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Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2009/6/11 1:27
From York, PA
Posts: 1415
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Foxtrapper,
Still remember the Onida Victor #2 coil spring trap?
How bout OL Butcher and his "dirt hole" set?
Fur, Fish, and Game magazine?

My, how things have changed!

Posted on: 2012/2/17 1:02


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 595
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Prior to my retirement in 2005 I could go out pretty much day after day, in various sections along the Susky, and catch at least a dozen 10" - 15" smallmouth. It was a phenomenal fishery; I remember once in the late afternoon in July of 1999 I had a friend from NY visit and we wade fished below the new Rte 30 bridge in Wrightsville my friend landed 54 bass on just one Clouser minnow! It was a stellar night. Now those 54 bass were not all 12" - 15" fish but still they were all nice 9" - 14" bass and very scrappy. Then at dusk the White flies started ro emerger and we had another hour of dry fly fishing.

I had a lot of anticipation that after retiring I would get out on the river early in the morning with my boat and have a great morning on poppers and Clousers until it got too hot to fish. That just never happened as the summer of 2005 was the beginning of that fungus issue on the river.

Since the summer of 2005 I have never caught more than 2 - 3 fish per outing and there have been many days when I didn't catch a single fish. I still do well above Duncannon but with the price of gas approaching $4.00 I just can't afford to be driving up there very often and surely not dragging a boat with me. I have read some of the reports in the pages of PA Angler & Boater about how it is coming back and guys are doing well in the affected area (Harrisburg to Conowingo) and I just don't believe it. I see guys coming off the river who throw plugs, spinnerbaits, all sorts of hardware and tell me they feel lucky if they get half a dozen all day. It's a shame but it seems like the PFBC doesn't seem to think it is an issue that deserves very much attention. Changing the regs to make the river No-Kill from Harrisburg south isn't going to fix the problem.

Posted on: 2012/2/18 8:12
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Re: Susquehanna woes

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2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2198
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Dear westbranch,

I hear you but I'm perhaps a bit more optimistic about things.

You get different reports of what the real problem is but one thing is for certain, we have had a decade of poor spawning results on the lower Susquehanna.

Personally, I think there are a number of factors at work not the least of which are agricultural pollutants and run-off but those seem to be dismissed as soon as they are brought up.

That being said, I think the new regulations are step in the right direction. They will allow for an unmolested spawning period, something that hasn't existed for many years.

Will that be enough, I don't know, but at least it's something to work with.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2012/2/18 21:09
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"Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel, and they tortured the timber and stripped all the land. Well they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken, then they wrote it all down as the progress of man."


Re: Susquehanna woes
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Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7112
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Quote:

wbranch wrote:
Changing the regs to make the river No-Kill from Harrisburg south isn't going to fix the problem.


Its all that can be done for now...the last hope for a once great fishery is to allow the nearly only recruitment producers to not end up on a stringer. Its hanging by a thread and those 15"-20" bass that are left are that string.

let them live.

maurice

Posted on: 2012/2/18 21:59
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2010/8/23 12:36
From Cumberland
Posts: 200
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It really is a shame, The Conodoguinet is my backyard creek and i will fish it almost everyday of the year and to know its spreading to the smallies up here... man.

Posted on: 2012/2/18 22:30
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Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2009/6/11 1:27
From York, PA
Posts: 1415
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Quote:

we wade fished below the new Rte 30 bridge in Wrightsville my friend landed 54 bass on just one Clouser minnow!


Same here! that was my old stampin' grounds. I think I still know every rock in the river between the bridges.
And at dusk? even without the white fly hatch there is a smaller hatch every night on the river all summer and into fall. I used to watch the white fly hatch go upstream every couple days until it ended in Duncannon.
Even without a bass kill (I never kept any anyway) what about the silt and hormones and super hot summer water?
But I hope things will return?

Posted on: 2012/2/18 23:36


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2008/12/29 12:54
From Frederick, MD & New Philly, OH
Posts: 445
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Lefty Krey mentioned in his book, "My Life Was This Big", that the Potomac fished much better in the 50's to 70's than today. If I remeber it right, his theory was that the river system was dirtier than it is currently. My mentor(who passed last year) was 60 and said the Mac was waaaay dirtier before the Clean Water Act and fished much better for all species before the Act He grew up in Seneca on the river. Maybe this is part of the problem? Are our rivers to clean? Could it be this, what happens when the cultures at sewage plants go bad? They dump the sewage. This happens all the time. I think aggricultue, sewage, and high river temps have lead to the decline of fish. Causing increased deceases and fish fills. The lower Susky took a turn for the worst after the extreemly hot summers of 01-03. The algea bloom those years was discusting. I only fish the Susky in the fall and spring now. I'm still able to find large smallies in 40-50 fish numbers. But in the summer...it's a waste of time. I hope the lower river comes back, it was my favorite fishing destination.

Posted on: 2012/2/21 11:50
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When I grow up I want to be, one of the harvesters of the sea. I think before my days are done, I want to be a fisherman.
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Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2009/9/9 13:21
From North Central PA
Posts: 779
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Hey Midge... in the heat of the summer you need to hit the tribs:

Wysox from the SR6 bridge to Smecks Farm
Wyalusing from SR 6 bridge to Taylors
Towanda from the Airport Road bridge alll the wayyyy up to Con's Road.
Sugar from the SR 6 bridge to Burlington
Sugar Run from the mouth to the first bridge

You will find the smallies... they like the cool creek water!! Trust me on this! That's why the Bass N' Bourbon festival in the middle of July hits up the creeks instead of solely fishing the NB Suskie.

Posted on: 2012/2/21 12:55
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Re: Susquehanna woes

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2006/11/10 8:32
Posts: 1805
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wbranch: I know a very good SMB angler from the Reading area who has been fishing the river in the Harrisburg area for 30 years. He had his best year ever in 2011, mainly because of the late winter and late fall catches. When the river was down enough he was able to catch over 600 bass. Timing is everything in fishing and many guys seem to hang it up for the year just when the fishing is getting good and then repeat their error in spring by starting too late. Fishing the late fall and late winter concentrations of SMB have been the key to great catches in recent years.

Posted on: 2012/2/22 16:15


Re: Susquehanna woes

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2006/9/9 22:44
Posts: 744
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So is the 'hanna now a fall/winter fishery? That's sarcasm.

I guess at least we got that going for us.


Posted on: 2012/2/22 16:54


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2008/12/29 12:54
From Frederick, MD & New Philly, OH
Posts: 445
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+1 on the above post...what about the 100 fish days of the summer?

Posted on: 2012/2/23 10:11
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When I grow up I want to be, one of the harvesters of the sea. I think before my days are done, I want to be a fisherman.
"I'll live and die a fisherman."


Re: Susquehanna woes
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9278
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Quote:

midgeman wrote:
+1 on the above post...what about the 100 fish days of the summer?


I think most of us who are (or were) avid bass fishermen on the lower Susky for many years understand that the summer fishery has been largely lost. I rarely bother pursuing bass during these months anymore in that part of the river.
However, I think Mike's point is merely that the entire fishery has not been lost and that good catches are still possible, albeit on a seasonal basis when bass are easier to find in concentrated areas. Just speaking from my own personal experience: I always caught larger bass in the pre-spawn and autumn months than I did in summer. This was true before the bass crash and remains true today pretty much in every river I fish. The population in the lower Susky, as you know, is disproportionately older fish. It simply follows that you'll still have the good seasonal fishing for these larger fish. Do I wish the younger fish were back like they were in the 90s when fifty fish days were common in summer? Of course. Is there still some good bass fishing in the lower Susky if you know the river and fish in spring and fall? Yes.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 11:12


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2011/7/22 16:45
From Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
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I agree with Fishidiot. I see enough fishing reports from guys fishing the river below Harrisburg to know the river is not totally devoid of fish. 30 fish days with the fish ranging from 15-20 inches are typical. Traditionally the bigger fish have been caught during the cold weather months. If it's smaller fish you want there are many creeks that are full of both smallmouth and largemouth. There are so many in some areas they are actually a nuisance.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 20:27


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2009/6/11 1:27
From York, PA
Posts: 1415
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Quote:

30 fish days with the fish ranging from 15-20 inches are typical.


Yeah, I know most of those guys! They still have bass boats and cast green pumpkin tubes with 20lb Power Pro for miles along the couple spots that produce and still catch a few bass.
But, they just won't look at the big picture? They brag about a couple big spawners they catch, but they don't know the paradise that used to be?
Twenty years ago, a fly rodder could cast a olive bugger and stand in clean water with a gravel bottom to lots of medium size bass...... those days are gone!
People want to say what great fishermen they are and say "I still catch plenty, the river is fine"
Spring in three weeks...... any day now I'll grab my 8wt and "chez" a big woolybugger near the shoreline and catch some nice big spawning bass!
Still better than trout!!!

Posted on: 2012/2/28 2:24


Re: Susquehanna woes

Joined:
2011/4/12 17:23
From Lancaster Co.
Posts: 1186
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I think all the bass left in the river must be concentrated in a hole along 322 below Dauphin near the statue of liberty. There are always boats surrounding that spot especially in winter and spring.

Posted on: 2012/2/28 9:16
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