Reports (Mike H.): FDR Park (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

Mike H.'s report on the FDR Park - July 27th.

For previous reports from Mike H.'s:
Different locations across PA - July 4th - July 22nd.
A Lake in Abington - July 4th, 2012.
Haddon Lake, NJ - July 1st, 2012.
ABA Tournament (North East River) - June 24th, 2012.
Multiple Lakes (PA and MD) - May 30th - June 6th, 2012.
Haddon Lake, NJ - May 25th, 2012.
FDR Park and Fairmount Dam (Schuylkill River) - May 20th & 24th, 2012. 
Fairmount Dam (Schuylkill River) - May 18th, 2012.
Fairmount Dam (Schuylkill River) - May 12th, 2012.
Fairmount Dam (Schuylkill River) - May 3rd, 2012.
Font Hill Pond, MD - April 29th & May 4th, 2012.
Schuylkill River - April 26th, 2012. 

Written by Mike H. - edited by Leo S.

Hey guys! I decided to hit up the FDR park a couple hours before work for the first time in two months or so. The reason why I haven't been going there is that the weekly fishing report that I receive mentioned each time that FDR park has been dead ever since its gotten so hot and that no one was catching any Bass or Snakeheads, and that people struggled to catch Bluegills. Going out, I expected to get skunked, but was pleasantly surprised at what I was able to catch. I started off by fishing a Frog in a week choke corner in about 1.5 feet of water, and within the first three minutes, had a small blow-up and connected with a nice little 1lb Bass (1st picture). The fish weighed like 3 lbs due to the salad that was dragged with it when I was reeling it in. The next spot I tried was my trusty "Snakehead bridge," which surprisingly didn't even yield a nibble. Fortunately, I managed to catch a solid 1lb, 11oz fish (2nd picture) near the bridge, fishing a Frog in another weed choked area. It happened about 10 feet from shore - I had a big blow up, and the fish missed the bait. I twitched it a couple more times, then the fish came back and nailed it again! 

After that second Bass, I fished the dock for a while without any luck. Then, I moved to the next bridge, where I noticed a strong current flowing in. I felt the water, and it felt chilled because it was moving - about 70 degrees or less - so, I knew there had to be some bass hanging around there. I threw a Tube near the opening of the bridge, and as soon as it hit the water, a solid, at least 2.5lb Bass jumped up and tried to nail it. The Bass missed, and I tried a couple different baits but was never able to entice it to bite again. I then moved to the other side of the bridge, threw a KVD Squarebilled Crankbait, and on the retrieve, had a solid hit and landed my third bass of the day, another 1 lber (3rd picture). My last bass for the day came when I positioned myself on the laydown, so I could cast under the next bridge. I didn't get any hits under that bridge, but my first cast away from that bridge yielded a solid strike, and a very acrobatic Bass that made a total of three complete jumps out of the water before I could land it. It weighed about 1.5 lbs, but I couldn't get an officially weight or picture because there was no way I was going to be able to balance myself, my pole, and a fish trying to climb back up the laydown to flat ground. Regardless, I still had a great day of fishing and it was good to see that there are still some active bass at FDR park.

Pictures are below:

Fishing gets tough day-by-day at the FDR Park. The place itself was great in the past, having a huge diversity of fish: Bluegill, Gizzard Shad, Common Carp, American Eel, Channel Catfish, Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, and Snakeheads.

However, as time passed, more and more fisherman started to fish there...and there's nothing wrong with that! The problem was that people started to harvest more than the Lake could sustain - thus, the definition of "overharvesting." For more information on it, you can click here. Roll down your screen, and you will see that we are fighting against this problem.

Therefore, I'll emphasize it here: guys, support catch and release! If you want to take fish home to eat, take fish that are EDIBLE (not the ones at FDR Park), and always follow the golden law of selective harvest (letting small ones go; returning trophy fish; releasing Species that are not common). Help us spread the word - talk to your fellow friends, fishermen, and so on. If you ate the fish from that park, or know someone that did, be aware that the person who consumed the fish (or fishes, for different types) was exposed to PCBs and Heavy Metals, which are both dangerous substances.

If everyone follows these rules (not overharvesting, selective harvest), we will have SO MUCH more fish to catch and to eat in the future. I've long forgotten how many times I've seen people harvesting 4 inch Bluegill from the FDR park; people poaching Largemouth Bass illegally during spawning season; grilling the fish right at the site without fishing licenses; etc. And the Boat and Commission cannot do all the law enforcement by themselves. Just like our neighborhoods, we have to set our own eyes on problems that surround us.

Once, I've read: "He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it." It's true that this quote is very extreme (just like us, hah), hence the author of it didn't take "fear" in consideration. Many people nowadays don't stop others from practicing crimes because they "fear" what may happen to them. They may have good hearts, but not have the guts to express themselves. I couldn't agree more - nowadays, you never know when someone is carrying a gun, and so on.

Therefore, if you don't have the guts to stop an environmental crime that happens right in front of you, even if your heart twists and hurts you so, at least help us in other ways: spread the word about selective harvest, overharvesting, and other common senses that are not so common for some people. 

The "it's not my business" type of excuse is no longer acceptable. When someone litters, the same is littering YOUR ENVIRONMENT, YOUR CITY, YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR CONTINENT...must I continue until I reach the "YOUR EARTH" part of it? Certain actions no longer bring consequences to only a single person (As a matter of fact, think about it: very FEW actions will bring consequences ONLY to yourself). 

A person that may have dumped gasoline down a drain is the same person that may have killed thousands of the fish that I could have fished for. A person that may have thrown fishing lines on the floor may be the same person responsible for a tangled bird or a dead turtle. And so on...

It's not JUST about YOU now. It's plural. It's about US. 

It's with these thoughts in mind that I wish fishermen would to be less selfish around the World, and work more as a community. If you do, I congratulate you and your efforts for making a better environment. If not, it's never too late to start. It's never too late to join.    

Support catch and release!

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.