I noticed Zack Orth was catching big muskie on a lake not too far from where I live. I immediately knew this was a guy I wanted to learn from. Zack was kind enough to fill us in about Blue Marsh Lake fishing in South Central Pennsylvania and his other fishing in the 610.
Its been awhile but I have fished Blue Marsh Lake a few times. Each time, I have caught one 15 inch bass. Never more. Never less. You recently caught two beautiful muskie in 3 days. Were you targeting muskie and if so, what is your approach to fishing Muskie on the lake?
Let’s start with Blue Marsh, I’m a local who has been fishing this lake most of my life. It is a tough lake to fish considering no weeds and just mainly bank and fallen tree cover if you know where to look there is bottom structure to fish that is very productive.
Consider when fishing there are two levels of this lake winter level and summer level. 5 foot rise and fall about every 6 months these levels change fishing.They are very different from each other with different approaches for fishing. Winter level I think is a more productive time considering less places to hide. I just do better when it drops.
Yes I was targeting muskie I have landed my fair share of muskie off this lake. My approach toward them starts with my fascination with European pike fishing from the bank and feeding habits I use only natural bait from shore for them with 13 Fishing Musky Omen rods. Like anything else patience is key! I’ve landed 4 this year 47 44 39 34 inches.
How would you describe the bass fishing on Blue Marsh?
Bass fishing on Blue Marsh is a tough one, most of my big small mouth catches come from the cool weather with mostly crank baits. My big largemouths come in summer months usually on 6 inch rubber bouncing the bottom slow sometimes just letting it sit for a minute not moving at all then a twitch and bam a fish. Bass are finicky on this lake with boat traffic so get to a cove use sonar find drop offs cliff edges. To fish this lake for bass be ready to work change lures and color it usually pays off.
You do a lot of catfishing. Where do you target cats and what do you like about fishing for flatheads and channels?
I target catfish in the lake at the inlets of the lake when it rains mostly it’s pretty simple chose your bait wait for muddy water and your in for channel cats. As far as flatheads go it’s a toss up. I fish live sunfish for them. My biggest is 42 lbs 39 inches out of blue marsh. I like fishing for cats because it really is a consistent bite here but when it rains hold on to your rod!!!
What are your other favorite 610 waters to fish and why do you pick these?
Some of my other favorite waters to fish in my County are Susquehanna River for flathead and Schuylkill River for muskie. The Schuylkill has muskie over 50 but far and few between! I truly enjoy rivers, very challenging compared to lake fishing!
You recently fished the Adirondacks. Where were you fishing in the Adirondacks?
Adirondack mountains…wow…what a beautiful place. We were on Big Moose Lake and it was clear and weedy. Great fishing, I lost count after 32 bass. Not huge but all 3 pounds plus. I also have had the joy of fishing Lake Oneida in NY for smallmouth. If anyone ever gets a chance, don’t hesitate. It’s very good fishing!
What waters outside the 610 would you like to fish over the next few years?
Some day I’m going to fish the Kola Peninsula in Russia with so many rivers coming together and the variety of species makes this my bucket list fishing spot!!
You promote a product called Sunsect. Tell us about that company and what you love about their product.
Sunsect is a great product with the ability to keep you from burning up like a red tomato in the sun but also keeps all bugs at bay. This product works and has been tested by a wide variety of fishermen and our own military.
You have a antique lure collection which while small has some really cool baits. What is your favorite bait in your collection and why?
I have a problem with buying lures. I’m just going to admit to that. Old and new, I have a little collection spanning many years. My favorite lure in that collection my dad gave me a Fred Arbogast Jitterbug that my grandfather gave him. He said throw it as far as you can and reel slow. I was about 6 when I saw a bass break water for the first time on that lure. I was hooked for life on fishing so my favorite lure in my collection is that exact lure that I do not throw anymore. I just stare at it…
Well Zack, you have me wanting to travel an hour and go fish Blue Marsh with the hope of catching more than one 15 inch bass. Check out Zack on Instagram and watch him fish the 610.
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