He caught 40 Muskie Last Year--Including a Record! Now, Big Al Dimasimo explains one way he uses his Proessor Higbee'sŪ Stream & Lake Map to locate fish.
We recently had a chat with Al Dimasimo, also known as Big Al, of Big Al’s Guide Service.
Q: Big Al—where do you primarily fish?
Big Al: Central Pennsylvania near Williamsport. I guide mostly on the Susquehanna River, Loyalsock Creek, and Pine Creek. The Susquehanna is considered “world-class” for smallmouth bass.
Q: How do you fish? What tackle do you use?
Big Al: I use a 16 foot Hyde drift boat using light tackle, river tackle.
Q: How many Muskie did you catch in the Susquehanna River last year?
Big Al: 40 to 45 Muskie, all of legal size, from 35 inches to 50 inches.
Q: That’s an amazing record! Isn’t it true that Muskie are called by some anglers “the fish of 10,000 casts” and some anglers spend years fishing just to get a glimpse of one?
Big Al: That’s what I’ve heard.
Q: You recently caught a record Muskie in the Susquehanna River?
Big Al: Yes. It was 37 lb. 6 oz., 50 inches. It was a line class record, 8 lb test, no steel leader, ultra light rod.
Q: Tell us about Big Al’s Guide Service.
Big Al: We fish for everything in the Susquehanna River—mostly muskie, smallmouth bass, carp, walleye and catfish. In the tribs—mostly trout.
Q: Are you the only one in the area with a 16 foot Hyde drift boat?
Big Al: Yes.
Q: Tell us about your boat.
Big Al: Drift boats are big out west, down south and on the Delaware River in the East.
It’s made to take rapids and rough water. It has a sub floor so you are up out of the water if it takes on water. It’s very safe. It’s really stable. You can safely stand. It has thigh braces to lock you in while standing. It seats 3 people including the guide-rower. The boat has a high front, 12 inches off the main floor, with braces for fishing and casting.
Q. What’s the boats big advantage when it comes to fishing? Is it control of the speed?
Big Al: The boat has great maneuverability. You can slow the boat in fast water so you can fish better, cover a lot more ground, it’s sneaky, real quite, no motors to spook fish and you can stop in a pocket or eddy. You can drop an anchor and sit in one place. The way the rocker is designed—there’s no draft, you can sit in one place. The boat is 100% designed for fishing.
Q: Do you own a Professor Higbee’s® Stream and Lake Map?
Big Al: Yes, I’ve used it for years.
Q: How do you use your map to locate fish?
Big Al: Fish like the right water temperature. Like in the summer, they must have cool water in order to breath. Warm water contains less oxygen. When water gets above 68 to 70 degrees, fish become inactive, lose their appetite and become susceptible to predators. Fish will instinctively seek out the coldest water in a stream or river. The feeder streams which are usually spring fed bring cooler water into the larger creeks and rivers.
Q: And the smaller feeder streams are easy to locate on your Stream and Lake Map?
Big Al: Yes. You can locate the feeder streams on the map. You’ll see where they feed into the larger bodies of water. Even in the summer when they look like they’re completely dry, there will usually be a spring underground, under the stream bed flowing into the larger creek or river. And fish will congregate in these areas.
Q: You’ve actually seen this by snorkeling in the creeks?
Big Al: Yes. I’ve snorkeled down Pine and Lycoming creeks in the summer months. And you can actually see these cold spots underwater. I’ve also seen fish hanging out in these spots. Underwater it looks like a hot parking lot with the heat waves rising. The cold water looks clearer. It’s so predictable and effective that some states are beginning to pass regulations against fishing these spots.
NOTE: It would be best to check your state’s fishing regulations before using this technique. Check the “LINKS” sections to your state’s regulations at: www.streammaps.com. And please remember to catch and release.
For more information about Big Al’s Guide Service: Go to www.streammaps.com bottom of home page under the “LINKS” look under Pennsylvania guides.
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