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Thread: 12/13 The last Esox hunt of the year.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default 12/13 The last Esox hunt of the year.

    We made a long run upriver first thing in the morning hoping to get Clayton and Kyle their first muskies ever. Within the first hour of fishing, Clay had already hooked and lost 2 nice muskies. Both fish began rolling on the surface immediately after being hooked with the first fish shaking loose after a few seconds and the second fish ate about 15 feet from the boat and was really thrashing on the surface......just as I was lowering the net into the water, she shook free. We did not see another fish the rest of the day. We quit early after fishing thru 2 ice squalls and intermittent rain showers.

    So, that is the way the last trip of the season finished up. It was a very sub-par year for my boat regarding all species of fish. The 8-month drought and low water levels really impacted fish migrations into our area this Fall. It is difficult to catch what isn’t here.

    Now, it is time to relax and (hopefully) get my shoulder repaired soon. I sure am glad 2020 is over.


    Good luck, stay safe and Happy Holidays!
    Last edited by Red Childress; 12-14-2020 at 12:08 PM.
    Allegheny Guide Service
    Red Childress

    E-mail - RedChildress@gmail.com
    Web Site: http://www.alleghenyguideservice.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    Since I am on the topic of this year's tough bite, I think the crazy increase in the Covid related canoe/kayak pressure (compounded with the drought) really impacted fish behavior this year. Obviously, I have no scientific data to back up my statement just a continual 9-month observation. I think many of the non-esox fish moved to deeper water after continually being harassed by all the water traffic.

    I do know 1 thing for certain.....It was a very abnormal year.

    End of transmission.
    Allegheny Guide Service
    Red Childress

    E-mail - RedChildress@gmail.com
    Web Site: http://www.alleghenyguideservice.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Iíd concur that the drought conditions and warmer weather greatly impacted things. However, walleye fishing is very different so far this year even on the lower Allegheny. Fish arenít just in normal places for this time of year in any decent numbers. Spent the day Saturday at tionesta looking for walleyes and managed only a couple which is really unusual. Locals confirmed terrible fishing this year. The lower river has been the same with some larger than normal fish but way fewer numbers by far. Normal patterns just arenít working. Bass numbers around warren are down due to harvest. Iíve watched many leave in recent years and in my one trip this fall, twenty plus went into a buggy. That doesnít explain it all but itís really hurting the smallmouth population. Low water has occurred in the past accompanied by good fishing. In fact my best fall ever around warren for all species was just that set up. Larger numbers of kayaks? That doesnít explain the lower river right now. Could be water temps being higher??? Iím open to ideas. Just goes to show how much there is to learn about fish location and movement on the river. Just when we think we have it figured out......

  4. #4
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    During the recent PFBC shocking study of this area for bass and walleye, the results show there is (once again) a very healthy population of juvenile bass and walleye, according to our local WCO.

    The bass fishing has been so tough this Fall that there are hardly any boats/canoes around the normal bass areas. The few times we have chased smallies this Fall has been much tougher than the previous 25 years. The fish numbers are definitely down. The question is where did they go? I sure hope it isn’t an over-harvest scenario.
    Allegheny Guide Service
    Red Childress

    E-mail - RedChildress@gmail.com
    Web Site: http://www.alleghenyguideservice.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    That's good to hear that young of the year populations are solid. Bass harvest is an issue. I'm not on the river enough to be definitive but in my most recent 10 trips over the past 5 years, I've seen over 300 smallmouth leave the Warren Dredge. Might not sound like much, but I'll bet that is a regular occurance. Fishing prior to that was nothing short of spectacular and harvest was pretty much zero.

    Trout depend on water flows and temps and the river is marginal in the temp area many years. The Fish Commission has experimented with various management ideas of the years and I've spent way less time chasing trout so I can't offer an opinion there. I know it is different as the large numbers of 8 inch rainbows are no longer there in the early summer.

    Less small trout = fewer big musky??? Just a thought.

    I fished with Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connections Guide Service) in the Parker Area of the river this fall and fish were behaving differently this year. We concluded low water was allowing fish to stay spread out due to overall less current. The Oil City Dredge was full of smallmouth and fisherman this fall so you'd expect similar behavior in the Warren Dredge which returns me to my original theory about the bass....harvest is way up in that area in recent years, That's going to have an effect.

    I'm going to try some less traditional locations for me to find walleye on the lower river as I said in my earlier post, they aren't in the usual spots in any numbers. Lower river walleye and sauger populations do some fluctuating for sure but this year has been a challenge thus far.

    I guess this is what makes it fishing not catching. It certainly makes guiding more of a challenge I'd guess. It's fun to talk about too.

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