Glen Cove Marina
The third tournament of the year found FOBA at Conowingo Reservoir on the Susquehanna River above the Conowingo Dam. Started in 1926, the Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam began generating electricity in 1928. The dam is located nine miles upriver from the mouth of the Susquehanna where it flows into the upper Chesapeake Bay. As expected in a dammed up river, Conowingo is miles long but only a mile or so wide. It supports a solid population of both large and smallmouth bass. The river and its feeder creeks present many different faces from lily-padded coves to rocky rapids to sandy flats to steep drop offs. There is no “one way” or "one place" to catch the bass at Conowingo; tubes, worms, swimbaits, cranks, spinnerbaits, etc. There probably isn’t a lure in your arsenal that won’t catch fish somewhere in Conowingo.
The weather was gray and cloudy and rain threatened much of the day. Fortunately it only sprinkled for a few minutes and we got through the day without having to fish in a downpour. The water temps varied from spot to spot but stayed in the sixties. As usual, the water was stained with about three feet of visibility. The lower north shore, just above the dam, was thick with a fresh supply of wood lay downs brought in by recent heavy rain. It was from this carpet of wood the 12lb.10oz winning bag would come.
Chris Kieffer won the tournament with 12 pounds, 10 ounces and there was a tie for second place between Dave Miller and Joe Pautler both weighing in 11 pounds, 11 ounce bags. Kieffer caught his largest fish using a spinnerbait and the rest mainly on a sliderhead with soft plastic worms in deeper water, as did Miller. Pautler’s fish were caught shallow on jigs and texas rigged plastics including a lunker weighing 4-5.
Meanwhile, first place finisher on the co-angler side, Zach Parkent took a ride well up the river into the rapids area. Some of the fish in his 10 pound, 4 ounce bag came on a squarebill and a spinnerbait. Joe Homick finished in second place with 8 pounds, 4 ounces, edging out Paul Mason by a mere 2 ounces. Parkent had the lunker for the co-anglers with a bass weighing 3-1.
This was not a typical day on Conowingo for this time of year. As Parkent noted, “Conowingo is notorious for large bags of largemouth this time of year. I’m thinking the rain, and a cold front pulled the large fish back from the shore this year.” Conowingo remains, as always, a fickle mistress.
Written by Chris Kieffer