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Too warm for smallies?
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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I fished yesterday on the Susky NB in a boat. I actually got skunked with SMB on flies (caught a few Rock bass and sunnies dead drifting nymphs). My buddy (Uncle) caught a few on lures and bait. I don't believe I have caught a smallie on a popper or any surface fly yet this year.

The flow and water clarity is good but I've really never recall see the smallie fishing so poor under these conditions. With only a few exceptions, reports of tough fishing have been similar in many of the smallie rivers with good populations of fish in PA and surrounding States. The only common denominator I can see is the higher than normal water temps.

The only data I have to work with is the temp gauge in Harrisburg:

Mean Temp Susky

It appears the mean temp for July and August is close to 25*C / 77*F. Below is the current temp graph. The mean temp is closer to 30*C / 86*F. 9*F is quite a lot, and may be the reason for the poor fishing in the region.

SMB are classified as a “Coolwater” fish after all, I guess they aren’t kidding about that. As Mo says…………just sayin! What say you?

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Posted on: 2010/7/23 10:36


Re: Too warm for smallies?

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Back in the Susque glory days I remember taking a water temp of 90F in the afternoon in the Dauphin/Marysville area. But we still had good fishing at dusk.

My theory: The reason for the slow smallmouth fishing is low smallmouth populations.

Posted on: 2010/7/23 12:01


Re: Too warm for smallies?
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2006/9/9 17:32
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Afish,
Yeah, I'm bewildered by this too. The only decent day of popper fishing I've had this summer was a week or so ago on the Potomac during an evening when I took a water temp of 89 degrees. In past years my best days of river bassin were usually under warm or very warm conditions. Not sure what to make of things this year.

Posted on: 2010/7/23 12:32


Re: Too warm for smallies?
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Back in the Susque glory days I remember taking a water temp of 90F in the afternoon in the Dauphin/Marysville area. But we still had good fishing at dusk.

My theory: The reason for the slow smallmouth fishing is low smallmouth populations.



I agree that warm water in past years has not "killed" the SMB fishing. In fact, some of my best days fishing for smallies have been in the sweltering heat and wet-wading in the evening after work, to cool off as much as to catch fish.

I agree with your theory (low SMB populations) in the lower Susky and in the lower Schuylkill, but the places I've fished (on the NB) have recently been surveyed and have found to hold plenty of fish, yet they are nowhere to be found. I'm going to remain optimistic, and believe that the weather is the main culprit. If the entire season comes and goes without good fishing, I'll lean towards your theory.

Posted on: 2010/7/23 12:33


Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
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I've been out a few times on the lower Susky and haven't had much luck. Had a nice sized smallie follow a chartreuse/white Clouser, but other than not, not much luck. It helps to know that some of you more experienced guys aren't having much luck either. There is a lot of water to cover and I chalked up my lack of success in not covering enough of it.

I'm really looking forward to the WW Jam in a few weeks. It should be a blast!

Posted on: 2010/7/23 13:33


Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
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In these conditions I would only early in the morning at dawn or try some night fishing .

I have given up on smallie fishing this year until I start hearing some good reports . I have been fishing for the poor man's bonefish instead, out of three outings I have only been skunked once

Posted on: 2010/7/23 16:52
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There is no disadvantage in being able to cast far"
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Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2010/4/12 21:57
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I am pretty new to the smallie world so I dont know exactly what is normal but I have had some decent luck on the E Branch of the Brandywine for some smallies - for the most part not too big (<10"), except for one that went about 16". I have been using crawfish or brown bugger patterns. I have only gotten out for an hour in the evening or early morning here and there since the weather turned hot. I still have yet to try poppers on the fly.

Posted on: 2010/7/23 23:50


Re: Too warm for smallies?
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Quote:

Fredrick wrote:
In these conditions I would only early in the morning at dawn or try some night fishing .

I have given up on smallie fishing this year until I start hearing some good reports . I have been fishing for the poor man's bonefish instead, out of three outings I have only been skunked once






Fred,

My last brownlining adventure was my last brownling adventure. When we fished the Skuke at Oaks, the smell of poop and pee wafting in the evening air and fishing the "foam Line" on the River was enough for me. After the trip I left my waders and rod in my truck overnight …..what a mistake! My truck smelled like a Job Johnny for more than a week, and I still can’t get the smell out of my rod case…..yuk!

I’ve decided that enjoying my surroundings is even more important than catching fish. Besides, I grew up less than a block for the Susquehanna River and I’ve caught a ton of big carp, suckers and fallfish/chubs; enough to last me lifetime.

Before you play the "snob" card remember, we all fish the way we prefer, like fly fishing vs. spin fishing, dry fly fishing vs. nymphing, trout fishing vs. WW fishing, etc. Does that make us snobs because we enjoy one type of fishing over another.

I’ll take a 6” wild trout or a 10” smallie caught in cool, clean water before a 10lb carp caught in a sewer hole. That’s just me I guess. Good luck though….

Posted on: 2010/7/24 9:02


Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
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Until the fishing pics up tweed I'm going to be fishing for carp on my own time . But will still go out for some smallies when invited

The fall should be some great fishing this year their going to have to really put the feed bag on to last the winter.

Posted on: 2010/7/24 11:31
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There is no disadvantage in being able to cast far"
- Lefty Kreh -


Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2010/7/24 12:59
From Morrisville
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We haven't spent too much time with the fly rod in the Big D around Trenton but 95% of the fish we got on spinning gear was sub surface. A few on the bottom but most are mid depth. Between two spots a couple hundred yards apart one has a ton of bait ( thats also holding small stripers and some nice walleye) and the other is void of life. Not sure if its the temps or something else.

Posted on: 2010/7/24 13:17


Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2010/6/30 14:13
From Lehighton, PA
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I took my old man out in the Scadden on Sunday. We had a blast on the Delaware floating about 10 miles from Bushkill to Smithfield Beach. I didn't flyfish much at all, mostly practiced manuevering & holding the boat but my Dad managed 10 smallies in one prime stretch we found on a #3 Mepps. Only 2 were your typical-size river smallie, the other 8 were really good-sized smallmouth. Looking forward to beaching and fishing this one stretch much more throughly next time. Water Temp was 82 at Bushkill launch at 10AM.

Posted on: 2010/7/26 14:08
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Re: Too warm for smallies?

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From Pgh
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Some recent observations on SM bass. Last week before the extreme heat in SW PA, I fished for smallies on the Yough and did quite well in slack water next to weed islands in the evening especially at dusk. Last weekend the same spots produced nothing for me. The next night I changed my strategy and fished faster riffles and oxegenated water close to these same spots and caught fish. I am covinced the heat of the day relocated the bass. Water temps were in the upper 70's to lower 80's in late afternoon. Also, poppers which served me well last week, did little to seduce the bite. Clouser minnows and crawfish were the ticket. The bass seemed to be a bit smaller this week also. I took 5 bass in 4 hours, the biggest being about 13 inches. Last week I took 6 bass over a foot long, the biggest an 18-inch pig.

Posted on: 2010/7/26 22:32
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Re: Too warm for smallies?
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2006/9/9 19:16
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One time I was fishing a large york county warmwater fishery (Conowago Creek) in the early evening before the sun went ove the hill. The deep part of a bend where we always do well with buzzbaits and plugs (read spinfishing) was in full sun. There was a deeper channel running along the point bar where we normally wade out to hit the deep water. When we stepped in about 20 bass went scooting out of this 1 foot deep, shaded sanctuary.

I hardly believe they were escaping the warmth of the water but rather the sun. Needless to say we had not response from the deep corner bend.

Posted on: 2010/7/26 22:55
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Re: Too warm for smallies?

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2009/5/8 23:25
Posts: 313
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NB in this heat, during the day, gotta float trip, and push the boat around to hit those 4-6 ft riffle pockets for the oxygen. Lotta food there too, the beasts don't get too worked up over the flies, unless you've got a killer hellgrammite pattern and great presentation. Usually have to pull out the stone cats and hellgrammite to do anything in heat like this. Falls to Harding is a good float.

Posted on: 2010/8/2 2:48






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