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Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12
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Yes, they're spawning beds. The size you describe suggests bass beds but, unless you see the male on the nest, it's hard to say. SMB spawning should be over by now. Sunfish, however, are still on their nests (I saw a bunch of redbreast sunnies on redds yesterday) and their nests can be pretty large too - typically in the 1-2 foot diameter.
The big, underwater piles of golfball sized rocks are the spawning beds of fallfish.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 7:15


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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From South Lebanon Township, PA
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
The big, underwater piles of golfball sized rocks are the spawning beds of fallfish.


^They're easy to trip over in the Summer. Since Fallfish spawn in Spring many of the beds are completely exposed in lower Summer flows now.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 7:54


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
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Thanks for the info. Dave. I don't think these were redbreast redds, I'm familiar with them. However, I'm not sure whether they were Smallmouth or fallfish spawning beds after your description. But, I'm leaning toward bass because I haven't caught a fallfish yet in that section of the river. I'm thinking if there were fallfish around they would be crushing those Clouser minnows.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 7:56


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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dc - It should be fairly easy to tell Bass and Fallfish beds apart. A Bass bed will essentially look the same as the Redbreast bed, just bigger...a circular area of clean, clear stream bottom free of any silt or sediment that may be slightly depressed (concave). A Fallfish bed will be the opposite (convex)...it will literally be a round (or oval in more swiftly flowing water) pile of rocks/stones. They’re often a foot or more high over the surrounding stream bed and can get pretty big (4+ feet across) depending on the size of the fish.

And I agree with you…Fallfish will crush just about anything, repeatedly until they get it in their mouth.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 8:11


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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2012/3/14 6:23
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Thanks Swattie, great info. The more prominent ones I was seeing were definitely mounds of gravel so according to your description they were fallfish beds. I also saw some very large fallfish beds on the Shermans Creek the other day. Makes sense, I did catch a decent amount of fallfish that afternoon, including one that was in the 16" range. Man, are they a lot of fun on a flyrod! I heard you refer to them in some of your previous posts, but that was the biggest one I ever landed on a flyrod. Thanks again for the info.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 9:18


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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Anytime dc. Chubs and some other members of the minnow family spawn in similar fashion to Fallfish, so it's possible they're Chub mounds too I guess...but if they're decent sized, they're most likely the work of the much larger Fallfish.

Yeah, I like catching them too. 18" is my biggest, but any Fallfish over 12" is good fun on the fly or an UL spin rod.

I'm pretty convinced the world record Fallfish probably lives somewhere in the middle Susky drainage...Lower Penns/Juniata/Shermans/Conodoguinet/Mahantango/Wiconisco/Swatara/Main Stem Susky from Sunbury to Middletown. There's just so many 14-16 inchers that there has to be a few monsters too. FWIW I believe the current world record was a 20", approx 3.5 lb fish from the upper Susky in NY.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 9:44


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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I've been trying a few early mornings to fish between 6-8am. Recently caught a bunch of rock bass, a few small smb and one decent smallie (attached). Put up a good fight. Never fished the Conestoga (or for smallmouth for that matter) until just recently. Really enjoying it so far. Having good success with black wooly bugger.

Attach file:



jpg  smb conestoga.jpg (4.50 KB)
2771_50008d97821c5.jpg 124X166 px

Posted on: 2012/7/13 17:07


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 6/27/12

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2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
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Welcome to the forum. Nice fish! There's lots of river to explore. Tight lines!

Posted on: 2012/7/13 21:14



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