SC PA Fishing Report–Quick Trip 09/08/2013

This afternoon I set out on a Quick Trip to a spot on the creek near my house I had walked down to (only to find it posted ‘No Hunting/Fishing/Trespassing) under the High Voltage lines that run to the Brunners Island Electric Plant back in April. I had set out to paddle about a mile and a half upstream from where I put in to a section I thought would be too shallow; based on Google Maps Pictures, however I found I could only make it about 1/2 mile up the creek; as the point where the lines crossed became too shallow to paddle up. The local USGS Stream Gauge is only at 2.17 ft; I hadn’t looked at it in several days; I thought it was staying steady at around 3ft; and if it had been that level, I likely would have made it upstream farther. I had tried several times earlier, only to find that the area where I wanted to put in was being used as a ‘Swimming Hole’ by local teens. Of course, they don’t realize how many people also fish for catfish there…and how many treble hooks may potentially be in the water.

A photo taken in April of what I considered to be a very ‘fishy’ spot:

ConewagoCreek

The spot where I put in required a drag across some flat boulders and there is a rather quick drop to about 5′..so you have to enter/exit standing virtually on shore. I decided on minimal gear—two rods, my camera, a pack of soft plastics and a box of hooks/jigs. I started making my way upstream and stopped to fish a laydown about 20 yards from the put in. Finding no takers on either my Senko or Jig/Craw, I turned upstream just in time to see a fish jump about 30 yards or so upstream. I quietly and quickly made my way upstream, opposite were I saw the fish jump. On the third cast of the senko, I made a couple of twitches and on the fall after the second twitch, I felt the characteristic ‘THUMP’, and the line started moving rapidly upstream. The fight was on and about 10 yards of line stripped off as I tried to bring the fish over to the left side where my grips were.

She never broke the surface and I began to think I might have a small catfish on the line. I finally managed to get this fish up to the top and it was bigger than I thought and was definitely a smallmouth bass. A couple of more quick dives and I managed to bring her close enough to grip with the grips. She had almost swallowed the circle hook, but I got my dehooking tool on it and was able to remove the hook rapidly and put her back in the water with the grips still attached to give me time to ready my camera. Usually I find the circle hooks embedded in the corners of the mouth; which is why I like them for weightless presentations. She was still a bit fiesty–even pulling my kayak sideways a bit while I readied the camera. I left the grips in her mouth, but held her carefully on my measuring board. 15″..a decent sized smallmouth bass for a creek about 30 yards wide. I snapped a couple of photos and released her to swim away.

Here she is in her glory:

Conewago Smallie

I continued making my way further upstream, fishing areas I thought may hold fish..I felt a few ‘tugs’ but they were short strikes..I finally hit the spot near where I had taken the photo from the beginning of the article about 1/2 mile upstream, and discovered sadly that the creek was too shallow to paddle further. I made my way back to the put in location, saw a few fish jumping, but was unable to coax them to taking dinner from me. I did see fish jumping further upstream from where I stopped; and from their splashes I can guess they were at least as big (if not bigger) than the one I caught. However, for a two-hour trip catching one 15″ smallie made it worth while. I will hit this section next year earlier in the year and when the water is a bit higher. I have caught walleye as well from this creek–so likely there will some of them too.