By Juan VerueteKayak Fish PA, LLC
Jeff Little, Roy (kayakbassfishing.com
), and I decided to hit the water for some early winter smallmouth fishing on the Susquehanna River. We converged on the Susqehanna at about 7 a.m. prepared to fish a known wintering area that both jeff and I had fished in the past. While other folks were standing in line outside their local "big box" store, we were unpacking our fishing gear on the riverbank and dawning our cold weather gear for a day of fishing. Instead of fighting with middle age housewives and tough old grandma's over the latest electronics or "must have" toys, we were preparing to do battle with the bronze bruisers of the Susquehanna River!
It was a
beautiful day for winter fishing. The air temperature topped out at about 44 degrees and the water was a balmy 43 degrees. Simply awesome fishing weather! We were even greeted with an early morning rain shower.
The wind was our friend today...you know... the friend that won't go home after the party is over. Winds were out of the west at about 10 m.p.h. most of the day with gusts up to 23 m.p.h.
The river was
on a slight rise. There had been a rain event farther up river. I had
hoped for a little more drastic rise but that wasn't in the cards.
Smallmouth typically go on the feed when the river is on the rise.
Winco' Chillee Willee
accounted for all my fish today and out produced all other baits we threw. Rigged on a 1/8 oz football head it is an excellent imitation of a minnow slowly working it's way across the river
bottom. I ended the trip with 12 smallmouth landed and 2 lost on the way to the kayak. I couldn't crack 18 inches today on smallmouth. That's a personal goal I have every time I hit the water. I want to catch
something over 18 inches.
The group caught a number of 17's and I managed a really chunky
17.25. Not a bad outing for winter fishing! I was definitely satisfied. Catching smallies is MUCH more fun than scoring a great deal at the shopping mall!
My strategy was
simple. I wanted to put my bait in front of as many potential biters as possible. That's somewhat of a difficult task in the winter because your presentations have to be slow...VERY slow. I ended up drifting ledges using a combination of the current, wind and one handed paddling to SLOWLY drag baits across submerged ledge rock and down into the trenches. I would drag the bait about 10 inches or so then let it sit
for 10-15 seconds. The slow methodical presentation really paid off today!
One of the highlights of the day was Roy pulling a nice smallie
on a spinnerbait. Yes, that's right...a slow rolled spinnerbait fish in 43 degree water. My personal coldest to date is 47 degrees. Overall a great day on the water with some great kayak fisherman.