May Fishing Sessions: 05/27 - Exploring and Fishing the Schuylkill River at the Norristown Dam (Norristown, PA)
Posted by Leo Sheng at 4:36 PM
Hello, Blog Readers!
Today I'm bringing you my fishing report for May 27th:
--- May 27th, 2015 ---
Location: Schuylkill River (@Norristown Dam, PA)
Time: 1:30-5:00 p.m.
-- 5 Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
Below are the highlights for this fishing session:
The video is mainly divided in three parts: (1) Introduction (0:00-5:00); (2) Setup (5:00-7:25); and Fishing (7:25-16:10). The video also contains an "extra contents" video, which portrays the American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) that I caught on 05/26. Don't forget to watch it in HD quality (1080p50)! If you enjoy watching my videos, please support my YouTube Channel by liking and subscribing. :)
The goal for the day was to explore and investigate the Schuylkill River around the Norristown Dam. After reading and hearing many rumors about the place, I decided to go down there and "see it for myself."
The main story running around fishing forums was that the Norristown Dam used to be a trophy Smallmouth Bass fishery back in the 2000's. Locals warned foreign anglers that the location is no longer a trophy fishery due to silt deposition; in other words, the place no longer holds big fish.
Therefore, emphasizing, the goal was to see whether the rumors were true or not.
My setup in the video consisted of a Cortland Endurance 9' noodle rod with a Shimano Symetre 4000FL and 12lbs Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon line. Throughout the course of the video, I used a Thomas Fishing Lures E.P. Series in-line spinner, 1/8 oz., nickel/gold color.
After taking the Market-Frankford Line to its last stop (69th Street) and also the Norristown high-speed line, I finally arrived at the Norristown Dam around 1:30 p.m.! The pros of using this public transportation route is that I pay only $1.00 extra for a round trip, considering the fact that I have a Septa monthly transpass.
Upon arrival (and after getting lost), I scouted the location for a couple minutes. I immediately saw the fish ladder and decided to fish 100+ feet below it. I must say, folks -- I was quite disappointed with the Norristown Dam! Maybe if I had a kayak or a boat, that would have been a different story. However, just by wading, most spots around the area turned out to be really shallow. There were a couple deep pockets of water without major fish in it and the access to the dam was troublesome.
In the end, I caught a total of five miniature Smallmouth Bass on the Thomas Lures in-line spinner. No big fish whatsoever. No other Species of fish spotted. Not even Sunfish! For a Multi-Species angler like myself, that is seriously disastrous.
Over the course of the fishing session, I did spot a lot of Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and clam deposition. Let me remind everyone that the Rusty Crayfish is an invasive Species of Crayfish in Pennsylvania; therefore, upon possession, they should be disposed of immediately. It's also illegal to use invasive Species in PA as bait! Therefore, make sure to not hook a Rusty Crayfish as bait. Finally, by common sense, make sure to not transport this invasive Species of Crayfish to other bodies of water.
On a side note, the food in Norristown is amazing! If you folks are fans of Mexican food, that is the place to go to! I always have a hearty Mexican lunch when I go to Norristown: cheap compared to South Philly, nutritious, and delicious!
Below are the photos for this fishing session:
I took a photo of this very informative sign that was right next to the Norristown fish ladder. Good information on the Shad and Herring migration!
Recall, folks: dams are danger zones! No boating, no swimming, and no wading! And by the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, no fishing within 100 feet of any fish ladder.
A scenic view of the Schuylkill River at the Norristown Dam.
One of the many miniature Smallmouth Bass that were caught that day. Big fish were definitely not present; however, it's always a good sign to see younger populations around. In other words, it means that the natural reproduction of Smallmouth Bass is still ongoing.
A Rusty Crayfish's carcass. There were lots of dead ones lying around.
Another carcass. Somehow, Crayfish always remind me of two things: (1) The Nintendo Metroid Series. Those who played Metroid in their childhood will remember those Crayfish-like creatures that shot lasers from their claws. Sigh; and (2) aliens! Isn't it interesting that many types of extraterrestrial models in movies and popular culture were actually based on aquatic Species?
A small Rusty Crayfish in its natural environment.
Victory! After a good pursuit, I was finally able to catch a live sample. I took a couple of them home as well.
Not sure what this was before, but I thought that the shell was pretty neat! Little treasures of the Schuylkill River.
Same shell, another angle.
A nice view of the first bridge after the Norristown Dam. Note that the water around there is still super shallow!
Finally, this is the pocket of water that I was going to explore for the rest of the day. However, I accidentally fell from a tree and busted my knee and left arm. Thus, I had to leave for the day. Ugh.
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,