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Teach and Jensen were at the beach. School is out for the summer, and they needed a break. I stayed behind to watch the dog. No worries, kids. I got to fish.

No need to travel as we are super spoiled. I do 95% of my fishing right here in Lycoming County. Some of my favorite spots are just a short drive from the homestead. June is when I usually make the transition to one of my favorites.

The water is rather low, and the temperatures are up. Lycoming Creek isn’t bad, but the conditions aren’t ideal for trout. I put my waders away and switched to the spinning outfit. I use an ultralight with a 4 lb. test. My friends will use a fly rod, but I am not quite there yet. It’s the perfect time to target the Smallmouth bass.

Pound for pound, these bass are the fiercest game fish. Their strength and might are somewhat legendary. We sometimes call them bronzebacks. They are extremely popular with the locals. The smallmouth fishing in North Central PA is fantastic. They are well known for their above-the-water dramatics.

Smallmouths are very carnivorous. They feed on tadpoles, insects, other fish, and especially crayfish. They can adapt to sudden changes, and these fish are more versatile than our trout. Smallmouths are always on the move. They will migrate to find deeper waters to “chill” during winter. It is said that one may travel 30 miles during the change of seasons.

Bronzebacks can be caught using a variety of methods. Anglers have many options. Natural baits always work. Some prefer soft plastics. Others throw crankbaits. I am a huge fan of using topwater plugs. Regardless. Brace yourself as these fish put up an impressive fight.

I had some luck near the Heshbon bike path Monday. I had the entire stretch to myself, and I landed a monster. Yes. This time of year, you will see me walking back to the car on Lycoming Creek Road. I’m also that guy who hangs out on the dyke near Historic Bowman Field. I am still surprised by the quality of the fish in the backyard.

I was able to catch up with a few of my Amish buddies. They invited me for a float on the Susquehanna River. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sneak away, but I met up with my bearded friends for a picnic and fire.

Jake Stoltzfus and I are now chums. He heads up S and J Interiors, and we have worked on many projects. Jake is a monster with a candid sense of humor. His hands and shoulders are enormous. I have been around a long time, and Jake is the strongest guy I know. What a hoot.

I had the chance to fish with Jake and his young son Aaron. The ten-year-old was armed with a push button Zebco. I gave him one of my topwater Heddon torpedoes. He made a cast. Splash. My man lands a 15-inch Smallmouth. Very few words were spoken. But Aaron’s smile was infectious. What a fun evening. I would put it up there with one of my favorite fishing experiences. Cheers.