Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Water Temp - 38 degrees
Air Temp - 48 degrees
Conditions - Sunny & Blue Bird Sky's & winds - 5-10 MPH

Christmas was exciting as usual - the kids woke up, unwrapped gifts, posed for pictures and were happy with what the FAT guy left under the tree.  My Christmas morning should have been December 26th.  Christmas is all about the kids and we wouldn't have it any other way.  However, the fishing GODS were offering a Merry Fishmas to me as well.

Ken Varilek and I met up at 6:00AM and headed for the main stem of the Susquehanna River.  The weather was perfect for late December.  Our only concern was reports of a local catching (1) fish just a week earlier.  You can't catch fish if you sit at home and read others' reports so we headed out to see how the smallies were feeling.

Let's just say the fish were willing to come on board and take a few pictures with us! Here is one of many BIG fish.  We landed 46 total smallies during today's trip.  This included Ken's 20th 20 inch fish of the year.  Ken landed 2 other 19's and I was able to pull in 3 19's myself.  The biggest coming in at 19.75.  There were 5 other boats on the water with us today.  Everyone seemed to be catching fish!  Not exactly sure how well the other guys did though.  We were too busy having a blast!

Sometimes pictures give away locations of fish being caught!  This place is no secret! However, you must still know what the fish are looking to feed on that day.  Today, fish were going for jerkbaits, tubes, spoons and swimbaits.
Early morning catch pictured above.  We knew it was going to be a good day!
Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
Notice Ken's celebratory cigar smoke! I do believe he lit this up after catching that 20 inch chunk!
This was the first fish brought in this morning.  It took about 5 minutes to catch a case of "stinky finger!" Hope you enjoyed today's post!  Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cold Weather Line Sides

                                                                                                              Saturday, December 13, 2014

Air Temperatures - 38 degrees at 4:00 launch & 34 degrees at midnight
Water Temperatures - 39 to 40 degrees
Conditions - overcast and changing winds up to 10 mph - No moon!

This was just the 1st fish of many we pulled out of Beltzville tonight.  My wife asked why I never smile like this when we take pictures together?  My response: I put them back after taking a picture.  I'm keeping you forever!  Good comeback but she doesn't understand the adrenaline rush catching a 34 inch striper in 90 feet of water! 
Some may think we are crazy for launching at 4:00 PM on a chilly late fall day.  However, there were some extraordinary circumstances that caused this delay:

1. Chad's 15 year old cat decided to become a math teacher.  Apparently, he was teaching everyone in their household about the NUMBER 2.  I know ... bad joke!  Chad stepped in it and had to wash and dry his fishing sneakers before we could head out.

2. Chad pulled his usual "U-ee" upon arriving at my house.  Unfortunately, this time the curb decided to reach out and bite a hole in his tire.  Chad changed it in about 10 minutes so it wasn't that much of a delay.  Hope that new tire didn't cost too much buddy!

As you can see from the first picture, there's a GOOD reason we come out and brave the cold weather!  I had tears in my eyes most the night from the 10 MPH winds.  Even though I think they were more like 15-20 at times.  Here are some more pictures from our trip:

We landed a total of 6 line sides tonight.  4 of these fish were over 30 inches.  It was a great night! 
These guys were very energetic once pulled out of the water tonight!  I had fish stains everywhere.  Haha!

"Incidental Fish"  

It was a cold but eventful night on the lake.  The fish cooperated generously for our photo shoot.  The lake has risen about 5 feet from two weeks ago.  The steady rains and snow have helped!  Hopefully we can get back out a few more times before 2015 arrives.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Have a great night!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Frigid Fishin' at the Ville 11/29/14

Too many we are known as the guys "with issues!"  To us, it's all about that BASS ... and trebles!  Sorry, that was my attempt at humor.  Can't get that silly song out of my brain.  Anyway, air temps were a frigid 17 degrees when we launched at 9:15 this morning from the main launch at Beltzville. Water temps ranged between 42-44 degrees.  Snow flakes drizzled down from the sky from time to time.  Perfect fishing weather, right?

We searched long and hard for the stripers but couldn't locate any line siders!  Time to move on and try plan B.  Jerkbaits with extended pauses .......  this is my first ever crappy from Beltzville!

Here is my 2nd ever crappy from Beltzville just a few casts later.  Both fell for a gray and black jerkbait after a long pause.  I was trying to raise two fingers.  May have started with 3 while the picture was being taken.  Haha!  I'm not a crappy expert but the tail on this one is more pointed.  The first one was more rounded.  Male vs. Female?  Thoughts anyone? Both were nice slabs nonetheless!

Chad got rid of the SKUNK right before dark with this nice large mouth.  Nice chunker .... it was 18 inches and a good 3 to 3.5 lbs?  Just a guess .....

This decent pickerel wanted to join our CPR (catch - photo - release) party.  Another jerk bait fish!

Not a bad day!  No skunk on the boat and we were able to scout out some nice structure for years to come.  Almost time to catch my first December fish of 2014.

These structures are relatively new.  They weren't here a few years ago when Beltzville was really low.  The holes on these fish ladders are pretty wide open.  I do know they are normally covered in weeds and many a pickerel have come in this area.  Anyone know what fish they were intended for?

I have no idea what these are for?  Fish boxes of some sort?  Swimming creatures with tails?  Thoughts on this one as well?

Here are a few other pics from today's trip.  Hope you enjoyed this post!  Happy Holidays!  Hope to make a post or two this December.

Many of these floating around today.

Brrrrr ... it was cold!

Water is still extremely low!  It's normally up around that 631 mark.

Here's where the water departs for the spillway.  This is almost always covered.  Not this fall!


Monday, November 10, 2014

A "relaxing" day on the Susky!

It's been quite some time since my last post.  I apologize for that.   However, with the new school year, my son's Friday Night high school football games, and a turbulent two year old things are pretty fast and furious in our household.  I'm still fishing though ....

This past weekend we decided to hit our trusty fishing grounds up north.  Yes, that means a visit to the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.  Just saying that brings a smile to my face.  :)

The water is still a little low for my liking this fall (8.23 stage in ft.) which means fishing certain areas were out of the question today.  At least until the wife allows me to purchase a jet boat .....

The water temperatures started at 41 degrees and rose to 42 in some areas.  Air temperature was a balmy "Florida-like" 27 degrees as we launched for the day.  No matter though ... the smallies were ready to do a little CPR (catch - photo - release) with us.  

The fish were quite selective today.  We started the day off throwing SJB's and stickbaits without luck.  It didn't take us long to switch to tubes.  Today's special was the "Wacky Worm" Black & Blue Fleck."  This color was on fire today and helped us boat the majority of our fish.  Water visibility was 3-4 feet at best.  The darker color was easy to figure out.  

Today's haul brought in 53 smallies.  We knew the guys down in the Harrisburg area were going to do much better with the water being 7 to 8 degrees warmer.  However, the peace and quiet to catch some chunky fish, watch eagles prepare to nest and catching a deer napping under a downed tree are hard to pass up.  It was a great day on the water!  

I'd guestimate that 50 percent of our fish had some sort of black blotch on them today.  The fish are feeding well but still seem to be spread out.  We really couldn't find them stacked up in some of the normal wintering holes.  Guess we will have to go back out 2-3 more times this fall.  That's until the striper bite heats up at Beltzville.  Haha!

Can you tell it was a relaxing day on the river?  Thanks for visiting my blog.  I'm planning on taking my son and godson out next weekend.  Hopefully the fish are cooperative for these young guys. Glad that my birthday comes once a year.  This is how I get my son to go fishing with me.  :)  


p.s. - We did manage to pull in (1) walleye today!  Thought for sure we'd hook into more.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jiggin' for bats 8/30/2014

August 30, 2014

Welcome back to the Steeler Fishin' Blog everyone!  I'm sure you will enjoy this newest next post.

It was Saturday night and the plan was to hit Beltzville for some striper fishing.  We launched from the main ramp around 11:00PM and headed to our normal sweet spots.  However, only 2 largemouth bass decided to join us for a little CPR (catch - photo - release).  Water temperatures hovered between 74-75 degrees and water clarity was tough to determine as it was darker than Dikembe Mutombo out there.  Around 3:15AM I was ready to pack it in.  I was literally casting and falling asleep while my lure sat at the bottom of the lake.  I deserve a pass though as it was our first week back in school with students.  I'm not used to waking up at 5:30AM and heading into work!  I know ... BOO HOO!

Did I mention we spent 4 hours "ducking and weaving" from the killer bats?  The bats followed us around the lake and were nose diving at us.  It was insane!  I actually had one bat that flew into my line and became entangled momentarily.  It was quite interesting to say the least.

Anyway, we are quite the dedicated fishermen and rather than packing it in decided to put the trolling motor on "automatic anchor" and take a quick power nap.   Three hours later :) we awoke and started chucking lures again.  NOTHING!  NADA!  Time to head home.  It was about 6:35AM and we were cruising back to the ramp when all hell broke loose.  I kid you not ... the entire lake erupted.  Schools of stripers were breaking the surface everywhere.  Chad connected first with 4 stripers in about as many casts.

We picked a school of fish and spent the next 4 hours chasing them from one end of the lake to the other.  Talk about fun .... It didn't take us long to figure out what these guys wanted.  FISH ON!  

We found a school of 30 plus inch stripers and you can see why the smiles were "ear to ear!"

This frenzy was so incredible we were waving other boats over to us.  At one point, we had 5 other boats with us.  All of us had a pod of stripers circled.  It was like fishing into a pond.  We offered everyone advice on what to throw and after catching his first-ever striper, one guy yells out loud "I could kiss you right now!  All the boats got a nice chuckle out of that one.  Hey, glad to help!  

It's tough to get all the boats in the frame but this should help you paint that "mental picture!"


This was the smallest striper caught!  Yes, we are spoiled!  


I had to show the "incidental" largemouth bass.  There was one more but not sure where that picture is?  Maybe I will edit this post later?  Probably not though ... this is about stripers!  Haha!  In total, our count ended at 17 stripers.  We don't believe this whatsoever.  We were chucking fish back in so quick because this was an opportunity we couldn't miss.  Heck, there were many similar fish we didn't take a picture of.  Great day on the water!  Still not sure why they call it the "Dead Sea?'  

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Until next time .... 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Tubing on the Susquehanna River 7/25/14

Headed up the North Branch of the Susquehanna River again this past Friday.  The morning started off with 52 degree air temperatures.  It was a little cold and the fog covered the entire river.  Water temperatures held pretty steady around 76 degrees.  If the cold was unbearable, we could always just jump in the river to warm up.  The water was still slightly stained and we knew it would be a decent day of fishing.  

It sure didn't take long to find some nice underwater treasure!  We know tubes would be the way to go today.  In fact, we were able to land fish on 4 different colors during this trip out on the Susquehanna.    

Caught this one in the fast water directly behind me.  I was able to entice this pretty lady with a spinnerbait. 

Sometimes you have to go "Bill Dance" on the fish and give a "thank you" kiss before saying good-bye.  :) 

Billy landed two walleye today on SPINNERBAITS!  That's a first in my books.  Always a bonus though.  

The BIGGER fish were definitely on vacation today.  We caught a few chunky girls but for the most part it was "cookie cutter" day on the Susquehanna River.  Hey, the future looks bright though.  The BIG gals will return soon.  We landed nearly 80 fish today.  There was even this bonus channel catfish ....

Here are a few other fish from our trip! 

Until next time, thanks for checking out the "steeler" fishing blog.  Have a good one!  - steeler


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Susquehanna Catchin' 7-19-14

It's been way too long since my last visit to the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.  The "rain" gods and the "fishing" gods have been punching it out this summer.  Finally, the "fishing" gods prevailed and my opportunity to chase a few smallmouths became a reality.  Chad arrived at my house at 3:30AM and we were on our way north.  Once arriving at the river, we were welcomed by thick fog, stained water (1-2 feet visibility) and 73 degree water temperature.  We knew today was going to be a good one!  It didn't take too long to get the first North Pennsylvania smallmouth bass into the boat.

Tubes were the way to go for DINK fish today.  The BIGGER fish wanted spinnerbaits and crankbaits!

A majority of our fish were in the 12 - 16 inch range.  There were a few CHUNKS at 17 but nothing much bigger than that today.  However, it was an OUTSTANDING day of fishing!  We landed 70 smallmouth bass during this trip.  There was also this rare find -

Chad broke out the in-line spinner and landed this nearley 3lb. - 18 inch largemouth bass.  Nice catch!

Most of our fish were found in fast current seams today!  We caught fish on a multitude of lures.  This was a nice and feisty 18 inch little mouth caught from a spot we often frequent.

We contribute the nice stain to our success on the river today.  However, we were a little disappointed by the "fishing etiquette" or lack thereof displayed by other fishermen.  On three separate occasions during this trip, we had boats literally float 20-30 yards in front of us and "attempt" to steal our drift.  Two of the boats watched us catch fish and simply bullied their way in.  Again, the "fishing" gods were on our side. Neither boat caught a single fish as we kept hooking up with fish after fish.  In another instance, one older guy started his float about 30 yards behind us.  His drift was going pretty quick.  We actually had to move so his boat didn't crash into us.  AMAZING!

Regardless, it was another great day fishing on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.  The bass were more cooperative than our "fellow" fishermen.  That's how it goes sometimes!  The eagles, deer, osprey and various other resident animals watched as we hooked into one gorgeous fish after another.  Life was good today!  Life was real good today!  Until next time ... thanks for reading.  Hope you enjoyed!