July Fishing Sessions (Last Updated: COMPLETE)

Hello, Readers!
June was a productive month for fishing, and I'm hoping that July will be awesome as well. Did you guys ever notice how fishing can be a science; how it follows the empirical approach?
"The Carp, if he have water-room and good feed, will grow to a very great bigness and length; I have heard, to be much above a yard long. 'T is said by Jovius, who hath writ of fishes, that in the Lake Lurian, in Italy, Carps have thriven to be more than fifty pounds' weight; which is the more probable, for as the bear is conceived and born suddenly, and being born is but short lived, so, on... the contrary, the elephant is said to be two years in his dam's belly, some think he is ten years in it, and being born grows in bigness twenty years; and 't is observed too that he lives to the age of a hundred years. And 't is also observed, that the crocodile is very long-lived, and more than that, that all that long life he thrives in bigness: and so I think some Carps do, especially in some places; though I never saw one above twenty-three inches, which was a great and goodly fish; but have been assured there are of a far greater size, and in England too."

This is an excerpt of the "Compleat Angler" book (Page 154-155), written by biographer Izaak Walton and first published during the year of 1653: 360 years ago.

At that time, the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) was just introduced in England:

"The Carp is the Queen of Rivers: a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish, that was not at first bred, nor hath been long, in England, but is now naturalized. It is said, they were brought hither by one Mr. Mascal, a gentleman that then lived at Plumsted in Sussex, a county that abounds more with this fish than any in this nation." (Page 153)

...not to mention that their spawning pattern was already well studied by many different Philosophers, including Sir Francis Bacon (the "empirical" dude):

"I told you that Sir Francis Bacon thinks that the Carp lives but ten years; but Janus Dubravius has writ a book 'Of Fish and Fish Ponds,' in which he says that Carps begin to spawn at the age of three years, and continue to do so till thirty: he says also, that in the time of their breeding, which is in summer, when the sun hath warmed both the earth and water, and so apted them also for generation, that then three or four male Carps will follow a female; and that then, she putting on a seeming coyness, they force her through weeds and flags, where she lets fall her eggs or spawn, which sticks fast to the weeds, and then they let fall their melt upon it, and so it becomes in a short time to be a living fish: and, as I told you, it is thought the Carp does this several months in the year." (Page 157)

Isn't it amazing? Izaak would be happy to see how England and the whole UK adapted so well to Carp fishing! "Carping" is a big sensation over there (and a minor sensation over here!).

The current record for Carp has already passed 100lbs! Just like Izaak predicted back in his time (360 years ago), Carps are resistant fish that can live a long life-spawn compared to other fish, not to mention that they can grow to enormous sizes if they have a lot of food available.

And this is how "science" is made, guys! Every little observation and discovery during a fishing session can be something that will contribute for the future of fishing. Nowadays, we have computers that do a lot of work for us; however, we are unique because we have "expectations." We know how to "expect" from what we see, and then create different hypothesis based on experiences, whereas computers will never be able to do so. They can only be programmed by us.

Fishing is in essence a science and an art. It's even more unique than other Sciences, since it involves the handling of another living being, which is why we owe to respect fish and wildlife (never waste a fish, handle with care if CPR is practice, and harvest selectively). From a philosophical and scientific point of view, it's the "empirical method" at work: for example, fishing is almost always unpredictable when it comes to knowing what kind of fish will come next; however, we can have expectations as to what kind of fish we are fighting after seeing the bite pattern. And even so, sometimes we end up being wrong!

And so I say guys: every passionate angler is a scientist at heart, sometimes even without realizing it. 
And, if you guys ever have a chance, purchase the "Compleat Angler" book - one of the fishing classics that is known World-wide!

Also, hands up for my friend Tony G., who caught a ~30lbs Flathead Catfish between Market and Spring Garden, on the tidal Schuylkill River:

Now, for the July fishing sessions...
--- July 3rd, 2013 ---

Location: Newton lake
Time: 9:30-2:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 2 Largemouth Bass

My mother recently arrived in the USA for vacation (this Tuesday), so, I decided to catch her some good quality fish to eat. Jimmy and I went to Newton Lake today for some Northern Snakeheads and Largemouth Bass. Since he decided to help me out on my request, it was a little bit easier for me.

I ended up taking home 4 Largemouth Bass. So, hopefully we will have a nice dinner tonight. Taking fish home once in a while is not a bad idea; however, keep in mind that Jimmy and I harvested selectively! Make sure to ALWAYS practice "selective harvest" when taking fish home with you.

In other words:

- We never harvested any "Trophy Fish" that could endanger the Species in that body of water. All fish above 16 inches or 2.5lbs were released. Our fishes measured: 1.80, 2.05, 2.18, 2.22lbs (average size).

- We picked an open body of water with a healthy population of Largemouth Bass. Harvesting LMB and other game-fish in closed bodies of water with a limited population will definitely harm the aquatic ecosystem.

- We follow the laws! It's past spawning season for Largemouth Bass (no harvest until June 15th), and they were all bigger than 12 inches long.

- We did not keep our limits. I took home only the necessary amount for a good meal. There's no such thing as wasting fish. Plus, fish taste much better when they are fresh.

And, of course, try to harvest as little as possible. I usually CPR all my fish, unless I get it for my parents to eat. They just love to eat fish. Plus, not all fish around these areas are safe to eat! Never forget to follow the FISH CONSUMPTION charts.

If these rules are followed, then harvesting fish for human consumption becomes healthy for the angler and his loved ones, not to mention that it brings the least possible impact on the aquatic environment around you.

Since I took home some Largemouth Bass, this created quite some heated up discussion on the Facebook Page. I even had to ban some people from the Facebook community because they simply did not know how to express their opinions without offending others around. I got quite a lot of hate messages, etc.

But, I would like to point out that Selective Harvest is very productive if used correctly. I'll use my friend Chris' (from The Right Anglers Facebook page) words for it:

"Selective harvest is a very real and useful practice. No keeping small fish, big fish, breeding fish, or rare fish. There is absolutely nothing wrong with harvesting fish for food or bait as long as selective harvest is in play."

And you guys can certainly read the rest of the discussion on the FB page, if it interests you. =)

Nice LMB caught on a grey Senko that I found on the floor. Haha. Good stuff!

Avoid holding fish like my friend is doing in the photo. Those fish were dead already. When holding Bass, it's best to hold it with both hands for less pressure on the jaw. Also, try lipping them vertically! Less chances of injuring the fish! A lot of Bass fanatics tend to criticize about Bass being harvested, etc.; however, they don't even pay close attention to how they handle their own Bass. If they want their Bass to be healthy and safely released, then they should NEVER lip a Bass single-handed, non-vertically. Therefore, I'm posting a video below of my friend Chris E. (A Bass anglers). He handles his Bass correctly, and I truly admire him for that:

--- July 7th/8th, 2013 ---

Location: Absecon Bay
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m. (7th)

Time: 9:00-4:00 p.m. (8th)

Fishes caught:

- Nothing

I went to Atlantic City for 3 days with my family (Sunday-Tuesday). I was able to fish for an hour on Monday and a couple hours on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch the best tides; however, it was still a good experience!

I ended up catching only 1 thing: a Limulus (a.k.a. Horseshoe Crab). When I landed it, I had absolutely no idea what that "thing" was. I only knew that it looked like Kabuto from Pokémon. Hahaha.

Being a little bit scared of the thing, I let it go by shaking my rod. Therefore, I didn't take a proper picture of it. It was heavy and big, though.

The fishing was tough. I fished for 1 hour at the Jetty on Monday, and I didn't see anyone catching anything. One guy walked out with one Flounder - his only catch of the day.

On Tuesday, I decided to fish the back bay - at Harrah's. I missed high tide by 30 minutes, meaning that the current was pretty strong when I got there. I got a couple bites, but couldn't land anything. The crabs were quite the nuisance too! There were a couple other people fishing there, and one guy landed a Skate. That was pretty much it.

The "T-Jetty" at the Absecon Bay Inlet. Great place to fish when the current is not strong.

Same place, different perspective.

On the second day, I moved to the Absecon Bay. I fished a spot right next to the Harrah's Casino & Hotel. Last year, I had productive days over there in July - Weakfish and Bluefish. This year, nothing. =/

A picture of a little crab that came up with all the algae that I had on my line. =)

Some hermit crabs that I found on some Algae. =)

--- July 9th, 2013 ---
Location: Neshaminy Creek
Time: 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 Bluegill
- 5 Rock Bass
- 7 green Sunfish
- 12 Redbreast Sunfish

After coming back from Atlantic City on Tuesday, my family and I decided to go to the Tyler State Park.

We spent about three hours there. I missed one Trout on the corn (the only one that I was able to spot). Then, I decided to do a little bit of exploring! As I walked around, I saw a small Common Carp feeding on the bottom (about 3lbs) and two Smallmouth Bass swimming around (less than 0.5lbs).

I switched the corn to "Gulp! Minnows" for some Multi-Species fishing. I finished the day with 4 different Species of fish: Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Redbreast Sunfish and Rock Bass.

Nothing new, but still fun to catch!
A little Rock Bass, caught right by the dam at Tyler State Park

A chunky Green Sunfish caught from above the dam. Lots of them there! =)

--- July 10th, 2013 ---
Location: Tookany Creek
Time: 2:00-6:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 2 Creek Chub
- 3 Spottail Shiner
- 4 Spotfin Shiner
- 5 Redbreast Sunfish
- 1 White Sucker
- 1 Pumpkinseed
- 1 Bluegill
- 1 Banded Killifish

I went to the Tookany Creek for some Multi-Species fishing. Unfortunately, I finished the day with nothing new (I still have to catch a Blacknose Dace).

After 3 hours of fishing, I finished with a couple different Species of fish: Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Redbreast Sunfish, Spottail Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, White Sucker, Creek Chub, and Banded Killifish.

I did see a couple beautiful things there, though: (1) a Water Snake that wacked my Bluegill; (2) a Mandarin Duck swimming in the Tookany Creek (photo below); and (3) a 4-5lbs Channel Catfish swimming around!

I wasn't able to make the Catfish bite, even though I threw my bait right in front of it. That little fella's wariness is top notch...

I'll definitely go back there with some cut bait, just to catch that fish!

My snake video got pretty famous around the Philly area! It's below, for those who haven't seen it yet. It also made an appearance at LiveLeak, the Philadelpha Metro online newspaper, and the RightThisMinute online video show.

I guess the video was pretty funny since I cursed a lot on it, not to mention my weird accent and people's love for Snaked. Hahaha. Hard to believe, though, huh? A 4-foot snake wandering around in urban waters... =)
"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A Northern Water Snake trying to swallow a Bluegill. I guess you guys will understand when you read the description of the video. Haha. Note: Watch out for the language!

A nice little Spottail Shiner.

A young Creek Chub. Notice how the dark stripe along its body is beautiful! Gorgeous!

Every Creek needs to have its own Redbreast Sunfish. The Tookany is no exception.

Another Creek Chub - this time a little bit bigger. notice how the black stripe is faded in adults.

I stopped by quickly by Kleinheinz Pond. The place is pretty muddy, but there are still some fish inside of it!

My best White Sucker of the day, caught on a piece of nightcrawler on the bottom. It's truly an art to fish for White Suckers - not as easy as everyone thinks. One can see them all the time, but making them bite is a whole different story.

Northern Water Snake in motion! Whacked the Bluegill that I was using for the Largemouth Bass.

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" a nature sign of "there are snakes around." Hehe. 

Pumpkinseed from Tookany Creek.

This little fella could be either a Satinfin or Spotfin Shiner. I didn't really count the anal rays; therefore, I'm not sure. Since this one came from a Creek, I can only assume that it's a Spotfin Shiner.

nice sample of Banded Killifish - another gorgeous type of Micro-Fish.

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A Mandarin Duck swimming in the Tookany Creek! After I saw the bird, I took a picture of it immediately. I came home and searched the local database. I wasn't able to find anything on it. It resembled a Wood Duck, but it wasn't it! For my surprise, I googled "Duck white stripes," and the Mandarin Duck showed up. Quite a rare sign, considering that they are not native to this country.

Finally, a little Bluegill from the Creek! =)

--- July 13th, 2013 ---
Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 American Eel
- 1 Channel Catfish

I fished the Schuylkill Banks today with my friends Don G., Tony G., and Nadir G.. The weather was nice - cloudy, but also hot.

Don ended up with 2 Channel Catfish. I finished the day with one Channel Catfish and an American Eel, and Tony...well, Tony missed a huge bite! =)

Nadir arrived last; therefore, I hope he ended up catching something!

Not very productive, but a good day of group fishing.

Don Garvey setting up his rods on the Banks. (Maybe he thinks he's fishing the surf. Hehe)

My traditional 3-rods set up for Channel Cats.

This fella came up totally by surprise! It bit on a size #4 hook with a piece of American Eel.

Another view of the same fish. Beautiful one - measured about half a pound on the scale.

Seeing people's TRUE natural smiles while fishing certainly brings much satisfaction.

Don G. with his Channel Catfish.

Just when we were about to leave, Nadir arrived! He finished the day with a couple White Perch and Sunnies.

--- July 14th, 2013 ---
Location: Barnegat Bay
Time: 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 3 Fluke (Summer Flounder)

My friend Jimmy and I went to the Barnegat Bay today for some Summer Flounders.

Our initial goal was to fish the Great Bay; however, plans changed and we ended up hitting the Barnegat Bay.

We ended the day with 6 Summer Flounders (3 keepers), and one Skate. I got 3 (all small ones), and Jimmy got 3 (all keepers!) He also missed a forth one that was pretty big (22 inches+). That one is still out there!

I missed a bunch of bites, but it was certainly a great experience for me. Hopefully next time I'll also be able to land a Sea Robin or a Skate for my Species list!

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" Rats running around Septa/Patco tracks. Sometimes it's hard to imagine, but there are lots of them "under" us.

Jimmy using his "dual jigging" technique. Quite the view...

First Fluke of the day, caught on a Bucktail + Mummichog.

Beautiful Clearnose Skate at Barnegat Bay.

So, it just happened that our boat broke in the middle of the bay! Hehe. We had to call the coast guard (they are useful at times!) to help us out.
I made a little video while we were waiting for help. Our boat rental shop came with another boat, and we were able to change boats in the end. Good stuff.

My first Fluke, caught on a very lively Mummichog. Good times...

A closer view of the fish.

Our initial plan wasn't to go to Barnegat Bay. However, most places had all their boats taken. Bobbie's Boat Rentals turned out to be a life saver! So, thank you, guys!

Jimmy with a happy smile and his catch of the day. Delicious fish, certainly.

--- July 15th, 2013 ---
Location: Byberry Creek
Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 7 Redbreast Sunfish
- 1 Pumpkinseed
- 1 Green Sunfish
- 10 Mummichogs
- 2 Banded Killifish
- 1 Fallfish
- 1 Spottail Shiner.

I went to the Byberry Creek in Northeast Philadelphia for some micro-fishing. I ended up with a bunch of Mummichogs, Redbreast Sunfish, Spottail Shiner, and a new Species: a Fallfish.

One of the things I like the most about the Byberry Creek is its fish diversity! So many different types of fish in such a small aquatic environment. Also, it's a very pleasant place to start micro-fishing or just take the kids for some "Sunnies." 

A healthy Redbreast Sunfish caught on a piece of nightcrawler.

One for fish for my Species collection: the Fallfish. I've been looking all around for this Specific fish, and I finally found it. Before landing it, it gave away 3 jumps while being reeled in. Despite its size, it was a nice fight!

--- July 21st, 2013 ---
Location: Delaware River
Time: 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 Bluegill
- 1 Pumpkinseed
- 1 Green Sunfish

I went night fishing with Don G. at the Delaware River for a couple hours. Nothing new, unfortunately!

Ended the day with a couple Sunnies - Bluegill, Green Sunfish, and Pumpkinseed. We attempted to catch some Largemouth Bass on top water baits, but nothing! Don missed 2 Blow ups on a Popper. My Buzzbait only made noise... =/

It was a calm and pleasant night, though! Night fishing in a safe location during Summer time can really be a blast.

Delaware River's Bluegill! =)

A nice colored Pumpkinseed.

And, to end the night, a small and skinny Green Sunfish. Between all four common Species of Sunfish in Philadelphia (Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Redbreast Sunfish, and Green Sunfish), the Green Sunfish is definitely the most aggressive one! Drop your baits by the margins of the River or close to structure and you will very likely get a Green Sunfish! Open water is not a good home for them.

Fishing under the moon! Praise Mother Nature for its beaut. =)

--- July 22nd, 2013 ---
Location: Manayunk Canal
Time: 12:00-3:30 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 2 Largemouth Bass

I went fishing at the Manayunk Canal with my buddy Don G..

The morning was great; however, in terms of fishing, it turned out to be a tough day - super hot, humid, and only a couple bites. We covered a lot of water (from Fontaine Bridge to Main st.), and I ended the day with only 3 bites, 2 Largemouth Bass. Don missed a couple bites, ending up only with a weird snail! I have to say...it takes a great deal of ability (or luck) to snag a snail! Haha.

No skunk, at least!

First Largemouth Bass of the day, caught on a Grey Senko.

Same fish; different point of view. Let's not forget that Philadelphia is mostly about "Urban Fishing." Lots of folks have absolutely NO IDEA as to how diverse our Rivers/Streams/Creeks/Ponds/Lakes are in terms of fish! They are lurking there, right below our noses. =) 

Don G. with his "lucky catch" of the day: a Snail!

Second and last Largemouth Bass, also caught on a wacky rigged Senko.

And, to end this fishing session, I did a little bit of exploring inside the old Carmelli's Restaurant on Venice Island. So..."Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A destroyed property, open to the public, right next to the Manayunk canal! I actually made a video of it; however, there are so many curse words that I decided to not list it on Youtube. If you want to watch it, send me an e-mail and I'll send you the hyperlink. Haha.

--- July 23rd, 2013 ---
Location: Delaware Canal
Time: 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 10 Black Crappie
- 1 Bluegill

I attempted a new spot in Bristol - The Delaware Canal Park (the beginning of the Delaware Canal). For my surprise, there weren't lots of fish there.

After 3 hours or so of fishing, I ended the day with 10 Black Crappie
s and 1 Bluegill. No other Species whatsoever!  

I didn't try for Carp due to the ridiculous number of Red-ear Slider turtles there. The Carp could definitely be there, though.

Also, no Catfish. I had one bite on my "Catfish Rod," and it turned out to be a turtle. Haha. When I saw the rod bending, it got me excited for a second or so!

No fish passed the mark of 6 inches...But it was still a wonderful day out with my nephew and family. Can't complain!

Small and skinny - all 10 Black Crappie were like that. There were also no signs of small minnows swimming around or big fish close to the surface. My bet is that the Crappie population there is stunted - all below 6 inches or so.

A nice scenery shot.

The other side of the Delaware Canal Park.

And, the only Sunfish of the day - a Bluegill! Heh.

--- July 24th, 2013 ---
Location: Delaware River
Time: 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 10 Bluegill
- 1 Redbreast Sunfish
- 7 Green Sunfish
- 1 Golden Shiner

Once again, I went fishing at the Delaware River with my friend Don G..

The goal was to catch a couple different Species of Sunfish for my fish tank. It wasn't bad: I finished the day with a couple Green Sunfish, Bluegills, a R
edbreast Sunfish (from the Delaware River! Wow.), and a kid also donated his Pumpkinseed to me. Hehe.

But, hands up for the Golden Shiner below - one of the prettiest I've caught this year! Beautiful fish! Certain a rarity around Philly nowadays.

Bluegill, caught on a Gulp! Alive Minnow.

Gorgeous Golden Shiner, caught on a piece of nightcrawler.

Another rarity - a Redbreast Sunfish from the Delaware River! They are very common in the Creeks around Philadelphia (Pennypack, Byberry, Poquessing, Wissahickon, etc); however, very rare in the Rivers (Schuylkill, Delaware, etc).

Don G. teaching the youth how to properly tie a rig. Teaching the youth is certainly very rewarding; after all, we always want to share with them the feelings and experiences that fishing has to offer.
--- July 31st, 2013 ---
Location: Neshaminy Creek
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 17 Redbreast Sunfish
- 8 Rock Bass
- 15 Green Sunfish
- 1 Pumpkinseed

It's been a while; however, my father finally arrived on the USA this Wednesday!

We had some family time right away, and then we went to the Neshaminy Creek for some Multi-Species fishing! My dad, of course, was itching to go fishing with me (it's been about a year or so).

We went to Tyler State Park. I missed a Brown Trout there on a small jig, and ended up with 5 different Species of fish. My father ended up with 4: the "Philly Sunfish family" - Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Redbreast Sunfish, and Green Sunfish.

Awesome first day of fishing for him! As a Multi-Species angler, my father doesn't need to worry about Sunnies anymore. =)

Rock Bass at Neshaminy Creek.
Redbreast Sunfish at Neshaminy Creek.
Pumpkinseed at Neshaminy Creek

Bluegill at Neshaminy Creek

Redbreast Sunfish at Neshaminy Creek
Green Sunfish at Neshaminy Creek.

Pumpkinseed at Neshaminy Creek

A little "Sunfish Combo Pic." You can click on it for its full size. =)

And this ends the July Fishing Sessions post! =)

Don't forget, fellas: Practice CPR - Catch, Photo, Release. Practice Selective Harvest. Protect our environment!

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.