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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished an article in PON (May issue), on the Susky. Seems as though local fisherman, but in particular, local guides, are saying the Smallies have rebounded nicely the past few years. They are saying 100+ day catches have returned, but aren't happy that the C&R implementation is still in place, nor are they happy that PFBC is still trying to list the river as impaired ? I came away from the article, not sure if the locals are just looking out for their niche wants and or "business", or if the river is somehow magically "repaired" ?

What say yinz out east ?
 

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Is there a link to the article you could post?

Having grown up next to and fished the river near Harrisburg, PA for 30 years, based on my own personal experience, the river is impaired. I think the northern branch guys have better smallie fishing than we do. Down here you're lucky to get 10 in a 3-hour trip. Back in the day that would be 20-30 easy. Again just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pennsylvania Outdoor News... one of the May issues. Front page article. Not sure if it is online ?
 

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I'm sure the guides are looking out for their business, and would love to go back to the old Regs. as that would allow them to target the big spawners. The new Reg.(2yrs old) is that bass is closed from May 1st until opening day of bass(June 18 this year). That means no targeting them. If you catch one while walleye/musky fishing it must be released ASAP without removing it from the water.(a photo op violates the law).

Just about from the time that bass was opened to year round fishing (96?)it has been legal to C+R bass during spring spawn - the only thing you weren't supposed to do was target beds(ya right). Before bass was opened year round the season closed(no fishing for) on the 1st day of trout in Mid April, so with the new reg. they get till May 1st.

The smallies of the Susky(main branch) continued to decline during the 00's there seems to be some improvement the past 3-4yrs .... and right away they want to scrap the regs. LOL
 

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DCNR - asleep at the wheel for decades..

They (PF&B & DCNR) have the NERVE to Pimp for $$$
(Save our Susky Campaign). It will be a very cold day b4 they see a dime from me (can you say Hypocrit)...

Bass - North Branch - if you need to hire a Guide to catch bass - find another hobby - you are worthless as a fisherman.
 

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As a longtime Susky fisher, I would say the Bass population is coming back over the past 2-3yrs. In those worst years, you could have a day where you caught only <3 bass bass in a 4hr trip. I was pleasantly suprised to haul in 12 in an hour or two this past Saturday and hit some very nice fish early in the spring this year.

However, I don't think anyone has a clue why it's coming back. Is it the regulations? Which ones? No keep or no Spawn fishing? Has the water quality improved? I've heard dozens of reasons for the comeback(If you want some good humor, just ask). If you don't know why it is better, it's not very wise to change the regs after just a 3yr PARTIAL rebound.

It's also very interesting to see the different interests speak up. The guides just want to be able to fish and make money over the spawn. Most locals, including myself, want to be able to keep a fish or two and may or may not care about fishing during the spawn.

With all the lack of knowledge about the subject, I predict many more years of the same situation we're in now.
 

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I have been fishing the river pretty hard for the better part of 18 years since relocating after college. Here in York it was DEAD after a few years. No bass or walleye. Occasionally a channel cat on a crankbait. Seen some carp. Quit fishing local and drove 50 miles north. Deeper, cooler waters and more fish. Big fish! That lasted 10 years and the downward slide became evident. Very few small fish seen or landed.
Fast forward to 2 years ago. Daughter wanted to go out fishing with just an hour of daylight left. River is just up the road. We went with little hope for bass. Ended up catching 20+ in the time we had. Very surprised, I hit the area hard over the next year. Most trips are ending with over 50 smallies per day. Sometimes a few walleye, cats, large Mouths and even a few Crappie. All fish caught on artifical lures. Several trips have given rise to numbers in the triple digits! (Yes, that's 100+ fish landed) Most all my trips have taken place midday, ending well before dusk. The numbers of young fish is incredible! Though there are tons of SLOB smallies still there. This fall I landed a numerous fish over the 20" mark and 5# and one just shy of 7#
There has definitely been positive results with measures implemented. Tossing current regs out now would be RIDICULOUS! Again, who knows what's working? But something obviously is! These guides crying over closing down half "their" season can pound sand! They can all be shut down PERMANENTLY for all I care!
Though, some regs are just down right STUPID! Like you can't remove a bass from water to remove hook!?!? Let's not start arguing about targeting..... there are NUMEROUS species of fish here that will hit the SAME lure. As long as safely unhooked and returned to waters, all is good.... (As a judge ruled last year when PFBC tried to fine a person over Facebook picture!!)
 

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TheRedBaron88 said:
As a longtime Susky fisher, I would say the Bass population is coming back over the past 2-3yrs. In those worst years, you could have a day where you caught only <3 bass bass in a 4hr trip. I was pleasantly suprised to haul in 12 in an hour or two this past Saturday and hit some very nice fish early in the spring this year.

However, I don't think anyone has a clue why it's coming back. Is it the regulations? Which ones? No keep or no Spawn fishing? Has the water quality improved? I've heard dozens of reasons for the comeback(If you want some good humor, just ask). If you don't know why it is better, it's not very wise to change the regs after just a 3yr PARTIAL rebound.
The reason for the rebound is very simple: Weather

The greatest loss to the smallmouth bass populations took place in 2005, a summer with extremely low water flows and very hot weather, resulting in very warm water temps and low oxygen levels.

The result was massive bacterial infections that killed huge numbers of smallmouth bass.

2005 was the worst year, but there were also some other years with very low flows and warm temps, which was also favorable to the bacterial infections, and bad for the bass populations.

In more recent years, we've been lucky in having more rain, better flows, cooler weather through the summers. Under these conditions, the bacteria does not thrive, and the smallmouth do.

So the smallmouth populations began building back up again.

But when (not if) we get the return of drought and very hot summer weather, I see no reason to think that the bacterial infections could not take off again.

Has anything really been done in regard to water quality on a scale large enough to make a significant difference, since 2005?

If so, what?

You can point to small changes to improve water quality here and there. But have there been any large changes, big enough to make a substantial difference in a watershed as huge as the Susque?
 

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troutbert said:
.
Has anything really been done in regard to water quality on a scale large enough to make a significant difference, since 2005?

If so, what?

You can point to small changes to improve water quality here and there. But have there been any large changes, big enough to make a substantial difference in a watershed as huge as the Susque?
The answer would be little - thanks to the Ag & Industrial Lobbyists who "$$$wayed" the Harrisburg Politicos to turn a blind eye regarding runoff issues - who in turn ordered the DEC to sit on their collectve hands..

Now they have their hands out for SOS donations...

yeah right...
 

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The DNRC DEP division is the outfit that has been sitting on their hands. They get NO money from the SOS program which was started by the PFBC(not part of the DNRC) to raise money. Since the DNRC are the ones fighting the PFBC about declaring the river impaired.
 

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We fished Friday below Holtwood dam and me and a buddy
caught 47 bass between us, There wasn't a mark or spot
on anyone of them all were good looking fish. All looked healthy to me.
 

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The past 2 years have been great for YOY smallies on the lower section of the river evidenced by the numbers of 6-10" fish I have seen and caught. Landed hundreds over past few months. The water comes alive at dusk with fish. Haven't seen any spots yet. However, the large black spots have been on fish in nearly EVERY body of water in have ever fished. That problem in itself is not unique to the Susky.
 

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I was just talking to a friend who stays at a place near Sunbury. He just returned and said he had a great few days on the river. He said they were getting 50 to 60 a day. I was surprised by the numbers. I did not ask him about size but I will the next time I see him.
 

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I'm a lifetime fisherman of "the river"


There she is from my front yard. I have fished the suskie for over 20 years From pittston to falls. There was a stretch of time that every bass was 10" like 2-3 years. I never noticed a chang other than good days and bad days. And most bad day We/I would just keep moving till we found fish (unless we were on an island camping)... What I do believe is the water quality needs help, and that will benefit all wildlife and the environment.
 

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I fished Apple Tree Launch area tonight - caught 40 + bass

5 over 18""

the Big Boys are there - currently slurping big white flies...
 

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troutbert said:
TheRedBaron88 said:
As a longtime Susky fisher, I would say the Bass population is coming back over the past 2-3yrs. In those worst years, you could have a day where you caught only <3 bass bass in a 4hr trip. I was pleasantly suprised to haul in 12 in an hour or two this past Saturday and hit some very nice fish early in the spring this year.

However, I don't think anyone has a clue why it's coming back. Is it the regulations? Which ones? No keep or no Spawn fishing? Has the water quality improved? I've heard dozens of reasons for the comeback(If you want some good humor, just ask). If you don't know why it is better, it's not very wise to change the regs after just a 3yr PARTIAL rebound.
The reason for the rebound is very simple: Weather

The greatest loss to the smallmouth bass populations took place in 2005, a summer with extremely low water flows and very hot weather, resulting in very warm water temps and low oxygen levels.

The result was massive bacterial infections that killed huge numbers of smallmouth bass.

2005 was the worst year, but there were also some other years with very low flows and warm temps, which was also favorable to the bacterial infections, and bad for the bass populations.

In more recent years, we've been lucky in having more rain, better flows, cooler weather through the summers. Under these conditions, the bacteria does not thrive, and the smallmouth do.

So the smallmouth populations began building back up again.

But when (not if) we get the return of drought and very hot summer weather, I see no reason to think that the bacterial infections could not take off again.

Has anything really been done in regard to water quality on a scale large enough to make a significant difference, since 2005?

If so, what?

You can point to small changes to improve water quality here and there. But have there been any large changes, big enough to make a substantial difference in a watershed as huge as the Susque?
X2
 
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