Gary Brummett at Connecticut Outfitters (www.ct-outfitters.com) reported excellent fishing for largemouth bass on local ponds and lakes. He said several anglers registered trophy fish fooled with jigs, tubes and chatterbaits. Trout season opened last week to rave reviews. Anglers wading the lakes and ponds have reported catching rainbows and browns to 7 pounds. Northern pike action has sputtered due to cold water, but Brummett expects it to engage when the water temperature rises. On the salty side of the state, river herring are moving into the Connecticut River with striped bass hot on their trail. Anglers are catching keeper bass by using big plugs and soft plastics that imitate the 6- to 8-inch herring.
Ken Penrod (www.penrodsguides.com) sent us this report from Life Outdoors Guide Service. SUSQUEHANNA RIVER, PA: Wow! Don’t know how else to explain this. Maybe “world class.” We are fishing between Harrisburg and Montgomery Ferry, operating from Riverfront Campground in Duncannon, where the Juniata River meets the mighty Susquehanna. Life Outdoors Unlimited (LOU) guide Danny Grulke had back-to-back 100-fish days for his clients and he never left the Juniata River. He’s using Mizmo teasers and Penrod Specials on 1/8-ounce Riverfront Campground jig heads. John Cooper and Brian Graves fished with me for four days and we easily caught 250 quality bass on the main river with Mizmo teasers in camo, roadkill, black and penrod special colors. Guide Dave Kerrigan is fishing the main river, near Halifax and he has discovered an awesome Mizmo tube called Irish Coffee. LOU guide Mike Breeding is kicking butt with jerkbaits near Sherman Creek. LOU guide Jon Drever is still working eddies behind islands and his clients are complaining of tennis elbow. I’ve caught a ton of bass on LJ Speed Traps. BAD NEWS: The river is dropping like a 10th grader in love. It’s about 4.9 feet as of Friday (18th) and we start sweating at 4.5 feet. Please call 1-800-881-7555 for up-to-date river conditions.
Larry Burfield at (www.larrysguideservice.com) was hiking up his pants and preparing for another round of flooding in Kentucky. “All the lakes are way above normal,” he said. “The launch ramps and parking lots are all under water.” With 9 inches of rain one night and 7 inches more a couple days later, the water was high and the fish were hiding. Larry was hopeful that the river would go down and the fishing would go back to normal. “The Corp has just released water in the lakes, and the streams are dropping,” he said. Burfield and a couple of buddies did a tour of the local scene and only found one launch ramp, on Lake Eufaula, that was accessible. The good news is that crappie fishing should be on raging once the water goes down enough for anglers to reach the lake. With the water high, Larry expects the crappie fishing to be a on fire. “They’ll be in 8- to 10-feet of water instead of 1 to 2 feet,” he says. He’ll be looking for brush piles and jigging to find the fish. In dirty water, Larry recommends dark-colored jigs, such as black and chartreuse, black and orange or orange and chartreuse. White bass were also starting to arrive before the flood. Larry will meet them at the rivermouths with slabs, jigging spoons, and deep-running crankbaits.
“Fly fishing has been very good, but the water is high,” reports Carolyn Parker at (www.riverrunoutfitters.com) on the Tanneycomo section of the White River. High water has forced the guides to fish out of drift boats, but the brown and rainbow trout don’t seem to mind the conditions. The hot patterns are midges, crackle backs, and streamers such as sculpins. “We’re looking for any place with slack water,” Parker laughs, “which isn’t that easy with all this generation.” She acknowledges that high water and swift current are all part of fishing headwaters. Surprisingly, several anglers have reported catching walleye and white bass at the base of the dam. “That’s not a typical fishery,” she says, “but the high warm water has led the fish farther up stream.” The fish are falling for Rouges spinners. “I don’t know how much longer that will last,” she admits, “but it is fun.”
Reporting from Anglers Arsenal (www.anglersarsenal.com) in San Diego, John Cassidy announced that the largemouth bass have already spawned and moved off of their beds. He said the fish are jumping on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and drop-shot jigs. Water temperature on most of the lakes is in the low 60s. “The forecast is for reaction-bait fishing to get better through the beginning of May,” he said. “That’s a good time for frogs, flukes, jerkbaits, and medium-running crankbaits.” Dan adds that Anglers Arsenal’s first night fishing tournament was a big success. Competitors fished on San Vicente Lake and blasted largemouth bass—the winning stringer weighed over 12 pounds. In saltwater news, John said, Mission and San Diego Bay are chock full of spotted bay bass and the halibut are starting to spawn. He points anglers toward areas with uneven bottom and recommends they use swimming shad and other soft plastics. “Anything with an orange belly is working,” he said.