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Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start
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This has been a cold month (or at least the weather seems like it) and the cold water temps in the rivers have put a crimp in pre-spawn smallie fishing. The Susquehanna River has not exceeded forty degrees F for the last week and the Juniata has only been about a degree warmer. For the most part, river temps here in south central continue to remain in the thirties which is very cold for this time of year and typical of wintertime.
Most years, by the last week of March, bass fishing is taking off and other WW species are on the feed. This year we'll need to be patient. I'm usually after bass full bore in late March but until we see consistent temps up into the forties (50+ is better yet) I think I'll hold off chasing SMBs.
Dang.

Posted on: 2013/3/22 20:23


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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Yeah, I hear ya, FI. I'm getting tired of tying flies. I'm real ready to start losin' some in the quest for some hog smallies!

Posted on: 2013/3/22 21:53


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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It's driving me nuts. I've never been so ready for smallies like this year. Part of that is getting a new rod for WW this winter, and it's just sitting there begging to be used. Man.......I can not WAIT!

Posted on: 2013/3/25 12:55


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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Its killing me too.

I got a new rod, new line, new reel....been tying flies like mad. Cant fish for Smallies yet and this snow made it worse...Killing me!

Posted on: 2013/3/25 16:40
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Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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2013/2/13 1:41
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I'm kinda of happy its behind, I built up enough funds to get an 8wt setup in the next few weeks, I've never caught a pike on the fly so that's my warm water goal for this year, first week of april looks like we'll get some warmer temps.

Posted on: 2013/3/26 10:20


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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I am in the same boat. Havent seen a smallie since late October and I am going through withdrawal. Worst part is, I didnt tie at all over winter. My smallmouth box is looking sparse. I might want to get on that soon, cause it really is a few weeks away.

Posted on: 2013/3/26 10:30


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start
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In the last couple days, river temps on the lower Susky and Juniata have finally ticked into the low 40's. This is still very cold for the end of March. However, what we're looking for is the upward warming trend. If snow melt doesn't knock temps back down again, that warming trend should continue and bass fishing should - finally - get started.

BTW: If you do go prospecting for river bass anytime soon, don't forget some trout flies. Most of our rivers have seasonal and localized populations of brown trout in them in springtime (these trout disappear by mid May most years). This combined with the fact that the densest hatches of early stoneflies (in my experience) are on warm water rivers....you may get a shot at rising trout. I've seen this several times this year.

Posted on: 2013/3/28 8:44


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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Fished the Conestoga for a few hours today in the afternoon. Had a water temp of 49 degrees at 3:00. Got the skunk. Tough fishing with the 15 mph winds. It can't be long now...........?

Posted on: 2013/3/29 17:23


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start
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Still slow for me.

I fished the Juniata River for a couple hours this afternoon on my way home from upstate. The higher elevations in Seven Mountains are still snow covered. Nevertheless, water was clear, temp was 44 and stoneflies were all over the surface (no risers). I hit a couple of my favorite springtime spots where I can wade and managed only one bass, a nice chunky 13 incher. I expected to do better.

Posted on: 2013/3/29 20:00


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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Same here on the Swattie at Hershey yesterday. Managed 1 Fallfish but no bass.

Posted on: 2013/3/30 12:07
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Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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I'll be hitting the 'Stoga on Saturday afternoon. Report pending!

Posted on: 2013/4/2 14:27


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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Also hitting my local smallie stream on saturday. No clue what the water temp will be. Im guessing cold.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 16:15


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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I'm thinking some of the southeastern streams might be flirting with 50 degree temps by this weekend, looking at the forcasted high temps over the next 4 or 5 days. Could be good! Take a thermometer along, get a reading and give us a report. Good Luck.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 17:21


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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2011/7/6 12:30
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Yup I'm thinking you're right. I'll check it out around 4:30pm. Let things warm a bit.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 17:23


Re: Rivers are Cold - Smallies Off to a Slow Start

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Squatch,

Sounds like you got a good plan. Hope you get into 'em.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 18:14



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