Fishing the Susquehanna River: The Ultimate Guide

Studying Time: 10 minutes

With an unimaginable variety of fishing spots at their disposal, East Coast anglers have it good, and a Susquehanna River fishing expertise exhibits it. The longest river on the East Coast, “the Susky” has over 400 miles of fishable water to discover.

The river has two components which be part of collectively in Northumberland, PA. From there, it flows in unison to the Chesapeake Bay. The North Department flows from Otsego Lake in New York, whereas the West Department begins within the Allegheny Mountains. Because it makes its method to the Atlantic Ocean, the depth and width of the river fluctuate – however you possibly can rely on a gentle stream of fish all through!

Prime Catches within the Susquehanna River

Not solely is the Susquehanna among the many 20 longest rivers within the US, but it surely’s one of many oldest rivers on the planet. With its unpredictable waters and productive fisheries, the river is taken into account to be older than the Appalachian Mountains.

Though its uncommon title means “Oyster River” within the language of Lenape, these huge waters are a real fishing oasis. A number of the species you possibly can goal embody Smallmouth Bass, Musky, Catfish, Sunfish, Carp, Yellow Perch, Walleye, and even Trout. Let’s check out some favourite catches alongside the river.

The Comeback of Smallmouth Bass

Smallies are the superstars of the Susquehanna River, each as a result of they’re ample and since you possibly can simply hook a lunker. Fishing is open year-round, however completely different seasons dictate completely different setups and strategies to get the Smallmouth to chew.

In spring, Bronzebacks are voracious and can blindly leap on something that resembles meals. Whereas the water is colder (within the 40s), utilizing hair jigs slowly may simply award you with a large fish.

Because the water warms up, Smallies transfer to deeper waters, so dawn and sundown normally supply the most effective fishing. After Smallmouth Bass spawn in mid-June, drift fishing round large rocks can land you a fish pushing 18 inches lengthy. Summer time fishing on the Susquehanna requires native angling expertise, so hiring a information is very beneficial.

Come fall, Smallies will begin making ready for colder days, so that they’ll be aggressive of their feeding. Crankbaits and swimbaits work like a allure, and you may typically see fly anglers going after their subsequent large catch. Colder water can draw out “hogs,” and when you can catch a trophy right here year-round, the autumn appears most promising.

Even after being hit by a virus from 2005–2012, the Smallmouth Bass inhabitants has bounced again splendidly. Some native guides would even argue that Bass fishing is healthier now than it’s been in many years. The one method to know for positive is to hit the water and see for your self!

The Trout Chunk Retains Getting Higher

Whereas most anglers come to the Susquehanna to focus on Bass, the river’s very good Trout fishing is all the fad, too. Within the higher reaches of the Limitless Mountains, the views are breathtaking, the water is evident, and Trout stay and thrive. And it’s not simply your common Trout: some impressive-sized fish name these waters residence.

The winding West Department is shallower right here, with a rocky backside that retains the water oxygenated, making it an ideal habitat for Trout. Brook and Rainbow are the preferred catches, together with Brownies. They will are available a wide range of sizes, and 20″ fish are a fairly widespread sight. The perfect time to forged your line is within the spring months, although late fall additionally gives an excellent chew.

Fly fishing for Trout on the West Department is an unimaginable expertise. This space boasts secluded areas, some beautiful nature as a backdrop, clear waters, and delightful fish. Dry fly fishing will carry good outcomes, and a few anglers have confirmed that streamer fly fishing is equally productive. For conventional fishermen, this part of the river gives a superb chew, particularly in the event you use mealworms or earthworms as bait.

In all probability the most effective spots to go after Trout on the Susquehanna River embody Boiling Springs Run, Curwensville Dam, and Shryock Run. There are many entry factors to fish from shore, and in the event you’re driving, fishing from bridges is at all times good.

This Trout fishery has flourished prior to now few years because of the intensive authorities cleanup initiatives. There’s even part of the West Department that’s now protected by legislation, and catch and launch is necessary. Wherever you determine to fish for Trout on the West Department, bear in mind to get a Trout stamp earlier than you head out.

Catfish Galore

Should you’re within the temper to hunt for the final word predators of the Susquehanna River, then Catfish must be your prey of alternative. It doesn’t matter in the event you’re searching for your subsequent fish dinner or a brand new private trophy – these whiskery devils are available all sizes and styles, and so they like to eat.

Many seasoned anglers discover the center part of the river seeking these monsters, and so they’re more likely to discover them. The most recent Pennsylvania document was hooked right here in 2019, proper subsequent to Decrease Bear Island. The Flathead beast weighed over 50 kilos and was simply over 45 inches lengthy. The fish was launched again to the river, which implies it’s nonetheless on the market – it could be only one forged away!

Channel Catfish are one other widespread catch, and so they’re additionally native to the Susquehanna. Should you select to go fishing wherever from Sunbury to Harrisburg, you possibly can bump into a good Channel Cat starting from 15–35 inches. Should you’re going after one thing large, you must use one thing large to get its consideration – stay sunfish and bluegill normally do an excellent job.

Evening catfishing may be very widespread on this space, a lot in order that there are constitution captains providing specialised night time journeys. Beneath the quilt of darkness, you’ll discover large Cats hiding round rock ledges and drop-offs, ready to ambush.

The perfect recommendation is to make use of robust traces and leaders for monster Cats, as a result of they disguise round large, sharp rocks. Within the winter, select your catfishing spot fastidiously, as a result of these large guys get fairly apathetic in chilly water. Your greatest shot is Brunner’s Island, the place a close-by energy plant frequently discharges heat water. Each Flatheads and Channels come right here to feed.

Musky on the Susky

If you’re within the temper for a little bit of sportfishing, the Musky motion on the Susquehanna River won’t disappoint! You may goal this hard-fighting fish any time of the yr and are available again to land with superior outcomes. Muskies are native to Pennsylvania, and their dimension plus combating skills are what maintain sport anglers coming again for extra.

Whereas these acrobatic fellas are energetic all yr, the most effective time to chase them is normally from November to February. Round this era, they’re making ready for winter and can gulp down absolutely anything that comes their method. You’re the potential of catching a specimen that may be as much as 45 inches lengthy, typically much more. Having a lunker like that in your line guarantees a superb, adrenaline-pumping battle.

Muskies like to hang around in deep waters, so that you’ll have the most effective probability of hooking one thing good in the event you fish from a ship. Normally, you’ll need to hit your prey with bigger setups. Jigs are the best way to go in winter. In hotter months, the quick motion produced by spinnerbaits will get their consideration. When going after Muskies, bear in mind to organize a powerful wire chief, as a result of these toothy critters boast an excellent robust chew.

Owego Creek, Murphy’s Island, and Hiawatha Island are just some famend fishing spots on the river the place the Musky chew is constant and nothing in need of thrilling.

The place to Go Fishing on the Susquehanna River

The Susquehanna boasts tons of of miles of fishable waters, so selecting a spot to forged your line could be intimidating. One of the best ways to choose your candy spot is to determine which species you’d like to focus on. That may enable you slender down your search to a bit of the river that has your fish of alternative.

As we talked about, the West Department is the place to be in the event you’re going after Trout. The western part of Penn’s Creek has an outstanding Trout inhabitants and it’s the number-one location for passionate fly anglers. Need a change of tempo? Head out additional east and also you’ll be welcomed by the wonderful Smallmouth Bass chew.

Trout anglers can even have success fishing Speedy Run and Midway Lake within the R.B. Winter State Park, in addition to Roaring Creek Tract within the Weiser State Forest. One other noteworthy suggestion is to maintain your eye on the river’s tributaries. These streams have a great Brook Trout inhabitants that fairly often discover their method to the river.

The river’s North Department fishing alternatives are principally dominated by Smallmouth Bass and Walleye, and this development continues all through New York State. After the river passes Nice Bend in Pennsylvania, extra species enter the scene, together with Catfish, Musky, and Perch. Duncannon and Harrisburg are among the many best fishing spots. Right here, you will discover wonderful fish and educated guides that’ll take you to them.

As we come to the decrease portion of the river, Catfish take middle stage. The stretch between York Haven Dam all the best way to Columbia is teeming with all sizes of Flatheads and Channels.

Lastly, some of the productive spots on the river is Lake Augusta, positioned simply south of Sunbury. All kinds of species calls these waters residence, with Smallmouth Bass, Musky, Catfish, Walleye, and Carp all there for the taking.

The Susquehanna River has ample fishing alternatives, and it’s as much as you to choose your turf and benefit from the river’s potential to the max.

Tips on how to Fish the Susquehanna River

The sweetness and benefit of fishing an enormous physique of water is that you just’ve received your fishing choices open. Whether or not you determine to go into the unknown by yourself or guide a visit with a educated native captain who is aware of his method round, chances are high, you’re going to have a great time. After all, it’s at all times good to have a information by your aspect that will help you with choosing the proper spots to forged your line. Listed here are some ideas in the event you’re unsure the place to go.

Fishing on Your Personal

Nothing beats the tranquility of being alone on the water, surrounded by nature and the sound of your screaming reel. Fortunately, the Susquehanna winds via many nationwide parks and a few attractive nature, the place each the chew and surroundings are nothing in need of incredible.

A lot of the West Department’s angling motion is well-suited to solo anglers searching for an amazing Trout catch. This a part of the river is extra slender and distant, which inserts completely with the fly angler’s notion of heaven! Whether or not you’re wading or fishing from shore, you possibly can forged your line virtually wherever.

Two branches of the river come collectively to kind the Susquehanna River Valley, the place you’ll discover loads of piers and state parks to fish from. Native fishermen love going to Shikellamy State Park, in addition to Milton State Park, the place you possibly can admire the wildlife and scenic views while you’re not combating your catch.

One other great spot for anglers preferring fishing on their very own is the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam, proper subsequent to Lake Augusta. It’s accessible via the Shikellamy State Park, each by boat and on foot. The fishing motion is strong all year long, there are many species to select from, and to high all of it off, this spot is picture-perfect.

On a Constitution

If fishing the Susquehanna is new to you and also you don’t actually know the place to start, an skilled fishing information is a life-saver. Harrisburg and Dunncannon are by far the preferred launching spots. If fishing one of many Branches sounds higher, you will discover an area fisherman prepared to point out you the ropes.

Most captains on the river supply each half day and full day journeys, and the principle distinction between the 2 is how a lot time you’ll have on the water and what number of completely different spots you’ll fish. Some guides have specialised journeys on supply, the place you possibly can dedicate wherever from 4–8 hours concentrating on a particular species. If you guide a constitution, all the mandatory gear and bait will normally be included within the value, so that you don’t must carry your tools. Costume nicely, carry loads of meals and drinks, and also you’re prepared for motion.

One factor to keep in mind is your fishing license. Seeing because the Susquehanna flows via three states (New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland), license necessities change from state to state. In some areas, you’ll be in command of getting your personal license, and in others, the captain will present it for you. One of the best ways to know for positive is to test native laws together with your information earlier than your journey, so that you’ll be ready.

Guidelines and Rules to Hold in Thoughts

One of many foremost issues to cowl earlier than you begin exploring the Susquehanna River is native fishing legal guidelines and laws. These will change from one state to a different and a few components of the river (just like the higher Western Department) have particular laws you want to pay attention to. Once more, it’s very helpful to get the recommendation of an area. They’ll maintain you within the loop and forestall you from inadvertently breaking the legislation.

Normally, everybody who’s 16 and older ought to have a sound fishing license. You should purchase the license on-line or in a deal with store. Keep in mind that, in Pennsylvania, you must have your license visibly displayed always whereas fishing. One other essential factor to notice is that in the event you plan on concentrating on Trout, you’ll want a Trout Stamp to take action legally.

The Promised Waters of the Susquehanna River

Whether or not you’re simply beginning your fishing profession otherwise you’re a seasoned angler, fishing the Susquehanna River will shock you in all the appropriate methods. With its variety of surroundings, species, and alternatives, this historic physique of water appears to have all of it.

Jap Seaboard angling isn’t nearly unimaginable saltwater adventures, its freshwater world is simply as wealthy and thrilling. However don’t simply take heed to us! Take a look at out the waters of the Susquehanna River and let your self be amazed by what you discover.

Have you ever ever been fishing on the Susquehanna River? What are your experiences? Do you could have any recommendation you’d prefer to share? Tell us within the feedback!

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