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 Assissan, 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 bonous we caught some keeper crappie in 30 ft of water using the same method.