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Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)
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From time to time, when the debate returns to IDing various fishes - usually minnows and such - I'll reiterate my admiration for fallfish. And no, we're not talking about chubs and shiners here. Fallfish grow much larger, I've caught 'em up to 19 inches, and they're aggresive predators. They like current, hit dry flies, smash swinging wets, and love streamers. Although they don't jump when hooked (at least I've never seen this), they put up a very good fight in warm water - stronger than trout of similar size in my opinion. Here's a big brute I caught this evening: seventeen inches long and, I'd estimate, well over two pounds (obviously an egg laden female). Little wimpy minnows that hit worms? This guy crushed an articulated streamer fly nearly five inches long. Big fallfish like this seem to be concentrated in certain streams, usually mid- sized, warm water rivers. If you find these big fallies, you're in for a good time. They've saved some days for me, putting a respectable bend in a 7WT rod when the bass wouldn't cooperate.

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Posted on: 2011/4/11 22:52


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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Nice I have caught some nice ones in the Brandywine but never that big . They hit just about anything a smallie would IMHO

Posted on: 2011/4/11 23:32
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Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)
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I once caught 4 over 12" on a #2 Mepps spinner out of a skinny riffle while bass fishing on the Conowago north of York. Thought I has a smallie on the first two.....then it just became routine. One after another.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 23:49
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Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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Ive caught them in the size you describe in the Swattie. They are a ton of fun.

Posted on: 2011/4/12 1:27
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Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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From Pine Grove
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Quote:

salvelinusfontinalis wrote:
Ive caught them in the size you describe in the Swattie. They are a ton of fun.


Oh yeah!

Boyer

Posted on: 2011/4/12 7:30


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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From North Central PA
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Fallfish need love too, man!!

Posted on: 2011/4/12 12:02
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Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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They were my teachers .
I once caught a funny looking fish while fishing for fallfish-took it home and asked my father what it was-he said it was a brown trout.
I was about ten at the time but was still snob enough to think it was somehow better than the fallfish and sunnies I had been catching[and releasing].

Posted on: 2011/4/13 4:29
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Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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2009/12/16 11:21
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A yr or two back on a float trip down pine creek i caught a 18-19 incher in one hole then a 17 incher in the next hole down. Both caught on a bass plug-a ~4in jointed rapala. I do respect them, but i have to say i was a little disapointed when i realized they were fallfish. I thought i tied into a nice smallie or a big brown.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 10:29


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)
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Quote:

iceyguides wrote:
I thought i tied into a nice smallie or a big brown.


And, of course, this is why they deserve that respect.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 11:09


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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2010/4/17 8:10
From Ransom, Pennsylvania
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Quote:

iceyguides wrote:
I thought i tied into a nice smallie or a big brown.


And, of course, this is why they deserve that respect.


exactly why I don't discriminate...I'll throw a fly at just about anything, even bullfrogs and snapping turtles...

Posted on: 2011/4/13 12:02


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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2010/11/2 21:16
From Maytown, PA
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Are they good table fare?

Posted on: 2011/4/13 22:50


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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2009/8/12 11:55
From chester county
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From what little I have heard they taste terrible.

I havent caught any over 14", but my opinion so far is that they are nowhere close to wild browns or smallies in fighting ability. Fallfish hit like a truck, but after that they just shake their heads and zigzag back and forth for a few seconds, then you just reel them in. they are heavier than trout of the same length, but imo dont have the explosive speed and underwater twisting ability that can make good size trout hard to land, or the determination that makes smallies so much fun.

I will admit though, it is fun when they smack a Rebel crawdad plug the second it hits the water.

Posted on: 2011/4/14 1:03
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PA stream miles fished: 69.0
Miles of stream in PA: Roughly 40,000
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Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)
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From Gettysburg
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I've never eaten one.

Regarding their fighting ability - I think they're very respectable and stand by my claim that they're as good or better than similar sized trout (although I think smallies can still outpull 'em, but not by much). One thing I've noticed is that fallies fight much harder in warmer water, they're slugs in the cold. Usually when I catch fallies it's when I'm bass fishing on bigger waters and using a 7WT or larger rod. Catching 10" fallfish on 7WT bass tackle might not seem so much fun.... but neither would a 10" trout.

Posted on: 2011/4/14 6:37


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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2009/8/12 11:55
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Interesting that you mention temperature. Now that I think about it, I havent caught any really big ones in warm weather.

Posted on: 2011/4/14 16:56
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PA stream miles fished: 69.0
Miles of stream in PA: Roughly 40,000
Percent Complete: 0.173%


Re: Lunker Fallfish! (seriously)

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I've never caught a big fallfish. Maybe I have been being a snob, but I have always been disappointed when I realized my catch was not what I was intending it to be.

But like PSU said, every time I caught them, they were in the cold.

The last fallfish I caught was a few days ago on a PT. He pooped on me.

Posted on: 2011/5/4 3:12

Edited by Fishidiot on 2011/5/4 7:04:34
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