4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks (To be held on October 27th, 2013)

Hello, Blog Readers!

Since I started doing the "Catfish Tourney on the Banks" competitions, I've met many interesting anglers and friends. That's a great thing, seriously. I'm very happy to see that the word is spreading and more and more people are participating. I sincerely love to see people fishing out there, not to mention that part of the money from each event is always going for a good cause.

Therefore, since college is not as bad yet and I still have some left over time on weekends, I'll be holding a 4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks! Hopefully we will have enough participants to make it happen.

The 4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks will be held on the
Schuylkill Banks (between Locust and Walnut) on October 27th, 2013. Rain date for it will be November 3rd, 2013. I expect the weather to still be reasonable (45-65's F); however, don't forget to dress accordingly! During Fall, it's always chilly in the mornings. =)

This will also be the last Catfish competition for this year; therefore, your last chance to claim a nice trophy home! The first set of trophies were given on the 2nd competition (Blue), and the second set on the 3rd one (Red). Eventually, the third set will be unique as well (not only in color!).

For information regarding previous competitions, you may click on the links below:

About parking: since the 1st Catfish Tourney on the Banks, a lot of people have been asking me about "parking" around the Center City area. Therefore, here's a link for parking spots that are close to the Schuylkill Banks. 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! I would particularly recommend parking on top of the Walnut and Chestnut bridges.

Now, let's go for the rules and additional information regarding the 4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks. Interested Readers and Future Participants -- please read it carefully, since there have been changes since the last set of rules!

1. The Event and the Rules (they may be subjected to changes at any given time).

A. The Event:

- The fourth official Catfish Tourney on the Banks will happen between the
Locust and Chestnut Bridges on the Schuylkill Banks. This will be the last tourney for the year of 2013. The official date for it is October 27th, 2013 (Sunday). In case of rain or weather issues, the "Rain Date" is set to be a week after -- November 3rd, 2013. Registered participants will be contacted through e-mail/phone one day prior to the event in case of bad weather and/or cancellation. Also, make sure to check your e-mail on the day of the competition, before leaving your house.

- Contestants may enter the competition individually or as a "team" of 2. 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 lb bag per team; etc). The entry fee for the competition is $20 for single individuals (one person), and $30 dollars for a team (2 individuals) -- cash only. The fee will be collected before the beginning of the competition; during the check-in under the Walnut Street Bridge. 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 individuals/teams. If there are not enough participants a day prior to the competition, all registered competitors will be contacted 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. (9 hours), the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks will start at 8 a.m. sharp and end at 4 p.m. (8 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 on the banks! Late participants will not be disqualified; however, they will clearly have a disadvantage in terms of time and location. Therefore, plan your schedule carefully.

- Prizes will be awarded half an hour after the end of the competition, in situ. The winners -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, and "Big Fish" -- will immediately walk out of the event with their prizes: cash and trophies. Once again: 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. There's also a breakfast place on 24th and Locust (I personally like it a lot). If there are small emergencies, participants may leave and come back, as far as they come back within the range of the competition (8-4p.m.).

- Kids (15 and below) are highly encouraged to participate in a team. According to the PA Fish and Boat Commission laws, they are not required to have a fishing license in order to fish. Note that the parent/adult is responsible for his/her child's safety in situ -- there is a liability waiver in the e-mail registration form: section 2 (this document will be sent via e-mail once you contact me).

B. The General Fishing Rules:

Important Note: All fishing participants will abide by all PA Boat and Commission regulations and safety guidelines. That includes a valid fishing license for anyone 16 or above!

- 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 (8-4 p.m.). Participation without a license will not be permitted. The license can be purchased online or in certain local stores (i.e. Dicks Sporting goods, Walmart, Bait Shops --
Brinkmans bait and Tackle, Bob's bait and Tackle; Sportsmaster; etc). 

- Fishing spots will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, no rights 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, the spots were already divided in sections, so the anglers can stay at least 10 feet apart from each other. Chances are that there will be available spots for everyone.

- 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 rods per person/team" 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 a fixed weight in station at the Walnut Street Bridge! 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 properly unhooking a fish, the participant should walk towards the Walnut Street Bridge. I'll eventually be on "lookout" as well. If not, wait a minute or so and I'll eventually be there to properly measure and record your fish. Take in consideration that even the smallest Catfish may contribute greatly for your fishing bag! Therefore, make sure you bring ALL your Catfish catches.

- 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! Follow the guidelines for safely practicing CPR - "Catch, Photo Release."
- A net is highly recommended for landing big fish (drop net or 8-feet long net). A Balzer fishing net is highly recommended. Believe me -- you do not want to take your chances by pulling a big fish by the line. High tide on October 27th will be at 8:30 a.m., and low tide at 3 p.m.. Again, a drop net or 8-feet long net is highly recommended.
- Only Catfish will be counted as part of the tourney. That includes: Channel, White, Flathead, and Bullhead. There are no Blue Catfish in the Schuylkill River. Each participant can (and should) weight-in as many Catfish as possible from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The five biggest ones (in terms of 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 "4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks" or something similar. Also, write in the e-mail if you are registering yourself as solo ($20) or team ($30). 

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. In case you are registering as a team, just make sure that you include BOTH NAMES in a single file.

On site registration will be available on Sunday, October 27th, from 7:00-8:00 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, a day 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 -- lbs).
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 will be donated to the SRDC non-profit organization, which  focuses on maintaining a clean environment and trail from Grey's Ferry up to the Fairmount Dam. Read more about it here.
In other words, $4-$6 dollars of your registration fee will go directly to a local level non-profit organization, and it will be focused on the well-being of the community. The remaining amount will be put together for the remaining cash prizes.

Summarizing, the prizes will be distributed as it follows (in cash, at the end of the event):

- 20% of all proceeds gathered in the tourney will go to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation non-profit organization. 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 (not considering teams) = $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 20 instead of 15, with 8 teams: 8*30 + 12*20= $480. The same calculation is performed. Therefore, the higher the number of participants/teams, the higher the amount of money distributed.

I'll request a formal e-mail from the non-profit organization after the donation is in, so every participant can receive a gesture of gratitude.
4. Additional Information
Here's a list of "advices" for every participant in the competition. If this is the first competition of your life, you should take in consideration the sentences below:
- Bring different types of bait: I would suggest 2-3 different types of bait for the competition. If they are not biting on one of them, switch! Trying different approaches is always a good idea. For bait choices, I would recommend: chicken liver, soap, nightcrawlers, bagels, bread dough, hot dogs, etc.
- Try different types of rigs: the idea that Catfish "always bite on the bottom" is a myth! Catfish will eat suspended baits! Therefore, if your rig on the bottom is not working properly, why not try to leave your bait a couple inches suspended from the bottom? Skuke Catfish can also be caught on a float.
- Never keep slack line: unless you are fishing for the giants, slack line is never a good idea. You are basically giving the smaller fish enough time to chew on your bait and leave. The big ones can swallow the hook. And the worst thing? You don't usually notice the bite if your line is slack! Therefore, use 1-2oz weights on the Banks and keep a straight line. 
- Try different distances: Somehow, most anglers believe that casting out there brings in bigger fish! On the Banks, I've caught many 5-7lbers along the walls -- simply dropping my line straight down! Soap is a killer bait for this technique, since American Eels ignore it. If you use chicken liver or cutbait, soon you will get a snag. Why? Because the American Eels dragged your hook to their holes!
- Avoid snags: there are very few snags from Locust to Chestnut. The snag area is really around the bridges, since a lot of people tend to throw trash in those areas. The Schuylkill River does have a nice population of American Eels, and those little fellas can easily drag your hooks into their holes, resulting in a nasty snag. Therefore, be attentive to fish bites and use bigger hooks for the Catfish. Leaving your rod unattended will certainly result in a bad snag.
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.

Results of the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks (Tidal Schuylkill River)

Hello, Blog Readers!

Temperatures have finally started to drop. It surely feels like Fall now, doesn't it? 

As planned, yesterday I held the "3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks" from 9-3 p.m., between Locust and Chestnut streets (on the River). A nice picture of the event is below:

One section of the competition -- Locust to Walnut.
Overall, the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks was a little bit slower than the 2nd one.

For the 2nd Catfish Tourney on the Banks (June 23rd), we finished with 90 fish -- 143.81lbs of Catfish. For the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks (09/15), we finished with 31 fish -- 66.26lbs.

Therefore, the quantity decreased by 1/3 while the quality of the fish decreased only by 1/2. In other words, we caught less fish; however, only 1 or 2 were below 1 pound or so. Most of the fish were reasonable.

For the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks, I had a total of 18 individuals/teams. Therefore, the number of overall participants increased a lot! It's always pleasant to see that more and more people are coming for the competitions. Thank you very much, guys!
As a tradition, I always like to take a group picture after the competition. I usually send it to all the participants, since it's a good memo of the day! Above are 17 of the 21 individuals/teams registered for the 3rd competition. 

The total amount of cash collected was 490 dollars. From that amount, 20% (98 dollars) to the SRDC non-profit organization (Schuylkill River Development Corporation). I just made the donation today.

The SRDC is the organization responsible for the Schuylkill Banks (from the Fairmount Dam until the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail). They do their best to maintain a clean environment for anglers, runners, bikers, and so on. That includes removing graffiti on a weekly basis, providing a clean and neat space for everyone, etc. They also hold Summer events (free movie nights on certain Thursdays, kayak and boat tours, etc). If you want to know more about them, you can click here to access their website.

Below is the ranking for the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks:

Jose N. & Anthony N. -- 13.18lbs
Daniel G. & Kathleen S. -- 8.08lbs
Ian R. & Jeremy R. -- 7.15lbs
Vince B. & Bill C. -- 6.89lbs
Joe S. & Lowell -- 6.14lbs
Steven G. & Monica M. -- 5.85lbs
George T. & Linda Z. -- 4.03lbs
Chazz P. & John P. -- 3.43lbs
Kevin M. & Miles T. -- 2.97lbs
Andrew H. & Moua F. -- 2.90lbs
Michael O’C. -- 2.57lbs
Joe G. -- 1.58lbs
Michael “Mactinez” -- 1.49lbs
Kyle G. & Christine R. -- --- lbs
Ralph O. -- --- lbs
Ivan V. & Bryce -- --- lbs
Henry J. -- --- lbs
Aaron C. & Amando D. -- --- lbs

Above are the 4 winners of the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks: 1st Place (center - with his son): Jose Negron & Anthony Negron; 2nd Place (right): Daniel Guzman & Kathleen Serafin; 3rd Place (Center - left): Ian Rafter; Big Fish (left): Joe Scott & Lowell. Congrats, guys!

As you guys can see, this last competition was pretty unstable! Literally anyone had a chance to win at least up to 2nd place until the end of the competition. If 4-7th places actually got one more fish (about 1.5lbs), they could have jumped up by a lot!

As a matter of fact, Daniel and Kathleen (the actual 2nd place winners) were in 5th place until 2 p.m.. It was only during the last hour that they caught most of their fish, finishing up in 2nd place!

The prizes for the 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks were the following:

1st Place -- $156 + Trophy
2nd Place -- $118 + Trophy
3rd Place -- $78 + Trophy
Big Fish -- $40 + Trophy

People that participated: thank you very much for your support! As I have mentioned in the closing ceremony, you guys are making a difference in the fishing community in Philadelphia, not to mention that you are staying active in the field. The 20% of your proceeds will make a difference for the SRDC, even if it's small!

Also, many thanks to Kevin Madden and Miles Taylor (the two kids in green -- center of the picture) for coming all the way from Collingswood, NJ. I first met both of them when I was fishing at Knight's Lake. It just happened that I gave them my fishing card, and yet we met once again! Thank you very much, guys!

Extra thanks to Jose Negron and Monica Martinez, John Person, Joe Scott, Kyle Gruber & Christine Rabusa, Jeremy Rafter, and Daniel Guzman. Fishing is certainly MORE fun when you bring your loved ones with you! Therefore, having kids and loved ones around is always an extra plus. Fishing is definitely not just about catching.

For those who didn't catch anything, be not sad. It was a tough day on the Banks, and sometimes that's how it's is. Thankfully, it was still a nice day (nice weather), and of course the experience counts a lot!

Since I still have some free time and the weather is still OKAY, I'll plan one extra Catfish Tourney on the Banks for the month of October. The 4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks will be on October 27th, 2013, and that will absolutely be the last one for this year. Therefore, if you missed the 3rd one, you still have one more chance to go!
Below are pictures of other catches:

Participant Bill C. with a 2.24lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Linda Z. with a 2.18lbs Channel Catfish.

 Participant Anthony N. and his sister with a 3.90lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Lowell with a 1.69lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Ian R. with a 3.50lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Steven G. and Monica M. with a 3.08lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Daniel G. with a 3.10lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Lowell with the biggest fish of the day -- a 4.45lbs, 22 inches, Channel Catfish.

Participant Jeremy R. with a 2.24lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Anthony N. with a 3.88lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Miles T. with a 2.97lbs Channel Catfish.

Participant Michael O'C with a 2.57lbs Channel Catfish.

Best of luck for all of us!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.

September Multi-Species Quiz -- Prize: Trout Magnet Combo

Quiz Time!

So, from now onwards, the Extreme Philly Fishing website will promote monthly quizzes/challenges with prizes. Here's the quiz/challenge for the month of September:

I went Multi-Species fishing today in Haddonfield, New Jersey! I explored the Wallworth Lake, Upper Cooper River, Driscoll Pond, Evans Lake, and Hopkins Pond. I ended the day with 12 different Species of fish (includes 2 different types of Hybrids) -- a total of 127 fishes. A collection of all 12 Species of fish is below:

Note: High Definition photo of each fish is at the end of this post. 

So...How good are you in identifying fish? The first one to correctly identify the 12 different Species of fish on the picture above will win a pack of 50 1/64oz Trout Magnet Jigheads + a pack of 50 Golden Trout Magnets. Both products will be shipped directly to the winner's house.

 If you are willing to participate, please read the rules below:

-- In order to receive the prizes, the winner has to be a follower of the EPF Facebook Page. In other words, "like" the Facebook Page before sending your answers in! That's a smart move.

-- Your answer format should be:
1. "Name of the Fish" ("Species"),
2. "Name of the Fish" ("Species"), etc

For example...If my guess for slot 1 was Rock Bass, then my answer would be:
1. Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), and so on.

-- Number 6 and 12 are Hybrid Sunfish. For those two slots, your answer format should be, for example:

 6. "Name of the fish X Name of the fish" (Species X Species).
In other words, you should be able to identify both parent Species for both Hybrids. In order for answers to be correct, BOTH parent Species must be right.

-- Number 5 is a tough one. Therefore, its general name and Species will be enough.

-- Write your 12 guesses in a list format, and send them to "sheng12182527@gmail.com." On the subject line, type "QUIZ 1." The first person to guess all of them correctly will receive the prizes listed above.

-- Every participant will have 2 chances for this competition. So, in case you fail to fully identify all of them on your first attempt, you will still have a second chance. Once I reply to the e-mail of your first attempt, then you are good to go for your second one.

-- Once someone wins, I'll post the name of the winner on the Facebook Page and the Quiz for the month of September will be over. Therefore, I'll also post the answers here.
High Definition pictures of each fish are below:

Fish 1
Fish 2
Fish 3
Fish 4
Fish 5
Fish 6
Fish 7
Fish 8
Fish 9
Fish 10
Fish 11
Fish 12

Good luck, and Happy "Quizzing!"
Best of Luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.

September Fishing Sessions (Last Update: COMPLETE)

How is it going, Blog Readers?
I hope everything is well with everyone!
September is finally here, and so is Fall. This climate change business is making things quite weird (finishing Summer with 80F); however, it's a fact that good fishing is coming upon us.
For a starter, my classes at Temple University have started once again: the Fall semester is up. I'm currently taking some classes in Mathematics and Physics; however, I'll still have some time to fish! My availability won't be the same anymore; therefore, please, be patient with me when it comes to e-mails and personal messages on the Facebook Page. I'll eventually reply to them, but it may take a little bit longer than expected.
For the month of September, there's the annual Philly Fun Fishing Fest coming up on the Schuylkill Banks! This event is FREE and open to all ages and levels of experience regarding fishing. For more details on it, click here for my post on it.
The 3rd Catfish Tourney on the Banks is also schedule for the 15th of this month. As a reminder, the Catfish Tourney on the Banks is a profit free event, where 20% of your entrance fee goes to the Recycled Fish organization -- a non-profit that works with aquatic sustainability. The rest of the money is then distributed as prizes. There are also trophies for the winners! If you are interested in participating, please read about its regulations and how to register for it here.  
Here's your picture of the month:
"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" September 9th, 2011 -- The Schuylkill River, totally flooded, after Irene. September is usually the month for floods and other disastrous catastrophes on the East Coast. If anything bad happens, do not attempt anything crazy! I fished during Irene, and it wasn't fun: everything was flooded, the wind was crazy, and I got skunked. Haha. Be safe, guys. 
Fall is an awesome time of the year! It's during this time of the year that many different Species of fish start to feed aggressively in preparation for a cold Winter. Flatheads, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass -- any type of game fish that you can think of will probably be feeding before Winter comes.

It's also during this time of the year that the Striped Bass stop by once again -- this time moving from the North to the South. Therefore, I've updated an old post on the migration of the Striped Bass in Philadelphia. You can access it here.

Now...for the September Fishing Sessions:

--- September 4th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 7:30-11:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 3 Channel Catfish (4, 4, 5lbs)

I went fishing on the Schuylkill River with my friends Don G. and Kevin W.; however, it was super slow! I ended the night with 3 Channel Catfish, all around 4-5lbs. Don and Kevin didn't end up catching much.

Thankfully, I didn't get skunked. Hehe.

A nice view of Kelly Drive at Sunset.

Don G. getting ready for some monsters. Unfortunately, not a lot of action that night.

I ended the night with 3 Channel Catfish. At least they were all good sizes -- 2 4lbs, and one 5lber.

--- September 7th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 7:00-11:00 a.m.

Fishes caught:

- 12 Bluegills

I participated in the Philly Fun Fishing Fest 2013! It was lots of fun! For a complete coverage on it, you may click here.

A beautiful "Skuke Bluegill."

--- September 8th, 2013 ---

Location: Multiple bodies of water in Haddonfield.
Time: 11:00-6:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 96 Bluegill
- 7 Pumpkinseed
- 3 Sunfish Hybrids
- 1 White Perch
- 1 Yellow Perch
- 3 Largemouth Bass
- 1 Channel Catfish
- 12 Brown Bullhead
- 1 American Eel
- 3 Black Crappie
- 2 Mosquitofish

I went Multi-Species fishing in Haddonfield, New Jersey! I explored the Wallworth Lake, Upper Cooper River, Driscoll Pond, Evans Lake, and Hopkins Pond. I ended the day with 12 different Species of fish (includes 2 different types of Hybrids) -- a total of 127 fishes. I also caught some decent amount of fish at Hopkins Pond, which was very surprising, considering that I often got skunked over there.

Photos are below:

A small Bluegill from Wallworth Lake.

A Pumpkinseed X Green Sunfish hybrid from the Wallworth Lake. Notice how the upper half of its body is "Pumpkinseed" and the lower half is "Green Sunfish." Pretty neat, huh? Interesting phenotypes, as always.

Another beautiful hybrid from Wallworth Lake: a Green Sunfish X Bluegill hybrid. Notice the "blue" in the fish's operculum from the Bluegill, and the elongated body and shades of yellow in the anal and caudal fins from the Green Sunfish. Note that Sunfish hybrids can often be found in muddy/polluted bodies of water. The visibility is lower in those places, making it hard for different Species to find their mating partners. They often confuse each other in the middle of the muddiness! =)

A small Yellow Perch from the Wallworth Lake (my first one out of there, actually). Getting unusual Species of fish in certain bodies of water always make me wonder: "How did they get there?"

A nice sized "colorless" Bluegill from the Wallworth Lake. Many dependent variables influence in the fish's color, and one of them is the water clarity.

A small Largemouth Bass from Wallworth Lake.

A White Perch from Wallworth Lake.

A small Largemouth Bass from Evans Pond.

A Western Mosquitofish (I counted the anal rays under a microscope) from the Evans Pond. The place is actually filled with them! Interesting place for Microfishing, and a great food supply for bigger Species of fish (i.e. Black Crappie).

A beautiful Brown Bullhead from Driscoll Pond.

An American Eel from the Upper Cooper River.

A nice Bluegill from the Upper Cooper River.

My first Eastern Painted Turtle on a line and hook! It was safely released, by the way. Now I have in my collection the Red-Ear Slider Turtle, Snapping, Red-Bellied and this one! =)

The little fella, from another angle.

A Pumpkinseed from the Upper Cooper River.

I chopped a little Bluegill and used it as bait. Soon after I cast, this Channel Catfish came up from the shallows of the muddy Upper Cooper River! My biggest Channel Catfish out of there (believe it or not) was 5lbs even! Considering the depth of the place (1-2 feet), it was truly an awesome discovery!

Of course I couldn't finish the day at the Upper Cooper River without a Black Crappie! Overharvest in the Upper Cooper River diminished Black Crappie populations; however, there are still some there.

A scenery photo of the Hopkins Pond. During the last couple years, this Lake had many Fish Kills during Winter and Summer time. This year, finally, the government decided to install pumps in the Lake. Now there's enough oxygen for the Carp and the Bullheads, at least. Hopefully they will stock it with some game-fish in the next years to come.

A nice-sized Brown Bullhead from Hopkins Pond (and my biggest so far).

The smallest Brown Bullhead of the day! I decided to take it home. He's living calmly in my fishing tank now (and he eats A LOT).

--- September 23rd, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 11:00-5:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:
- 2 American Shad
- 1 Striped Bass
After so long, I finally decided to give the Fairmount Dam a try! I fished there for 6 hours, ending the day with only one decent fish: a 2.8lbs Striped Bass on a rattle trap. After landing it, I was in a tough position (on the rocks, with incoming tide), so it took me a while to unhook and weight it. Since the fish was out of the water for quiet some time, I released the fish without taking a picture. I revived it, and it swam away just fine!
I also got 2 little American Shads on size #26 hooks (micro-fishing! oh yeah!). They are everywhere right now; therefore, it's tough to catch the game fish. There are too many baitfish swimming around at this time of the year.
Pictures are below:
An American Shad fingerling. They are everywhere in the Schuylkill during this time of the year! If you have polarized glasses, you can see them swimming just below the surface of the hidden River.

Even if you don't catch anything, the West side of the Fairmount Dam will still bring you joy and excitement! It's home to many different types of monsters (big Carps, Flatheads, and the rare Clear Muskies) and rarities (all year Striped Bass, big Black Crappies, small Tiger Muskies). That feeling; that possibility of catching something nice...hard to beat!  
--- September 29th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m./9:00-11:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:
- 7 Channel Catfish

After some painful days at college and tons of work, I was finally able to get out for a couple hours to fish.

I decided to hit the Schuylkill Banks (around Walnut) for 2 hours during daytime, since it's a convenient spot. I got a couple Catfish bites, but I couldn't land a single fish in the end. I ended up getting nothing; however, I chummed the place up with my bait before I left.

I went back at night time, just at the end of high tide (around 9 p.m.). The chum certainly worked! I got 7 Channel Catfish in two hours at the chummed spot, and no bites out there whatsoever.

I also used one rod for lures, and I had 2 juvenile Striped Bass follow my pink Zoom fluke under the lights of the Banks. Although they didn't strike, it was still a beautiful sight to see them follow it.
Pictures of the Catfish are below:
Schuylkill Banks during day time!

Schuylkill Banks during night time! (notice the lights -- they are always on at night time)

Smallest Catfish of the night. It was a little bit below a pound.

The biggest one of the night. None of them passed the 2lbs margin. It was still a lot of fun to catch them, as always.
Unfortunately, the month of September wasn't very productive for me in terms of fishing. After all, college started! In other words, fishing time is pretty much limited from September-December. =/
Hopefully I'll have more fishing session during the month of October! The fish will still be biting good. =D
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.