It's especially tough on the schuylkill in the tidal area where the big fish are. I love places where you can show up and throw in some bait and start catching a few hours later, but they are hard to come by, particularly if you want big fish. The place I've been catching these mirrors is great because I typically show up on a Friday night and bait for the next day and that is easy enough.
Yes, I wish it was that easy. River fishing, especially tidal river fishing demands a concerted effort of pre-baiting and waiting. It is definitely worth it when the big fish move in.
Beautiful fish… Always cool to recapture a fish. Well done Team Cook!
This is a bit of topic, but carp related. I was almost exclusively a carp guy for about 10 years. I've gotten lazy though, since I got my kayak. I've realized the prep required to become a truly successful carper is substantial. No prep required when I fish with lures. I wish those crafty carp could be coerced into sucking in lures. It has happened to me on a few RARE occasions. I wish they were more like catfish in that regard.
I use 6 pound fluorocarbon as my main line with a size 8 owner mosquito hook tied directly to the mainline. I use a small Splitshot about 6 inches from the hook. Finally, I use a Thill stealth slip float as my bite teller.
Had an unbelievable experience this afternoon. I started my day early in search of shad on the Skuke at first light. I was able to catch nine hickory shad before noon. A slow pick. The Shock Boat was present most of the morning sampling the fish population. The presence of the Shock Boat is never conducive to good fishing. I did witness the stunning and capture of a large musky… pretty cool.
I decided to try a different venue for the afternoon. Headed south to my favorite section of the Delaware Estuary in search of snakeheads or bowfin. I started fishing at the peak of the flood tide. I started with lures that proved successful last season. First a Mepps spinner with a Chartreuse Power Bait trailer… NOTHING… Then a Chatterbait… NOTHING… Bass Jig… NOTHING… SpinnerBait… NOTHING.
After over two hours of NOTHING I decided to go to Old Faithful… A 1/4 Ounce Joe's Fly.
Third cast with the Joe's Fly and I have a fish on. A spunky high spirited channel cat. I caught quite a few channels on lures last year, but what happened next was two hours of the most intense catching I've ever experienced. TWENTY FOUR channel cats came to my hand. The average size was 3-4 pounds. About 5 of them were in the 5-7 pound class. The Joe's Fly was battered and twisted with bent and broken hooks, but it kept right on catching… ALL 24!
I'm sure I could have gotten more, but I was more than satisfied with the blitz the catfish had provided. They were attacking the lure at every level of the water column. A half dozen of them took it as it hit the surface. They were erupting from the water, tail walking and slapping the surface. Every catfish with the exception of one was the picture of health. Most had rotund bellies. This was the spark that my spring fishing needed!
Arrived at the river dark and early trying to catch my first targeted walleye. I've captured walleye before, but never when I was purposely targeting them. My targeted walleye drought continues. In fact my spring drought continues… 0 for 5 so far this season.
I started jigging zooms… tried that for about an hour. The only thing I accomplished was losing a couple of jigs. I then decided to try throwing a blurple bomber. I shifted down river a bit and got comfortable in shin deep water. As I was in the act of casting the bomber into the dark, there was an explosion in the water just to my left. Startled the crap out of me. Looked down to see a large branch cruise directly in front of me almost brushing my shins. I retrieved my bomber only to have it get hung on the drifting branch.
A tug of war ensued. I knew there must be a beaver at the other end of the branch. I've had encounters with this beaver before. I wanted my bomber back so I kept tugging. It was a stalemate for a bit, but then the beaver relented and I reeled in the branch and untangled my bomber.
The beaver was pissed. He wanted that branch back. I guess he was planning on having it for breakfast or adding it to his lodge. Violent tail slap after violent tail slap ensued. I set the branch at the edge of the water and decided to see just how bold this beaver was. I got my phone out and prepared to take some video. The beaver swam directly at me as I stood on the bank behind the branch. He exited the water grabbed his branch and dragged it back into the water. He swam away with branch in tow.
After the sun came up I threw for shad for about an hour. NOTHING. My drought continues.
No, this is not an April Fool's joke... well, sort of.
Made a startling discovery this afternoon as I roamed the tidal banks. Lo and behold grazing the waterline at mid-tide was a young Tidal Triceratops. No, I did not stage the photo... Tiny (that's what I named him) was standing in an upright position about 15 feet from the high tide line. And I thought the fiddler crab I found this past Sunday was pretty darn cool... If you don't believe me, the photographic evidence is below.
I swear on a stack of bibles that the photo below was not staged.
Besides a diverse array of fish in our local waters, there is quite a diverse view of nature and man-made spectacles along our local waterways. Within a short distance of each other along a Schuylkill walkway, I was treated to the sights posted below. Not that I'm a proponent of Graffiti Art, but in the relatively remote area where these were located, I really see no harm. If I can't be fishing our local waters, the next best thing is walking my dogs alongside them.
Shane... After a few posts I realized you are Chris' friend. I met you on your first shad trip (without darts). Triggerfish are definitely fun. I sometimes catch them when I'm toggin' the south Jersey jetties.