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 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 ---