The biggest one of the day
The third and last one - ready to shake my hand
Long days and pleasant nights, people!
I went fishing at the Wissahickon on July 19th - this past Tuesday. My primary goal was the good old Carp, considering that there are good amounts of Carp in the creek. I went out really early, and I arrived at the park 6:40 a.m. Pulled my rods out, chummed the water at the moment, and landed a 9lb Common Carp almost after three hours of waiting. The reason for the wait was simple: I noticed that the levels of water at the creek lowered, and the vegetation increased. The water was not even flowing past the 2 little dams at the entrance of the Park next to the Wissahickon Transfer Center. Of course the water wasn't stagnant; However, it's common that fish may seek other locations to stay at when water levels drop (specially at summer time). It's common to see fish moving from location to location due to Oxygen levels in the water - fish will prefer locations that I richer in oxygen. Temperature is also another factor - this Tuesday was extremelly hot: 90-95F. When the water temperature rises dramatically, it certainly influences the eating behaviors of certain species of fish.
One of the top pleasures in fishing is the fact that you never know exactly WHAT will hit your hook. It could be "that fish" that you get at that spot all the time; maybe a new species that you never fished before; or even a piece of trash may get snagged - which would be a pain to drag and remove depending on its size and shape. The "unknown" is an very important factor in this sport that promotes excitement, boosts curiosity, and causes amazement.
Due to my curiosity and my excitement, I had expanded my horizons by fishing different spots at the Schuylkill river. I moved from the Walnut bridge to a spot near Spring Garden, and there I caught my first Common Carp. I moved from that spot to the Fairmount Dam, and I caught my first walleye (small), Striped Bass (small), and Black Crappie. I couldn't believe there were Crappies in the river, as many other fishermen told me. However, after I fished there, I understood a critical concept in the World of fishing: just because the fish is not at your spot, doesn't mean the fish is not present in the river.
Second, I was deceived by a fish! It was around eleven in the morning that I got a hit on my big rod. The drag was set really loose, so the line started to burn. The fish ran a good amount, but not enough for me to think it was a Carp. And just when I doubted my judgement, the fish slipped inside a hole (probably under a rock), and I got stuck. I really wanted to see what fish was there, and so I got frustrated thinking that I would lose that one. Instead of forcing or snapping the line, I just decided to wait. I could still feel the fish in the line, therefore I just left my rod on the holder. After 15 minutes of waiting, I finally saw my line moving from left to the center of the river! As I pulled the fish up, it surfaced on the water. For my surprised, it was a 5lb Catfish regurgitating AT LEAST half pound of my chummed corn! It's funny how I really didn't expect a catfish, specially because they don't usually bite at daytime at Kelly Drive, at this season of the year.
Weightning the fish
I stayed there from six in the morning until one-thirty in the afternoon. I ended the day with two turtles, one catfish, and two carp - 8lb and 12lb. It was a very productive day, and I was entirely satisfied at the end of the fishing session. Even if only ONE FISH showed up, I would still be satisfied. I always think positively, and one is better than nothing. Actually, anything is better than nothing.
Best of luck for all of us!
I am a member of PAC since the beginning of June, and I can clearly say that I enjoy very much paying only 3 dollars to stay in touch with those wonderful fisherman, not to mention that I would never really met GC in real life (which is a CARPING PRO) if I didn't become a member. Therefore, the PAC website certainly already have my gratitude for certain achievements that I've obtained lately, in terms of fishing skills.
Anyways...."GC"; which is the person I scheduled the fishing section with, and also one of the oldest members of PAC; is a very knowledgeable person when it comes to carp fishing. One may really call him a "Carp Pro", among many others at the PAC forum. GC fishes for carp almost for seven years now, 200+ days a year, and he has caught nearly 3000 local carps since the beginning of his Carping career as a fisherman. Among the different types of carp, GC has already caught the Common Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi, Mirror Carp (Including a Full Scaled Mirror Carp, and a Linear Scaled Mirror Carp), etc. The only type of Carp that GC has yet caught is the Leather Carp (considering that he possibly caught a Grass Carp before). Overall, his techniques and skills in Carping are really great and wise - and he's certainly one of the top levels "carpers" here in Philadelphia.
We started our fishing session yesterday around 5:30 a.m., at Kelly Drive. We talked for a good while about Carp fishing during the day, including subjects such as: choosing certain spots for better chances of landing a fish, chumming and preparing the spot before fishing (meeting nutritional needs for the fish is a plus), using adequate rigs for Carp (e.g. hair rigs and its variations), preparing and choosing different kinds of chum, choosing the rods and the adequate pieces of equipment while fishing for carp (including a discussion on poles, drags and reels, and lines), etc. By 9:30 a.m. we caught two carps. They weren't measured with any tools, but GC measured them with his eyes: the first one was proximately 8lb, and the second one was proximately 12lb. For a spawning season at the non-tidal Schuylkill river, we were more than satisfied with two fish over nothing (the photos are below).
The Second Carp - Proximately 12lb
The Second Carp However, GC wanted me to really have a good experience in fishing for Carp. Therefore, we packed our gear and we moved to Delaware river waters, next to the Philadelphia Airport. The place was certainly beautiful, with an amazing view. The water was tidal, meaning that there was much more current compared to the waters of the non-tidal section of the Schuylkill river. We stayed there from 10:30 until a little bit over 2:30, and we got 4 fish over there - all bigger than the Schuylkill river ones. Those included a male carp (which was REALLY long, and put up a REALLY good fight), a full scaled mirror carp (the first one in my life - and very rare, weighting around 20-21lb. Note: It weighted 25lb with the net), and two other common carps. The pictures are below:
First Carp at the second spot next to Delaware River - clearly bigger than the Carps at Kelly Drive
The Male Carp - Very long and Torpedo shaped
Fightining with the Fish - Notice how the face and the hand is showing persistance towards the fight.
The Full Scaled Mirror Carp - a very rare finding according to GC
Sometimes they slip - don't let them fall! You may get sticky, but don't let them get hurt.
Finally, I would like to thank GC again for this wonderful opportunity. He had the patience, and allowed me to learn and experience the fish itself.
Best of luck for all of us!
Stay tuned for next updates...
Long Days and Pleasant Nights.
Anyways... Today was not very productive - I ended up the day with one 4.7lb Common Carp on the corn after 3 hours of fishing, in the morning. This carp almost dragged my rod inside the water, hence I wasn't paying attention at that moment. After this incident, I've decided to always tie my rods to some sort of rope, so they don't start disappearing or flying away (Update: note that nowadays I use fishing rod-holders). Hehe
Stay tuned for more updates, people!
Best of luck for all of us.
Long days and pleasant nights.
I remember that at that time, somehow, I never really thought of going there. I guess it was due to the fact that I was pretty happy fishing my regular spots and catching the "regular" fish. But soon the urge to explore came, and the Wissahickon was soon added to my list.
My first time there was on July 1st, 2011. I went out very early and took the R Bus from the Frankford Transportation Center to the last stop - Wissahickon Transfer Center. For those that use public transportation, note that not all R buses stop at the Transfer Center! You can look at the bus schedule here.
In reality, there are many positives in taking public transportation when going out for fishing. It's true that it can be time consuming on one hand; however, on the other hand, one doesn't need to worry about parking or gas (no tickets, yay!) or traffic, not to mention that using mass transportation means less pollutants in the air (after all, less cars on the move). The concept of a "greener World," I guess. Haha.
It was a little bit weird to fish there, though. Everyone was looking at me, specially the people waiting for the buses at the Transfer Center. If you are really the kind of fisherman that doesn't care about it, cast near the base of the dam and rest assured: you will get something. =)
I remember clearly that my first day the Wissahickon wasn't very productive. I ended up with a couple Redbreast Sunfish and Green Sunfish. But still, I was amazed for finding a new place to fish!
Now, after two years of fishing around Philly, I can say that I've explored a good portion of the Wissahickon Creek (from East Falls to Valley Inn), not to mention that I've fished tons of different Species from the Wissahickon!
So, let's get down to business. These are the types of fish that I've caught so far in the Wissahickon Creek:
Redbreast Sunfish: Just like the other Creeks around Philadelphia, the Redbreast Sunfish are the abundant population in the Creek! They come in all sizes, and they can be found almost everywhere! During the Spring season, it's lots of fun to fish for bedding Redbreast Sunfish, since the bigger ones can be sight-fished in the shallow water. Worms will work fine for them; although, I've caught the bigger ones on 3-inch Senkos, in-line spinners, and Trout magnets.
My advice for fishing this Species of fish is to cast and walk - in other words, the "finding the fish" approach. I've been successful with Senkos and in-line Spinners, but I'm pretty sure that fish imitations (i.e. shallow crankbait) and flies will nail them very good!
Rainbow/Brown/Golden Rainbow Trout: They are stocked by the PA Fish and Boat Commission during the Spring. You can check the stocking schedules here.
Browns can be caught on a variety of lures and live bait. Different than the Rainbow Trout, Browns will feed mainly on live organisms! They are also more aggressive than Rainbows, and they put up a better fight. Nightcrawlers and in-line Spinners work best for them. Powerbait, corn, and other types of "dead" baits can catch them, but are less effective. Rainbows are caught more often on "dead" baits: Powerbait is a good option for Rainbows, as well as kernel corn, salmon eggs, etc. Similar than Browns in terms of Trout lies, Rainbows can usually be found in deep pools and currents. In other words, lures will work for both Species! The last one of the three stocked Trouts - The Golden Rainbow Trout - is a rarity around these areas! It's usually referred as the "Palomino Trout," which is a wrong definition of it (for more details, click here). Some people refer to it as the "fish of a life time:" It's rare, it's big, and it can be easily seem in the Creek (meaning that their wariness is top notch). They seriously behave like a combination of Brown and Rainbow (I know it sounds like Pokemon now, but it's just the way it's) - they strike lures, eat Powerbait, nightcrawlers, bugs, etc.
These are all the Species of fish that I've caught at the Wissahickon so far. My advice: look for them in currents, deep pools, slow pools, and under dams. =)
Best luck for all of us.
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,