As my friend and I made our way from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, we were driving in a misty rain. Thoughts started to creep into our heads about the clarity of the river we were heading towards to fish. It was not just any river, but the mighty Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna is a world class Smallmouth Bass fishery and was recently voted by BASS as one of the top 100 places to fish in the country. As we crossed over the Delaware Water Gap and into Pennsylvania the rain had stopped and the skies were starting to show signs of a sunrise. We met our guide Mike Lionetti at a little truck stop off the interstate. He uses an aluminum jet boat to get around on the river. The boat was a fishing machine and the jet motor allowed us to zoom over rocks in only a few feet of water.
We got on the fish quickly targeting shorelines and throwing topwater baits, as the morning went on and the sun was getting higher the bite slowed down. We paid close attention to swirls around spawning flats. I was casting a Strike King Sexy Shad lipless crank bait and got a few nice ones over two pounds. The water was stained and we knew that flash & noise would play a big role in being successful on the water. When you loose water clarity it’s not the end of the world, use anything that screams “hey over here’. Mike explained to us ways to approach a river when fishing it & not to be intimidated by current but to use it to your advantage.
The Susquehanna by the end of that day’s trip now holds a place in our memories. It’s a place of great Smallmouth Bass fishing and majestic wildlife!
By Richie Moschella