Fishing on the Susquehanna River was scary good this week. The fish came out for a treat and anglers showed them a trick. George Acord at Susquehanna Fishing Tackle (www.sfttackle.com) told us that the fall bite was in full swing. He said that water temperatures are in the low-50s and the water is rising into optimal range at 17000 CFS. “The smallmouth are aggressive,” he said, reporting that fish averaging 3 pounds are striking at anything that moves. George says that the most popular baits are a Bill Norman and Bandit crankbaits that dive 4 to 8 feet. Catching smallmouths with a jerkbait is a no brainer, George says, recommending Lucky Crafts Pointer 100 in ghost minnow and chartreuse. “We’re catching good quality fish on jerkbaits,” he said. On cloudy days with light wind, George says that the smallies are crushing topwaters. “We’ve been catching fish to 4 pounds on Lucky Craft Sammys,” he said. The bass go into hiding on bright sunny days, but George will tempt them with a tube jig on a 1/8 ounce leadhead and 8 pound test fluorocarbon. While the water level is high, he looks for fish hanging around islands and in the main river shorlines. When the level goes back down, the fish will move to submerged rock ledges. “The dam is open and the fish are going off,” he said, “this is our favorite time of year.”
Atlanta anglers are getting a nice treat for Halloween this year—the delayed harvest sections of the Chattahoochee River will open to fishing on November 1. Paul Puckett at Fish Hawk (www.thefishhawk.com) told us that the sections of the river that run through downtown Atlanta will be stocked and ready for fishing on Saturday. He recommends using a parachute Adams dry fly with a nymph dropper. “All the access points are hot,” he says, “because that’s where they dump the fish.” If the easy spots are too crowded, Paul suggests anglers sneak off to the deeper drops along the river that will hold more fish and fewer fishermen. “Fishing should be good until the fish smarten up,” he said. Anglers who want to leave town for the weekend should head up to Toccoa River and fish below the dam or at Curtis Switch Road or Horseshoe Bend. Paul says that the water is off color due to the Blueridge Lake switching over, so anglers should use Adam dry flies or streamers. He says that the Nantahala River in North Carolina would also be a great destination for a weekend getaway. “If I could go somewhere this weekend,” he said, “that’s where I’d go.”
Bass fishing is serious business around Tulsa, Oklahoma and this week business is good. Jack Kitchen at Okie Bait and Tackle in Broken Arrow reports that bass fishing has been excellent in Grand, Gibson, and Hudson Lakes. He said that the best baits have been soft plastics, square-bill crankbaits, and spinner baits. “A soft plastic worms on a Carolina rig with a ¾ ounce eggsinker has been the ticket,” he said. Jack reported that anglers are intercepting bass that are chasing shad in the back creeks and on secondary points. He added that guys are catching big cats on the flats in the mainlakes close to creek channels with chunks of shad. Smallmouth are also snapping on crankbaits, spinners, and Senkos at Lake Tenkiller. “Look for the fish hanging on chunk rocks,” he said. Jack didn’t forget about crappies, he said that they are on all the structure in the lakes taking minnows.
It seems that all of the kids in costumes have scared away the fish on the western shore of Lake Erie. Or maybe it was the persistent offshore winds that have pushed the water and fish out of Maumee Bay. Not to fear, according to Jackie Mainzinger at Fisherman’s Cave (www.fishermanscave.com), the walleye and perch have just moved around the bend to Bolles Harbor and Luna Pier. She said that anglers casting Bombers off the end of the pier at night have been connecting with some nice-sized walleye. The perch are falling for spreaders, she said. “When the wind stop blowing, the water and fish will return,” Jackie assured us. She recommends anglers fish Turtle Island and the Toledo Harbor Lights with Bombers and blade baits.
Anglers in Central California are waiting for cooler weather to fire up the trout in local lakes. Until then, they are taking advantage of great bass fishing. Eric Mathiesen at Been There Caught That, reported that anglers dragging rubberworms with a Carolina rig or throwing spinner baits to the banks and structure are scoring double digit catches of largemouth. Once the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, locals will switch to trolling spinners and Krocodile spoons and triple teasers. On the saltwater scene, Eric reported good fishing for rock cod and ling cod out of Point San Lois. He suggests taking one of the local headboats for some rock cod action before the season ends on November 30. Eric has been targeting big sharks from Pismo and Gaviota piers. “That’s one of my favorite places to fish,” he said.—Ric Burnley