Delaware River, Pennsylvania—Gary Mauz can’t get enough of the excellent smallmouth fishing on the Delaware River. So, he’s taking his clients on three-day, two-night excursions down the Water Gap section of the River. “It’s a lot of fun,” he says, explaining that he can cover 25 miles of pristine wilderness and take advantage of the predawn bite or even fish after dark. He’s finding smallies on shallow flats with streamers before the sun comes up. On the full moon, Gary will fish for striped bass through the night. During the day, he’s using streamers, wooly buggers, crayfish and hellgrammite patterns to find striped bass on the faster side of current breaks and smallmouth bass on the slower side. “It’s all wilderness,” he says, “we’re seeing bald eagles, deer, and black bears.” Oh my!
Toccoa River, Georgia**_—“Fishing is great,” reports Gene Rutowski from Upper River Adventures in northern Georgia. Gene says that a good flow of freshwater has left the rainbow, brown and brook trout hungry. He recommends that anglers fish the Toccoa River and it’s tributaries. “Just look for a pullover in the National Forest along any of the streams,” he says, adding that the best stretches of river are in Fannin County. The trout aren’t too particular about their diet and Gene is catching fish on caddis imitations in the morning and wooly buggers and parachute Adams with a drop-down nymph in the afternoon.
Percy Priest Lake, Tennessee—In his lifetime, Tennessee bass guide Brian Carper has caught thousands of largemouth bass. But he’s still learning some lessons about his favorite fish. This week, Brian was schooled by his fishing partner on Percy Priest Lake. “The fish are in their summer pattern which usually means fishing deep drops with small jigs,” Brian says, but his partner was using a heavier football jig and catching more fish. It didn’t take long for Carper to catch on and switch tactics. Brian says that a big 12-inch worm on a Carolina Rig is a mainstay of local bass sharpies. “You’re not going to catch tons of bass, but you’ll catch bigger fish,” he says. Old Hickory lake is following the same pattern, but Carper is also finding bass by flipping frogs and worms to the shallow grass beds early in the morning. Bass fishing may be slow, but crappie fishing is red hot. Brian has been jumping from submerged trees, to bridge pilings, to rock piles and loading up on these pan fish. “Get a bucket of minnows, a couple of buoys to mark the structure, and some small jigs and you can catch 50 to 60 crappies a day,” he says.
Miami River, Ohio—“The local rivers are on fire!” reports Tom Zobrish from Fisherman’s Quarters (937-222-2224) in Dayton Ohio. The Miami River is holding good numbers of smallmouths and channel catfish, but northern pike are creating the most excitement. According to Tom, anglers are catching northerns by bouncing ¼-ounce jigs and twister tails in the rock piles, bridge abutments, and flow dams. “About every third fish is a pike,” he said. C.J. Brown Reservoir is the hot spot for walleye. Use a ½-ounce black and silver Hot-n-Tot to invite a mess of walleye to your Independence Day BBQ.
Astoria, Oregon—We caught up with Marv McQuinn while he was fishing for Sturgeon out of Astoria on the lower Columbia River. “Wait a minute,” he said when he answered the phone, “I’ve got to land a fish.” A few seconds later, he was back on the phone. “Fishing hasn’t been red hot,” he said as we overheard someone behind him announce that the sturgeon was 43 inches. Marv explained that they were on the end of the sturgeon run and gearing up for the arrival of salmon. For the sturgeon, Marv anchors up and drops anchovies on the bottom. “Wait for them to bite three times before you set the hook,” he suggests. Even though the action hasn’t been fast, Marv has managed to produce keeper sturgeon on each trip. In a few weeks he’ll return to the same area to troll for salmon.