November Fishing Sessions (Last Update: Closed)

Heya, guys! How's everything going? I hope everyone is well!

As mentioned before, I'll create one specific post every month in dedication to my fishing sessions, so the readers can always stay updated, even without the Facebook Page!

Note that this page will have all my fishing sessions through the month of November, and the page will be updated by session. Therefore, it's a good idea to always come back here to check for new content!

 --- November 2nd, Schuylkill River (between Locust and Walnut) ---

After having a heavy day at college (blame my Latin teacher for the Quiz. Hah. Just joking), I stopped by the Schuylkill River to check its conditions. It was as expected: high turbidity, muddy water, a new layer of sediment along the bank, and so on.

The water temperature dropped dramatically over the last couple days; therefore, my chances of getting skunked were pretty high. I was, however, hoping to catch at least a little American Eel...or praying for some "off the book" Catfish to bite my bait! didn't happen. I fished for nearly 2 hours without a single bite, and the sciences won over my hopes. After fishing, I took a couple pictures of the new "section" of the Schuylkill Banks - the bridge connecting the trail to the park next to 26th street, and also the construction site for the future boardwalk that will connect Locust to South st.

No pictures of fish; however, enjoy some scenery pics! Hah.

My single rod with a piece of Cutbait on it. As you guys can see, everything goes inside my backpack. Hah. Poor Temple students have to see me carrying an Ugly Stik...One said the other day: " are fishing in this kind of weather? In the Schuylkill? Crazy! Wild!" Hahaha.

The newly opened bridge that connects the Schuylkill Banks' trail to the park across the railroad. Thanks to this fine piece of work, nobody needs to worry about the train blocking the way.

A view from the bridge, towards Walnut street.

A view of the current "machinery" stationed for the future boardwalk that will connect the trail from Locust to the South street bridge. This is certainly a WILD project, guys! And dare I say: it will open so many more fishing spots around the Schuylkill River. Heh.

A close up. Notice a second set behind, closer to the South street bridge.

One of the most magnificent things about the Trail is the fact that the trail offers many "posts" about the history of the River and the city! Guys...if you read it, great! If you didn't, you should. Every post brings great knowledge of a River and a City that existed a couple hundred years ago, and the beauty in it is to be able to visualize how things were before, and why things are the way they are at the moment.  

I don't know how this project will end up looking like, but these rocks look like great structure for future fishing. White Perch, Sunnies, Catfish, and even Striped Bass can benefit from it!

--- November 3rd, Cooper River/Driscoll Pond ---

I went fishing with Mike H. and his friend Kyle in New Jersey today. They decided to hit Hopkins Pond for some Largemouth Bass while I decided to fish for some Calico Bass. We arrived there around 7:20 a.m., unpacked, and started fishing.

Overall, Mike and Kyle didn't have much luck with the Largemouth Bass, which was pretty much expected, hence the water temperature was at 50-52 degrees. Mike had one monster bite that ripped half of his Senko away, but we will never know what kind of fish it was, since it got away. Anyways...the Black Crappies, on the other hand, were biting like crazy! I guess they are super hungry and eating as much as they can for Winter time! No slabs, but still...action every minute!

I used a Gulp! Minnow on a 1/32oz jig, a float, and 4lb test line on an ultralight rod. It was simply amazing! Driscoll and Cooper River made my day! That's exactly why I'm going back there tomorrow. Heh. 

I finished with 52 Black Crappies, 5 Bluegills, and 1 little Largemouth Bass (it's good to see that there's at least one juvenile Bass in that pond). I decided to take a couple Black Crappies with me - a neat addition to my aquarium, since they are so pretty in colours.

Overall, a cold day (35-50F), but full of action!

First Calico Bass of the day!

Another little guy from Driscoll Pond.

Small, but extremely beautiful and healthy!

After getting too many small Black Crappies at Driscoll, I decided to move to Cooper River to catch some bigger ones. There are really no slabs in that portion of the Cooper River, but the sizes are bigger than Driscoll's.

I caught this little guy in 4 inches of water, under a branch. All I did was dap the Gulp! Minnow, and the fish attacked right away.

I caught this one by drifting my bait in the current. The float went down, and the fish easily hooked itself.

A nice Black Crappie for that portion of the River. They really love those little fake minnows! They work extremely good, and I recommend them to the general public. Not only Crappies, but I've caught a huge variety of fish on Gulp! Minnows, including all kinds of Sunnies, and even LMB and Bullheads.

After a great trip, I finally got to put some Crappies in my aquarium! A great addition to it. You can also see a Bluegill in the center, a Pumpkin Seed up-right, and my Koi (caught at the Wissahickon Creek) on the left.

--- November 4th, Driscoll Pond/Cooper River/Wallsworth Pond/Evans Lake ---
The weather was brutal today - cloudy and windy in the afternoon (~40F, "feel like" 32), but fishing was still good as it should be!
I met with my good friend Steve a little bit after noon, and we started with the Driscoll Pond at Haddonfield. My goal for the day was to catch some big Black Crappies whereas Steve's was to land some LMB. I told Steve that the water temperature wasn't willing to cooperate with his Bass fishing; however, he decided to try for it anyways!
We fished the Driscoll Pond for a good hour or so. I was nailing the Black Crappie with my usual Crappie rig - Gulp! Minnow on a 1/32oz jig, float, 4lb line test - while Steve was trying for Bass. In the process, I managed to land a couple Sunnies as well - nothing unusual. After, we decided to walk to the stretch of the Cooper River that is connected to Driscoll. We fished there for a little bit as well: the usual Crappies.
At this point of the day (around 2:45 p.m.), Steve was getting skunked and I was on my count of 23 Black Crappies. As we fished under the extreme weather, our stomachs started to bother us! Steve made a wonderful suggestion for lunch, and we had some great Asian food...
By the end of the meal, we were full of energy. We decided to hit Wallsworth Pond and Evans Lake. To tell you guys the truth, I tried Evans Lake 3-4 times without any success in the past year or so. This time, however, I was wishing that there were some suspended Crappies at Evans! We arrived there around 4 o'clock. Wallsworth and Evans were pretty muddy, and I noticed right away that new cover and structure were present in both places! Also, Evans Lake still had some lily pads available!
First cast with a Gulp! hit! Although I didn't land the fish, I was seriously excited because now I "knew" that there were fish in Evans Pond. It was soon after that Steve started yelling full of excitement: "Leo, I got something!" When I turned my head to watch him, I saw a Bass (~2lbs) giving a magnificent jump! Another jump after! Then, it got away... Steve was so frustrated, but I know that he was also excited in hooking that fish.
We fished there for the rest of the day, until 5:15 p.m.. I finished my fishing count at 32 Black Crappie - a combination from all four locations, and Steve actually did manage to catch a Bass at Evans Pond - just smaller than the first one! In total, Steve caught 1 LMB and missed 2, which is extremely awesome considering the weather and the water temperature (~42F).  
Such a great adventure, huh, Steve? It was certainly cold, but we endured it! Hehe. Anyways...Pictures are below, guys:

Probably one of the biggest Bluegills at Driscoll's. Hooked with a Gulp! Minnow.

First Crappie of the day: small, but yet beautiful! Look at that eye...

A beautiful Black Crappie from the Cooper River! Darker colors than regular ones.

A big fat Bluegill caught at Cooper River at Haddonfield.

A decent-sized Crappie for that portion of the Cooper River. Although there are bigger ones, it's pretty difficult to find them!

A little Crappie caught at Wallsworth Pond.

A fat Crappie caught at Evans Pond just before Sunset!

Steve with his "Rocky LMB." The fish was put on the floor, hence all the pebbles on it. Hah. Many congrats to you, Steve - getting some LMB in this kind of weather (and with this water temperature) is pretty extreme!

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home" - A Turkey Vulture eating a dead Squirrel in the middle of the street at Haddonfield, close to PATCO. It was quite big, guys...quite the view.

--- November 6th, Schuylkill River (Fairmount Dam) ---

Long day at the Fairmount Dam, and not many bites! I fished the Fairmount for a good while in the afternoon (1:30 to 4 p.m.) and had only one bite, which I missed. My goal for the day was to catch at least one fish, hence the Fairmount Dam is so difficult at times! After two and a half hours of frustration, I decided to go to Cosmic Cafe for a little break. I ate, drank, and went back for round 2!  

My friend Chris and Aj joined me around dusk, and Mike (Chris' friend) joined us at night. Overall, it was a very tough day at the Dam, not to mention that the weather was also pretty cold. We tried a different set of lures without much success. Luckily, one of us got a fish: the only fish for the day was a Walleye - 19 inches, caught by Chris on a fluke. Congrats, Chris!

It was my first time fishing with Chris, and I was pretty impressed with his secret Pink collection (not Victoria Secret. heh) of lures. Well done, Chris! Pictures are below:

Vampire mode - Nice Walleye, 19 inches, caught by Chris on a Fluke.

Normal mode - same fish from another perspective.

Nice cozy Cosmic Cafe (right next to the Fairmount Dam) - my fishing rod with a nice Shad Swimbait, a fruit Parfait, chocolate milk, my Nintendo DS and my cellphone. Haha. Good to go!

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home" - Something is on fire in Philly!

The whole gang for the night - Mike on the left, Aj C. on the center, and Chris E. on the right.
Brutal weather, one can say - fishing under 39F in Philly!
--- November 12th, Schuylkill River (Fairmount Dam) ---

After the first evidences of Walleyes in the area, I went back to the Fairmount Dam for some night fishing. The circumstances were really really bad - low tide was at 7 p.m., the water was super clear (Walleyes are not a big fan of clear water), and it was windy (40 degrees, "feels like 33").

I always joke with this "feels like xxF" because a fishermen can never look only at the degree Fahrenheit (temperature). A good fisherman understands the concept of air pressure, and looks at the speed and direction of the wind, the humidity, the "feels like" temperature, among other factors. If you want, click here for my trusted weather website.

I tried for a long time at the usual spot, next to the dam. I lost a couple rigs due to the low tide, which was expected. Actually, this is a good question for the reader to think about: Do you think the tide levels of a River (i.e. Schuylkill) influences the speed of the water current? Why or why not? Some may think of what I just said as an excuse; however, physically speaking, the tides do matter when it comes to the River's current. In theory, the current of a River gets "faster" when the tide is lower. If you want to read more about it, you can click here.

Going a bit out of topic, just for fun...
The main idea is that with lower tides, the jig will move more on the bottom because the current close to the bottom of the River is faster (Force of current close to bottom >>> force of friction of the bottom) while a jig of the same weight could stay put when the tide is high (Force of current close to bottom <<< force of friction of the bottom). It's good to keep in mind that the force of Friction is always in the opposite direction of the force of current; therefore, friction slows current down.

Physics is cool, isn't it? Since you know the relationship between the force of friction and the force of current now, it's quiz time. Imagine the following scenario: you go Trout fishing after heavy rain. You know that the current will be altered (faster), but you still have hopes that the Trout will bite.

Question one: Which fishing rig would you use for this scenario?

As you arrive at the site, you notice that the current is, indeed, faster. Now, I did a very homemade picture of the Stream (hehe) from a "current perspective" (up is the top of the water, down is the bottom of the stream). Looking at the picture below, answer question two: Which area - A, B, or C - would you fish at? And Why? 

Well...keep the answers to yourself for now. You can find the answers to these two questions at the end of this report., back to the report.

I lost my patience next to the dam, and decided to try for Largemouth Bass above the dam! The area is a little bit shady, but it's been known to hold Largemouth Bass during Spring and Summer. I didn't switch my lure at all (I was still using a Zoom Fluke on a jig), and went exploring.

I went to the upper portion of the Schuylkill River, and followed a small stream connecting the big portion of the River to a small part "pond" (in quotes because it's not closed) behind the River. I was walking, dragging my jig in the water, when I suddenly felt a bite! I was TOTALLY SURPRISED; after all, the water there is less than 2 feet! I stopped, and started jigging my Zoom fluke close to some cover. I felt another bite, and set the hook. The fish was on! It felt decent, but it got unhooked while performing a beautiful jump. Although it was night time, I was certain that the fish was a Largemouth Bass. After that, I had one more bite, but didn't land a single fish for the day.

Not unusual, I got skunked at the dam! It was, however, a wonderful night. Having that Largemouth Bass on for a couple seconds made my day.

Pictures of some scenery are below:

This is the place where I hooked the first Largemouth Bass, right under some leaves and branches. The water there is less than 2 feet deep!

A hooked the second Bass under a pile of garbage right above the Fairmount Dam.

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home - The Cira Centre at night time."

As for the answers to the questions above:

Question 1: Any rig that stays on the bottom. I prefer the slip sinker rig.

Question 2: Area C. The friction of the bottom slows the speed of the current. In other words, we know that the current at C is slower than the current at B, which is slower than the current at A (C<B<A). In other words, A is where the current is fastest in the Creek, and C is where the current is slowest. Fish will use area A and B in their favor to boost their traveling speed, but they will feed mostly in area C, where the current is slowest.

In the Trout Scenario:

Trouts will often hide behind rocks, or below structure to avoid the current. Also, they will scavenge for food in area C after heavy rains, hence the faster current flips the contents of the bottom, exposing other living organisms. Note that this "current velocity" scenario (C<B<A) is universal - it works everywhere on Earth, assuming that there are no obstacles present between areas.  

--- November 16th, Pennypack Park ---

After reading Mike H.'s report on Facebook about a Palomino and some Rainbows at the Welsh section of the Pennypack Creek, I went hunting for them in the afternoon!

Quick session at the Pennypack with canned corn. It took me a while to find the fish (I never found the Palomino), but once I found it...I got it! Heh. I caught my limit just before sunset. The fish weren't very big (didn't pass 12 inches), but their color was beautiful.

By the way...while fishing for Trout, never forget to make your bait as presentable and natural as possible! During centuries, European Trout fishermen thought that Trout were very wary of the force we know as "gravity." Within empirical data, the Europeans observed that Trout would eat batches of a certain species of insect that fell in the water, but they would ignore any suspicious bugs of the same kind! In other words, the fish observed how fast the bugs would sink in the water, and some of them would (for some reason - heh) sink slower than the rest of the group - those were the bugs that the fish ignored. 

The Europeans were, however, wrong about Trout being wary of Gravity. Gravity is a force that pulls everything on Earth towards the center of the Earth. The Trout wouldn't be able to be wary about this force because gravity applies for everything around them with the same intensity! It applies to everything (note: disregard altitude as a factor that changes gravity)! The force that Trout were really wary about was not Gravity, but buoyancy! In the water, the buoyant force is the force that opposes gravity. If an object's buoyancy is greater than the gravitational pull (Fg=mg), then it will float. Vice versa, it will sink.

Anglers, always keep this little note above in mind. It's certainly very useful while fishing for Trout if used correctly. Think about it.

Pictures are below. Enjoy it:

First of the day, caught at the bridge close to the auditorium next to Welsh/Rhawn street. 12 Inches.

Last one of the day, caught just before sunset! Beautiful, huh?

--- November 17th, Schuylkill River, Cooper River, Driscoll Pond ---

I was planning this Saturday Carping trip at Kelly Drive for quite a while. I invited some friends to go Carping with me (Jay, Steve), and even chummed the spot two days before. I knew that the chances of landing a good Carp at Kelly Drive drops dramatically once water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, but I still wanted to give it a try!

I met Steve in Center City, and we headed straight to the fishing spot - Kelly Drive after the Girard Bridge. We each set up two rods for Carp around 11:00 a.m., and one for Catfish/Eels. Jay joined us a little bit later, setting his three rods for Carp. After setting everything up, we just had to wait... Like my old Calculus professor would say: "That's the name of the game."

After a couple hours, however, we didn't get a single bite! We were SO BORED. Steve was the first to get extremely frustrated. Hah. His patience is quite short; therefore, he decided to take a nap while waiting for some action. Jay ate his lunch; after, he chilled while listening to some music. I was playing my Nintendo DS (some Chrono Trigger - classic!)...and no action AT ALL!

It was around 2 o'clock that Steve and I decided to move to New Jersey and try for some other Species! Jay's friends joined him around that time, and they decided to stay and wait to see. 

Steve and I left the Schuylkill, and moved to Driscoll Pond in New Jersey. After that, it was a blast! I put my "Gulp! Minnows" in action, getting some Sunnies and Black Crappies, while Steve ran small lures for Largemouth Bass.

We both ended catching some fish! And you know what? Even if we got skunked, that day was so gorgeous that it was just nice to be outside! That Saturday was so pleasant - pleasant temperatures, no wind. 

Well, enjoy the pictures below:   

My set of rods at Kelly Drive, waiting for the Carp action that never came. Hahaha.

Steve working a lure, trying to see some signs of life in the River.

Jay chilling in his chair - eating some lunch, and watching his rods.

Steve decided to take a little nap after no action was detected. Tsk tsk tsk...Steve, Steve...And what's with that rod holder, huh? Surf fishing? Hehe.

Steve caught this nice little fella at Driscoll Pond. Despite sizes, it's always so pleasant to see how active fish can be during cold periods of the year.

Little Sunnies are always welcome. Bluegills, Pumpkin Seeds, Red Breast Sunfish, Green Sunfish...I like all of them! As a matter of fact, they are beautiful fish, not to mention that they are wonderful fighters on an Ultralight.

Can't leave out the Black Crappies! When Winter arrives, nothing better than catching some Crappies!

Steve with another little fella, also at Driscoll.

--- November 18th, Manayunk Canal ---

Compared to the previous day, the weather was certainly worse: cloudy and windy. Even so, my friend Erik K. and I decided to go fishing at the Manayunk Canal for a little bit.

I have to say that I was very surprised when it comes to the water clarity at the Canal! Compared to the Summer, the water so much clearer! I was able to see all the way through, not to mention the wonderful "snag spots" from Summer: two supermarket carts between Fountain and Main, one huge tire under the bridge, two old bicycles under the Main st bridge, a construction cart, among other "delicacies and rarities." You know, guys...the sense of exploring is an unique feeling! Being able to see what's under the water comforts my heart in certain ways.

Anyways...we tried a little bit for Largemouth Bass without success. The water was super clear, shallow than usual, and very cold! We spotted two schools of Gizzard Shad (1lb average), one yellow Koi, and one Largemouth Bass.

We ended up fishing for Carp, since the Koi kind of got us excited. Result: skunked, both of us. Heh.

I took only one picture of the scenery after Erik left (he left because he couldn't stand the cold):
Carping at the canal. No fish, though. =(

--- November 21st, Pennypack Creek ---

I was craving for some Trout fishing, so I went to the Pennypack Creek between Bustleton and Roosevelt Boulevard for a quick 1-hour fishing session.

I took off from the bus 14 at Roosevelt Boulevard (before Welsh), making my way to the Axe Factory Dam. Surprisingly enough, the trail was dead. Not surprisingly enough, the Creek was also dead! =/

I managed to land one Rainbow Trout on the corn, under the dam. The fish wasn't very big, but it gave a beautiful jump while fighting!

Picture is below:

Only catch of the day! The Pennypack Creek is, unfortunately, dead...

And...this concludes the fishing sessions for November - 2012.