3 Persons

Doesn’t seem to have much impact
on Southern reservoir bass. But, limits are low…5 most lakes…many have slot limits that protect breeder fish, and probably 80% of those who bass fish release, 90% of those who do nothing but bass fish. Of course, largemouth fishing is a high dollar sport around here. Got $60-70K for a rig?

DNR has studied …
… this for years and years , and the rules are catch and release , almost non-existent impact on breeders , except for the extremely rare bleeder due to poor presentation or bad hookset … between Apr. 1 and May 15 , almost every Smallie is a potential breeder either male or female , and the breeding ground is almost every place you find them …

Big D …
… I said Ken , you said Penrod … besides that , he says hi to me and I say hi back , if he ain’t in voice distance , he’ll look and acknowledge a hi or a wave , same back to him … he may ask how’s you guys makin out and we tell him , he says pretty good !! … we run into him 3-4 times a year maybe … he’s a great guy and his guides are just what you’d expect , proffessional 1st class all the way … one of the things Ken does is get ticked off at water polluters , he cares about our states water quality and sounds off about it in the right places , and I’m glad he does because a lot of people hear him as opposed to some one trying to win a vote in an election year … I don’t name drop , I just tell it like it is , no big deal … he’s a fisherman and we’re fisherman , and that’s the way he treats ya , it’s that simple …

Got no hassle with that or with him
I’m just saying that he’s a controversial individual and that dropping his name will not always elicit a positive response. That’s all.

  • Big D

It’s specifically prohibited by statute
in the water in question.

This isn’t a general question or issue, but a specific one that deals with particular water in a particular region of two particular rivers in a particular state.

In that state, Pennsylvania, and in those rivers, the Susquehanna and the Juniata, targetting bedding smallmouth is illegal.

The individual in question runs a guide service on those rivers. The fishing reports on his web site give information about locations and tactics, and they DESCRIBE bed fishing. But when asked about it, they say they don’t target beds, even though its exactly what was described in their fishing reports. It’s a controversy.

The guides have to make a living. They do it by putting customers on fish. The fish at that time of the year are on beds.

The reason it is illegal to target smallmouth bass on beds on those rivers is that the juvenile population is very small. The adult population is there, but a series of floods have destroyed bass fry for several years in a row and so bass fry become especially sensitive to permitting a sustained fishery. The sustained fishery generates huges amounts of tourism for the area, so they have chosen to protect the fry with regulation.

The guide service is running a very fine line and dealing with competing ethics (do their jobs vs. protecting the resource).

Everything said about the man below is true. He is very vocal and effective at protecting the waterways in other ways. However, this issue has stirred up more than a little controversy among recreational users of the river. The guide is kind of the ‘first among equals’ when it comes to professional users of the river, and so to some degree that puts a target on his back.

I personally have nothing against the guide who owns the service or those who work for him. However, if they are caught disobeying a regulation for profit, I would expect proper punishment.

  • Big D

Pelican / Coleman

– Last Updated: May-06-08 10:29 PM EST –

I have owned one of these for over 5 years now and just love mine. True they are a little on the heavy side but are very stable. Mine has seen many different types of water from small still ponds to Lake Michigan on a choppy day. Never a problem and it will sit 3 nice and easy with room for casting for each. If you get one let us know how you like it. Mine is 16' 6" and I paddle it alone alot. I have had a total of 3 people in it with the biggest one going 300 pounds and it paddled fine. Just make sure you distribute the weight evenly and you will be fine.

OK …
… we’re good Big D , and what you have said about the controversy part , well , that is so too , guess it’s standard fare for public figures and goes with the territory …

Would like to see and read …

– Last Updated: May-06-08 9:27 AM EST –

....... the official statute you are refering to ....... these links are official PA. fishing regulations , and specifically mention the waters in question and the species in question ........ http:/www.fish.state.pa.us/fishpub/summary/inland.html ,, http:/www.fish.state.pa.us./fishpub/summary/bigbass.html ...... do where your PA license pined and exposed to hat , shoulder , etc. , that's a rule !!

Some information

– Last Updated: May-06-08 9:50 AM EST –

Here's a summary of problems with the Susquehanna right now.


The Susquehanna and the Juniata are in the Big Bass program. Here's the link for that.


The Big Bass program permits catch and release. I continue to look for the regulation that states targetting beds is illegal and will post it when I find it.

Found it: "NOTE: It is not a violation of the bass regulations if a bass is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken. It is unlawful for an angler to cast repeatedly into a clearly visible bass spawning nest or redd in an effort to catch or take bass."

The exerpt comes from this page: http://www.fish.state.pa.us/fishpub/summary/inland.html

It is OK to accidentally catch spawning fish, but it is not acceptable to target them (i.e., cast repeatedly). This is the fine line that the guide service appears to be walking.

Regarding your question, when I fish in Pennsylvania I do wear my license with the stamp exposed pinned to my hat or to my vest.

- Big D

Those links …
… you provided are the exact same ones I just gave you to check and confirm the regs. , for some reason my links didn’t hyper link (??) … like I said , catch and release is the rule … as for beds (nest) , never see them , just catch fish everywhere in those waters , 4’- 9’ depth … so the statute you speake of is the part that specifically says “seeing the bed and repeatedly casting on it” , makes sense I guess ?? … the reg.(law) I speake of is “catch and release” … and that’s what we always do , including tommorrow and Thurs. … let you know how it went when I return …

I analyze regulation for a living
And I can say with some modest amount of experience that the regulation against bed fishing is SO poorly worded that it is essentially unenforceable.

There is no way to know what an angler sees in the water, whether they know what a bed or redd looks like, etc. It’s a good reg with good intent with poor implementation.

I’ll be interested to hear how you do.

  • Big D

A couple of …
… dozen 17"-21" , the smallies were not feeding , the bite was mostly protective reaction from big males guarding ( a few females that were finished ) , the fry are 1" now leap out of the water when lure makes contact , the wind howled steady at 25 plus on the main river , got rained on 5 times , water temp. was between 57 and 63 depending on location and time of day , water color and clearity were excellent green , spinner took as many as crawbug tube , fish were super powerful with warmer water temps. , the fish were stacked up like cord word all over the screen but not eggressive bite (typical lockjaw syndrom) … one bite almost broke the nephews wrist , lol , and he knows the difference in bites … I saw the biggest Smallie I have ever set eyes on swim right under the boat in the main river Susqui. (6’ of water to bottom) had to be at least 25"-27" (a real monster) … all in all everything we expected , as always the weather has the final say as to quanity of bites so our catch was off by 75% this time (that’s fishing , lol, :slight_smile:

I can tell you this
There is no such thing as an unenforcible regulation as far as the PA Fish and Game comission is concerned.

They enforce, you pay. That’s the way it works. Of course, you can make it your own pet project trying to beat a citation. But, that’s a fool’s errand.

There is no regulation …
… law or rule that disallows fishing for Smallmouth in PA. were and when we fish for them … the rules say , catch and release , and that’s what we do … we abhor pochers and people who have disregard for the rules and would bust them in a heartbeat if able … we fish exposed to all veiwers including the law enforcement persons and have never been approached or questioned or scorned upon , we are fishing for fish that bite where we find them , and that’s the name of the game , all legal , nothing to hide or feel guilty about … we are educated in the intire process and we go fishing to catch fish … the regulation says “CATCH and RELEASE” … is doesn’t say don’t fish for them , it doesn’t say PA. would rather you not fish them , it doesn’t say it’s OK to fish for them but it’s unethical … it DOES say , buy a fishing license and have a good time fishing for Smallmouth and Muskie , cause PA. fishing is hot and try our state out …

read my post again
I was not taking issue with you or your fishing at all. I was taking issue with the notion that there is a PA fish or game reg that is too ambiguous to be enforced by the persons charged with enforcing them.

Clarion …
… I know you weren’t taking issue with me or our fishing practices !! … my reply was to reinforce your statements about regulation and enforcement in PA. , and restate the absolute legality of going Smallmouth fishing in waters of the Susqui. and tributarys during this time of year (the catch and release season) … thanks …