Bass fishing at the flats continues to be incredible this season. Following the spawn, large sacks of largemouth bass were being hooked in the grass beds. However this is often when carp start to spawn inside the grassy regions. Those carp trigger a serious uproar and lots of people believe that they scare these fish away from the grass , however this is not correct! The thrashing will produce a large amount of disturbance as well as muddy the water, nevertheless don’t allow that to move you from the grass. As a result of my personal experience I've discovered the breeding carp may actually assist the largemouth bass fishing. Just how can that come to be?
Understand that having success anytime you are bass fishing requires the ability to observe the food chain and influencing the food chain is precisely what these carp do. During the spawn a substantial amount of carp eggs basically adhere to the grass stalks and canopy. This is going to attract all forms of baitfish to feed on this large quantity of eggs, including perch, smaller sized catfish, crawfish and various other baitfish. Actually, if you're around water clear enough, you may observe groups of yellow perch following these spawning carp. They will feast upon the eggs as soon as they will be laid down.
This process of baitfish eating carp eggs sequentially lures in largemouth. Numerous bass enjoy it since they have got a smorgasbord of food; the baitfish. That is why, you see, the bass angling can be spectacular during this time. Learning the food chain should be the initial step to understand the bass. A successful fisherman must also check the tides, comprehend a variety of grass and recognize just what baits and methods match up to any particular situation. This is a challenge that you will be constantly piecing together, but once it comes together, you'll find some incredible largemouth bass fishing around the Chesapeake Bay.
If there ever was a fishing winter wonderland it would be on the Upper Chesapeake Bay in Joppatowne, MD. At a time when most boats are all snuggled in the garage or living under the confines of their strapped down tarps for the winter, Jerry Sersen's boat has been seeing daylight on a regular basis. Of course it has been a mild winter (so far), but Jerry says that has been holding the perch bite back a bit. “The colder water is better when catching yellow perch”, says Jerry, “and this year it is taking a little longer to get things going with the warmer than normal temperatures. But the water temperatures are starting to settle down to where they normally are and I expect the Yellow Perch bite will be on fire real soon. In fact next week I'll be up at the Susquehanna River where I've had times of catching up to 200 perch in a single day.”
You don't need a big boat or lots of horsepower. In this cold weather you'll only use idle speeds. Just make sure you have good protection, especially on those windy days. Here is Jerry's latest report from Joppatowne:
Crappie are taking small plastics on a 1/16 oz. jig head suspended under a float. Mainly fish under the shady side of the docks and you must keep moving until you find them. There are a lot of docks for them to hide around, also fishing pressure and baitfish movement keep them on the move.
Yellow perch are schooling up in the deeper areas along the canals. I'm using a double jig rig to catch these tasty table fare. Tie a drop loop about 18" from the end of your line. Snip one side of the loop to create a 4 to 6" drop line. Tie a 1/32 oz jig head on this line and a 1/16 oz. on the other end of your line. Tip these jigs with Pan-Assassins (natural colors) seem to be best.
Bass are eating 3" grubs on 1/16 oz. Jig heads, of course with larger hooks. Charlie Brewer Slider Heads are what I use. Smoke and green-pumpkin colors are working best for me. I have caught several bass fishing the other methods mentioned above.
I ventured up the Susquehanna on Thursday, January 12, with a good friend. In five hours or so we caught well over a 100 Yellow Perch. Fish ranged in size from 4" to 9". All small, which is not what we have experienced the last few years. This year the temperatures have been warmer than usual. Last year we were breaking ice to get out and this year, and as of yesterday the water temp was still at 41-42 degrees, air temp 62. I think this is still too warm and this means the bigger fish are still scattered in shallow water, possibly out on the Flats. Also there are too many commercial fish traps in the area to count. They were not present last year.
The fish we caught were as shallow as 15 ft and as deep as 53 ft. The best location was along the Perryville side of the river, from the Amtrak bridge up river to the north end of Garrett Island. The best method is to rig a common bottom rig or a drop-shot rig with a Pan Assassin, 1"-2" twister tail or a small tube attached. Chartreuse and red/white seem to be the favorite colors.
I'm using a 1/2 oz. of weight to keep contact with the bottom. This very important. These fish are hugging the bottom and I could verify this with what I was seeing on my depth finder. You do not need a boat to catch theses fish. Access from shore is available, but a fee might be fee charged.
by the marina. Also make sure you have a license. From what I understand, the DNR folks are getting writer's cramps. As a added bonus we caught some keeper crappie in 30 ft of water using the same method.
I installed a new Lowrance Elite DSI-5 on my boat a few days ago and I just had to put the boat into the water to check it out. Of course I had to take a rod or two with me, and boy I am glad I did. What a GREAT decision. I was able to boat 22 rockfish in 2 hours, and some fish were up to 20 inches on the Bush River. The fish were staged on every rock pile I pulled up on. I was using a Stillwater Lures Clatter Shad in the 1/2 oz size and color #31, and that was really doing the trick for me. I had to get the bait to bounce off the rocks and when the bait would jump erractically they would slam it. If there was no bounce in my bait, then there was no fish. The water temperature was still at 50 degrees, but I'm not sure how long that will last. The Striper fishing should be good until water temperature gets down to 45 degrees. Just remember you may have to slow down the retrieve as the water cools. Oh, by the way the new Lowrance unit works great. Down-Side-Imaging is unbelievable!!!!!!!
Talk to you soon.
Good Fishing and God's Blessings'
EXO - The Exoskeleton Design
Quantum releases the EXO PT baitcasting reel, where EXO stands for exoskeleton. One look and you will notice the skeleton type look of the reel. You'll see that the body of the reel is not solid, but instead has cut-outs at various points giving it a skeleton like appearance.
But the trick is to make sure the cut-outs are in areas that do not come under stress. What a concept and wow, does it ever work! By using a high-grade aluminum on the load bearing parts of the reel, and a composite material where as much strength isn't needed, and cut-outs in the rest of the areas, Quantum brings us a baitcasting reel that weighs in at just 5.9 oz.! But it is extremely durable. In fact a video on the Quantum web site show the reel put in a vice with over 1,000 lbs of force placed on it without breaking or damaging the reel. In a second video a 1/2 ton pickup truck runs over the reel without damaging it as well.
It doesn't stop at Lightweight and Strong
Other features of this reel include a super smooth ceramic drag. A little drag test you may want to try on one of your other reels is the Bill Dance test. Bill Dance sets the drag lightly and grabs the line on the reel. The reel, attached to a rod with the rod tip against the ground and the reel in the air, slowly falls to the ground in one steady smooth motion. No sticking or jerking as the line peels off the reel. This drag is exceptional and you will have no problems controlling or landing big fish with this drag system. The reel also comes with a quick release sideplate and and an easy to set centrifical cast control system. Simply rotate a dial to set this braking system. You will also get ultimate casting distance with this reel thanks to the high end bearings used in construction.
Rods tested: RC71MHXF and RC74HF
I was able to put some time together to enter the Everstart event on the Potomac River. It wasn’t a hard choice for me as this is one of my all time favorite destinations and the end of September generally finds fish gathered in bays near creek mouths and in the creeks themselves. Usually you’re in for a big catch and the big river lived up to expectations.
My plan included fishing grass with aggressive presentations such as spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and swim jigs. I put the RC71MHXF to work with a few different War Eagle spinnerbaits and the Revenge Viberator. I rigged this rod with a Shimano Chronarch and 50# Power Pro. The baits I was throwing ranged from 3/8oz. to 1/2oz. and with the braid I was able to cleanly pop them free from the milfoil. When St. Croix says extra fast action they mean it. The tip flexes in a very tight arc in a true extra fast taper. Very impressive. I also switched reels to a Curado spooled with #14 Gamma Fluorocarbon to see how the feel was with a less sensitive line. The feel was still there, maybe not as pronounced as an Avid but pretty close. I’d recommend this rod for the above applications as well as many more. I feel it’s a versatile stick. Check out the pic of the 25# Blue Cat that decided to eat my War Eagle on this rod!
The Rage series features Pac Bay Minima guides. Basically the guide insert is some type of metal. What I really like about this are no more chipped or cracked guides. What an expensive and time-consuming problem that eliminates. Also, the guide set is semi-micro. So you get a lot of guides without a lot of weight. The blank for the Rage series is the same graphite as the Avid series and I found them to be similar in sensitivity. The reel seat is split so you have hand to blank contact and the handle is very unique. The handle is machined from a dense resin then a very thin neoprene skin is applied. I found the handle to be comfortable and on the days is rained I didn’t notice any grip issues.
The RC74HF is what I fished my 3/8oz. D&L swim jig on. I had this jig rigged with a Zoom Horny Toad and the action was fast and furious. I paired the 7’4” rod with a Curado loaded with 50# Power Pro. This made a good swim jig combo but it also worked well flippin’ a jig. I highly recommend this stick for both of those applications and I feel it would make a great frog rod also.
So after 6 long days on the Potomac I would have to give both models the thumbs up. If your in the market for a good mid priced stick and you want to be a little cutting edge, give the Rage series a look, I think you’ll be glad you did.
Becky Gore carries a true love and passion for our youth along with the great outdoors. She has successfully brought both of them together through the years impacting the lives of our young generation who've gotten involved with her efforts. A school teacher for close to 4 decades, this wounderful woman has coached softball and arranged bass clubs and tournaments for our youth, not to mention taken various awards including the Orange County Youth Advocate Award, Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year, only to name a couple. In addition, she is the Virginia Director within the Fishing for Kids Organization. Becky will once more be giving her time and initiatives on October 2, 2011 as Tournament Director during the Joseph Thomson Memorial Tournament.
Becky explains the objective of the Joseph Thomson Memorial Tournament is to raise scholarship money in the memory of Joseph Thomson, a youthful college man who was killed in a tragic vehicle accident in 2006. Joseph had been a member of the Orange County High School Anglers in Orange, VA. and after 1 year he soon started a club with his own school in Warren County, VA. He additionally fished BFL tourneys along with the Fishers of Men Tournament Trail. At his death, his members of the family asked that expressions of concern be generated by means of donations associated with memory towards the JWT Scholarship. That very same year the OCHS Anglers sponsored a tournament in the memory of Joseph, which has become a yearly occasion. Awards are presented and all earnings beyond expenses are given towards the scholarship fund. Four $500 Grants are provided to a number of superior Highschool and Jr. Anglers.
The 2011 tournament will blast off at Sturgeon Creek Marina in Spotsylvania, VA. Each team is made up of two youth along with an adult boat captain. Every youth can weigh in as many as four fish and the boat captain can weigh in a maximum of two. Winners are recognized in a variety of ways that include individual awards, age arranged team awards and lunker fish awards.
We thought it would be good to post some information that folks can use to voice their opinion through the proper channels concerning the possibility of the Susquehanna River being closed during the Spring. As you may know, the river was recently made catch-and-release only. Now there is a movement to have fishing for bass on the river closed completely during the spawn in the Spring. This is being done to help the dwindling smallmouth population. Although we are for efforts that would help solve this problem, these actions will have no effect on the problem which is basically caused by pollution.
If you feel strongly about your rights to fish during the spring then write to Senator Brubaker who is Head of Fisheries. You may also write to the PA Fish and Boat Commission, but we feel that because Senator Brubaker oversees the commission this is a better route. Here are some addresses:
Senator Mike Brubaker
301 E. Main Street
Lititz, PA 17543
Toll Free: 1-866-738-1601
Pa Fish and Boat Commission
Robert A. Bachman
Chairman, Fisheries Committee
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Susquehanna Fishing Tackle is proud to announce they are 1 of 40 dealers Nationwide that will be involved in the unveiling of the highly awaited G.Loomis NRX Rods. Now you can be part of this worldwide launch too!
Join us Friday, August 13th, 2010 at 7:00 pm for food and refreshments, a discussion of the G.Loomis NRX technology and what makes the NRX the lightest, strongest and most sensitive rods G.Loomis has ever made. Then at 8:00 we will unveil the NRX rods and let you experience for yourself why these rods are so special!
All models will be in stock and available for purchase. G.Loomis Reps will be on-hand to answer any of your questions.
Since January 1st, 2010 anglers fishing in tidal waters have been required to register with the Saltwater Registry Program. This includes fishing in the Chesapeake Bay as well as it’s tributaries. This federal law was created to help fisherman and policy makers work together measure and track the contributions and impacts of fishing on areas. The collection of data through the program allows NOAA to report on a variety of factors. All of the data can be used to influence policy and determine the health of fishing areas.
State and National Registration
The registry is not the same as a fishing license so if the area you’re in requires one you will have to obtain that through other means. If you’re an angler who has registered for a specific state already then you will not have to register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry. However, if you’ve already registered with the NSAR in the past then you may have to register for a specific state this includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. So to recap, register for your state and you should be good to go!
The process only takes a few minutes and is free for most states as they have created their own portals to help their state residents avoid the federal registration fee of $15. License are a whole different story and depend on the state you’re licensing in.
Who is Affected
There are a few exemptions for the program including the following: anglers under 16, anglers fishing on charter or guide boats, hold a highly migratory species angling permit.
If you’re 16 and older and recreationally fish in the marine and fresh tidal waters you’re going to need to register. So find your state, register with them and save yourself a few dollars. The NOAA fisheries service also has a helpful tool to determine if you need to register with them or if your registration with your state is enough.