2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks (To be held on June 23rd, 2013)

Hello, Blog Readers!
I hope you all have been experiencing some pleasant days. I am here today to announce the 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks, which will be held on the Schuylkill Banks (between Locust and Walnut) on June 23rd, 2013.
A lot of people have been asking me about "parking" around the area. Therefore, here's a link for parking spots that are close to the Schuylkill Banks. I'll cite it once again in the rules, below. As you guys can see, there are plenty of parking spots close to the competition site, not to mention that it's FREE parking on Sundays! So, you guys can park on the read and blue lines on the day of the competition(Yay!).
The 1st Catfish Tourney on the Banks was a blast! Here's the link for the results of the first Catfish Tourney on the Banks.
Now, let's go for the rules and additional information regarding the 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks. Interested Readers and Future Participants - please read it carefully!
1. The Event and the Rules (they may be subjected to changes at any given time).

A. The Event:

- The second official Catfish Tourney on the Banks will happen between the
Locust and Chestnut Bridges on the Schuylkill Banks. The official date for it is June 23rd, 2013 (Sunday). In case of rain or weather issues, the "Rain Date" is set to be one week after - June 30th, 2013. Registered participants will be contacted through e-mail/phone one day prior to the event in case of bad weather and/or cancellation.

- The entry fee for the competition is $20 - cash only. The fee will be collected before the beginning of the competition, during the check in under the Walnut Street Bridge. Contestants may enter the competition individually or as a "team" of 2 - one child (15 years of age or under) and one adult. In the second case, the team will be treated as a single unit; therefore, the team is subjected to all the other rules as one unit (i.e. 2 rods per team; same bag per team; etc). Notice that this friendly tourney is profit-free. For more details, see the prize section; section 3.

- Public Transportation is available (Amtrak - Regional Rails, and
Septa) through the 30th street station, and it's highly recommended. The distance between the site of the competition and the station is a 10 minutes walk. For cars, there's parking along the Walnut and Chestnut bridges, as well as parking around 26th and Locust and below. Here's a link for parking spots that are close to the Schuylkill Banks. Note that parking is free on Sundays!

- The minimum number of participants for this competition will be 15 people. If there are not enough participants (which is unlikely to happen), all registered competitors will be contacted 2 days prior to the competition about its cancellation, either via e-mail or/and phone. Notice that a higher number of participants results in a  higher amount for the cash prize (see prize section; section 3). Therefore, invite your buddies to come. =)

- Instead of the traditional format of 6 a.m.-3 p.m., the 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks will start at 9 a.m. sharp and end at 3 p.m. (lasting 6 hours instead of 9 hours). Therefore, it's highly recommended for people to show up 1 hour or half an hour prior to the beginning of the event for setting up a good spot! Late participants will not be disqualified; however, they will clearly have a disadvantage in terms of time. Therefore, plan your schedule carefully.

- Prizes will be awarded half an hour after the end of the competition, in situ. Therefore, the winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd place, and "Big Fish") will immediately walk out of the event with their prizes (cash and other additional prizes). Notice that this friendly tourney is profit-free. For more details, see the prize section; section 3.

- Since this is a friendly competition, participants are free to leave the site at any given moment. There's a restroom and drinking fountain between Locust and Walnut on the Schuylkill Banks, and there is a Rite Aid on 23rd and Walnut in case anyone needs additional water or food. If there are small emergencies, participants may leave and come back, as far as they come back within the range of the competition (9-3p.m.).

- Kids (15 and below) are highly encouraged to participate in a team, and they don't require any fee to enter the competition (the fee is included with the adult). Also, according to the PA Boat and Commission laws, they are not required to have a fishing license in order to fish. One child per participant is the ideal case (note that the parent is responsible for his/her child's safety in situ - see the liability waiver in the e-mail registration form - section 2). The kid will be counted as part of its parent's "team," and the result of both will be summed as one.

B. The General Fishing Rules:

Note: All fishing participants will abide by all PA Boat and Commission regulations and safety guidelines.

- A PA fishing license is required for anyone older than the age of 15 (as the law states), and it must be shown at the check in - before the competition - and placed on an outer garment during the entire period of the tourney (9-3 p.m.). Participation without a license will not be permitted. The license can be purchased online or in certain stores (i.e. Dicks Sporting goods, Walmart, Bait Shop -
Brinkmans bait and Tackle, Bob's bait and Tackle; etc). 

- Fishing spots will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, no right to complain if one comes late! You are being advised, and you should time yourself for the event. Also, for more comfort and better fishing, anglers should stay at least 10 feet apart from each other. Chances are that there will be available spots for everyone.

- 2 fishing rods per Participant or team, 2 fishing hook per rod. Although the PA law states that it's legal to fish 3 rods per session and 3 hooks per rod, the competition will work on the 2 rod per person and 2 hook per rod rule with the purpose of preserving space for all participants. Anyone disrespecting this rule will be given an initial warning and a penalty of 5lbs on the total poundage of the bag. A second time will result in disqualification.

- For weight-in: there will be no fixed weight in station! Instead of the traditional weight-in system, which happens at the end of the competition, the weight-in for this specific competition will happen just after successfully landing the fish. After unhooking a fish, the participant should raise his hand (opened) and wait for me to arrive. I'll eventually be on "lookout" at the Walnut street bridge. If not, wait a minute or so and I'll eventually be there to properly measure and record the fish in terms of weight and length.

- There will be a penalty for mishandling fish. Every fish should be perfectly caught and released. In case the fish swallows the hook, the line should be cut. In case a fish is heavily injured and dies, there will be a severe penalty of 5lbs per incident. Catfish are tough fish; therefore, there shouldn't be any incidents! Therefore, follow the guidelines for safely practicing CPR

Note: a net is highly recommended for landing big fish (drop net or 8-feet long net). A Balzer fishing net will be available for "renting" at a cost of 1lb per fish. Believe me - you do not want to take chances by pulling a big fish by the line. Again, a drop net or 8-feet long net is highly recommended.
- Only Catfish (Channel, White, Flathead, Bullhead) will be counted as part of the tourney. Each participant can weight-in as many Catfish as possible from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. The five biggest ones (lbs) will determine the final bag/result for given participant.

2. Registration

In order to register, send an e-mail to "
sheng12182527@gmail.com" with the subject "2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks" or something similar.

After receiving the e-mail, I'll e-mail the person back with a formal Microsoft Word registration file (.docx) and liability waiver, requesting additional information and a digital signature. Once the person fills up the registration file and e-mail it back to me, the same will be officially registered in the tourney.

On site registration will be available on Sunday, June 23rd, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. I'll be under the Walnut street bridge with printed registration forms. However, I would prefer everyone to sign in in advance, since the event will not happen if there are less than 15 participants 2 days prior to the event!

3. Results and Prizes

The prizes will be distributed for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, as well as the "Big Fish" (biggest Catfish of the day).
Note that the Catfish Tourney on the Banks is a non-profit competition. In other words, Extreme Philly Fishing is absolutely making no money out of these events. 20% of the total cash amount is donated to a non-profit organization focused on environmental conservation and/or aquatic sustainability. In other words, $4 dollars of your registration fee goes directly to a non-profit focused on the well-being of the country. The other $16 dollars are pulled together for the cash prizes.

The prizes will be distributed as it follows (in cash):

- 20% of the total amount of money gathered in the tourney will go to a non-profit organization in PA or USA that focuses on environmental conservation and/or aquatic sustainability. Therefore, as mentioned above, the "Catfish Tourney on the Banks." is a profit-free event.

After subtracting 20% from the final amount of cash gathered, the prizes will be distributed as it follows:

1st place: 40% of remaining cash + 1st place Trophy
2nd place: 30% of remaining cash + 2nd place Trophy
3rd place: 20% of remaining cash + 3rd place Trophy
Big Catfish: 10% of remaining cash + Big Fish Trophy

Therefore, the minimum prize amount (based on 15 participants) for the 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks will be:

15 participants = $300

20% of 300 will go to a non-profit organization: $60

The remaining $240 will be distributed as it follows:

1st place: 40% --> $96
2nd place: 30% --> $72
3rd place: 20% --> $48
Big Catfish: 10% --> $24

Note: if, for example, the first place is accounted for the biggest Catfish of the day, that person will be taking $96+24, and he/she will be receiving both trophies.

If the number of participants are actually 25 instead of 15: 20*25= $500. The same calculation is performed. Therefore, the higher the number of p6articipants, the higher the amount of money distributed.

The non-profit organization will very likely be a local one. I'll request a formal e-mail from the non-profit to every participant after the donation is in, as a gesture of gratitude.

Alrighty! I'll see all participants next month. For those who are planning to participate - best of luck for you guys!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.

Hello, Readers!
I'm bringing you guys the results of the 1st Catfish Tourney on the Banks that was held on the Schuylkill Banks (tidal Schuylkill River) yesterday form 9-3 p.m. It was a little bit windy; however, the weather turned out to be super nice, not to mention that the fish were biting good!
The number of participants on yesterday's competition were pretty low (less than 10), as expected. After all, it is memorial weekend (lots of people away). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to change the date of the competition because of the permit - the date on the document must match the date of the competition. Even though, the tourney was still a blast and the participants had lots of fun!
The results are below, and they were posted yesterday on EPF's Facebook page as well:
The winners of the first Catfish Tourney on the Banks (05/26) were:

1st Place - Kevin W. with a bag of 16.09lbs (4.12, 3.94, 3.46, 2.77, 1.80)
2nd Place - Linda Z. with a bag of 12.98lbs (4.05, 2.61, 2.57, 2.30, 1.45)
3rd Place - Don G. with a bag of 10.84lbs (3.32, 3.10, 1.96, 1.25, 1.21)
Big Fish - Kevin W. - 4.12lbs Channel Catfish (22 inches)

For the whole competition (less than 10 participants), a total of 25 Catfish were caught, totaling 57.53lbs. The photo of the three winners are below:
The Winners: Kevin W. on the center with his Berkley Powerbait bag, Linda Z. on the left with her Daiwa Reel/Rod combo, and Don G. on the right with his Rap-X X-walk lure.
The 1st Catfish Tourney on the Banks was a great success. One of my fears was that people wouldn't catch fish! However, most participants got at least one Channel Catfish, and the winners got a full bag (5 biggest)! Not only that, there were some rare catches during the competition as well - a Striped Bass and a Flathead Catfish (this one was added to Kevin's bag). The spot where the Tourney was held certainly didn't end up disappointing me!
It was a lot of fun to see people catching fish down on the Schuylkill Banks - each with their own fishing styles and gear. After all, the general public often tends to believe that Catfishing is pretty simple and dull - that "anyone can do it." The truth is that the big ones are always harder to catch, doesn't matter which Species they belong to. Therefore, selecting the bait, rig, presentation, gear...these are all small factors that contribute for better results. It's with these arguments that I am able to say that Catfishing for big Cats is certainly a challenge, and a Catfish competition is nothing but the best way to see who is on top of the game!
I took some pictures during the competition. Enjoy:
Keith S. Sr. with a 2.93lb (18.5 inches) Channel Catfish.

Kevin W. with a 3.94lb (20 inches) Channel Catfish.

Although it wasn't part of his bag, Keith S. landed this Striped Bass while fishing for Catfish during the Tourney.

Linda Z. with a 2.61lbs (19.5 inches) Channel Catfish.

Joe M. with a 2.36lbs (17 inches) Channel Catfish.

Don G. with a 3.32lbs (20.5 inches) Channel Catfish.

Highlight picture of the competition goes to Kevin W. (1st place) for this Flathead Catfish, caught right under the Walnut Street bridge! Although the fish wasn't a monster (3.46lbs, 20.5 inches), it was still a great addition to his bag of 16.09lbs.

Kenny A. with a 3.10lbs (20 inches) Channel Catfish.
The 1st Catfish Tourney on the Banks was a blast! It you weren't able to participate in it, don't worry. The 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks will be held on June 23rd, 2013 (Sunday). Therefore, don't feel bad if you missed the first one! If you want to join us and participate on the 2nd one, send an e-mail to sheng12182527@gmail.com for the application form.
- The competition will be held from 9-3 p.m.
- 2 Rods per participant/team.
- $20 dollars entry fee.
For prizes and additional rules/information, click here.

I wish to see you all on the 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks! I'm sure it will be a blast.
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.

Get Hooked on Fishing! A "4-Week Free Fishing Lessons" Program for the Youth in Philadelphia.

Hello, Readers!

Quick post today...
Tomorrow is my last final exam, meaning that my vacation is finally here! Therefore, I've posted on Craigslist about my 4-weeks FREE fishing program for the Youth in Philadelphia (15 and under only).

Readers: if you know any kids that want to learn the arts of fishing, send and e-mail to sheng12182527@gmail.com to receive an application form for the program.

- As described in this Craigslist page, gear will be provided (optional).

- A fishing license for a person age of 15 or under is not necessary.
- The fishing lessons are 2 hours per week: 1 of lecture (theoretical portion) and 1 of fishing - field experience (experimental portion).
- Kids will go home with one or two questions to think about as homework - nothing too serious.

Topics will NOT be bounded by fishing alone. I am definitely not teaching your child ONLY how to fish! The lessons will include other aspects that influence fishing: history of fishing, environmental conservation, the physics of fishing, fish anatomy and physiology, fishing as a way of life (philosophy), etc. More information will be on the application form, after you e-mail me.
I usually let the parents choose the "area" that they want me to focus with their kids. For example: last year I worked with a kid whose parents wanted me to focus in English and literature. Therefore, we read little portions of "The Compleat Angler" (a fishing classic that dates back to the 1600's), we studied fishing quotes from past famous anglers, etc.

It's a fun program that I've been doing with kids from all around Philadelphia (including poor neighborhoods), and adults (for a charge), and it's been proven to be successful.

Therefore, I wouldn't miss this chance if I were you! If you have a kid with free time during Summer, I would recommend you to enlist him. The slots are very limited, so that you guys know.
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.

May Fishing Sessions (Last Update: 05/05)

The 1st Catfish tourney on the Banks will happen on the 26th of this month - a Sunday. For rules, entry fee, prizes, and other information regarding this event, click here.
If interested in participating, send an e-mail to sheng12182527@gmail.com to receive the application form.
CPR is a must; fishing license must be shown; prizes will be distributed on-site, after event.

--- May 1st, Schuylkill River ---

First day of the month, I decided to hit the Schuylkill River for some Shad! I took my "Cortland Endurance" noodle rod with me for some action; however, I ended the day with no Shad whatsoever. =/
I stayed at the Fairmount dam for two hours or so, casting constantly around the boils. For Shad fishing, I usually tie up two shad darts, two feet apart from each other. As a variation, I something tie a shad dart on top, and a spoon as a trailer. I felt a couple thumps on the darts, but was unable to get a solid hook set. With my polarized glasses, I saw beautiful schools of Gizzard Shad swimming up the Fairmount Dam, towards the fish ladder - definitely a wonderful view.
Guys...I would definitely recommend a noodle rod for certain types of fishing! Particularly, I love to use my noodle rod with a Shimano reel for Carp fishing: the runs are awesome, and the light test line setup lets you enjoy the fight to the fullest.
I noticed that it was getting late, so I switched the shad darts to a Senko on a 5/0 Gamakatsu. I landed one little guy at the dam, on my second cast! So, I didn't get skunked! =D 
One of the most fabulous things about the Schuylkill River is that you never know what you are going to pull out of it. It's a body of water where your imagination can run wild; where your expectations can be high for the diversity and sizes of fishes. For example...last year, Mike H. got a Brook Trout at the dam on a rubber worm. Rob Z. got a Flathead Catfish on a piece of American Eel, even though he was fishing for regular Channel Catfish. Nadir G. pulled a Largemouth Bass at the Greys Ferry portion of the River, on a nightcrawler...
And I didn't even mention that there are rare fishes swimming in those waters! You never know when you will land a Clear Muskie, a Northern Snakehead, or all the other "unknown" treasures in the Schuylkill River.
I guess that you guys already noticed that I love to fish there, right? =)
Enjoy the pictures:
Beautiful view from the Spring Garden section of the Schuylkill River.

A healthy Largemouth Bass, caught on a wacky rigged Senko, at the Fairmount Dam. It was caught and released safely.
--- May 2nd, Tacony Creek ---

I may have mentioned this in many of my other posts already; however, I always like to emphasize how anglers tend to take some bodies of water for granted. The Tacony Creek is only one example. There are also the Tookany, the Poquessing, the Byberry, Centennial and Concourse Lakes, etc...
It's true that a lot of those watersheds do not provide anglers with the excitement and fun of big Gamefish. But fishing was never only about sizes anyways! When it comes to Micro-fishing, for example, those bodies of water become little treasures around the city. There are a couple Species of fish that can only be found at certain bodies of water, and that is essential for a multi-species angler like me.  
Taking this in consideration, I decided to go to the Tacony Creek to expand my Species list for 2013. My setup was very basic: 4lb test line, ultralight setup, a float, and a size #12 hook.
When exploring, one bait that I can never cast aside is the nightcrawler - I always carry some of them with me. Another trusted bait that I always carry with me while I hunt for multi-species is the "Gulp! Minnow," which I usually put it on a 1/64 oz. jig, under a float.
I used that setup for the entire day, and finished with many Sunfish (Redbreast Sunfish, Bluegill, and Green Sunfish), not to mention two new Species for my 2013 list: the Creek Chub and the Spottail Shiner. 
In reality, I have yet to explore a lot of other portions of the Tacony Creek! Therefore, I believe that there are so many other Species of Micro-fish living in the Tacony Creek, all hiding from the naked eye. For more information on the Tacony Creek, you guys can access my introductory post on the Creek.
Pictures are below. Enjoy:

A small Redbreast Sunfish caught on a small piece of nightcrawler, size #12 hook.

One of the new additions to my 2013 Species list; the Spottail Shiner. For a complete list of the 2013 Species so far, you can click here.

A bigger Redbreast Sunfish, and also the "maximum size" for the Tacony Creek. Even so, it's still a lot of fun to catch these guys on a ultralight setup. After all, they put up quite the fight! 

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" Tadpoles! Did your kid ever see a REAL tadpole? If not, you should take him/her to local Creeks, and look for them! I particularly find the frog metamorphosis to be exotic, yet beautiful. 

One type of fish that is abundant in the Tacony Creek is the White Sucker. Fish for them on the bottom - a small piece of worm on a small hook (and a lot of patience) will do the trick.

Another new addition to my 2013 fish Species list: the Creek Chub. These guys are definitely gorgeous, and they are very limited around Philadelphia! They are only present in a couple Creeks around here.

A Bluegill, caught on a piece of nightcrawler, close to a sunken log. I may have mentioned this before: Bluegills are often rare in Creeks, somehow. Most Creeks are dominated by Redbreast Sunfish and Green Sunfish, with limited populations of Bluegills and Pumpkinseeds. Interesting, huh?

A Green Sunfish, caught on a small piece of nightcrawler. When fishing for these guys, one must be extremely careful: their mouth is bigger than all the other three Species of sunfish (Bluegill, Redbreast Sunfish, and Pumpkinseed), meaning that they will swallow the hook if they have the opportunity to do so. They are very aggressive. In other words, a slow hookset will result in a dead fish and loss of your hook! Be advised!   

Every Creek has its own King/Queen. The Tacony has a couple Koi in it, the biggest being around 8lbs (approximation by naked eye)! Thankfully, I always carry a can of corn in my fishing bag for situation like these. Next time, I'm going there to catch it!

When micro-fishing, I usually change my #12 hook to a #26 hook. This little Redbreast Sunfish fell victim to my bait presentation. 

Just look at the size of that small hook! Incredible, huh? It's a pain to tie it up, and it's also very sharp. If you are not careful enough, it will sting and hurt you.

A smaller version of the Spottail Shiner, caught on another portion of the Tacony Creek.

--- May 4th, Wissahickon Creek ---

After a long and painful Winter, and the Trout Stocking season, I finally decided to explore the Wissahickon Creek for other Species of fish.
The "catch" with the Creeks around Philadelphia is that many Species of fish "hide" during the Winter time; therefore, the Creeks become "dead" during the cold season. Some Species of fish still remain active, such as the Trout (stocked) and Common Carp; however, despite those few exceptions, all other types of fish just disappear! When I see those Creeks so full of life during Spring and Summer, I always wonder where the fish hide during the Winter; which holes would they suspend at. Have you ever thought about it? =)
Anyways...I went to the Wissahickon Creek with my friend Andrew N.. Before arriving at the location, my thoughts were to explore the Creek from the Wissahickon Transfer Center until the beginning of Forbidden Drive. Andrew, however, had very different ideas: he wanted to go far inside the Creek to fish for Trout and other types of fish. He wanted to hit an old and known spot. 
You see, guys? This is a problem that I often have when fishing with some of my friends. The problem with Andrew (in my opinion) is that he never wants to explore. Or better saying - he barely explores. I'm the total opposite of it: if I saw a puddle of water in the middle of the jungle, I would want to give it a try! And, of course, this isn't just about him: a lot of people actually like to stick to their "comfort zone" when it comes to fishing spots, losing the magnificence and glory for new catches and new discoveries; therefore, losing the magical touch for pro-efficiency in the sport. 
I don't see anything wrong with people fishing the same spots all the time - everyone is entitled to their own fishing style. But I just can't do it....when it comes to fishing, I have this urge for exploring! When I go exploring, I always carry the feeling of my expectations and the power of my imagination, and most of the times I end up learning something amazing or/and catching something new!
So, after I convinced Andrew to explore new spots, we went to try under the dam (the second one). We were working nightcrawlers at different depths, and absolutely nothing was biting! After a good 20 minutes or so, Andrew and I decided to move above the dam. I switched my nightcrawler to a Trout Magnet on a size #12 hook while Andrew fished with a worm under a float. We caught a couple Redbreast Sunfish. I caught a little Largemouth Bass (4 inches or so) on the Trout Magnet, and Andrew caught a couple Green Sunfish on the nightcrawlers.
After seeing that there weren't many fishes to catch there, we started to walk upwards. And that's when things changed dramatically, guys! At a certain point in the trail, I saw a big fish in the Creek. I immediately changed to a 3-inch Senko - wacky rigged - because I thought that the fish was a type of Bass. After a couple casts, the fish nailed it; however, I lost it after a couple seconds of fight. While fighting, through my polarized shades, I was clearly able to identify it as a Smallmouth Bass. So, I decided to give a couple more throws with the wacky rigged 3-inch Senko.
For my surprise, I ended up catching a Rock Bass on it! To think that a small Rock Bass could actually swallow half of a 3-inch Senko...that's already a pretty wild thought! But then, just seconds after, I caught a Redbreast Sunfish on the same lure! Andrew and I were both stunned...We never thought that small Senkos could work so well for such small fishes.
After finding that ridiculous pattern, Andrew switched his nightcrawler for a 3-inch Senko. I guess you guys can figure out the rest, right? For the rest of the day, we walked and cast...walked and cast. We finished the day with a bunch of Rock Bass, Redbreast Sunfish, and Smallmouth Bass on 3-inch Senkos!
Pictures are below: 
Andrew with his first "big" Rock Bass of the day. This size is the maximum growth limit of a regular Rock Bass in the Wissahickon Creek.

A beautiful Redbreast Sunfish, caught in very shallow water. At this time of the year, you can see all the spawning beds in shallow water; therefore, you can challenge yourself to entice the biggest ones to bite! If you think that it's going to be easy, you better think twice. Fishing for bedding Sunnies can become very troublesome. 

A healthy Rock Bass, caught on a 3-inch Senko, wacky rigged.

A bigger version of it (maximum growth), also caught on a Senko.

My first Smallie of the year! Small, but a Smallmouth Bass! It hit the Senko as soon as the lure hit the water.

Andrew N. with his biggest Smallie of the day, also caught on a Senko! I'm pretty sure he didn't regret exploring the Creek, specially after this wonderful catch.

It's actually pretty hard to imagine a Rock Bass getting hooked on a wacky rigged 3-inch Senko. After all, the fish needs to swallow half of the bait in order to get hooked (1.5 inch), and they really try to do it, indeed!

Extreme Philly Fishing at its full power. I got this guy from the bridge, and I had to lift him up a couple feet. Notice all that line next to my leg? Hehe. For this guy, I used a bigger Senko - a 6-inch. I cast far away, into a deep pool, and this fella hit it a couple seconds after the lure hit the water. Beautiful fish! It gave an awesome jump too.
Hear me out on this one, guys: buy a pack of Yamamoto Senko - 3-inchers and/or 6-inchers. Since I started to fish in Philadelphia and NJ, Senko has shown me its lethal "weapon" - a wobbling action that no other bait can copy! Go for it...You can't go wrong with Senkos. You should all know that Extreme Philly Fishing is a website that wasn't made specifically for advertising! Therefore, I introduce these things to you guys because I truly believe that it works.

--- May 5th, Tookany Creek ---

Due to the good weather, I went to the close-by Tookany Creek for some micro-fishing. Since I have some predators in my aquarium (i.e. Chain Pickerel), I always resort to the local Creeks for some minnows and shiners. The Tookany, Tacony, and Byberry Creek have been very productive for that. I usually bring a small bucket with an aerator, which is more than enough for me to bring back 20-40 minnows at a time!
I got off the bus 70 at the Tookany Creek Parkway and Central Ave. Right next to the bus stop, there was a shallow spot with a slow current that produced a lot of micro-fishes!
I started with an ultralight setup - 2lb fluorocarbon and #26 hook under a small float. For bait, I used very small pieces of nightcrawler. I ended up catching 2 Spottail Shiners, 12 Creek Chubs, and 15 Redbreast Sunfish in less than an hour. It was a blast, and most of the fish were in-between 3-6 inches. I filled my bucket with the Shiners and Chubs (and some small Redbreast), and started exploring for new spots for micro-fishing.
I walked up the Tookany Creek Parkway all the way up to Jenkintown Road. And, for my surprise, I found something incredible at that spot! A little bit before the spot where I caught the White Suckers on my last trip, there were some interesting fish swimming around. With the polarized shades, I was able to clearly see that they were Largemouth Bass - 3 of them! The adrenaline came, and I put away the #26 hook right away.
I changed my set up to a size 5/0 Gamakatsu hook with a Senko on it. After a couple casts, I got the first "Tookany Largemouth Bass" of my life! It was incredible, seriously. I mean, I would have never expected to encounter proper Gamefish in that little Creek, but they were there... Good stuff. I ended up landing 2 out of 3 - the last one just wouldn't bite on anything (very sharp).
After a while, I noticed a little Goldfish swimming around. Being a multi-Species angler, I couldn't resist the temptation of catching it. I changed my set up once again - back to a size #10 hook and nightcrawlers. It took more than a couple tries to catch the Goldfish because all the Sunnies and other fishes were in the way. Every time the nightcrawler sat on the bottom, some other type of fish would get it first. Therefore, before landing the Goldfish, I was able to land 1 White Sucker, 2 Brown Bullheads, and tons of Redbreast Sunfish. However, in the end, after a good hour or so, I was finally able to catch that Goldfish - a new addition to my fishing Species list and aquarium.
I put the Goldfish in my bucket and decided to call it a day. Now he's living happily in my 55 gal. aquarium, and boy...he eats A LOT. Haha.
Also, for those who want to fish the Tookany Creek, I've made an "introduction post" to it. The link is also on the right tab of the blog -->
Enjoy the pictures! 
One of the bigger Redbreast Sunfish caught at the Tookany Creek on a small piece of nightcrawler (#26 hook).

A Spottail Shiner, also caught on a small piece of nightcrawler on a size #26 hook. There are plenty of small Shiners on our local Creeks (Tookany, Tacony, Frankford, Byberry, Poquessing) that we could use as bait for bigger Gamefish. 

A 6 inches Creek Chub caught on the same set-up above.

One of the two Largemouth Bass that I've caught at the Tookany Creek. It's truly impressive that they are in there! As I have commented on another post before, I can no longer say that the Tookany is deprived of proper Gamefish.

The second Largemouth Bass: caught at the Tookany Creek on a wacky-rigged Senko.

A beautiful Brown Bullhead. He was very aggressive, hovering the bottom for food. As soon as he saw the nightcrawler on the bottom, he swam towards it and whacked it! Amazing fish.

A shy Bluegill. As I may have commented on other posts, Bluegills are typically rare in our Creeks. Somehow, the Redbreast Sunfish are the dominant Species for Creeks.

A small White Sucker caught on a piece of nightcrawler. Healthy looking fish, and awesome bait for bigger Gamefish (i.e. Muskies).

After one hour, I was finally able to land this Goldfish! It took me a good while, but I was proud that I was able to succeed. He's happily living in my aquarium now, and eating a lot.

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" 2 Water snakes in the wild - one on top of the rock (gray), and the other one below the rock (orange/brown).

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A Largemouth Bass in its natural environment. Note that this photo was taken through polarized shades.

--- May 6th, Byberry Creek ---


--- May 7th, Lake Luxembourg ---


--- May 8th, Pennypack Creek ---


--- May 9th, Schuylkill River ---


--- May 11th, Meadow Lake ---


--- May 12th, Neshaminy Creek ---


--- May 13th, Schuylkill River ---


--- May 15th, Byberry Creek ---


--- May 17th, Schuylkill River ---


--- May 18th, Schuylkill River ---

--- May 19th, Manayunk Canal/Schuylkill River ---


--- May 20th, Newton Creek ---


--- May 21st, Neshaminy Creek ---


--- May 22nd, Schuylkill River ---