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Robert Hergan

Susquehanna River Bass Fishing

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I fish the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania in specific spots. But, I'm not very familiar with all around baits to throw to catch more, and bigger Smallmouth Bass, specifically in the spring. Was wondering if anyone had any tips on baits, suggestions, or tricks to put more Smallmouth in the boat on the Susquehanna River! Thanks again.

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  I think I can help. I fish the northern branch, from Bloomsburg to Wilkes Barre. First thing in spring is to consider water height and temp. The clarity usually goes with height. The higher the river, the darker the water. For temps I look at the past 6 days of high and low temps. Average them together and you have roughly the river temp. When that temp hits the 50's I start fishing. In the early spring the middle of the day is best. 

 

  The height of the water is important because you should be looking for current breaks the smallmouths will use to get out of the current. Those places could be slack or "dead" water behind points coming out from the shore, trees laying in the water, wing dams, or big boulders under the water. These dead water areas are always near eddies that the bass use to bring food to them.  Just look for foam, dead leafs or other debris that is not moving in the current. Those are dead water areas. 

 

  Next is the lures. I always start out small with small spinner baits and crankbaits. You want something with vibration because at this time of year the water is stained to down right muddy. The fish need vibration to track your bait easier. If I'm catching fish with small lures I go bigger. I'm talking 4 to 5 inch swim baits like Strike King Shadalicious or a large spinner bait like you would use for largemouth bass. Also I like a 3 inch Cotton Cordell Big O crank bait. 

cottoncordellc77bigosssss.jpg.c66c04162895747f188438ab3f8c45d3.jpg

Vibration is the key to catching big bass on the Susky in spring. Good luck. If you need anymore advice, this is the best forum to find it. 

  

BTW this is my little stretch of heaven...

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1 minute ago, Gundog said:

  I think I can help. I fish the northern branch, from Bloomsburg to Wilkes Barre. First thing in spring is to consider water height and temp. The clarity usually goes with height. The higher the river, the darker the water. For temps I look at the past 6 days of high and low temps. Average them together and you have roughly the river temp. When that temp hits the 50's I start fishing. In the early spring the middle of the day is best. 

 

  The height of the water is important because you should be looking for current breaks the smallmouths will use to get out of the current. Those places could be slack or "dead" water behind points coming out from the shore, trees laying in the water, wing dams, or big boulders under the water. These dead water areas are always near eddies that the bass use to bring food to them.  Just look for foam, dead leafs or other debris that is not moving in the current. Those are dead water areas. 

 

  Next is the lures. I always start out small with small spinner baits and crankbaits. You want something with vibration because at this time of year the water is stained to down right muddy. The fish need vibration to track your bait easier. If I'm catching fish with small lures I go bigger. I'm talking 4 to 5 inch swim baits like Strike King Shadalicious or a large spinner bait like you would use for largemouth bass. Also I like a 3 inch Cotton Cordell Big O crank bait. 

cottoncordellc77bigosssss.jpg.c66c04162895747f188438ab3f8c45d3.jpg

Vibration is the key to catching big bass on the Susky in spring. Good luck. If you need anymore advice, this is the best forum to find it. 

  

Thanks so much for all this info! I have a few spinnerbaits including, I believe a 1/2oz white one for Largemouth. I typically throw red/orange/craw colored crankbaits as well as chartreuse sexy shad colors in a squarebill.  I also have a few red eyed shad crankbaits I can't wait to try. I've heard a lot of talk about using jerkbaits in the spring for Smallies, as well as small tubes. Do you have any input on that? Thanks a ton!

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19 minutes ago, Robert Hergan said:

Thanks so much for all this info! I have a few spinnerbaits including, I believe a 1/2oz white one for Largemouth. I typically throw red/orange/craw colored crankbaits as well as chartreuse sexy shad colors in a squarebill.  I also have a few red eyed shad crankbaits I can't wait to try. I've heard a lot of talk about using jerkbaits in the spring for Smallies, as well as small tubes. Do you have any input on that? Thanks a ton!

The area I fish is extremely rocky. Jerkbaits are tough to fish in those areas. Oddly enough, crankbaits don't have a lot of the same problems. Maybe because of the jerking action I use to work the jerkbait. I fish from shore so small tubes tend to get stuck under rocks to much. But I know people who do fish from boats who use tubes. I always go by the rule that when big fish are biting, use the big lures to catch them. 

IMG_0368.thumb.JPG.7f788669b55c82b35b6a99eb842d18c4.JPG

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3 minutes ago, Gundog said:

The area I fish is extremely rocky. Jerkbaits are tough to fish in those areas. Oddly enough, crankbaits don't have a lot of the same problems. Maybe because of the jerking action I use to work the jerkbait. I fish from shore so small tubes tend to get stuck under rocks to much. But I know people who do fish from boats who use tubes. I always go by the rule that when big fish are biting, use the big lures to catch them. 

IMG_0368.thumb.JPG.7f788669b55c82b35b6a99eb842d18c4.JPG

I strongly agree! Thanks for the feedback! I'm mainly asking this due to the fact that I may be doing some tournaments in the spring, and need to know some great go-to lures for the spring months.

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42 minutes ago, Robert Hergan said:

I strongly agree! Thanks for the feedback! I'm mainly asking this due to the fact that I may be doing some tournaments in the spring, and need to know some great go-to lures for the spring months.

Good luck with the tourneys.

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Just now, Gundog said:

Good luck with the tourneys.

Thanks bro! First time I'm ever doing it!

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I took a guide out of Harriisburg PA for my one and only small mouth trip.  We fished by the airport and south but above 3 mile island. We used white flukes weightless nose hooked with red mosquito hooks. He said the red hooks were important. It produced good numbers. The bigger fish were caught on a green pumpkin vibrating jig.

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40 minutes ago, Bass Turd said:

I took a guide out of Harriisburg PA for my one and only small mouth trip.  We fished by the airport and south but above 3 mile island. We used white flukes weightless nose hooked with red mosquito hooks. He said the red hooks were important. It produced good numbers. The bigger fish were caught on a green pumpkin vibrating jig.

Thanks! Just learned how to better fish chatterbaits. So I'm hoping that they can produce for me this spring. Did you fish in the spring in PA?

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We fished late summer/early fall

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27 minutes ago, Bass Turd said:

We fished late summer/early fall

Not bad. Thanks for the input! I'm looking for spring tips, but thanks!

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I fished alot up near the Juniata. Big O crank baits and Mizmo tubes were king. In the colder water early spring a jerk bait and small hair jig with a small leech style trailer produced many in the 4lb class. 

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3 hours ago, Lendiesel22 said:

I fished alot up near the Juniata. Big O crank baits and Mizmo tubes were king. In the colder water early spring a jerk bait and small hair jig with a small leech style trailer produced many in the 4lb class. 

Any pictures or anything of your hair jig? Could you put a link possibly of the things you used. Would love to try them! Thanks!

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Caught my PB Smallie 20" on green pumpkin tubes off the Juniata in March.

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