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Small to mid sized PA river ?'s

Im looking to fish earlier than i ever have on the lower schuylkill river. Basiclly Philadelphia, from fairmount dam to flat rock dam... should i just be fishing the deep pools above the dams? When will they start to move up shallow? There is one long inside bend off the main channel that will get big mats of weed in about 4ft of water was wondering when to start poking around there? Any river help is much appreciated. Thanks guys

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  • Eric, I have never fished the Schulylkill River, however, I have spent countless years - months - days - hours - minutes - and seconds fishing rivers for Muskie and might be able to help you out.

    During winter... when water temperatures are in the 40's or below - I prefer fishing in or around the deeper pools downstream from the dams. Downstream may be a relative term. Downstream can be directly below a dam or miles and miles downstream.

    While fish may set up within' the deeper pools themselves... I have also found them outside the pools and in super shallow water. This may depend on the time of day as well as which river you are fishing. Sunny days can make for some fantastic late-afternoon and evening bites.

    I have found that during warmer than normal days - that most active fish will locate themselves within' the deeper pools during sunny conditions and outside the deeper pools in much shallower water during overcast conditions.

    On colder than normal days... it has usually been the exact opposite than what I mentioned above with me finding more active fish within' the deeper pools during overcast conditions with fish showing up shallow during sunny conditions.

    When conditions are stable for a long period of time... during winter? As always... the fish can be anywhere... but, I have generally found them within' the deeper pools. My best spots have been below dams as mentioned, around single island or island complex's, bridges, creek mouths, as well as deeper pools between them all.

    What is deep for your river? I do not know. I consider deep to be anywhere from 3-6 feet with anything over 6 feet being super-deep.

    As for the river channel... the great thing about a river channel is they usually turn and can offer different depths. Despite some of the stronger current... it may offer areas for fish to seek refuge from the current - if they wish. While the river channel may host most of the current within' the width of the river... depth changes and cover such as boulders will create pockets of slow current for fish to sit, relax, wait, or whatever it is they may be doing at the time. I have spent a lot of time simply watching Muskies in rivers without making a single cast and can tell you that nearly 100% of the time - they were facing upstream. This is something to keep in mind when working your lures. Absolutely do not be afraid to cast downstream, however, as they will follow and hit lures that appear from behind and out of nowhere. Turns and structure formed by things like bridges and islands can create some of the best looking current breaks... and those ones are usually not invisible to your eye. My favorite spots to fish on rivers are large, above-surface visible current breaks with a back-eddy.

    I have found weeds on rivers to be more of an early summer thing.

    I hope this helps you out. If you are looking for lure suggestions... I can make another post telling you exactly what I use to target river Muskies.

    Best of luck to you this season.

    Appreciate your time and welcome to the website!

    • Im not sure what the deepest is but im pretty confident there are many stretches with 6+ feet probably even 10+... lots of pretty straight pools and tons of bridges where im fishing. and 1 sizable creek mouth ive been focusing a lot of attention on... just havent been able to get anything to go (fishing summer mostly)
    • I would start fishing the deepest pools and expand from there, for sure... especially in the colder months. Let us know how you do throughout the season. I am very interested. I absolutely love river fishing. That is where my roots stem for Muskies.

    • Will do thanks, ive got some medussa and dogs to throw and might try to crawl some big spinner baits off bottom as well... any other suggestions?
    • I have done very well on Spring Bulldawgs on rivers. Other lures I have done well on while Muskie fishing rivers is the 6" Jake, 6" Grandma, Husky Jerk, 6" Phantom, and the Manta.

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