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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Annnnd so begins another wonderful PA flathead season on the beautiful Susquehanna River, I'll be using this thread to document my adventures this year, but I'd love to see some other people chime in!!

A buddy of mine started last weekend and was sending me pics of the fish he caught last Saturday (he got an 18 , a 30 and a 38, had a great morning, congrats smitty!) Got me FIRED UP about this weekend .....and then Wednesday I was walking with my wife and looked at the weather forecast...calling for rain all day Friday and Sat.

I immediately called work and said I would not be in Thursday, went and grabbed my boat and headed to the river.

Got to the launch at 130 am , crashed for a couple hours in the truck, was back up and launching the boat by 6 am.

I don't know if they are working on the dam or what but the lake was WAY lower than I'd ever seen it and I guess it's been like that for a while now.

At any rate, I had baits out by 630 and was hooked up to a TOAD by 640. That fish ended up being a new PB at 47# 10oz. Absolute TANK of a flathead that fought like a freight train!!!

By the time I fought that fish , weighed it, took pics and let her go, then rebaited , baits weren't out 10 more minutes and I had another strong takedown. Another absolute tank of a fish was dragging me around, looked over at one of the other rods and watched it bend clear to the handle, the next 20 minutes were MAHEM. A solo double with a 38# and change and a 33# and change.

After that I moved to a new spot and within 15 min was hooked up to fish number 4 for the morning , this one was a BRUTE of a flathead, turned out to be 39# and change, one of the prettiest flatheads I've ever seen. Super dark brown , mottled with big black spots.

By the time I landed that fish, the sun was high over head and my arms were pretty stiff lol. I fished a bit longer before calling it a day.

All in all it was a GREAT morning, 4 fish all over 30# with a new PB to start the season!!

I feel really blessed to have this river near me, while fighting that double, I watched an eagle 30 yards away , dive bomb a carp, fight it for a while on the surface of the water, the fish was so bug that the eagle couldn't fly away, so it used its wings like paddles and drug the carp over to a rock, then drug it up onto the rock and ate it...all while I fought 2 giant flatheads. Life it pretty good!!

Looking forward to seeing what the river gives me this year!!

For my records, the day was overcast until 11, temp was 55 rising to 71. Water temp was 55 and rising. Beautiful day right before a huge storm. It's been raining for 2 days now, I believe that's why the big girls were feeding. Water was murky, first 3 fish were in 6fow, last tank was in 10 fow. All fish ate cut white sucker.

LETTTTTTS GOOOOOO 2022!!! I AM GOING TO CATCH A 50# FLATHEAD THIS YEAR!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those are some tremendous fish. It's amazing how many big fish are coming out of that river considering they've only been in there around 20 years or so. I normally fish that river in Maryland but reports like yours keep making me want to venture up into PA.

I have a feeling the next couple years are going to be insane, 40# fish are common now. I don't know many places where you can have a morning like that. With them being a long lifespan fish and on the invasive curve in such a big , resource rich river, there is no telling what the next couple of years are going to bring.

We are certainly at or near the peak of the invasive curve, I would think some time in the next 10- 20 years , they will start to balance out at least to some degree. But for the time being we can go catch insanely big flatheads in unreal numbers lol. I LOVE IT.
 

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There are big flatheads in the lower Susquehanna, but I haven't caught any yet. The blues vastly outnumber the flatheads. Last year my son hooked a big flathead on a live bluegill that gave a real lethargic fight up to his kayak then finally realized it was hooked, shook its head, and broke a 40lbs leader. It was a few minutes for the adrenaline to wear off and my teenage son to speak in full sentences again. I didn't see the fish, but I saw the giant splash. He said it had a head that would've gotten stuck in a 5-gallon bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are big flatheads in the lower Susquehanna, but I haven't caught any yet. The blues vastly outnumber the flatheads. Last year my son hooked a big flathead on a live bluegill that gave a real lethargic fight up to his kayak then finally realized it was hooked, shook its head, and broke a 40lbs leader. It was a few minutes for the adrenaline to wear off and my teenage son to speak in full sentences again. I didn't see the fish, but I saw the giant splash. He said it had a head that would've gotten stuck in a 5-gallon bucket.
I don't doubt that a bit. I usually fish Aldred, that lake is absolutely Infested with flatheads, I've fished long level a couple times and had crazy trips there also. 2 years ago I fished Goldsboro some and had some good nights there as well.

I have a couple buddy's that fish that lower stretch below conowingo and do real good with the blues, I haven't made it down there yet. I've also seen some videos of people catching good numbers of big stripers down there. We are definitely lucky to have such an amazing fishery.

Do you fish just kayaks? I'm kinda new to that game, I'm a bit intimidated to get out on aldred in my yak. If ya ever wanna come up that way, I'd love to have someone to partner up with for a trip out on the yaks.
 

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Do you fish just kayaks? I'm kinda new to that game, I'm a bit intimidated to get out on aldred in my yak. If ya ever wanna come up that way, I'd love to have someone to partner up with for a trip out on the yaks.
I do kayaks only now. I had a 21' center console I bought in 2005 but eventually sold it because it wasn't getting used enough. Been fishing out of a kayak since the mid 90's when I was the only knucklehead out there in a kayak. Got 3 of them now for different situations/locations. The 10.5' little one in the profile pic which is easy to carry, launch anywhere and ping off rocks without a care. A 12' Old Town Autopilot with the Minn Kota built in which is big and stable with electronics and plenty of accessories but the propeller means it stays away from weeds and shallow rocks. And then a 14' sea kayak that doesn't see much fishing but it's a fun fast boat in wide open water.
I've stood at the mouth of the Conestoga River right below Safe Harbor Dam and thought it looked pretty fishy but never fished up that way. The boat launch at York Furnace is probably only 30 miles from my house so it wouldn't be a big deal to come up to Aldred some time and buddy boat in kayaks. If you're new to it then it makes sense to not head out alone. Also if you come down to Maryland sometime let me know. I'll meet up with you and show you some spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome, I haven't been down that way in a while, 3 hour drive, I want to wait until the spawn is all the way over. Won't be much longer now and they should really be firing back up!
 

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Just heading back from a night of fishing on the susky. We were using cut and live bluegill and fished from 5 pm to 1 am. We tried fishing deep during the day time and recasting every 15 minutes but no action til around 730 pm. By then we moved to shallower water and got 5 flatties between 730 and 10 pm. Then the bite died off again. Finally we ended our night with a channel cat at 1245 am. Also we were fishing 50/50 cut and live... 5/6 of our fish were caught on cut bait. Just saying.. cut was more productive for us tonight.

Size from largest to smallest
26 lbs
20 lbs
10 lbs
9 lbs
5 lbs
3 lbs

I'd like to get better at finding them during the daytime, but I'm not complaining with our results. The guy who got the 26 lber... It was his first ever time catfishing, couldn't be happier than seeing him fight that monster!

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's awesome man! Sounds like a great night! Definitely see cut bait performing real well some nights. I still LOVE seeing a big live bait get nervous and start bouncing the rod ,then BAM when the flatty finally grabs it.

Up until last year, I never fished cut, always just big live baits. Definitely changed my methods a lot the last 2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a quick report for record sake. Went to aldred Friday night. Beautiful night on the river...but not so much for the fishing.

Fished from 8pm - 1 am. Had exactly 1 bite, which turned into a fiesty 20# flathead. He ate a chunk of cut redhorse sucker. Threw a pretty even split mix of live suns/bluegills /rockbass and cut sucker.

Hit 2 of my favorite holes and that 1 bite was it. Thank God I at least landed a fish, that's a long trip for me to only get 1 and it makes for a real Long ride home if I skunk out lol!

Anyone else been doing Any good?
 

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Not much from me on the lower Suskie. I was out on the 17th with my son and his buddy looking for smallmouth. We launched at Conowingo Dam and floated the 3 miles down to Rock Run Mill. Very few smallies, it was disappointing. I’m not sure what happened to them. Years ago I would catch a bunch doing this trip. We caught 5 smallmouth between 3 fishermen. I’m not sure if it’s water quality or the cormorants eating them or the non-native invasive blue and flathead catfish eating them.
The craziest moment of the morning was having a blue cat eat a 1/8th ounce beetle spin I was fishing on a 6’ UL rod rated for 2-6lbs line and a reel spooled with 10lbs braid. The fish weighed 23lbs. That was a long fight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Big blue on the UL sounds like a blast! I've been spending a lot of time up here yaking the juniata and it is slap FULL of smallmouth. Daughter and I caught 39 in a couple hours (maybe 3 hours of fishing) it was bonkers , getting smashed almost every cast.

Most were little 8-12" fish, but out of the 39 we caught, maybe 6 of them were in the 2# range. The weekends before that have been about the same, 25 fish by myself on one 4 hour float, 27 the Saturday before that, etc. I really enjoy that....but it doesn't hit the same button as a 40# flathead!

I REALLY want to catch some flatheads from my yak! The next 3 weeks are booked solid for me , but I'd like to get together with you before it gets too cool and give it a shot!
 

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Not sure about Aldred but you've got time for the fish below Conowingo. My profile pic was taken November 1, so the fish (blues at least) keep biting right up through the fall.
I sent you a DM to get things rolling on going fishing.
 
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