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Susky....bass opener

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Just spent 2 days on the river baking in the heat. It's still stained, a tad high and the bass seemed disinterested. Guided Saturday and we managed just a few. Changed sections today and fished with my nephew. Fish chased our offering but wouldn't strike. Had several fish swipe as to simply chase it away. The fish were scattered around and no pattern of where they might be holding. They should move to their normal summer locations in the next 1-2 weeks as the river drops / clears. I'd expect things to improve shortly. For now, I'd say find something else to do.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 0:04


Re: Susky....bass opener

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I know it is different than the big river, but the Juniata fished awesomely well yesterday. Smallmouths, Rockies, and redbreasts were all in slack water areas created by old eel dams, sunken islands, shoreline cuts, etc. I took fish on Chernobyl Ants, Sneaky Pete, and black streamers. The streamers far out fished the surface patterns given how high and stained the river still is. It was also only 68° which is definitely on the cool side for this time of year. I think that I'll be finding some time to head out again today.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 7:12


Re: Susky....bass opener
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Great to see WW reports.

Time to stow away the trout tackle and break out the smallie rods.

Early season, right after the spawn and in higher murky water is most often a littler tougher fishing, but things should pick up.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 8:07


Re: Susky....bass opener
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Like so much of the spring trout season, the bass game is likely a bit behind the curve and tough to pattern this year. Water levels on local creeks are still very high and cold - I may actually stick with trout for another week or two .

The bigger rivers are also cold for mid-June and the heavy flows and turbidity that have prevailed for so long may have bass relating more to springtime patterns for awhile (close to shoreline cover, grouped in slack water, etc). Might be a good opportunity to target muskies or walleyes in the meantime. The Susky at Hburg is 4.2' as of this morning. That's not bad and certainly fishable, although still high for wading in my book.
The forecast for the next few days is more typical for June and this may get the rivers back on track to the summer game.

Thanks Krayfish and Jifigz for the reports.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 8:28


Re: Susky....bass opener

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Here is an update on my Juniata experience today.

The river has dropped by about a 6 inches or so and visibility cleared just a touch. The water did warm by 4° since yesterday and is now at 72°. I took my fiberglass 4 weight down to the river to specifically target redbreasts and rock bass today. I ended up landing close to 50 fish in 2 hours of fishing. I started off tossing a small gurgler to a very protected island cove and picked up some rockies and RBS. I then moved to the other side of the island and threw a purple bugger. This accounted for several more RBS and rockies and and some bass about 12" out of a nice riffle drop off. I then worked my way down to one of my favorite areas for this time of year which is a small sunken island (at least right now) below the large island. I picked up a fair more number of RBS and rockies and a couple more smallish bass. I then decided to try a fly I designed over the colder months that I meant as a hellgramite imitation. This is when things really picked up. I tossed the fly just over the edge of the sunken island to see how it would sink and a rockie crushed it. I thought "okay, that is a promising start for a new fly." On my very next cast I set the hook on something heavier than I'd felt yet today, a nice and chunky 18" smallie. I fished this fly just downstream of this same sunken island for about 45 minutes. In that time the hellgie imitation brought me three bass all in the 18" range, and couple more smallies in the 14-15" range, and a multitude of RBS and rockies. That was the only one I've ever tied but now I'll be creating more. That first one doesn't look so good anymore. I decided to quit before a large smallie might break my favorite trout rod.

Also, today was my first day of the year to wet wade. It felt amazing and I'm so glad that this time of the year is FINALLY upon us.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 15:40


Re: Susky....bass opener
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Quote:

jifigz wrote:
Here is an update on my Juniata experience today.

The river has dropped by about a 6 inches or so and visibility cleared just a touch. The water did warm by 4° since yesterday and is now at 72°. I took my fiberglass 4 weight down to the river to specifically target redbreasts and rock bass today. I ended up landing close to 50 fish in 2 hours of fishing. I started off tossing a small gurgler to a very protected island cove and picked up some rockies and RBS. I then moved to the other side of the island and threw a purple bugger. This accounted for several more RBS and rockies and and some bass about 12" out of a nice riffle drop off. I then worked my way down to one of my favorite areas for this time of year which is a small sunken island (at least right now) below the large island. I picked up a fair more number of RBS and rockies and a couple more smallish bass. I then decided to try a fly I designed over the colder months that I meant as a hellgramite imitation. This is when things really picked up. I tossed the fly just over the edge of the sunken island to see how it would sink and a rockie crushed it. I thought "okay, that is a promising start for a new fly." On my very next cast I set the hook on something heavier than I'd felt yet today, a nice and chunky 18" smallie. I fished this fly just downstream of this same sunken island for about 45 minutes. In that time the hellgie imitation brought me three bass all in the 18" range, and couple more smallies in the 14-15" range, and a multitude of RBS and rockies. That was the only one I've ever tied but now I'll be creating more. That first one doesn't look so good anymore. I decided to quit before a large smallie might break my favorite trout rod.

Also, today was my first day of the year to wet wade. It felt amazing and I'm so glad that this time of the year is FINALLY upon us.



^^^THAT'S what I talkin' about!!!

Thanks for the report!!

The summer season has arrived!!

Posted on: 2018/6/18 15:47


Re: Susky....bass opener

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Afishinado,

I was pleasantly surprised by those nice bass that all occurred within 10 or 15 minutes of each other on my first use of a new fly. That was a great feeling. I wasn't carrying a net and I was honestly a little worried landing those on that fiberglass 4 weight. When I had to put some serious bend in the rod to get my leader in my left hand I heard some creaking noises that I didn't much care for.

I wish I could have given you some cool pictures but it is just too hard while wet wading and handling a rod, fish, getting the phone out of the sling pack and the ziplock baggie, etc. The one 18" smallie had those beautiful dark snake like markings on a very pale bronze background. I love smallies with those markings.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 16:05


Re: Susky....bass opener

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What is a sunken island?

And where are there eel dams on the Juniata River? That would be an interesting historical feature to see.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 16:25


Re: Susky....bass opener
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Quote:

jifigz wrote:
Afishinado,

I was pleasantly surprised by those nice bass that all occurred within 10 or 15 minutes of each other on my first use of a new fly. That was a great feeling. I wasn't carrying a net and I was honestly a little worried landing those on that fiberglass 4 weight. When I had to put some serious bend in the rod to get my leader in my left hand I heard some creaking noises that I didn't much care for.

I wish I could have given you some cool pictures but it is just too hard while wet wading and handling a rod, fish, getting the phone out of the sling pack and the ziplock baggie, etc. The one 18" smallie had those beautiful dark snake like markings on a very pale bronze background. I love smallies with those markings.



Good stuff. Just about every smallie season I tie up some new patterns to try. This season is no exception; I tied up a few versions of smallie flies using the dragon tail material that I ordered over the winter. It's great trying them out, and even better when they prove to catch fish. Nice!!....Good luck with your new pattern.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 16:30


Re: Susky....bass opener

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I fished one of my favorite small local warmwater creeks last evening. Did very well underneath with a weighted olive wooly bugger catching many smallies and rock bass. No Redbreast sunnies yet. Nothing with much size but a lot of fun none the less. It was great to see the bass back up into the smaller warmwater fisheries. It was a beautiful evening to be on the stream and I truly enjoyed it. Bring on the warmwater season!

Posted on: 2018/6/18 16:48


Re: Susky....bass opener

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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
What is a sunken island?

And where are there eel dams on the Juniata River? That would be an interesting historical feature to see.


Yes, I should say submerged island as it will eventually, yet barely, rise above the water. In fact, dry ground is rarely above the water here. And to answer your question a sunken island is a piece of land that is no longer land thanks to a disaster.

Eel dams are literally all through the Juniata River anywhere I've ever fished. They are the wing dams in the shape of the "V" that create many of the wonderful riffle habitat in the Juniata. Those are not natural formations. They were built up and the single opening in the "V" shape would push all the eels to one specific area to get through where they could easily be netted/caught as they were making their spawning runs to the sea. In fact, it was a rather large commercial fishery which existed in the Susquehanna and Delaware river systems.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 16:51


Re: Susky....bass opener
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Motivating stuff.

I'm not surprised the hellgrammite nymph slayed 'em. This is the time of year the nymphs start moving and I think bass sometimes key on them in and below riffles. Truth be told, a big buggy nymph with rubber legs kills RBS and rockies year round.... but I think this time of year a large nymph is really a good fly to prospect with. Crayfish and minnow patterns are better later in the summer.

Posted on: 2018/6/18 18:35


Re: Susky....bass opener

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Well, there was certainly a big difference in quality of catching between the big river and the J this weekend.
Saturday had hundreds of boats out for the opener on the Susky. Every lot was filled to capacity with trailers. The fishing was so bad....saw 2 boats Sunday in 8 miles.

Posted on: 2018/6/19 7:49
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Re: Susky....bass opener

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Quote:

krayfish2 wrote:
Well, there was certainly a big difference in quality of catching between the big river and the J this weekend.
Saturday had hundreds of boats out for the opener on the Susky. Every lot was filled to capacity with trailers. The fishing was so bad....saw 2 boats Sunday in 8 miles.


It must have been bad then. I am so glad that I do not have a "bass opener" here other than a start to the harvesting season (although it has been quite a few years since I've kept a bass.) It rained a bunch here overnight and it rained hard. I hope it didn't raise or muddy the river too much.

Posted on: 2018/6/19 8:44


Re: Susky....bass opener

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I thought you were below Port Royal. The rain here was steady and I assume a majority of it soaked in. The J will probably be sending mud down from Lewiston for the next week. Crap

Posted on: 2018/6/19 9:34
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