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21 Inch Smallie on a Tube


Prespawn Smallies

Targeting prespawn Smallmouth on a river can be the best time of the year depending on the weather and water levels. If conditions are right you can expect to catch really big fish in March and April along with the first week in May. You must first know where the smallies are wintering at. As soon as the temps start warming the water to around 40 degrees plus this can trigger the smallies into feeding that starts in March here in Pennsylvania. If the rivers are high and muddy this will slow the action until the water comes down and clears a little. If there is debris floating in the water I don't fish slight stain to the water is best but you don't really want chocolate milk colored water.
  First thing you want to find is slow moving current in slack water that is pretty deep say 5-10 feet with shallow water not far and some faster water also close by. Start in the deeper water bringing your lure up into the shallow water then start shallow and go deep into the slower current, letting the bait drift from spot to spot on or near the bottom. I use a few different baits this time of year my most effective bait has been a tube the second is any minnow type jerkbait and the third a hair jig I mostly use 1/8 or 1/16 oz baits. As far as colors of the bait I like green and brown along with orange. Other baits can also work but these three have worked the best for me. Again make sure you try to find a spot that can support bass in the winter start there and work into the shallows any given day they can be deep or shallow.

Bass Regulations

Bass-Rivers and Streams
Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted
Jan.1-April 15  Oct.1-Dec.31
15in (4 Combined Species)
April 16-June 17
NO HARVEST Catch and Immediate Release
June 18-Sept.30
12in (6 Combined Species)

Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted
Jan.1-April 15  Nov.1-Dec.31
15in (4 Combined Species)
April 16-June 17
NO HARVEST Catch and Immediate Release
June 18-Sept.30
12in (6 Combined Species
Additional regulations may apply–
Big Bass Regulations


Yough Regulations

  • ALL TACKLE TROPHY TROUT –Open to fishing year- round (no closed season)9.0 miles; from the confluence with Ramcat Run downstream to the Route 381 bridge at Ohiopyle
  • Minimum size – 14 inches, caught on, or in possession on, the waters under these regulations from 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season through Labor Day.
  • The daily creel limit is two trout – combined species – from 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season through Labor Day except during the period from the day after Labor Day to 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season of the following year when no trout may be killed or had in possession on the waters under these regulations.
  • Fishing may be done with artificial lures, flies or streamers, natural bait, baitfish, and fishbait. Spinning or fly fishing gear may be used in these areas.
  • A current trout/salmon permit is required.
  • The regulations apply to trout only; all other species, 
  • (1 mile) From reservoir downstream to confluence with Casselman River.
    Closed season on trout- April 1 until 8 am first Saturday after April 11.
    Daily limit- 8am on opening day of trout season to Labor Day- 5 trout
    Daily limit- day after Labor Day to midnight March 31 of following year- 3 trout.
    All other species- inland Regulations apply. 
  • From the confluence with Casselman River downstream to the confluence with Ramcat Run and from the pipeline crossing at the confluence with Lick Run downstream to the mouth of the river.
    No closed season on trout.
    Daily limit-Opening day of trout season to Labor Day- 5 trout;
    Daily limit-day after labor Day to midnight opening day of trout season the following year- 3 trout.
    All other species-Inland Regulations apply.



  • 3-08-11 Flood Watch still in effect
  • 3-04-11 More rain on the way up to two inches brings the possibility of flooding along rivers and streams
  • 2-28-11 High Water with flooding on rivers and streams stopped at a local lake still lots of Ice but there was about a five foot space of open water from the bank to the ice won't be long now.
  • 2-21-11 Youghiogheny River Cold again the River is still running high more snow on the way
  • 2-18-11 Youghiogheny River The water is on the rise due to the snow melt it has also warmed up a few degrees it is predicted to rise to 7.1 at Sutersville by early saturday morning
  • 2-12-11 Youghiogheny River There is solid ice at the mouth in Mckeesport as you go up further from the mouth the ice is in chunks.It starts to break up a bit in smithton where it is scattered up to Dawson is the farthest I went. the one side of the river is open in some spots.With warm weather this week Im going to try to get out and get a smallie or two.
  • 2-03-11 Another month and I'll be back on the river looking for smallies I'm hopfull the weather will be good enough to get out March is a great time for smallies I use hairjigs and soft plastic lures.
  • 1-19-11 Rain and Temps in the 40's might make ice unsafe on certain water be sure to check before going out. The temps are going to drop again and get into the singloe digits for lows by the weekend.
  • 1-10-11 Area waters are starting to freeze up again be careful on the ice good luck
  • 1-02-11 Youghiogeny River The water is on the rise
  • 1-01-11 Happy New Year

  • Photo of the Month

    Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

    Youghiogheny River

    The 2008 Pennsylvania River of The Year

    The Youghiogheny rises in northern West Virginia, in Preston County southeast of the town of Kingwood and near Backbone Mountain. The headwaters are approximately 10 mi (16 km) north of the headwaters of the North Branch of the Potomac River. It flows NNE into Garrett County, Maryland, flowing north past Oakland and roughly parallel to the West Virginia border, separated by approximately 3 mi (5 km). This river enters southwestern Pennsylvania on the border between Fayette and Somerset counties. It flows northwest through a gap in Chestnut Ridge and then past Connellsville. It joins the Monongahela River from the southeast at McKeesport, southeast of Pittsburgh.

    Acid Mine Drainage

    Acid mine drainage is still a major problem in our rivers and streams. There are a lot of organizations that have helped to improve the streams and rivers in our area here are a few links to help or find information about acid mine drainage.

    Useful Books




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