October Fishing Sessions (Last Update: COMPLETE)

Hello, readers!

I'm bringing you guys a couple news...

1. The 4th Catfish Tourney on the Banks is happening on October 27th! This is the LAST Catfish Tourney for this year, and it will be from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. If you want to participate, make sure to check the rules! Send me an e-mail for the registration form and I'll try to reply to it as soon as I can (I promise!).

Note that the competition will be cancelled if there aren't enough registered participants a day prior to it. Therefore, I recommend everyone to register as soon as they can! Also, don't forget that this is a non-profit competition: 20% of all proceeds will go to the SRDC, which is the non-profit that takes care of the trail and environment there, and the rest will be shared as prizes. There are small trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Big Fish!

2. The Philly Fun Fishing Fest 2013 was a big success this year! It was held on September 7th, and you can read about it here. Also, if you read about it, note that there's a new fishing wrap/poster under the Walnut street bridge on fishing ethics and the different Species of fish in the Schuylkill River!

I won a nice shirt on the Fish Fest raffle, not to mention that I also won the "most number of fish" category. I took home a brand new Daiwa Samurai Combo (rod and reel), a $30 dicks sporting goods gift certificate, and 2 tackle boxes by Plano. It was pretty neat! I also got to meet and talk to Louis C. and Matthew C. -- two of the best Carp anglers in Philadelphia, and also the owners of the Philadelphia Anglers Club (PAC).

Here's your picture of the month:

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A piece of log stuck in-between two cables; Haddonfield, NJ. I'm seriously not even sure how that is possible. Physically speaking, the weight of the log should have dropped it long time ago. And the most puzzling question is: "How did it even get there?" Hmmm...

Anyways...enjoy the October reports!

--- October 1st, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River/Manayunk Canal
Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Fishes caught:
- 4 Largemouth Bass
- 1 Smallmouth Bass (2.8lbs!)
After classes, I went fishing for 2 hours at the Manayunk Canal (5-7 p.m.). I also took the opportunity to fish the upper Schuylkill River for 15 minutes or so. It turned out to be a great day! The weather was great and the fish were HUNGRY.
I got a total of 4 Largemouth Bass at the Manayunk Canal, not to mention that I lost 3 on jumps. I also got a very nice Smallmouth Bass (2.8lbs on the scale) from the Schuylkill River -- it inhaled my Senko as soon as I cast it in a slow pool. It was an epic fighter and it was safely released.
Pictures are below:
First Largemouth Bass of the day. It hit the Senko while I was slowly retrieving it. I was very happy when I landed it -- my first Largemouth Bass in a long time (couple months?).

Another healthy Largemouth Bass from the Manayunk Canal.

This fella was caught right in front of me. I dropped my line in the water to tie my sneaker and suddenly it was straight! Hehe. Lucky, huh?

Same fish, different angle.

I fished the Schuylkill River at the Manayunk Canal for 15 minutes or so. It was getting dark; therefore, I gave only a couple casts! Luckily enough, this epic fighter inhaled my Senko as soon as it hit the water. It was an awesome fight and this one is probably the biggest Smallmouth Bass that I've caught this year (2.8lbs).

Note: Many thanks to my friends Kevin W. for sending me these photos through e-mail.
--- October 4th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River 
Time: 12:30-3:00 p.m.
Fishes caught:
- 3 Largemouth Bass

I fished the Schuylkill River for a couple hours (12:30 - 3p.m.), ending up with 3 Largemouth Bass (biggest one in the picture). I started close to the Spring Garden street, and went all the way up to the Girard Ave. bridge.

After al
l these days without rain, the River is pretty much clear. I was able to see the bottom of it during high tide, at certain portions of the River. I saw some nice schools of Gizzard Shad, two Catfish patrolling for food, and a couple Carp flipping the mud.

As always, the Schuylkill River is full of life!

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A dead Carp floating down the Schuylkill River.

Senkos are still working great at this time of the year! =)

By looking at this picture alone, would you ever have guessed that this is the Schuylkill River in Center City? I wouldn't.

--- October 6th, 2013 ---
Location: Schuylkill River/Manayunk Canal
Time: 12:00-5:00 p.m./5:30-6:30 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 Largemouth Bass
- 1 Smallmouth Bass

I made a long walking and casting trip on the non-tidal Schuylkill River from the Fairmount Dam to the Wissahickon Transfer Center (a total of 10 miles). As expected, fishing was pretty slow. However, I still managed to get a BEAUTIFUL Smallmouth Bass next to Columbia Bridge.

After, I went to the Manayunk Canal with my friend Chazz and his father. We all caught some Largemouth Bass, which was great!

Photos are below: 

Nice Smallie from the Schuylkill River. It hit the Senko on the bottom. This was a great catch since I actually saw the fish with my polarized glasses on. It inhaled the Senko as soon as it hit the bottom. 

Same fish, different angle.

A nice view of a stretch of the non-tidal Schuylkill River. I don't think a lot of anglers realize that, but that stretch of the River has plenty of structure for Bass to be around. Good area to cast some plastics or a jerk/crankbait.

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" the caterpillar of a white-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma). I found this little guy by East Falls and I couldn't resist -- I took out my camera! Nature is truly beautiful, guys...

My super small Largemouth Bass from the Manayunk Canal! It saved me from the skunk.

My friend's father with a bigger Largemouth Bass from the Manayunk Canal.

My friend Chazz with another nice Largemouth Bass. He truly has a passion for Bass fishing, which is great! Congratulations on your catch, Chazz.

--- October 7th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 Largemouth Bass
- 1 Smallmouth Bass

I fished under some brutal weather (under the rain); however, it didn't stop me from catching some fish!

Once again, I started fishing by the Fairmount Dam, walking all the way up to the Wissahickon Transfer Center. I finished the day with only two fish: a Largemouth and a Smallmouth Bass. The Largemouth was caught around the Girard Ave bridge and the Smallmouth was caught by the two bridges in East Falls. Both of them were caught on Senkos.

I had a couple more fish follow my bait, but no strikes. It was a good day of fishing, even though I got soaked (3 hours under the rain, perhaps?).

Photos are below:

A nice photo of the Schuylkill River and Fairmount Dam during its lowest tide. Studying its topography is a great advice for those who don't want to lose rigs around. =) Also, it's good to know where the rocks are for another reason: water currents. Think about it...

"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" A "Right Anglers" sticker. They sure mark their territories, huh? Heh.

First fish of the day came by the Girard Ave bridge! Feisty Largemouth Bass decided to hit my Senko as soon as it hit the water. It came from under the weed line, and went back straight into it. Thankfully, it was hooked pretty well -- therefore, I was able to land it. Notice that I'm using short-sleeves in this picture, but I'm pretty much soaked already...

Same fish, different angle.

Second and last fish of the day came from the twin-bridges at East Falls. I missed a couple Smallies there, but they were biting aggressively! Nice Specimen from the Schuylkill River, considering that this same body of water was "dead" a century ago.

Same fish, another angle. In this photo, I'm using 3 layers of Under Armour. I was soaked, but still warm. On my way back home, though, I was FREEZING. It was a good lesson to never underestimate mother nature...I was almost hypothermic after I got off from the R bus, and I had to run home from the bus stop to warm my muscles up. It was a good feeling once I got in the shower, though. =D

--- October 9th, 2013 ---

Location: Pennypack Creek
Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 2 Rainbow Trout

- 1 Smallmouth Bass
- 3 Redbreast Sunfish

The beginning of the Fall Trout season! I finished the day with 2 Rainbow Trout at the Pennypack Creek. Not bad, considering that the Fall limit for Trout is 3 per day.

My spots were packed with people, so fishing was a little bit tough. That was expected, since the PA Fish and Boat Commission is no longer stocking the Wissahickon Creek with Fall Trout (see the next paragraph). Regardless, I managed to land two of them on in-line Spinners! 

Note: Sadly, the PA Fish and Boat Commission stopped stocking the Wissahickon for Fall. According to them, the number of anglers that fished for Trout at the Wissy was too low; therefore, it wasn't worth stocking it.

I was extremely frustrated when they made this decision; however, they apparently had some "research" done before making it official. They offered every angler that purchased a fishing license with a Trout stamp a little "quiz" on Trout fishing (they sent us e-mails). The quiz consisted of basic questions: basically where we fished for Trout, how many times a year, etc. From the results, they concluded that it wasn't worth to stock the Wiss for Fall. I tried talking to them, but nothing happened.

The thing is: a lot of people fish for Trout in Philadelphia! We buy Trout Stamps and we contribute a good amount of our money for the Trout management program. And yet, we had only 2 Creeks around here stocked (Wissahickon and Pennypack) for the Spring and Fall, and now we only have 1 for Fall. It's truly a shame...

But anyways...following my friend Rob's advice, I slowly baked my Rainbow Trout in the oven with lemons and butter. Yum...it was great!

Photos of the day are below:

The Pennypack Creek (between Roosevelt Boulevard and Bustleton Avenue) on the Fall opening day. Totally different from the Spring Opening -- much less people, thank the Fish Gods!
My first Rainbow Trout of the Fall Season! Keep in mind that the PA Fish and Boat Commission ONLY stocks Rainbow Trout in the Pennypack during the Fall. Therefore, any Browns and Golden Rainbows are leftovers from the Spring.  
In-motion: the second and last Trout of the day, caught on an in-line Spinner close to a sunken log.
A fished a little bit for other Species around the Boulevard Dam. Finished with this little Smallmouth Bass and a couple Redbreast Sunfish. Beautiful fishes...
My two Trout of the day. I gutted and baked them. It was great!
--- October 13th, 2013 ---

Location: Pennypack Creek
Time: 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 4 Rainbow Trout
- 1 Smallmouth Bass
- 1 Spotted Bass
- 1 Green Sunfish
- 5 Redbreast Sunfish

I went fishing in the morning with my two friends: Mike K. and Jonathan R.. We hit the Pennypack Creek at the Boulevard Dam around 6:30-7:00 a.m. -- just before sunrise!

The Trout were very active; therefore, we all hit our limits on Powerbait after a little while (9 fish total -- 3 each). People around us were catching some nice Trout as well! They were using mainly spinners and trout magnets. 

I did a little bit of Multi-Species fishing on the side, finishing the day with Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass (my first CONFIRMED Spotted Bass), Green Sunfish, and Redbreast Sunfish.
I caught some extra Trout on the spinner and eventually ended up releasing them. Here's a piece of advise for all anglers that practice C&R for Trout (I'm sure most of you know this already): try to unhook and release the fish while they are in the water, and always touch them with wet hands to protect their slime coat. Rather than throwing them back, the ideal way to release them is to let them go gently. Trout are very sensitive Species and they tend to die easily after caught and released once...

I'm saying that because I've seen some guys practice C&R with the best of their intentions; however, their handling and releasing skills were really poor. Once again: Trout are very sensitive fish and they may not survive after they are released, if handled poorly. So, the tip is out there!

Fun day at the Pennypack, and the Trouting was on!
Photos are below:
My friend Jonathan R. with his first Rainbow Trout of the day, caught on Power Bait on the bottom.
My first Trout of the day, also caught on Powerbait.
My friend Mike K. with his first Rainbow Trout of the day...once again, on Power bait (...).
After a little while, I switched my gear for a little bit of Multi-Species fishing. I caught this little Smallie on a small 4-inch Senko. Heh.
As always, I got visitors while I were fishing. This Katydid just decided to land and stay on my hand. It posed quite neatly for the photo too! Nice shot, pal!
"Things that you don't see when you stay at home:" Some sort of Harvestman, I believe. Either a Harvestman or a Daddy Longlegs. I'm really not an arachnid expert, so I can't really tell. It was beautiful, though...so, I had to take a picture of it! =)
My first documented Spotted Bass: the posterial margin of the jaw ended before its eye's posterior margin; large and clearly present tooth patches on the tongue; clear ventrolateral stripes below the lateral line (the shining dotted lines in the photo above); soft dorsal fin raised as I raised the spined dorsal fin; etc.

It's quite ironic, you know? Many Bass anglers have absolutely NO IDEA on how to differentiate a Largemouth Bass from a Spotted Bass. For them, both Species are just "Largemouth Bass." They may have caught many Spotted Bass or hybrids in their lives (you may have done so too), but they just really never bothered to identify them. I guess that as far as the fish splashes and fights good, then let it be, right?

Many people tend to look for their differences in fish forums and fish websites; however, those never really give a CLEAR and convincing process on how to differentiate them. Therefore, I'm giving you a very valuable research paper on the how to differentiate Largemouth from Spotted Bass here. It's in pdf format; therefore, make sure you have Adobe Acrobat on your computer. Trust the experts and the results that came from months of research and sweat, and never just people's "advices" on how to do so.
As indicated above, the posterial margin of the jaw ended before its eye's posterior margin. For a Largemouth Bass, the end of the jaw would have extended past its eyes.
Same fish above, from another angle.
Nice Redbreast Sunfish on a "Gulp! Alive Minnow."
A very DARK Specimen of a Green Sunfish.
Another nice small Smallmouth Bass.
--- October 14th, 2013 ---

Location: Pennypack Creek
Time: 3:00-6:30 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 3 Rainbow Trout
I went back to the Pennypack Creek for some more Trout. I ended up getting my Trout limit (3) in less than 15 minutes -- all on corn.
Quick fishing session for some dinner. =)
First Trout of the day on kernel corn.
Another Rainbow Trout, this time caught on an in-line spinner! Yay!
And a photo of my limit for the day. More Trout to be eaten...
--- October 21st, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- None
I fished the Schuylkill River at East Falls for Bass, ending the day without a single fish. I tried a combination of wacky rigged Senko, Matsuo suspending jerkbaits, and jigs with trailers: not a single fish!   
A nice view of the twin bridges at East Falls. There was a nice deep hole there for Flatheads, but no signs of Smallies or Largemouth Bass. 
Another nice view of the non-tidal Schuylkill River at East Falls. Nice little currents, but no signs of Smallmouth Bass
--- October 23rd, 2013 ---

Location: Linden Lake
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 Largemouth Bass
- 17 Black Crappie
- 5 Bluegill

I went fishing at Linden Lake (Lindenwold, NJ). I spent 4 hours there, finishing the day with 1 Largemouth Bass (on a wacky-rigged Senko), 17 Black Crappie (13 keepers -- 10 inches+, and 2 were 13 inches), and 5 Bluegills (beautiful colors!).

I made a video on Black Crappies (below). The video is 20 minutes, but 15 minutes of it are PURE boredom, since I'm missing bites and just casting around. I got 3 Black Crappie in it, an
d the cool feat about this video is that you guys get to see how I fish for them (including the twitches of my rod) and how they bite at low temperatures. The bite is actually very very tricky and requires a lot of attention! The float never disappears entirely because of its weight, and the float must be big to reach out there...You can watch it here. Enjoy it.

Also, the Bluegills at Linden Lake have BEAUTIFUL colors. They are probably one of the best colored Bluegills I've seen around here and South Jersey.

It was a chilly day. It rained a little bit. But in the end, it was productive!

A nice view of Linden Lake, Lindenwold, NJ.
First fish of the day: a Largemouth Bass on a wacky-rigged Senko!
Nice little Bluegill, caught on a "Gulp! Alive Minnow" under a float.
First Black Crappie of the day, caught on a "Gulp! Alive Minnow" on a 1/64 oz. jighead.
Another Black Crappie on the minnow.
Once of the beauties of Linden Lake! These Bluegills are just magnificent.
Probably one of the biggest ones of the day...
Same fish, another angle. Gorgeous, isn't it?
--- October 28th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 3:00-8:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 American Eel
Another tough day on the Schuylkill River. I fished for Catfish for about 5 hours, finishing the day only with 3 bites and no hook-ups. One of the bites happened at night time, around 7 p.m.. It was a good one: the fish took the Eel head and ran with it. In other words, my rod bent and the line started to move to the right. I set the hook, and nothing...... Pretty sad... 
Fishing under the Walnut Street bridge with cut Eel. I love that fishing spot because there's plenty of light during night time! Good stuff.
--- October 30th, 2013 ---

Location: Schuylkill River
Time: 4:00-10:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

- 1 American Eel
The last fishing session of the month! I went fishing with my friends Don G. and Kevin W. (Recall our Flathead session here) at the Fairmount Dam (Schuylkill River). We brought some minnows, ready to catch some Striped Bass and perhaps some Walleyes; however, it turned out to be a very slow night...
We finished the day with 2 Channel Catfish and 1 American Eel. Don basically landed 1 Channel Catfish and, somehow, I landed an American Eel on a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook! I still can't believe that the Eel swallowed a 5/0 hook with my Mummichog on it. That was just unbelievable...
The Fairmount Dam area at lowest tide. Interesting, isn't it? It's hard to believe that I've caught many big fish at this spot during high tide.

6 fishing rods in the water, all with minnows. No bites. =/

Don G. with his Channel Catfish, caught on a live Mummichog.

This incredible American Eel swallowed my Mummichog on a 5/0 hook! It wasn't bleeding when I unhooked it, and it was safely released.
Over all, I can't say that it was a bad month. I got skunked a couple times and I didn't get to fish as much as I wanted to; however, it was still fun to catch some Trout at the beginning of the Fall Trout Season!
I'm really not looking forward to November through January; however, I can't just stay home...I'll eventually be fishing around. Heh. I plan on getting skunked plenty of times, but I can't say that I don't have that feeling that I'll land a beast during this late "Fall/early Winter" season.
As always, I'll keep you all updated!
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.