Saturday, August 27, 2011

Anthracite Outfitters 8-12-2011 Susquehanna River Kayakfishing Trip and Report

This past weekend Anthracite Outfitters was lucky to get out on the river with a longtime friend for an overnight trip that we had planned for a year.  My buddy Jason had flown in from Calif. to see family and decided to take an extra day from traveling to try out kayak fishing on the Susquehanna River on an overnight adventure that would take us down about 12 miles of river and camping under the full moon….

The bite has been tough with the water being stained and slightly dirty for pretty much the whole summer and free time coming at a premium this year has just stacked the deck against my personal angling time on the river this summer, so needless to say I was excited to see an old friend and hit the river…

We launched later in the day and traversed through the boulder strewn area that is called the “Boulder Garden”as the sun had begun to set.  We managed to land a bunch of smallies in the 10” to 12” range and landed a few in the 16”+ range.

We pulled the Hobie’s up on the island and proceeded to make camp for the night.  The Hobie Outback and Quest have really proven themselves over the last few seasons to be excellent fishing kayaks on the river, carrying more than enough gear and providing perfect angling platforms in the shallow and sometimes very rocky Susquehanna River.

Unfortunately one of the larger fish was mortally hooked by the stinger hook on the spinnerbait that he inhaled and was harvested.  I practice C & R with all smallmouth, but just saw no sense in tossing him back only to die within minutes, he just wasn’t going to make it..

We used my favorite campsite on an island in the river that is below a high ridge line that shields the sun until about 11am in the morning and the moon as well until it is high in the sky at night.  The full moon rose above the ridge around midnight and turned the river into an almost seemingly daylight fishing experience, but really shut the bite down in the same respect.

This image was captured at about 1am.

This image was captured at 2:30am from the campsite.

The following day we awoke to a pancake breakfast and really enjoyed our float down river to the vehicle enjoying the peace and quiet that only the river can give.  Just before our exit point we ended up picking up a few more smallmouth in another larger boulder area with some deeper water.

Smaller swimbaits and white spinnerbaits were the ticket and the fish are holding tough in the ripples and rapids behind the rocks on the down river side looking for that oxygen rich water that is naturally being cooled through the elevation drops and rapids and waiting for the food that is being transported down river through the small current seams and food conveyor belts that snake through and around the rocks and boulders on the river bottom. 

This was the best trip so far in 2011 for Anthracite Outfitters, shared with a great longtime friend over two spectacular days on the Susquehanna River here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Capt. Dan Hubbard
Owner:  Anthracite Outfitters LLC

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