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TheRodFather

Some Susquehanna Smallies

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Took a guided trip with a buddy a few weeks ago and had a blast!  Unfortunately, very few boats can get to the places we fished. 

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Some more.

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We tripled up a couple times, on this one, mine is the biggest, the lighting must be bad or something..........:)

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i am trying to get up there again with my dad for some fall smallie action.  He bought a jet boat for fishing the susky and the upper Delaware.

I am always amazed at how many quality smallies are in that river, then i would kick over a rock and see the hundreds of crayfish scurrying away.

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Yeah, it was a great time.  Between the 3 of us we probably caught 90-100 fish in 6 hours.  The largest being my 19incher until my buddy landed a 21incher, argggg :).

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We did a float there once from Sunbury down to harrisburg pretty much and the smallest fish i caught in the few days out there was 17" and the largest was 22"....incredible fishery.  I just wish i was a little closer.

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Great fish!  That river is addictive, man.  When you catch it on a good day, the numbers fishing can be ridiculous, and it also produces some monsters.  I need to start fishing the Harrisburg area more.  

I actually caught this on the North Branch over the weekend on a Size 1 Clouser.  

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Nice smallmouths you got there. This is the time of the year for both numbers and big fish on the river.

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Joe Raymond from Susquehanna Smallmouth Guides.

He has some sick Youtube videos, check this out:

 

Not gonna lie, I get goosebumps every time I watch that.

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That boat is amazing. Owning a boat like that is my dream. 

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Most days I feel the same way, but then I think to myself that it's such a specialized boat, is it really worth it.  I guess it could be used for water that isn't skinny as well.  I'm am curious how much speed/comfort/ease of use a boat like that would be in waters where it doesn't have to be rockproof.

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14 hours ago, TheRodFather said:

Joe Raymond from Susquehanna Smallmouth Guides.

He has some sick Youtube videos, check this out:

 

Not gonna lie, I get goosebumps every time I watch that.

Thanks so much man! Can't wait to get on the river . I have never been so I know a guide would be the best way to get a good experience 

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10 hours ago, Mikeyslikz said:

Thanks so much man! Can't wait to get on the river . I have never been so I know a guide would be the best way to get a good experience 

There are some pretty good guide services that cover most of the river.  River fishing is a bit different, but once you figure out the Susquehanna, it's hard to justify trips for smallmouth almost anywhere else that isn't the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence chain.

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On 11/11/2016 at 11:19 AM, TheRodFather said:

Most days I feel the same way, but then I think to myself that it's such a specialized boat, is it really worth it.  I guess it could be used for water that isn't skinny as well.  I'm am curious how much speed/comfort/ease of use a boat like that would be in waters where it doesn't have to be rockproof.

While a jet boat is a specialized craft, it is great for fishing skinny water that only kayaks can get to.  My dad has an inboard jet on his boat and going 50mph isn't an issue so i don't think speed is a concern.  The only place they are really a problem is when idling in grassy areas as it can clog the intake.  Other than that, they work the same other than hull shape differences. 

For someone who is a guide on the susky i'd bet it extends his season by a lot and allows for reaching areas he couldn't with a conventional prop driven boat.

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12 hours ago, flyfisher said:

While a jet boat is a specialized craft, it is great for fishing skinny water that only kayaks can get to.  My dad has an inboard jet on his boat and going 50mph isn't an issue so i don't think speed is a concern.  The only place they are really a problem is when idling in grassy areas as it can clog the intake.  Other than that, they work the same other than hull shape differences. 

For someone who is a guide on the susky i'd bet it extends his season by a lot and allows for reaching areas he couldn't with a conventional prop driven boat.

If I were to guide the Susquehanna, I would want a jet boat without question.  The only other ways to fish a lot of it well would be either kayak or drift boat.  Drift boats and kayaks are both a lot of work and way less fun for the guide.  Also, just the abilities to cover water fast and make multiple passes in areas with fast current would make fishing much more efficient.  Paddling a mile long pool of dead water in slow current into a head wind to hit the next spot with clients watching the clock and expecting fish would suck.  

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I have been fishing the susky for 25 years now. Fished it while wading and with friends and family on their boats. Never owned a boat of my own till this year.

 

Well, it took three trips before I hit a rock with my prop! Got a little big for my britches. A jet is the best way to go but I got a great deal on this boat so it is what it is. I can't some places with it but it has a 101lb thrust trolling motor that gets me places I probably shouldn't be. 

 

The he river has gone through good and bad stages over the past 25 years. 100 fish days were common when I was younger. Fish were plentiful but lack anything really quality. I don't catch 100 in day anymore but I do catch 20 to 25 fish that are a lot better quality now.

 

it is a great place to fish but hard on your equipment!

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I fish the susky a lot I live about 45 minutes from it.I simply can't justify a 40k dollar jet boat for the amount of time I get to fish.I fish out of a kayak 90percent of the time and my prop boat the other ten.although it can be a lot of work from the kayak I truly enjoy it the most.drifting down the river watching a summer sunset catching 20" smallies on a topwaterr is about as good as it gets.and yes it is hard on your equipment boat,kayak,even shoes and your body.some days I feel beat up when I get off the river.but that's what keeps some of the less serious guys off the water.

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On 11/11/2016 at 11:19 AM, TheRodFather said:

Most days I feel the same way, but then I think to myself that it's such a specialized boat, is it really worth it.  I guess it could be used for water that isn't skinny as well.  I'm am curious how much speed/comfort/ease of use a boat like that would be in waters where it doesn't have to be rockproof.

 

I run a 17ft aluminum with a 40hp jet outboard. It's nothing compared to the one in the video but it can get to most of those places,  I just have to be a little more careful. I run it in deep water, lakes etc too. It's fine but has it's limitations. For instance, rough water. The intake will suck air if running too fast in rough water. It needs to stay in contact with water. Only about an inch is submerged. You loose around 20% hp using a jet pump. My motor is rated 55hp (Suzuki dt55 ) but only 40hp with the jet. The boat is rated for 40hp. 40 is plenty to move a 17ft aluminum. They're also a pain to drive at low speeds, they don't steer like a prop driven boat. The sweet-spot between under-steer and over-steer is sometimes hard to find. I don't enjoy putting it on the trailer.

 

I found the boat on ebay for $3001 about 12 years ago. It's hit many rocks and looks like it. That's what it's for. I had to go to Conn (from Maryland) to get it.

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13 hours ago, Snipe Hunter said:

 

I run a 17ft aluminum with a 40hp jet outboard. It's nothing compared to the one in the video but it can get to most of those places,  I just have to be a little more careful. I run it in deep water, lakes etc too. It's fine but has it's limitations. For instance, rough water. The intake will suck air if running too fast in rough water. It needs to stay in contact with water. Only about an inch is submerged. You loose around 20% hp using a jet pump. My motor is rated 55hp (Suzuki dt55 ) but only 40hp with the jet. The boat is rated for 40hp. 40 is plenty to move a 17ft aluminum. They're also a pain to drive at low speeds, they don't steer like a prop driven boat. The sweet-spot between under-steer and over-steer is sometimes hard to find. I don't enjoy putting it on the trailer.

 

I found the boat on ebay for $3001 about 12 years ago. It's hit many rocks and looks like it. That's what it's for. I had to go to Conn (from Maryland) to get it.

 

I have been looking for something just like that, that I can fish those areas but not break the bank.  How is the hull holding up to the rocks?  What specific hull is it?

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23 hours ago, TheRodFather said:

 

I have been looking for something just like that, that I can fish those areas but not break the bank.  How is the hull holding up to the rocks?  What specific hull is it?

It's a mid 80's Sylvan with an '89 Suzuki 55hp 2 stroke. Heavier than I'd like but it works. As far as the hull goes, it's riveted. I've clipped some rivets off on rocks and replaced them with stainless screws and fiber washers. There's also a gash under the gunnel that is packed with "Kitty Hair" (short fiberglass strands in an autobody filler). I have to replace it now and then. I was real close to scrapping the hull when aluminum prices were high and replacing it with a 16ft Tracker/Grizzly. One of these days I'll bump into a cheap used hull more suited for a jet. Although... this has been a good boat, it's great on the Susky flats and pulled more than one prop job out of the shallows.

 

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I admittedly don't know much about boats, I figured I should be looking at something with a flat, or mod v hull.  Yours looks like a fairly deep v, and your saying it works out well so I will expand my search, thanks!

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If you look at the stern, there really is no "V" to the hull, it's almost completely flat. It's actually too flat. Only the bow has any V to it which is nice in rough water like I see sometimes in the bay and lakes. And you're right, it is a deep hull. It's not so much about how deep the hull is, it's about how deep it's draft is and it floats pretty high. When the stars align, I'll replace the hull with a modified V/John like I mentioned above. One of these days, I'll bump into one with a 40hp rating. I'd rather buy used, new would be around 4k and I don't want to pay that. Some jet-boats use a "tunnel" hull. I understand the concept but I don't really see the advantage. It's my feeling that a tunnel has more drag because it looks to me like there's more hull in the water while on plane and the sides act like keels. Ideally, you don't want much keel/strakes as they make jets harder to steer. It wants to track the direction of the strakes. But, nearly all aluminum boats have strakes of some sort. You want the ability to slide sideways a bit to get the full benefit of steering with a jet. Prop boats steer with the rudder under the prop, jets steer with thrust.

 

Mine will run wide open in less than 6" of water. A proper 6 deg. deadrise hull will run in less than that. An inboard like the one in the video will run in just a couple inches but you better not stop.

 

From everything I've read, ideally, you want about a 6-7 degree deadrise ("V") for a jet. You want any air bubbles pushed out to the sides of the boat before it gets sucked up into the pump. You don't have to worry so much about that with a prop because it's submerged below the bubbles.

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Hey Guys, planning on taking a trip to Susquehanna this summer. I will be fishing out of a kayak. The closest spot to me is in Wilkes-Berre. Is it worth fishing there or should I try farther north? Any other tips would be great!

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On 21/03/2017 at 9:59 AM, Fishinggeek said:

Hey Guys, planning on taking a trip to Susquehanna this summer. I will be fishing out of a kayak. The closest spot to me is in Wilkes-Berre. Is it worth fishing there or should I try farther north? Any other tips would be great!

I grew up basically right there.  The North Branch is still a big river, but definitely much smaller than the stretch closer to Harrisburg.  I fish less than 30 min north of Wilkes Barre and it's some of my favorites water anywhere.  The Wilkes-Barre stretch is still excellent.  There are some slow, deep stretches that aren't my preference during the summer just below Wilkes-Barre, but if you do a little research, it's very difficult to beat.  If you can fish the conditions, you'll have your next trip planned before you leave. 

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On 3/21/2017 at 9:59 AM, Fishinggeek said:

Hey Guys, planning on taking a trip to Susquehanna this summer. I will be fishing out of a kayak. The closest spot to me is in Wilkes-Berre. Is it worth fishing there or should I try farther north? Any other tips would be great!

If you head up north to the Apple Tree boat launch in Harding along Rt. 92 there is some great summer fishing there. Its shallower and has a lot of riffles that bass love to sit down-river from. Also it has some feeder creeks that tend to hold bass.

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13 hours ago, Gundog said:

If you head up north to the Apple Tree boat launch in Harding along Rt. 92 there is some great summer fishing there. Its shallower and has a lot of riffles that bass love to sit down-river from. Also it has some feeder creeks that tend to hold bass.

A mile or so in either direction is excellent depending upon water levels. I love that stretch of water.  Similarly, if you drop in a bit further north around the Falls Bridge, there are some other great stretches.  The area in between has put a LOT of summertime smallmouth over 3lbs in my boat/kayak. 

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