FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you supply the fishing equipment?
Yes, we supply high quality St. Croix rods and high quality Shimano or Pflueger spinning reels. For those that prefer baitcasting equipment, St. Croix rods with Abu Garcia Revo reels are available.
Can I use my own rods and reels?
Yes, but understand our equipment is specifically set up for given fishing situations, as well as to minimize loss of expensive lures. If you are losing an excessive amount of lures/baits due to overly-light tackle, you will be 'strongly encouraged' to use the provided rods/reels.
What do I need to bring?
You are responsible for having a current fishing license (available at issuing agents and online at www.fishandboat.com). Also, for your lunch and drinks. A cooler will be provided if needed. Be sure to dress appropriately. Folks often underestimate the coolness on the water. When in question, overdress in layers. You can shed clothing as the day warms. Foul weather gear is recommended, particularly for cool/cold weather outings, or during summer trips with rain in the forecast. We do not cancel trips due to inclement weather (see Policies page) so be prepared. Digital photos will be taken during the outing which will be emailed when the trip is complete, but you're welcome to take your own pictures.
Is alcohol allowed?
Sorry, no alcohol due to insurance requirements.
Can I keep fish?
You can harvest legal-sized walleyes when they are in season. Keystone Connection policy is catch-photograph-release for smallmouth bass and muskies.
Is there a minimum age?
Since youngsters' skill, prior experience and interest levels greatly differ, there is no 'official' minimum age. Typically, kids of around 12 years of age are prepared for an outing, though ones as young as nine have had great experiences. It all depends on the child. This can be discussed when setting up a trip. Half-day trips are suggested, as are summer outings when bass tend to be more aggressive and the weather more pleasant. And kids must be accompanied by an adult.
When is the best time to book a trip?
There really is no 'best time.' Each season has its strong points. Smallmouth bass trips can be divided into early spring, pre-spawn, spawn, summer, early fall and late fall periods. In general, potential for large river smallmouth bass is greatest during the early spring, pre-spawn and late fall periods. Potential for greatest number of bass is during the summer and early fall, when the water is warmest and the bass most aggressive. Late fall through early spring is the best time for river walleyes and muskies. Understand, these are only guidelines, subject to variations based on weather and river levels at the time of the trip. These items can be discussed in greater detail when arranging your trip.
What is your cancellation policy?
If the river becomes unfishable due to high/muddy water, the trip will be cancelled by the Keystone Connection. You'll be given the chance to reschedule your trip. If you cannot do that, your deposit will be refunded. If you, the guest, cancel your trip at least one week before the scheduled date your refund will be returned. No deposit refunds within one week of the trip. The full price of the outing is owed for trips cancelled by guest within 24 hours of the scheduled date. See 'Policy' page for additional information.
Where do we meet?
It all depends on the direction you are coming from. Jeff lives near West Kittanning. So, if your route to the launch site takes you through that area (as it often does for folks coming up Route 28 from the Pgh area) we meet at a shopping center near West Kittanning and you can ride or follow to the launch site. If it makes more sense to meet at the ramp we do that. In either case, you'll be supplied with time/place and directions when setting up the trip.
How many fish will I catch?
There are so many variables in play, that's impossible to say. Fish activity differs from day to day, oftentimes even throughout a given day, by factors such as weather and water conditions. Angler skill is also a factor. More experienced anglers -- more proficient at casting, working baits, detecting hits, etc -- tend to catch more fish, all other things being equal. But a high skill level is not necessary. We've had many successful trips with anglers of limited prior experience. Just keep your expectations reasonable.
Do you use livebait?
With the exception of river walleye fishing during the late fall-through-early spring period, when we carry fathead minnows to tip jigs, all fishing is done with artificial baits and lures.
Where can I stay?
If we are meeting near West Kittanning, hotel/motel options include the Quality Inn Royale and the Holiday Inn Express. If meeting near the launch site the Foxburg Inn is a good choice.
Which areas of the Allegheny River do you fish?
Typically, middle Allegheny River trips fish out of East Brady, Foxburg/Parker, and Kennerdell. During the late fall we also fish out of Oil City, taking advantage of the 'wintering holes' that collect big numbers of smallmouth bass and walleyes. Trips can also be arranged on the lower Allegheny (within the 'lock-and-dam' section) and usually take off from Kittanning, Rosston and Freeport. Other options are available when certain 'bites' occur, so if you're interested in fishing areas not listed here please get in contact to inquire.