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Thursday, 12 December 2013 13:15

Kayak fishing the freeze!

Written by Juan Veruete
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The two-day unseasonably warm spell ended today! The air temperatures dropped from 45°F at 8am to the upper 30s in a few hours while we fished! Overcast and cold, drizzling rain were the order of the day. A couple times I swear the rain turned to sleet in the afternoon. Water temperatures stood steady at 38°F and the water clarity was nice at about 4’. This was the first day of a predicted freeze that ended that night with snow and freezing rain.

We fished a known wintering hole on the Susquehanna River, and focused all our efforts to find the “spot” on the spot. We found most of our fish in the middle third of the pool, taking advantage of the slowest current during the cool down. Fish were holding on minor ledges (submerged) ranging from about 5’-8’ deep. Three particular areas/ledges held fish, so after a process of elimination we focused most of our efforts on those spots.

We landed over twenty smallmouth bass, with the two biggest at 18″ and 19″. Two presentations produced fish for us today. The Winco’s Custom Lures “Baby Predator Craw” produced a run of smallmouth for me in the early morning when the air temps were fairly warm. The bite was incredibly light. One very light tap was the only indicator of a strike. A quick hookset was needed because the fish were dropping the baits quickly!

In late morning, the cool-down hit like a ton of bricks. I could feel the cold down to my bones when the temperature began to drop rapidly. Apparently the fish could, too, because a fairly consistent bite (for winter) came to a screeching halt. We decided to change things up after we fished without a bite for over an hour. I tied on a hair jig and Paul tied on a G&W “Krinkle-Cut Worm” in a “team effort” to find another bait that would produce smallmouth. Paul quickly put a couple smallies in the kayak and lost a 2’ musky just before he was able to put a net on it. It didn’t take much to prompt me to tie on the Krinkle-Cut Worm as well!

Regardless, the presentation with both baits was similar… slow drag for a few inches, then let it sit!

My big fish of the day was a nice 18”chunk of bronze. No photo of that one, because I didn’t want to stop fishing to take pictures of it. I was having too much fun! Here’s a shot of Paul with the big fish of the day, which came on the Krinkle-Cut Worm. Paul is a former kayak fishing student of mine who joins me from time to time on my winter trips. Looks like he out did the teacher today - although I did catch the most smallmouth!

kayak fishing the freeze


About the Author Juan Veruete is owner, ACA certified kayak instructor and licensed guide at Kayak Fish PA, LLC. His home waters are the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers in Pennsylvania where he provides professional kayak fishing instruction and guide services. Juan is a member of the Wilderness Systems Fishing Team and has over 40 years of fishing experience in the waters or Pennsylvania and beyond.

Read 23301 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 December 2013 13:27


# Irish Fly 2013-12-13 11:52
Great story - thanks for sharing!!!

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