January Fishing Sessions: 01/26 - Catfishing the Schuylkill River

Hello, Blog Readers!

First, let's talk about the latest updates:

-- After reviewing all my quantitative fishing data for the previous year, I finally finished my statistical fishing chart for 2014Compared to 2013, I fished 52 less days in 2014. I also caught 1650 less fish. However, qualitatively speaking, I was still able to catch a fair amount of different Species of fish (38, counting hybrids). Overall, it was a good [and busy] year. Enjoy the data and the photos!

-- The Statistical Fishing Chart for 2015 is up! I will do my best to update the post as the fishing sessions go by. As a matter of fact, "fishing session posts" will be written individually this year, and not as a monthly pack.

-- The Fishing Log post has been updated all the way to January 26th, 2015. There you will be able to see "where" I went, as well as "when" and "what" I caught on those days. 

-- The "Public Fishing Album" has been reopened on the EPF FB Page. Anyone can submit photos, as well as it passes the guidelines. For more information, you may read this post. Please note that I've also updated that post, and even added a wonderful bonus photo of my friend's grandfather with his catches, back in the days! And when I say "back in the days," I mean to say that the photo was taken pretty much one century ago. Neat, eh? Heh. As for the old photos that were already in the Public Fishing Album before it got deleted, I'll try my best to salvage them! There should be a couple photos in by the end of the day.

Now, here's my short fishing report for January 26th:

--- January 26th, 2015 ---

Location: Schuylkill River (tidal)
Time: 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Fishes caught:

-- 1 Channel Catfish (22.5 inches, 4.85lbs)

To tell you guys the truth, the month of January has been extremely troublesome to me! I seriously tried my best to go out and fish; however, Physics and life were always in the way. In other words, too many responsibilities to handle. Then, when I did have a good day off, the weather wouldn't help at all! Lakes and ponds were frozen, but not frozen to the point that ice fishing could be done (recall: 4 inches for safe ice!!!). Either that, or the weather would be below 32F with gusting winds. So, you guys get the idea...the weather was just nasty throughout January.

Thankfully, we had a couple days of rain around the 20th. Temperatures raised slightly above freezing point; thus, the warmer water really helped to melt the ice. Being my last chance to fish in January, I didn't miss the opportunity! 

I wrote to a couple friends and gathered a crew for a Catfish session on the Schuylkill River. I was glad to see my friends Don G., Bryan KL [with his two kids], and Blaise FP down by the river with me! Of course everyone else thought that we were crazy to be fishing under that type of weather. After all, the grass was still snowy and it was still "cold," just like Winter is supposed to be! Also, for some reason, people tend to believe that the fishes are completely inactive during the Winter, which is not true. Remember: fish do not hibernateAs a matter of fact, if one does a little bit of research, one comes to realize that the biggest Cats in the US are pulled during the colder months of the year! Astonishing, isn't it? 

We started our fishing session around 11 a.m., and we knew that the "biting window" would be very short. This is usually how it happens during the Winter time, folks: the action happens really fast and for a short amount of time (if you read my post above, you now understand why). I had my cut American Eel ready! Don was soaking his Bunker, and Bryan was trying some bagel.

In the end, our expectations did not betray us: my friend Don G. was the first one to set the hook, around 12:45 p.m.. After fighting the fish for a couple minutes, he landed a 3.92lbs Channel Catfish -- his first fish of the year! About 20 minutes later, his rod bent again. His second fish came in: a 4.94lbs giant. At that point, Don pretty much convinced me that the fish were really into the Bunker! 

And guess what? As soon as I changed my cut Eel to the Bunker, I got a hit on my noodling rod. I ended up landing my one and only fish of the day: a 4.85lbs Channel Catfish!

After that, my friend Blaise FP arrived on the scene; however, the action was already gone...Bryan KL was trying to catch some, but he spent a lot of time setting the rods for his kids. So, I guess he missed the action time as well. We fished for a couple more hours, leaving around 2:30 p.m..

Overall, it was a good day: 3 fish; all above the 3.5lbs range! They were all safely released. Photos of the session are below:

Well...I guess common folks would really think that we were crazy for fishing there. The grass was snowy and the soil was frozen solid! We even had to use a hammer to punch our rod holders in. Heh.

My friend Don G. with his first Channel Catfish of the day: a 3.92lber on frozen Bunker. Also his first fish of the year! (not a bad start, if you ask me...)

Don G. strikes again: second Catfish of the day, at 4.94lbs. Also on bunker.

As mentioned previously, I switched to Bunker after Don landed his two Cats. Here's the result: a healthy one-eyed Channel Catfish (missing the eye towards me), weighting 4.85lbs.

A photo of our set up, after noon. Note that the snow is almost gone. At this point, the ground is as nasty as it can be: muddy and dangerous! In the photo, you see Bryan KL in front and Don G. all the way back.

Finally, here's a photo of Bryan's daughter. This is an excellent reminder that there are still outdoor activities for kids nowadays. Parents at home, heed my words: technology is good and everything, but it shouldn't consume all of your kids' time. Take him/her out for a walk, fishing, hiking, something! But being outdoors is certainly healthy...

February will certainly be MUCH BETTER than January! 

Tight lines, readers.

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.

This will be my Statistical Fishing Chart for 2015. Every catch that I perform will be registered in terms of size -- i.e. length and estimated weight. This will help me create a little "fishing diary" and keep scores and data along the year. I'll attempt to update this post regularly.

Before going further, here are a couple notes that you want to take in consideration:

-- Most small fishes are measured by length and have their weights estimated by a "growth chart." Most of the growth charts can be found on the PA Fish and Boat Commission's website. The remaining ones were self-made, after analyzing the collection of many samples of the same Species.

-- Some Species of fish here are identified using "special" methods. Those include microscope analysis for micro-fishes, particularly a special analysis of their physiology (i.e. anal fin count, scale distribution, etc). The microscope that I use is a Biological M500 series from AmScope.

If you want specific data on a certain Species, such as location, bait, or time of the catch, just shoot me an e-mail at sheng12182527@gmail.com. I have everything recorded in my fishing logs.


Click here for my Statistical Fishing Chart for 2014.
Click here for my Statistical Fishing Chart for 2013.
Click here for my Statistical Fishing Chart for 2012.

Last update/fishing session: 04/02/14

Days fished this year: 14

Maximum number of fish caught in a day: 23 (Tacony Crek - 04/02/15)
Maximum pounds of fish caught in a day: 4.85 lbs (Schuylkill River - 01/25/15)
Number of different species caught this year: 9

Results for last year:

Days fished in 2014: 85

Maximum number of fish caught in a day: 51 (Upper Cooper River/Wallworth Lake - 09/27/14)
Maximum pounds of fish caught in a day: 57.70 lbs (Schuylkill River - 06/16/14)
Number of different species caught in 2014: 38
TOTAL # of Fish caught in 2014: 702
TOTAL # of Pounds caught in 2014: 575.92 lbs.
Note: Size is in inches; weight is in pounds.
1 Inch = 2.54 Centimeters
1 Pound = 0.45359237 Kilograms

Log format:

-- Name (Species) -- #/ Max. Size/ Max. Weight/ Total Weight

Location caught (Biggest, in terms of lbs) - Date caught


# = Number of fish of certain Species caught in 2014
Max. Size = Longest fish of certain Species caught in 2014 (In Inches)
Max. Weight = Heaviest fish of certain Species caught in 2014 (In lbs)
Total Weight = Total amount of weight of certain Species caught in 2014 (per Species)
Location caught (Biggest - in) = Where the biggest fish of certain Species was caught
Date = When the biggest fish of certain Species was caught

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) -- 1/ 12.0 (in)0.07 (lbs)0.07 (lbs)
Schuylkill River - 03/20/15

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) -- 20/ 4.7 (in)0.11 (lbs)1.85 (lbs)
Kirkwood Lake - 03/16/15

Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) -- 4/ 22.5 (in)4.85 (lbs)10.22 (lbs)
Schuylkill River - 01/25/15

Common Shiner (Luxilus cornutus) -- 4/ 4.5 (in)0.05 (lbs)0.16 (lbs)
Tacony Creek - 04/02/15

Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) -- 7/ 4.5 (in)0.03 (lbs)0.10 (lbs)
Tacony Creek - 04/02/15

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) -- 2/ 12.0 (in)0.70 (lbs)1.35 (lbs)
Mill Creek (Narberth) - 03/31/15

Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus) -- 8/ 4.0 (in)0.09 (lbs)0.58 (lbs)
Tacony Creek - 04/02/15

Spottail Shiner (Notropis hudsonius) -- 2/ 3.0 (in)0.02 (lbs)0.04 (lbs)
Tacony Creek - 04/02/15

White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) -- 1/ 7.0 (in)0.27 (lbs)0.27 (lbs)
Tacony Creek - 04/02/15

Happy 2015!!! EPF's Goals and Expectations for this Year.

Happy [Late] New Year, folks at home!

I hope you have all enjoyed your holiday season and I wish a blessed year for you and your loved ones! I can definitely tell you that I could have enjoyed mine better; however, I was satisfied to a certain point. Heh.

As you may have noticed over the time, the number of posts in the EPF Blog dropped drastically in the year of 2014. As I have mentioned many times previously, life gets in the way of fishing! Please keep in mind that a good Blog takes a good amount of time and sweat: all the hours from field experience (i.e. fishing), hours for writing posts and blog management, hours for answering e-mails; all of that while leading a student's life and working to make a living. As much as I love the sport of fishing and the free sharing of information in this Blog, life has been so hectic for me over the past year that I had to cutoff a few hours here and there for fishing; therefore, for the Blog itself. Thus, I hope you folks understand why everything is delayed! 

Right now I'm still catching up on answering e-mails; however, I do have my goals and expectations for 2015! First of all, rest assured -- although there will be fewer updates in the year of 2015, the Blog will still be up and all previous posts will be available online. Since my time this year will be very limited for fishing, most of the posts in the Blog will be technical. A typical example of it can be found here.

For now, the main plan is to:

1. Finish the following posts:

-- Post on still-fishing.

2. Perform the following updates:

I will also try my best to update all my previous posts to a certain extent. In other words: fix the grammar, change the font color to a more "comfortable" one, add more information, etc. As a side note: I would like to apologize in advance for all the grammar errors in older posts. English is actually my fourth language and I started learning it back in 2007; thus, fortunately, I've improved it year by year. I promise that I will fix all the errors when I can!

I will eventually post each update along posts on the Blog and Facebook Page.

3. Create new introductory posts:   

I actually have plenty of material to work on new introductory posts for Philly/South Jersey watersheds. Along the months, I will be doing formal posts for the Manayunk Canal (Manayunk --PA), Newton Lake (Collingswood -- NJ), Kirkwood Lake and Linden Lake (Lindenwold-- NJ), East Brandywine Creek (Downingtown -- PA), Centennial and Concourse Lakes (West Philly -- PA), etc.

4. Keep posting fish up! 

As hectic as life can be, fishing is still my number one passion in life. In other words, I will be reserving 1 day a week for fishing and Blog management! That means a weekly post on my fishing sessions, throughout the year.

That's it for now, readers! On a final note, please do not forget to renew your fishing licenses for the year of 2015! For a PA fishing license, you may purchase it online here. Here are the links for NJ -- freshwater and saltwater -- and finally, DE.

My fishing sessions will start once again after January 23rd! 

Tight lines,

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.