Fished this river over the last week and there is no better spot for smallmouth. Yesterday, I caught 2 fish one 18" & one 19 1/2" weighing aprox. 4 lbs. each. Over the week we caught well over 100 fish with a good percentage over 2 lbs. A 4 lb smally in current is an experience that is hard to beat. If you like fishing from a kayak and havent checked out this river, you should.
What section(s) of the Susqi …
...... were you fishing in ??
Fantastic river , fantastic Smallmouth fishing too .
The spring run is mind blowing .
What was your bait of choice ??
I fish the Susqui., the upper Potomac and the Shenandoah for Smallies .
Tiger Muskies ??? ... what Tiger Muskies ??? .... going , going , gone ..
Fished a little north of Harrisburg
We used, primarily, 4" lizards on 1/8th oz jig heads. Cotton candy seemed to be the hottest color during most of the week but the darker colors like junebug worked well once the weater started to move in.
We were going to go there this last spring but the water was running a couple of feet higher and it didn’t seem like too good of an idea in a kayak.
Apr. 24 - May 7 , is in the run range …
..... we start out beginning of Apr. there and fish it well into May ..
The fish will be in the feeder creeks which you can handle in a yak if you want to . Just montitor water guages prior . If a squall line moves through (3" of rain), which always does at sometime or other , the creeks rise fast (real fast) , and the water muds up . takes 5-6 days to settle down again . With luck you will have clear water with out a recent squall system .
At 53 degrees they begin to turm on pretty good , at 55-56 they begin to go bonkers , at 58-59 they are maddening !!
I can tell how it's going for us , if you email me around mid Apr. .. that might help .
You can put in at the Conodoguint and stay with in the first 1000' (of the creek) there and have an outstanding day when the creek hits 55 degrees (this one warms first) , the ramp is public (mouth of Susqi. and Cono.), just up from Harrisburg bridge (M.Harvey Taylor bridge) . rt.15/11 runs over it there in "Fairveiw" .... take a look on a map and see what you think ..
I am definatly looking forwrd to some spring fishing on this river. I have fished a fair amount of different spots over the last few years and the only one that comes close is the Yach…(sp?) in Ohiopyle PA. Evereone focuses on trout in this river but the smallmouth fishing is outstanding. I have fished the middle section from Confluence to Ohiopyle, many times, and have a pretty good idea of where the good spots are. I have landed a lot of nice fish but like I have said it dosn’t come close to the Susqui…
The Yough . …
....... is a great spot also . We go to the reserviour , on the MD. side (usually 3 days at a time) . The Smallmouth heat up there 2-3 weeks after Memorial Day . "Mill Run" camp ground . (monitor the reserviour level w/Corps. of Engineers site from Confluence).... always have to check (and remember) at what level the Reserviour has to come down to (is way up usually shortly before Memorial Day), to be able to use Mill Run low camp ..
I think low camp is out from under water at pool 1339-41 .. high camp doesn't go under but sometimes the road in does .
Mill Run is down river (north) from Friendsville,MD (off I-68), go out of Friendsville about 7 miles to Mill Run Rd. ..
The reserviour holds 36"-45" Northern Pike , taken by live bait (river Chubs or Yellow Perch in the 8"-12" size) , need 20+ lb. test w/stinger 8/0 hook at fin , just float the live bait about 7' down under a large slip bobber in 10'- 18' of water back up in the coves , also the section that calms after the rapids coming out of Friendsville .. A spoon or Killer spinner only makes them mad this time of year (all of May), usually won't take it but only blow up next to it (go figure??)
ps., isn't Ohiopile the "BIG" rapid WW section ??
..... go back and check the water temps. I talked about in the Susqi... they have been changed to the "real" target temps. now .. sorry about that typo the first time , lol ..
Yes , the Susquehanna , Smallmouth fishermans'/womans' paradise of paradises .... you must allow yourself to make the spring run ... those 100 you spoke of can be had (on an exellent day) in 48 hrs. then ... avg. size 17" , any number of 20"-22" not unusual when they stack up like cord wood in the creeks during spring run !!!
ps., ... if you do take your yak into the Susqui./creeks during spring run , "think cold water -cold air" , prepare to dress apropriately for it , think hypothermia protection ..
Good river. Hope it stays that way.
The young of year have been blown out by floods for a bunch of years in a row, and now there is some evidence that some pollutants may be further harmful to the young of year that survived the washouts.
There’s a lot of big fish, but there’s very low recruitment. Fishing is good now, but it won’t last forever if we don’t get a few good recruitment years in a row.
I stay off that river, and pretty much all smallie rivers, in late April to late May. It’s really good fishing, but the risk of catching spawning fish is too high for me. I like to leave them there to make and protect baby smallmouth. Not knocking Pilotwingz, just stating a different opinion is all.
- Big D
I hear ya Big D …
… we been there before , and I respect your decision about it because you have every right to think the way you choose to …
So , did ya get the Muskie thing before I pulled it ??
I only put it there for you since it’s in your back yard basically … the nephew and I are targeting them again Mon. . man those things are big and mean !!
The middle section of the Yough… isn’t too bad, there are several rapids that require some thought, particularly for the novice kayaker like me but over all it’s not to bad.
I would love to fish the lower section but this part of the river is way more than I am capable of.
I heard that the smaller fish weren’t doing to well in the susque… which we noticed last year. This year we caught several more fish in the 9 to 12 inch range. Hopefully, there will be a few good years that will keep this river producing the quality fish that I have been lucky enough to catch over the last few years.
I saw it
I think it's cool that there are muskie so close by, but I'm targeting smallmouth. I'll take muskie as a bycatch for sure, and I carry a fish gripper with me to hold one in case I catch one, but I don't target muskie spots or use muskie baits. I appreciate you thinking of me with it though.
Late April to May is good time for creek paddling too, so it's not like I'm giving up the outdoors. Really, it's pretty much the only time for consistent creek paddling on the types of creek I'm capable of. I not skilled enough for what the serious whitewater guys do, but I do like getting out in small waters when there's enough water in them to float a boat.
- Big D
nephew saw a 4 foot long something …
… in the river ???
we don’t know what it was , but we have a few guesses , couldn’t see it clear enough .
I saw the second biggest Bluegil of my life , jump out the water next to me … note book paper size !!
why aren’t they all that size since you can catch ten million of them if you want to ??
Big bluegill there
On my first outing this year I caught way more 'gills than smallies. I was using smallie sized lures. Some of my smallies were smaller than the 'gills I was catching. I’ve had some of those Potomac River 'gills pull me out of eddies when fishing from my kayak. They are big. Citation size for 'gills in Maryland is 12" or 1lb. I have caught a fair number of citation ‘gills out of the Potomac.
The 4’ fish could have been muskie, carp, or catfish. Tons of big carp in that stretch. There’s walleye there too. While I don’t think they get that large there or anywhere, your boy could have glimpsed two of them together and pieced it together as one fish. I’ve seen big walleye up there in amazingly shallow water where the books say walleye don’t belong. Guess the walleye don’t read those books. Could also have been an eel or gar believe it or not. I’m not sure about the alligator gar being up that high, but they are in the Potomac below Great Falls. I’ve seen them up close and personal down near Fairview Beach. There are eels for sure up in that area because my brother-in-law and I have caught them.
- Big D