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.