Fishing streams, creeks and ponds is great way to have a lot of fun fishing without breaking the bank. And this is exactly the style of fishing that MONSTERBASS Ambassador Chef Tony Ganoe prefers.
But as a Pennsylvania native, the window for this style of fishing is quickly closing. We caught up with Tony to talk a little fishing and see how he’s making the most of these final trips of the season.
“This is more of hunting season than a fishing season,” admitted Tony. “But I do still have to get out and fish.”
Tony again aims his focus on the smaller waters, targeting a wide variety of species, from smallmouth and largemouth bass to trout, crappie and panfish.
“Our creeks are relatively shallow, so we go with a lot of smaller presentations like Rooster Tails or jigheads with smaller soft plastics on them. And spinners with a little soft plastic trailer coming off of it.”
The weather is a little unpredictable at present, with some warm days still scattered into the increasingly cooler temps.
“We had a nice warm day yesterday and today; it was in the 70s. But at night it’s getting down into the 40s. Last week it was 40 during the day and 20 at night.”
With the colder air temps becoming more and more prevalent, the water temps are starting to dip as well.
“This time of the year it depends, but we’re looking at 40s and 50s for water temps right now. We get it cold up here in December and January. March is typically our coldest month with ice and snow.”
Though the winter can be brutal, the creeks never completely freeze over since the water is always on the move. So as winter sets in, Tony and his buddies are still able to fish on a while.
“We go walking or wading the creeks and then recently I started kayaking. With it being a little colder, the waders have a tendency to keep your legs a little warmer. But you’ve got to wear some type of warm pants instead of shorts and usually a hoody is about good enough.”
As an added precaution, there’s always an extra set of clothes around.
“We’ve got a dry bag, usually with a lot of my filming equipment and just a spare pair of the essentials: socks, underwear, t-shirt, coat and an extra pair of pants.”
Tony enjoys the camaraderie of fishing with friends, but it’s also an intentional effort at playing it safe.
“I’m a big fan of safety in numbers, just in case something goes wrong. And fishing’s fun no matter what, but I kind of like having people around, sharing the experience and making memories.”
Having buddies to fish with also allows Tony to use the leapfrog system when fishing longer stretches of these creeks with kayaks.
“My friends and I will load up one truck with the kayaks and will drop off and load in upstream. And then somebody will drive an additional vehicle and drop it off where we’re going to unload.”
By leaving a vehicle downstream and then returning up stream in the second vehicle, Tony and his buddies can float down through several miles of great fishing water and then they’ll have a vehicle waiting for them where they can takeout and return to get the other car that’s upstream.
“We did a run that was about 4 miles recently. It was a shallow day, so we did a lot of walking, but it took us about 6 hours.”
After a dry summer, some of the regular fishing holes for Tony have been a little dry. That has affected the numbers at times, but with the fall rains the fishing has improved.
“We had a really dry summer this year. So, the water was low, and we didn’t catch as much. But after it rained and those pockets got deep with the undercuts, it got better. My buddies and I hauled in 14 one day recently.”
Fishing small waters with a few good buddies is a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime. If you decide to give this a try, make sure you take the necessary precautions. Have an extra set of dry clothes on hand and take a buddy or two along with you. Then, just do like Tony does, have fun and make some memories!