The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Outdoors

August 25, 2012

Ken Maurer's Outdoors column: Fishing the fall feed

ALLENWOOD — Heading into the last days of August, it’s hard to believe another summer is slipping away. Kids are back or soon going back to school, and some cool nights are a refreshing change from the humid summer evenings we had a short time ago.

Septembers lately have been almost as warm as August. The big difference is the nights are usually cooler. This helps in terms of water temperature. With the cooling water, the smallmouth especially start hitting better. Many anglers abandon the sport just when the fishing starts picking up, from mid-September and into October.

Hunting season is on many minds, mine included. I saw quite a few leaves falling the other day when it was windy and it got me to thinking about archery season. Then, of course, there is dove season and squirrel season not far behind. I have a hard time shooting a gun or a bow when it’s hot out, but the cool days will be here before you know it. I try to tip over a few groundhogs during the summer, and a little practice is good.

Deer hunting remains a tricky situation in many areas, but turkey hunting here is in its prime. There are lots of squirrels around, too, so there is game to hunt, one way or another.

It will be interesting to see how the fishing situation plays out below the fabridam with the work being done there. They have a temporary road built out into the river from the west bank. The river will be narrow where it flows over the deflated dam, which will increase the speed of the current. This will change the way the water flows over and around the rocks and ledges below the dam. The fish will react to this, also, and set up in different places. Other years when they worked on the dam, the change of the speed and direction of the flow made for some good fishing conditions. It can mess up the fishing if you are land-bound, but if you can wade or have a boat, you can usually hunt around until you find where the fish are setting up at. The water is low, though, and you have to take your time and be on the lookout for rocks if you are in a boat.

Above the dam, after the lake has emptied out, getting a boat out can be a very hard thing to do because the river will be so low that it is hard to get a boat off the trailer. If you can get out there, it’s shocking to see the “lake” without the dam being inflated. There is lots of very shallow water. There are holes, though, and that’s where the fish will be. If the water is low and clear as it usually is, long casts with light line are required to catch fish. If the water stays low a few weeks from now, the fishing there can be very good when the water temperature drops and the fish start on the “fall feed.”

Summer is winding down, soon it will cool off. Then the fishing and the hunting will heat up.

 Ken Maurer, Herndon, is a licensed fishing guide and a regular contributor to the outdoors section. Email comments to kenrose@tds.net .

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