Potomac, and despite having clearly good fish populations, they don't fish as well for me as they used to. Please keep in mind I'm talking about summer fly fishing, mainly with poppers. The spring and fall fishing with streamers is gangbusters and I'm getting more big fish than ever. However, the summer bite that used to be so good on poppers every evening really seems to me to have changed. Maybe it's just me.
The fish are there.


Yup. Here's a stab at why. Below are the temps and Dissolved Oxygen readings for the Susky at Harrisburg.

Read the peaks for Temps and the valleys for DO (inverse relationship). The high temps and low DO in the summer could be the reason for the funk in fishing.

Attach file:



jpg  Temp.JPG (93.85 KB)
53_5112736b4352c.jpg 576X384 px

jpg  DO.JPG (91.77 KB)
53_51127378ca156.jpg 576X384 px

Posted on: 2013/2/6 10:15


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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We haven't been catching with flies or lures in places you lost count in years prior. Deep holes below and next to "white water"!! Don't think anyone really fished it either as you have to wade up to your armpits to get out there.

Posted on: 2013/2/6 12:29


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012
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Afish,
Yes, low DO and warm temps in the lower Susky are considered to be a possible reason for poor bass survival. Although the lower Susky is clean by traditional measurements there are some pollutants that are higher than usual these days (dissolved Phosphorous for example). As I keep saying, more study is needed to identify why bass are doing poorly there.

Getting back to the Delaware......
Love2Fish,
I'm not sure I understand your point above.

Those of you who fish this river regularly (I don't):
What trends have you noted? Is the fishing poor everywhere you fish or just certain reaches? Certain times of the year? Fish size? Clearly, bass YOY are holding up. The fish are there. What do you think may explain poor fishing on the Delaware River?

Posted on: 2013/2/6 13:01


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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The bass fishing on the big D has been outstanding for me. Last year was probably the best year and there have been some great years in the recent past.

Posted on: 2013/2/6 14:02


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Those of you who fish this river regularly (I don't):
What trends have you noted? Is the fishing poor everywhere you fish or just certain reaches? Certain times of the year? Fish size? Clearly, bass YOY are holding up. The fish are there. What do you think may explain poor fishing on the Delaware River?


I wouldn't say the bass fishing on the Delaware was poor this year by any means but the bycatch rate was way up. I've caught more trout and stripers than I have in the past. I fish a lot from Easton to Lambertville.

Posted on: 2013/2/6 20:54


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Afish,
Yes, low DO and warm temps in the lower Susky are considered to be a possible reason for poor bass survival. Although the lower Susky is clean by traditional measurements there are some pollutants that are higher than usual these days (dissolved Phosphorous for example). As I keep saying, more study is needed to identify why bass are doing poorly there.

Getting back to the Delaware......
Love2Fish,
I'm not sure I understand your point above.

Those of you who fish this river regularly (I don't):
What trends have you noted? Is the fishing poor everywhere you fish or just certain reaches? Certain times of the year? Fish size? Clearly, bass YOY are holding up. The fish are there. What do you think may explain poor fishing on the Delaware River?


The Susky at H-burg is one of the few gauges with temp and DO data. Anyway, my point is, the higher summer temps and thus lower DO, in the entire region last few years may have put the SMBs in a funk. Less chasing and less topwater action. Just a theory.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 7:52


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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jrmyln, are you fishing from a boat or wading?

GenCon

Posted on: 2013/2/7 8:05


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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Everywhere we fish the total catch, size, everything is way down the last 2 years. All season long from early spring summer and up to the fall. We are fishing from Trenton upto New Hope/Lambertville. Not sure the reasoning but I would think hundreds of cormorants hangin out well into mid summer that are eating anything under 10" could be leading to some problems. Which is also a issue that was noted at the Salmon River Hatchery. We also have had very poor top water fishing making us all but abandon top water, if it wasn't for the 18"ish stripers on 6-8 lbs test.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 9:00


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012
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Quote:

Love2fish wrote:
Everywhere we fish the total catch, size, everything is way down the last 2 years. All season long from early spring summer and up to the fall. We are fishing from Trenton upto New Hope/Lambertville. Not sure the reasoning but I would think hundreds of cormorants hangin out well into mid summer that are eating anything under 10" could be leading to some problems. Which is also a issue that was noted at the Salmon River Hatchery. We also have had very poor top water fishing making us all but abandon top water, if it wasn't for the 18"ish stripers on 6-8 lbs test.


Interesting. Thanks. There are certainly a lot of cormorants on the lower Susky too and many guides and local fishermen feel they are a major problem (if not the problem) with the bass there. Are cormorants common upriver in the Delaware too?

Personally, I'm undecided on the bird issue and think it may be blown out of proportion (although I cringed when I saw a cormorant patrolling the ditch at Big Spring about a year ago).
I don't see large numbers of cormorants on other rivers I frequent (like the Potomac and Juniata) and the summer top water bite still remains poor on those rivers as well. They can certainly eat a lot of fish. If any of you attended the symposium that the PFBC conducted a couple years ago on smallies....you might remember the photo a guide posted showing a cormorant swallowing a muskie that looked to be about two feet long(!). That got a reaction out of the crowd. Anyway, these rivers have a heckuva lot of forage fish for them to eat too. I think there is something else going on. It's almost as if bass in these rivers are changing their habits.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 9:12


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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I agree with what you said. I know guys that blame the birds which I feel is part of the issue but not the entire issue. They used to only be around during the herring run but now they are hanging well into summer. Hopefully it is a "normal valley" in the ever changing cycle.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 13:16


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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Quote:

GenCon wrote:
jrmyln, are you fishing from a boat or wading?
GenCon


The boat hasn't seen water in years. I use a kayak and use it more as a mode of transportation than actually fishing from it.




Posted on: 2013/2/7 13:48


Re: Delaware River - Smallmouth Bass YOY, 2012

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Quote:

Love2fish wrote:
I agree with what you said. I know guys that blame the birds which I feel is part of the issue but not the entire issue. They used to only be around during the herring run but now they are hanging well into summer. Hopefully it is a "normal valley" in the ever changing cycle.


My largest concern over the years has been the decline in aquatic grasses that used to cover the riverbed in some of the slackwater areas

Posted on: 2013/2/7 13:53






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