Reports (Mike H.): Fairmount Dam, PA

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--> Added Data from Cooper River (05/13/12), Hyde Lake Park (05/16/12), Core's Creek (05/18/12), FDR Park (05/18/12), Wissahickon Creek (05/20/12), Schuylkill River (05/21/12), Absecon Bay (05/23/12), and Haddon Lake (05/25/12)

Mike's report on the Schuylkill River - May 12th.
Written by Mike Hsiao. - edited by Leo S.
Hey guys! I hit the Skuke today, and finally broke my 2 times skunk streak. I started off Striper fishing with flukes, cranks, and my Alabama rig. I didn't have any luck. So, I switched to Largemouth Bass fishing with a Flickshake Worm. I nailed a long skinny 1 lb 13 oz bass on my first cast. Then, I moved to the fisherman statue and fished cranks with no luck. After that, I flipped my favorite laydown and managed to catch a small 1 lb 3 oz Bass on a jig. While reeling the bass in, it got tangled in the branches. I had to wait there for about 15 seconds while I maneuvered myself down (the laydown), so I could untangle the fish.
I made my way back to the Dam to resume Striper fishing. I had quite a few hits on a fluke, but couldn't connect. While fishing the flukes, I somehow snagged this crazy looking swordfish type creature. I reeled it in and some guy there claimed it was a pinfish, and said it can "sting" you. Therefore, I let him handle the fish and unhook it. He did a very poor job, and after unhooking it, the intestines of the fish poured out. I knew the fish was a goner, so I let him keep it. He said he wanted to eat it, for some reason. Oh well, hopefully there are some more of that fish in the river that can survive and reproduce.

1lb 13 oz Largemouth Bass

Little Rock Bass at the Fairmount Dam

1lb 3 oz Largemouth Bass

"Pinfish", in quotes, because the name is wrong. It's actually a Needlefish (family Belonidae)

From another angle.
Another rare catch by Mike, the snagging king! Please, note that Mike does not snag fishes purposely. I'll remind people one more time that snagging is strictly illegal in PA, and using a naked hook (without bait or lure) to snag fish is against the law, and may result in fines and so on.
Anyways...It's been a while since I saw a Needlefish at the Schuylkill River! At the beginning, I thought they were small American Eels floating on top water - just black shadows, almost inert. After I purchased my polarized sunglasses, I was able to see that they were (indeed) Needlefish.
I'm not sure about Needlefish being able to stun people, but I do know that they are deadly at night time, while travelling in schools. They are highly attracted to light, and they can perform short jumps at a speed of 38 miles per hour! There's a story of a Hawaiian boy being killed by a school of Needlefish. The story is available on Wikipedia.
Now...changing a bit the subject.
Mike doesn't catch fish every session he goes to, but he doesn't get skunked often. The reason I'm saying this is because certain readers have been sending me e-mails asking how is it possible that "Mike gets fish every time he goes to FDR Park", or "how can he get fish at the Fairmount Dam - there are only snags there", and so on. 
It's all about information and expertise. My advice is: if fishing is not being productive, and I know there are fishes in that certain body of water, I'll certainly read more about it (Magazines, Forums, Blogs), and adapt my fishing to it. Just don't give up, and keep going there. Staying home will definitely bring no fish...
That's one of the things that I like about fishing: the concept of opportunities. Everyday is unique, and everyday you may be able to land the catch of a lifetime. It's unknown. However, it's possible if you make it out there - if you give it a shot.
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.