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.