Going Fishin'

Going Fishin'
Red Sunset

Monday, March 25, 2013

Where is Spring?

When I posted my first blog of 2013 back on March 10 with my first river smallmouth bass of the year, I didn't imagine it would be two weeks before I would get out fishing again.  But winter returned in a BIG way.  We have not seen a day of sunlight since March 11, but we have seen the snow and felt the cold.  Finally a day above freezing arrived on March 23, and Frank Malek called to say the river ramp had melted off enough to launch a boat.

On Frank's 3rd cast of the day to a wintering hole, he hooked and landed a nice smallmouth bass on one of his custom finesse jigs.  Our hopes of a spectacular day soared.  However, our expectations were soon dashed.  The 32 degree water (drop of 6 degrees from March 10) apparently could not get the bass motivated.  In four hours, only one small northern pike was added to the catch.

This morning - almost six inches of fresh wet snow on my boat.  I've had enough!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

First 2013 Smallmouth Bass

I've been out of touch with my Going Fishin' blog for some time, with most of my day to day fishing reporting going to the NW PA Fishing Report done on behalf of the PA Great Lakes Region tourism.  And I was sidelined during 2011 & 2012 from long-distance fishing trips due to injuries which took a long time to heal.  But with the start of a the 2013 open-water fishing season here in PA, I hope to stay current on the blog.

While all northwest Pennsylvania lakes remain ice covered, the ramps on the Allegheny River were clear of ice a week or so ago.  Saturday, March 9, was the first opportunity to get out.  Allowing the sun to warm things up a bit, I met Dale Black, president of Gamma Fishing, at the Oil City ramp at noon. River temperature was 36/37 degrees.  We checked a few deepwater wintering spots in the pool, but were fishless until Frank Malek called on his cell to say he had located a bunch of fish and to come on down.  Dale and I each 'broke the ice' with our first smallies of 2013.  We fished by Frank for awhile, and then went exploring to another downstream pool.

Dale and I ended the afternoon with 10 or 11 smallmouths, caught mostly on hair jigs.  We met up with Frank just as the sun was going down and air temps were dropping.  He proceeded to 'school' us on how to catch ice-out smallmouths with one fish after another - all taken on special hand-crafted jig.  His total for the day was 25 smallmouths!