Christopher Smith

Juniata River Smallmouth Fishing

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There are many kayak fishermen, fly anglers and jet boaters who love Juniata River smallmouth fishing. Similar in habitat to the Susquehanna, the Juniata provides a smaller, less crowded waterway for smallmouth fishing and is becoming more and more popular for kayak fishermen (and women).

When fishing rivers and streams, the approaches are often the same. the key is to learn where smallmouth bass will be under certain water levels, flows and time of year. For the best guide, check out this book.

Juniata River smallmouth fishing

The Juniata River is a tributary of the Susquehanna River, approximately 104 miles (167 km) long, in central Pennsylvania in the United States. The river is considered scenic along much of its route, having a broad and shallow course passing through several mountain ridges and steeply-lined water gaps.

It is the second largest tributary of the Susquehanna after the West Branch Susquehanna.

The river cuts through several southwest-to-northeast ridges, largely of sandstone between limestone valley floors. Several of the river’s tributaries, including Kishacoquillas Creek, are degraded by pollution, but the main stem of the river is considered fairly clean by regional standards. Source

The Juniata River Trail is quite long and has many fishable areas. Some people fish the Juniata because of its smaller size but great sized smallmouths that are part of the population of fish on the Susquehanna.

For a Map of the Juniata with access points, click here

Juan on, is a Kayak instructor with a great knowledge base regarding the Juniata. A reader there asked about areas to fish on the Juniata and here is some words of wisdom:

We have decided to fish the stretch from Lewistown to Port Royal next week. Any specific advice on stretches etc.?


You’ve picked a nice stretch of water. I don’t have much experience on the entire length of you float but I’ve fished various areas. I usually don’t change my tactics from one section of the Juniata to another…or even one river to another because generally in Pennsylvania they all have a very similar forage base. Smallies are feed heavily on crayfish right now and minnows. Water conditions will pretty much dictate what I throw on a given day. I wish I wouldn’t have lost some of my posts because I talk a lot about water conditions as they relate to baits. Here’ my quick answer. If the water is clear take a look at my post for August river tips. Those baits should do fine. If the water is stained I’d start with Dark tub baits or something similar that imitates crayfish. Also, if the water has some stain definitely throw some crankbaits at them..that’s been my #1 producer this year during muddy and stained water conditions. Of course there are never any clear cut answers in just never know what the fish are going to be hitting but this should give you a base to start from. Good luck and let me know how you make out!   Source

Here’s a real nice video of some smallie fishing on the Juniata:

If you live within driving distance of the Juniata and are intimidated by the size and width of the Susquehanna, give Juniata River smallmouth fishing a try.

To learn how to quickly find fish in any river, River Smallmouth Fishing is a must read. It will save you years of trial and error and teach you how to find smallmouth bass fast.

One Response to Juniata River Smallmouth Fishing

  1. Kent A. Snyder June 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Hello all. Im from Williamsburg, Pa. A little town situated along the banks of the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River. Im 42 and i have been fishing this river system my whole life. I really enjoyed the Blog entry on an erea im very familiar with.

    While alot of my brothers {I have seven, lol} have their different tactics they like to use, we all seem to use different ones, I usually use artificial lures 99% of the time. When i was younger i waded all the time. I have since broken my ankle badly and those days are over so i do all my fishing from the bank now.

    As for plastic baits i like Tube jigs, although i lose alot in the rocky river bottoms. I also like using lizards as surface lures. Not as they were intended but the smallies like them alot on this river this way. As for hard baits I seem to have my best luck with shallow running crank baits. Nothing running deeper than a foot. The ones made by Bomber & Pinnacle i have had a lot of luck with, but i have caught alot of fish with Rapalas as well. The traditional ones and the broken back ones. I also have luck with smaller stick baits like the ones made by Smithwick & Rapala, just to name a few. Those are just a few of my favorite lures. I have many, many more, but these are the ones i consistantly catch the most fish with.

    As for my favorite spots to fish, I enjoy the areas where Piney Creek & Clover Creek empty into the river near Williamsburg. The cold water entering the river makes for a great place to hold young trout seeking refuge from the big fish in the river and its a great place to fish for the big boys waiting to ambush little ones washing into the river from the creek. I also enjoy fishing the Mt. Etna area north east of Williamsburg. There are several spots were brooks dump into the river along with a couple of old railroad tressles which have deep channels under them holding huge bass. Other favorite spots include the dam at Petersburg and the Point Access Boat Launch near Huntington. This is where the two branches of the river come together and is a very good entry point for boaters, kyakers and waders. A final spot i love to go is under the new road bridge at Mill Creek. A great spot for both Small Mouth and Walleyes.


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