Reports (Rob Z.): Fishing in Scranton, PA (2013!)

Hello, Good Readers of the Blog!

After a good while, Rob is bringing another fishing report!

Before that, let me tell you guys that the permit for the first "Catfish Tourney on the Banks" has finally arrived. Therefore, the new scheduled date for the competition is May 26th, 2013 (Rain date: following Sunday). For more details, you can click here. If you are interested in participating, send an e-mail to to receive the application form.

For previous reports from Rob Z.
Fairmount Dam

Rob's report on a Lake in North Scranton, PA: 04/18-04/20.
Written by Rob Z. - edited by Leo S.
Happy Spring!
After a long and cold winter, April is starting off with some hot fishing action. On the afternoon of April 18th, I headed up to my buddy's cabin on his land, in Scranton. This would be my first time to this place since last year. In fact, on April 20th, 2012, I caught my Personal Best Largemouth Bass in his pond: a 4.33lbs beast. Here is the link to that post.
That post ended like this: "Hopefully, in a year, this fish will be 5lbs!"
Well, we will get to that in a bit.
On Friday morning, I walked down to the pond by myself. I had plenty of sleep and I was ready to find the beast that I caught last year. As I got to the lake, I noticed that the wind was going to be a factor. I had hoped to catch the same fish on the same lure, but after throwing a popper for 30 minutes without a whiff, I changed it. After all, the water wasn't smooth enough. I tied on a small minnow jerkbait that you will see in the pictures below, and I had my first Bass about 10 minutes later. This first fish hit in a deeper pocket of water, and fought pretty good for its size. When I pulled it out of the water, I realized I had caught a freak shaped fish. I should have taken a length measurement. It weighed 2.42lbs, and it was very short! Look how stubby and fat this fish is! It must have been a female with eggs. She was released unharmed.

With my new found confidence with this lure, I kept at it. After more action for about 45 minutes, I changed to a trout magnet, except, it was actually a panfish magnet. There is no difference at all, but the panfish kit had a different color scheme than the trout magnet kit. I put on a black and chartreuse panfish magnet and started casting it under a bobber. I call this the "happy fun time" rig. I was catching panfish after panfish with this rig. On one particular cast, I threw it out there - about 5 feet, and a big Bass came out of nowhere and slammed the little bait! I set the hook, and was soon pulling out a 2lber, my smallest (non dink) Bass of the weekend. With this rig, I believe that the splash of the bobber grabs the attention of the fish, and then the fish turns around to see the little plastic jig, which looks yummy.

With two Bass under my belt, I headed back up to the cabin as I knew that a storm was coming. The keg of Stone IPA kept me comfy that night, and I got another good night of sleep. Saturday morning, April 20, 2013: 1 year since I caught my previous PB, the 4.33 LMB. This morning I had some other cabin goers follow me down to the pond, so I set them up fishing with my gear. I then realized that I had no rod left, so I hung out there and watched them all catch fish on the "happy fun time" rig.
When the first of them gave it up, I took the rod and tied back on the ghost minnow bait. I cast and cast, but nothing. Then, on one special cast, where there was really nothing special about it, I felt a nice bump, and set the hook. I immediately started screaming, "5 pounder, 5 pounder!" I fought the beast quickly, and brought to the surface a big fish. I lipped him and pulled him out for some pics and a date with my scale: 3.7lbs - the 2nd biggest bass I have ever caught. Not too shabby. I kept searching for the 5lber, but no luck.

Our beers ran out and it was time for lunch, so we headed back up to the cabin to re-energize. I told tales and showed pics. I talked about how I still needed my 5 pounder, and how that would break the current cabin record for LMB, which has stood since 1935, when the original owner landed a 4.5 LMB. I wanted to beat it with a 5. After food and drink, and some games, we decided we would make one more attempt in the later afternoon. This time, I headed down with one buddy. He threw the "happy fun time" rig, and I threw the minnow bait. He was whacking fish and having a blast, since he doesn't usually catch anything. And at some indistinct point, I felt a very slight tap on my lure, so I instinctively set the hook.
After the hookset, I kept the rod tip straight up, and waited a few seconds. Nothing. I then started reeling in, and felt a fish. Then the fish felt me, and started running away. I could not believe the bend in my rod, much less the fact that this fish started to take drag. The 3.7 pounder didn't take an inch of line, but this fish was peeling it off. I was so happy that I had braid on and a 6 foot medium rod.
I fought it, and it came to the surface, and it splashed me with a mighty swing of its tail. I shouted or cursed or something. My friend knew something was up and ran over, and watched the action. I got it close enough to the shore for a lipping. I kept the rod up with my left hand, and stretched with my right hand, and lipped the fish!!!  It was freaking huge!!!
This fish looked like it could be five pounds. It was behemoth. I knew it was a new PB, but was it a five?
We took some pictures, and then I put it on the scale: 4.87 lbs. Holy smokes, a new PB and cabin record!!! I told my friend that this might just be the fish I caught last year, and that a scale by scale analysis should tell us for sure. After a quick trip out of the water, the fish was released again, unharmed, back into the pond.

Quite content, we went back to the cabin to share more stories and pics.
This morning - April 22nd, I am back at the office. Doh! I compared the picture of last year's Bass against the pics from this year, and I have come to the conclusion that I did recapture the same bass. The black scale patterns were the identifying clues - a perfect match. This fish grew from 4.33 to 4.87 pounds in one year, which sounds about right.
It looks like that if I want to catch that fish above the 5 pound mark, I will have to come back.
"Hopefully, in a year, this fish will be 5 lbs!"

Nice report, and beautiful new PB! =)

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.