Spring Season: Fishing the PennyPack and Wissahickon Creek

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There are fishes around us! Follow my Statistical Chart for 2012 for my catches during this year:
--> Added Data from Schuylkill River (05/28/12), Core's Creek (Lake Luxembourg) (05/29/12), Wallsworth Pond (05/30/12), Cooper River (05/30/12).


Hello, readers!

First: I've updated my statistical chart once again, with new PBs for Green Sunfish, Bluegill, and Pumpkin Seed. As Spring moves on, and Summer begins; it seems the Sunfish (overall) are spawning, and the big ones are finally biting out of hunger or protection. As a matter of fact, I've seen many "gravel holes" (it's how I call the panfish nests) at Wissahickon and PennyPack Park. Visual fishing is awesome for a multi-species fisherman like me, and it's being a blast at the moment!

Second: Pre-spawning and Post-spawning. Now it's really the best time to sight-fish, specially with the fishes in shallow water, usually in their beds. Training fishing skills is perfect at this time of the year, specially when it comes to the "over protective" aspect of fish. My suggestion? Take advantage of it!

Okay...now, let's talk about the Pennypack and the Wissahickon Creek.

If you are a constant reader, you know already that I've been to both Creeks in the past. However, season changes - and so does fishing! Every season carries different feeding behaviors, fish habitats, and so on...all the items that you may have already read one day in an educational fishing book. Therefore, for me, fishing the Pennypack and Wissahickon during the end of Spring was like a new experience, hence I've fished them only for 2 Springs or so.

Starting with the Pennypack...

As temperatures warm up, coldwater fish tend to remain deep or in moving water. After all, top layers are hotter during higher temperatures. This is exactly what Trout does! The two first pictures below are of a little dam between Roosevelt Boulevard and Bustleton Avenue. It's one of the best spots at the Pennypack Creek, for whatever season it's.

I've written about dams before, but I'll emphasize it here, once again.

- Fish have constant food sources going down with the water flow. It's predictable that hungry (and smart) fish will hang there. A cliché to go with it: "If Mohammed will not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed". I think you get the idea, right?

- Dams without fishing ladders are like barriers for certain types of fish. They swim upstream until they find a "dead end", and they just hang there. It's not uncommon to see Trout trying to jump up the dam, or even other kinds of fish trying to swim up the falls. I've personally seem a Sucker trying to swim up this little dam before.

- Fishes need oxygen. Falls create a lot of oxygen (I'm talking about an open dam, and not one that opens and closes). Therefore, it's predictable that fish will hang in oxygen-rich water, specially during Summer!

I've caught Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, White Suckers, American Eel, Bluegills, Pumpkin Seeds, Red Breast Sunfish, Creek Chub, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout - all under this dam, at different times of the year. It's an awesome spot! Unfortunately, it's a small spot that is usually taken...therefore, if you find it empty, I highly encourage you to go fish there!

There are a couple other dams at the Pennypack park, and they are all good as well! I've heard recent reports of Nadir G. at the Verree Road dam, and kids have been catching Smallmouth Bass directly under the dam.

Overall, fishing at Pennypack has been a blast recently. Pictures are below:

A picture taken from the dam between Roosevelt Boulevard and Bustleton Avenue. One of the best spots at the Pennypack Park. Some readers sent me a couple e-mails about "burning spots", and so on. Well, I think this way: I'm not afraid of revealing spots. Amateurs are the ones who usually really destroy spots. They are amateurs, and so, they will not catch a lot of quality fish. Experienced anglers, on the other hand, will catch tons of fish! However, being an experienced angler, one should understand the common courtesy among fishermen to keep spots clean, harvest consciously, and so on. So, there you go: enjoy it!

Another picture taken from the same place. You can see my Pocket Ultralight Daiwa Minirod, and even the float out there. Fun times, people!

Very cute Rockfish that I caught close to the dam. Despite their small sizes, they are beautiful fish, and they have beautiful red eyes!

Be careful when fishing at night time. You really want to have your flashlight with you at all times, specially when you go fishing at new places! Getting out of the woods at night time can be pretty scary, and who knows what teenagers are up to these days...

Another picture to emphasize how dark the Pennypack can be at night time. There are no lights there, whatsoever.

A beautiful Brown Trout that I caught at the Pennypack last month. I got flamed by a couple e-mails stating that Trout have very sensitive jaws, and I was holding it the "wrong" way. It's true, indeed, that holding a Trout this way will potentially damage the fish (it should not be performed if the Trout is planned to be released). However, as I have indicated in every response to those who sent me e-mails about this matter - I keep all the Trout I fish. 

Now...for the Wissahickon...

Wissahickon is another multi-species Creek that I love to fish at! When Spring comes, and water temperature rises up to 70 degrees, a lot of different Species start to show up. Besides the regular Trout fishing, the Wissahickon can be a very entertaining location for Smallmouth fishing. As a matter of fact, the Wissahickon was a famous spot for Smallmouth fishing during the 1900's. Some of the deepest places there can hold Smallmouths up to 16 inches. Can you imagine catching one of those? Certainly rewarding...

I went there fishing a couple times recently, and I loved it! My dad joined me one of these days, and we were using Berkley Gulp! Alive! minnows (this bait has been working A LOT for me lately in terms of panfish - specially Crappie). We caught Rockbass, Bluegills, Redbreast Sunfish, Pumpkin Seed, and a Creek Chub on it. It was certainly a blast!

My friend Rob went there to fish as well. He was so happy: he caught his limit at Forbidden Drive with Powerbait, which never worked for him before (still never works for me), going home all excited. Congratulations, Rob! Carp, Trout, etc...you have been fishing well lately!

Pictures of some fish are below:     

A little Rockbass caught right above the falls, next to the Wissahickon Transfer Center. All together, my father and I may have fished about 25 Rock Bass, biggest being 5.2 inches (not big). Once again - they are beautiful!

A Creek Chub caught on a Berkley Gulp! Alive! Minnow. When I saw the shadow in the water with my polarized Sunglasses, I really thought it was a Smallmouth! What a surprise, huh? You can see my father fishing at the back, and the rocks UNDER the water, indicating that water clarity was very high at that day.

A nice-sized Redbreast Sunfish that I caught right off his bed. Due to their overprotectiveness, they become easy target to certain fishermen during spawning periods.

A nice Smallmouth Bass caught at Forbidden Drive, on a Uncle Bucks Dragon Fly Soft Bait. Surprisingly, this soft bait is my "surprise" element when I want to entice a fish to bite it out of curiosity or reflex. To make it more appealing, I put it in a bag of Tequila Sunrise Plastic Worms, so the wings were stained purple/red. The dragonfly became "bloody" (oh yeah!). 

Rob with a happy face, and a dinner full of fish! Congrats again, Rob! Keep fishing, buddy...

Hope you guys enjoyed the post! Stay tuned for more updates, hence I have A LOT to write =(. I do enjoy writing it, though...so, everything is good! Haha

After sleeping, more fishing...Perfect, huh?

Best of luck for all of us!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.