We’ve teamed up with local fisherman and Managing Editor at Anglers.com, Coty Perry, to bring NEPA the scoop on hot, local fishing spots, must-have gear, tips and tricks and so much more. Stay tuned to DiscoverNEPA for more from this local expert.
Chasing Smallmouth Bass in the Fall
If you’re interested in taking on the longest river on the East Coast for some of the finest fall bass fishing, look no further than NEPA’s very own Susquehanna River. With over 400 miles of fishable water inside Pennsylvania’s borders, the Susquehanna boasts some of the best angling in just about any season. Sure, it’s a big river with a storied reputation. But if you know where you’re going, you’re in for an incredible day on the water.
The “Suskie” is a goldmine for smallmouth bass in the fall. And if you’re a regular on the river, like me, just about everyone you talk to seems to have their fair share of great stories to tell.
In fact, the last time I fished the river with my dad before he passed, we ended up with quite the tale.
We got stuck. Everyone says it’s a tricky river to navigate especially when the water’s down. Well, the water level was low that day, and the old outboard just didn’t have enough heart to get us back up river. Long story short, dad ended up waist deep in the mud and lost his boots. I, of course, had to push us back to the launch.
Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about fishing the river in the fall. Just as all fisherman have their stories, they also have their “secret” spots. And everyone knows just how easy it is to get a seasoned angler to spill the beans. Yeah, we’re not about that here. We want everyone with an interest in this great pastime to have the best opportunities and the best times on the water.
That’s why we’re offering up a few tips on a pair of the Susquehanna River’s top local spots for fall bass.
Where to Find Fall Bass on the “Suskie”
The Susquehanna River runs from Susquehanna and Bradford Counties in the North and it branches off around Northumberland and Union Counties in the South. Figuring out where to fish is going to depend on where you live and what you’re after. The West Branch which runs out into Central PA is known for some great trout fishing.
If you’re after smallmouth, you’ll want to fish the Middle Susquehanna River. This section runs from Great Bend in the North through Luzerne and Columbia Counties. These are the waters I’m most knowledgeable on. It’s the section of the Susquehanna where I grew up fishing as a kid from Moscow.
Canal Park in West Nanticoke
Fish from shore or by boat.
The reason I recommend this spot for fall bass fishing specifically is because the smallmouth bass are very active. It’s a time of year when water temperatures have cooled considerably, but the fish are not at that point where their metabolism has slowed.
The bite is always strong this time of year. And the water levels will be high, which opens up a lot more water beyond the reach of the strong currents. It’s a great time of year for crawling jigs and fishing lipless cranks wherever you can find pockets of still or calm water. You can also drop in your boat here at the Canal Park Boat Launch.
Towanda Riverside Park in Towanda
Easy river access and plenty of good fishing just 20 miles outside of NEPA.
If you’re up north, just outside of Wyoming County, there’s a perfect spot near the Towanda Riverside Park, just off the Merrill Parkway. There are plenty of slow, deep pools around the area of the Route 6 Bridge. A handful of winding turns and upstream islands slow the river down considerably here. This opens up a lot of pools where the smallies hang out in large numbers. I’ve had a ton of big days on the water here using Whopper Ploppers and finesse jigs. The park features a boat launch and plenty of shore fishing access.
All in all, we’re lucky to have one of the best bass fishing rivers in the country right here in our backyard. Fall bass fishing is heating up so get out there before it gets too cold!