Smallmouth bass fishing may not be what it was on the Susquehanna River as dwindling numbers of the young fish are transforming what was long considered a kind of fishermen's paradise.
The good news is that some of its major local tributaries are reportedly not experiencing the river's bass problems.
"I have not really seen any real changes on the tributaries," said Dave Rothrock, of Jersey Shore.
Rothrock, an angler and fishing guide, said fishing for bass on Pine Creek has been as good as ever, especially from Waterville downstream to the Susquehanna River.
He's seen no sign of columnaris, the disease that has appeared in bass populations on the Susquehanna River.
"It seems like the main problem is on the West Branch (of the Susquehanna River)," he said.
Don Bastian, proprietor of Don Bastian's Angling Specialties, concurred that bass in the tributaries have apparently escaped the problems of the river's fish.
"I got some smallmouths last June," he said.
Bastian, who at the time was fishing for trout in the Cogan Station area of Lycoming Creek, said the bass appeared healthy too.
Bastian, a fly tier and former fishing guide, said he heard of no problems with the creek's bass.
Mike O'Brien, a Williamsport angling guide, concurred that the tributaries continue to yield their usual populations of smallmouths.
The one exception may be Loyalsock Creek.
Unlike Pine and Lycoming, Loyalsock endured devastating flooding problems in September 2011, he noted.