The Susquehanna Flats

Fishing The Susquehanna Flats at Harve de Grace
Harford County, MD

http://www.havredegracemd.com/pdf/History.pdf

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Mark and I fished new water today, launching out of City Yacht Basin in Harve de Grace.

Did you know that in 1789 Harve de Grace lost out by just one vote to become the Capital of the United States, loosing to Washington, DC. Reference the above web link for an article regarding the congressional vote.

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We started by fishing a few recommended sites around the flats on the fresh-tidal Chesapeake, along with other bass boats, but with nearly just as many waterfowl hunters fishing by boat, as today was opening day. If I had of remembered this, I could have brought my shotguns along and done some “cast & blast.” In retrospect on the day, we had several opportunities to take geese and ducks.

This picture shows the Route 40 Pulaski Highway bridge (foreground) and then I-95 bridge off in the distance (background). The land to the right is Garrett Island. It was this section of the Susquehanna where we did our best fishing.

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Mark used rattle-traps, swim baits, crank-baits and soft plastics. I used wacky-rigged Senko’s, Texas-rigged Zoom worms, jigs and jig tubes and swim baits.

Massive submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds of wild celery and milfoil were dying off and our best fishing came from the outside edges of aquatic grasses, abutting deep water.

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Somewhere while driving on I-95 this morning, I lost my long-handled net. Mark worked this fantastic bronzeback to the boat and I was able to lip him out of the water and get him into the boat. What a great fight, catch and release.

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Near the drop off into deep channels and under bridge abutments and along the outside edges of grass is where we caught four striped bass.

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It was a cool day on the water, and the sun tried to come out a few times. When the wind blew, it felt cold, when the wind stopped, the radiant warmth felt nice. We launched at near high-tide and we saw that SAV was facing upstream, even with the positive flow of the Susquehanna into the Bay. By the afternoon the tide had reversed with SAV facing downstream.

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Today is the first time I’ve had a GoPro Hero movie camera on board, as seen on the top bar of the center console. I’m also buying a waterproof pole, so that I can film at the surface of the water and under the water. My intention is to film some of the best catches on the Carolina Skiff and make YouTube movies. I look forward to laying-in sound tracks/effects, music, slow-motion and still shots.

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I usually stop fishing for the year around Thanksgiving and definitely by December 1, at which time the boat get winterized at Tri-State Marine. The boat then sits in the driveway for December, January, February and usually uncovered in mid-March. That’s three-plus months of no fishing. Boo-hiss.

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It’s always great to try new water. Mark and I agreed, that based on aerial mapping, there is still lots of good looking water between the mouth of the River and Bay, and upstream toward the Conowingo Dam. How far we can go will be based on when boulder fields become common, and a skiff is no longer appropriate or compromised for fear of hitting random rock outcroppings.

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In this parting shot, Mark let me hold his Susquehanna Smallie.

As we left the City Docks, Mark and I watched the weigh-in of a fishing tournament with-a-twist. It was a one-fish lunker tournament. We watched as several fishermen were standing in line for weigh-in. The few guys that had clear water bags, we could see monster 5-pound largemouth bass, so we know that they inhabit the Flats.

It’s worth adding the Susquehanna to our waters to be fished again. Thank you Mark for our post-fishing crab cake sandwiches!

 

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