Kayak Fishing Instructor

Kayak fishing with Juan Veruete

Burning Baits!

I hit the Susquehanna River with fellow Wilderness Systems Pro-Staffers and friends Jeff Little and Jed Plunkert. These guys are expert smallmouth anglers and it showed. We landed multiple fish over 18″ including 2 smallmouth at 20+ inches.

Fast moving baits were on the menu. You couldn’t reel too fast! Fast moving swimbaits, wake baits, and spinnerbaits where a clear winner in terms of quality of fish. Jed and Jeff used swimbaits that they made themselves by pouring plastic into a swimbait mold. They also threw a shallow running “wake bait” with some success. I was using a River Darter Swimbait and opted to throw a smaller spinnerbait called a River Rascal tipped with a swimbait trailer. The diminutive swimbait produced my biggest smallmouth pictured below.

The big fish wanted to be really close to fast water. Most where caught in 2-3 feet of water close to fast water shoots. This was a solid location pattern that we fished for most of the day once we zeroed in on it.

I had to leave the river a little early to go to a magazine photo shoot… Yeah that’s right. Believe me, I’d rather be fishing! I knew leaving early would come back to haunt me and it did. I later learned that Jed had landed two 20″ smallies in a row and Jeff cleared 19 inches a couple more times when the bite suddenly heated up for about 30 minutes! Now that’s catching.

Here’ my biggest of the day. I’m sure it was a solid 4.5 pounder.


The Author


Juan Veruete

Juan is a licensed fishing guide in Pennsylvania and an American Canoe Association certified kayak instructor. Through his business he provides kayak fishing instruction and guide services on the Juniata and Susquehana Rivers in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Wilderness Systems Fishing Team and prostaff for Kokatat, Yakattack, All Pro Rods, HOOK1, Winco's Custom Lures and H.C. Baits.

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