Pete Gluszek, the dean of The Bass University is featured in The Mercury
A cloud of “hydrilla gnats” encased the boat. Black and dark grey, they hung in the air like winged pepper flakes. Swat at them and the cloud just shimmied away, then moved back to surround. “They don’t bite,” said pro angler Pete Gluszek, “but don’t get them up your nose or down your back.” True these annoying bugs didn’t bite, but landing on bare arms or legs they felt like small static shocks. In the morning light, some 15 boats floated around the expansive hydrilla mat on the Susquehanna Flats — their occupants swatting left and right.
It’s rare that on the miles-wide water in northern Maryland there isn’t a breeze of any sort, or waves, but this was a rare day with the electric gnats enjoying the conditions. Despite the bugs, some anglers were enjoying themselves as well. Even in a low haze, rods were seen bending here and there and when a hooked bass leapt above the surface, the sharp sounding splat carried a long way. Gluszek, a professional bass angler known among his friends and colleagues as the “King Neptune of Tidal Water Bassin,” had led me to the Susquehanna Flats because the largemouth bite – not the gnat bite – was on and strong. Earlier in the week he had caught stringers of close to 30 pounds and the first largemouth I landed while exhaling gnats was easily four-and-half. Right there my day was made. “It’s a dynamic situation,” Gluszek said, peering across the water from the town of Northeast, Maryland – an hour’s ride from Philadelphia. “Fish are coming into spawn, some have already spawned; also there are hordes of needlefish feeding on the perch, shad and herring fry that has already spawned. Around them are schools of white perch. A lot is going on at once.”
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