Boilerplate advice you should follow.
Just wanted to give a little advice for all the members who may get asked about fishing on the North Branch or our tributaries for bass. I received an email from a New Jersey fishing crew of about 25 strong who wanted to come up to the North Branch and I quote “Yeah, we wanna fill our stringers with 20″ bass and have an awesome fish-fry”. Here is my response back to them. You may want to use my reply if you guys get requested to give fishing advice or reports:
Q: “What jigs should we use? We want to catch enough bass to have a big fish-fry this Sunday.”
My Answer: Riffles near the Railroad tracks and abandoned doublewide trailers are a prime spot to use JJ’s Jigs – called “crack-sacks”, “Dumpster Babies”, “Styrofoam Cup” jigs (with residue worm scent), and “Trojan Surprises” are very effective to use in the spring and summer as the natural food they imitate become more common in the water.
Q: We have a fly guy coming with us. He is a salt-water flyrodder and has never fished inland fresh water. What color of flies should he bring?
My Answer: Don’t make the rookie mistake of “matching the hatch” in subtle baitfish colors. The river is constantly muddy and teeming with toxic spews, algae blooms, farm run-off, gas drilling fracking fluids, industrial waste, sewer plant backwater, and god knows what else. Instead use something subtle like a “David Bowie fly in magenta and yellow”… That will work just fine!
Q: We heard something about intersex bass and endocrine disruption in the bass. Is that happening up in the North Branch?
My Answer: You might have heard the recent controversy about traces of birth control pills getting into the river and creating intersex bass. No worries, the secret to catching these hormonal beauties is giving them what they want. A good chocolate bait such as the ‘Godiva Dark Chocolate Candybar with almonds’ will be good in most cases, but a Mercedes-Benz, Diamond Ring, or $100 dollar bill can net a trophy! Although reports say that once these fish have been netted at least once they tend to pack on a lot of weight!
Q: “One of our guys told us that many hippies float down the river in rafts and camp around bridges. Do we need to bring our guns?
My Answer: The dirty hippies are too high on bath salts, ditch-weed, and finding hidden messages on Phish albums to bother you. However, watch out for those people who camp under the bridges. These are the people to watch out for! Despite the rugged appearance and fishy smell the man under the Rte 6 bridge is NOT the owner of JJ’s Jigs. His name is Greg “Jetster II” If you must converse with him don’t believe a word he says. He won’t give you directions to the access launch near Terrytown and what’s in his battered van doesn’t fall into what most people call “delicious candy”.
Q: Do you think it’s worth the drive to PA to fish the North Branch or Mainstem? We don’t live that far from a few good places to fish in New York.
My answer: The PFBC has issues new harvest limits on the Susquehanna River downstream of 3 Mile Island, over population concerns for lesser 3-eyed carp, rainbow zombie trout, and finless catfish fishing for ungainly horrors. The new regs are Catch and Release only downstream from the nearest bridge. They ask if you Catch one… Release it near a meatpacking plant. They help with the runoff waste disposal of cow intestines and floating gobs of Mad Cow Disease! Fishing New York State is so much better. In fact, I don’t even own a PA license. I only fish in NYS cause I think it’s the best fishing in all of the East Coast! Thanks for your questions….