September: More studies, less fishing, and lots of changes

So, September is finally here! September is an awesome month to fish, as weather starts to cool down a bit at the beginning of fall, and certain species of fish start to feed again. Unfortunately, September also means that my college classes started (Fall Semester). Therefore, I'll have to study much more to maintain high standards at college, and I'll have much less time to fish in the following couple months. Therefore, I ask you all to be a little bit more comprehensive, and understand that life is just like this: it's arranged on priorities. If you do, that's great. If not, I hope you consider understanding it (at least). Concluding: I'll be writing "less frequently" in my blog in the following months.

As you can see, I put that "less frequently" in quotes. I'll explain why: the fact that my classes started does not mean that the Blog will NOT be updated. As a matter of fact, I'll keep updating it every once in a while (when I go outside fishing, for example), and often post some informative data on fishing/fish (I'm writing a guide on "catfishing", for example). The problem with the posting, though, is the fact that from now onwards you may see 2 or 3 posts at the same day instead of one post today, one post 3 days after, 1 post next week, and so on. Therefore, the difference will be that I'll post less frequently in terms of days, but I'll have almost the same amount of monthly posts at the end of each month. Simple, isn't it?

Fishing has been quite productive after Irene passed: after all that rain, certain watersheds had their levels of water increased; not to mention many other changes around Philly...

For example:

1. A lot of trees fell at small creeks. I'm sure Wissahickon, Pennypack, and Tacony creeks have much more structure for fish than before.

2. New "holes" and habitats were created by the alteration of the water currents due to heavy rain. Places are very unpredictable right now: some areas that did not have fish may have fish, and some other areas may be empty. Surprisingly, I saw some hybrid Carp swimming around certain portions of the Pennypack creek that I never saw before.

3. Floods usually let fish travel from one place to another. There's a particular pond in a certain creek that should be full of trout by now, if nobody fished that place yet. Also, I do not know if the FDR park lakes flooded to a level that the ponds connected with each other. However, if it did, the Snakehead population there is even more dispersed than before.

These are only some examples of how a certain natural event can change the aquatic biodiversity so much. There are so many variables when it comes to fishing, and that's what makes fishing so unpredictable.

It's really up to us to study each one of these variables, get familiar with them, and increase our chances of success.

Best of luck for all of us!

Long days and pleasant nights,


Leo S.

Fishing the Schuylkill after Irene

Catastrophes can be good and bad for fishing (most of times it's on the negative side), believe it or not. Although it's insanely destructive for us, there are a couple advantages that catastrophes can bring. On one hand, species of fish can travel through flooded areas to new locations, and make residence in inhabited areas. On the other hand, invasive species can proliferate at areas that they once didn't belong to. Catastrophes involving watersheds often create new structures, and alters fish's feeding behavior and location. However, they may as well destroy old structure and move a lot of debris (usually related to pollution) into the waters we fish.

Irene was a big hit in the Eastern Coast, damaging many watersheds around pennsylvania. The Schuylkill River was one of the rivers that suffered a lot. I'll post below a couple links related to floods in different areas of the Schuylkill River. As for me, a resident in Center City - Philadelphia, not many damaged was seen. However, Irene did bring a lot of damage...

Route 29 - Between Phoenixville and Mont Clare

Kelly Drive and Midvale, East Falls

Center City - Philadelphia

Port Indian (West Norristown)

Fairmount Dam (Center City)


And of course we had other watersheds all flooded as well:

Ridley Creek State Park

PennyPack Park

Wissahickon Park

Somewhere in Chadds Ford, PA.

Saw Creek States, Bushkill, PA

It's evident that I had to wait a couple days after the storms to fish. It was basically impossible to fish the creeks, and the Schuylkill as well. My alternative was the FDR park (lakes), but it was quite messy over there as well.

Therefore, I waited a couple days and went fishing at the Schuylkill River. However, my classes had started, and I couldn't carry my gear around. Therefore, I just went there to fish 2 times between my class breaks (Yes, that's how dedicated I am to fishing) with 30lb braided line, 2oz sinkers, size #4 hooks and nightcrawlers. Since I didn't have a rod and reel with me (it's impossible for me to bring it to class with me, unless I want to be looked up as a weirdo), I had to rely on the ancient technique of simply fishing with a line. Basically, you use strong/resistant equipment to make up for the lack of line (since you don't have a reel). Also, it's very advised to tie your knots with braided line, and use strong knots. I would particularly recommend a Palomar or a Improved Clinch in most cases.

I ended both days (Wednesday and Friday) with some eels and no catfish whatsoever. It was a shame because last year I caught my biggest catfish while the river was flooded. I guess the reason they were not bitting these two days was because (1) the current of the river was still too strong), and (2) I didn't cast far enough. If I had my rods with me, I would probably have had a couple more options, and increased success. However, things are how they are - we use what we can, and we do what we can.

The photos below are of Wednesday, August 31st. Those are photos of the after-damage Irene brought to the Schuylkill in the Center City portion of the river. Since I didn't catch any special fish (neither big fish, or different species), I've nothing special to present to you. =) Sorry.

Betweem JFK and the train bridge.

Fishing with ancient technique, certainly.

The mess after Irene.

And finally: more mess!

Things should definitely be better now.

Therefore, best of luck for all of us!

Long days and pleasant nights,


Leo S.