Let me start by saying that we are not your typical review site. But when I find people that have fished with a guide, I love to interview them about their day on the water with the guide. So I was delighted when Andrew Lapp agreed to share about fishing with Upper Potomac River and Susquehanna River Guide Scott Johnson. Here is Andrew’s review of Scott Johnson Fishing Adventures.
When did you first start fishing with Scott Johnson?
I began fishing with Scott on the Upper Potomac in June of last year. He works for a custom home builder, and I work for an architecture firm. We have been working back and forth for quite a few years now on several projects.
I had been following his guide trips on Facebook. When I was looking for a memorable gift for my godson’s birthday, I thought booking a trip with Scott would be a pretty cool experience. We did a half-day trip and by the end of the day I was already asking him to send me dates he had available for day trips on the Susquehanna. I’ve fished the Susquehanna with him twice since.
What is Scott’s boat like?
Scott’s boat is honestly part of the experience. He fishes out of a custom Rockproof Jet Boat. It runs in extremely shallow water and can get to places you wouldn’t otherwise attempt to venture to. It is decked out with all the bells and whistles. As soon as the talons go up and he cranks the Mercury, you know it’s time to get to work. There is plenty of room on the boat for three people to fish simultaneously. It’s not crowded at all and is very comfortable to fish out of.
Anytime you fish with someone for a day, you don’t want a guide with no personality. What is Scott’s personality like?
After knowing Scott from a business standpoint and now getting to know him through fishing, not much has changed. He’s a funny guy, and he works hard. We share a lot of laughs and he keeps things upbeat and fun. His main objective is to get his clients on the fish and teach them the right way to do things. He does just that.
How about the fishing? How was the fishing on your early August trip this year with Scott?
The trip we took in early August was a ton of fun. We were able to boat a lot of fish and had a great time doing it. We threw a lot at the river from tubes, topwater and spinnerbaits. We caught a lot of good sized fish that day. I ended up with a really nice 19” smallie towards the end of the day. That was an awesome way to cap off that trip!
Without giving away any of Scott’s secrets, what did you learn from him about summer fishing the river?
Scott is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to shallow river fishing and freshwater fishing in general. The only secrets I wouldn’t want to give away are his favorite spots. He taught us several different approaches to finding bass and ways to keep catching when the bite is slow.
I’m a huge believer in tube fishing, so much so that Scott makes fun of me for always using them. They always produce so I don’t see why I’d put them back in the box. After the trip in August, however, he had me hooked on spinnerbaits. A great company Scott introduced me to is Snagler Tackle. They have everything you need for shallow river smallmouth fishing. The owner, John Stygler, is a guide himself so you know his products have been tested well. Anglers Express is another great company Scott referred me to.
You also spent time on the water with Scott in colder weather in November this year. How was that trip?
Cold, rainy, and windy. We put our Gore-Tex to the test that day. Besides a few kayaks out first thing in the morning, we were the only boat on the river.
Our day started off slow with a few small fish on jerk baits and tubes. He taught us to slow down as much as possible and really wait for the bite. When the water is that cold, the bite is so faint it almost feels like you are just lightly scraping the rocks. Once we got the hang of it, things really opened up for us.
After taking a break midday to eat lunch and warm up in the truck, we headed back out. We went down river and that’s when we really started catching lots of fish. With the wind, Scott was working hard to keep the boat in place, but once we were zeroed in we were catching lots of doubles and even landed a nice triple behind submerged ledges and near current breaks.
We headed back towards Riverfront Campground towards the end of the day when we were starting to lose light. We hit the same spot we started at in the morning. That’s when things got fun. We were boating a lot of fish in the 16”-19” range with some great weight on them. We would have stayed out if we had more light.
It took me about a week to feel my hands again, but that best fishing experience I have ever had.
Out of your trips, what have been some of your favorite moments on the water with Scott?
Fishing with my godson on the Upper Potomac was one of my favorite moments. It was a great experience for the both of us. Scott was a great teacher and had tremendous patience. Justin learned the right ways to cast, hook and handle a fish. It was really cool to see him catch his first bass.
Scott is a big supporter of youth fishing and has had many opportunities to teach kids how to fish safely and efficiently. I would recommend that any mother or father looking to get their sons or daughters into fishing reach out to Scott. It’s worth it. As Scott has said “More tackle boxes, less Xboxes”.
All of that said, would you recommend Scott to other anglers?
Absolutely. As I mentioned before, he is a wealth of knowledge. I always pick his brain about techniques, strategies and equipment. He always gives you more than you ask for in response.
My friend Charlie and I usually fish out of a canoe on the Upper Potomac. We have seen Scott at the ramp and pass us on the water a few times. He always goes out of his way to reach out and see how we are doing and offers up and tips and tricks that have been working for him that day. Book early because his schedule fills up quickly!
Thank you so much Andrew. Such a great review for anyone considering a trip to the Upper Potomac or Susquehanna River. Maybe our next interview should be about canoe fishing with tubes! I love both those things as well.
Anyone interested in a trip with Scott Johnson should check out his website sj-fishing.com. Scott also posts regularly on Instagram @sjfishingadventures. Andrew can be followed on Instagram as well @alapp88.
Read A Dock Talk 365 Interview with Scott Johnson: Shallow Water Rivers in All Conditions