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If you guys haven’t been to the Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania, add it to your bucket list! It’s amazing! The smallmouth are ridiculously huge and healthy! They are so strong and are a fun fight! You would be amazed at how big these guys can get.

But BE CAREFUL! Especially if you’re not used to rapids. We don’t have rapids like that in Michigan and I got a little over confident one day.

We had fished this river in multiple areas a year prior for a week straight. We have been addicted ever since so we came back the following year for a tournament. We had 5 days to pre-fish. We hit some of the areas we had fished the year prior and checked out some new spots.

On day 3 we decided to “fish” these ledges.

Jeremy Crowe helped me put my OG Coosa in on the bottom of the rapids. He then headed up shore to the upper part of the rapids, so he could put his Coosa in. I wanted to get a good fishing position before Jeremy got in. I just knew we had the same spot in mind and I needed to get there first. He was going to fish the upper part first and come down the rapids while I fished the lower. The spot we both wanted to fish was somewhat in the middle. I jumped in and headed down river. Instead of going down river far enough to make a safe turn and then coming back up to the rapid, my competitive side turned to soon. I INSTANTLY went over.

My yak was fully geared with 7 tackle boxes, 4 poles, rain coat, dry bag and flip flops (for when I took my water shoes off). As I was going over, I thought “oh no! If I lose my gear, how am I going to fish this tournament!” I instantly grabbed everything I could. All I can remember is going under, popping above water yelling for Jeremy, going under, yelling for Jeremy. He finally heard me after the 4th or 5th time. He took off running down the beach and jumped into the water (We had just watched Baywatch the night before and he reminded me of the hot chic in the red bathing suit running in slow motion).

He grabbed me and the yak and pulled us to shore. He said I was under the kayak when he heard me scream. He flipped the kayak over and which I was still bear hugging.  He yelled “let go!” Then he quickly realized my fishing lures from my poles were stuck in my life vest. Then he yells “wait! Don’t move!” Then he asks after he gets me unstuck, “what are you missing?” As I look around still in shock, I do an inventory check…hmmm…1,2,3,4,5,6,7 tackleboxes! 1,2,3,4 fishing poles! 1 Rain coat! 1 dry bag! 1..hold on,.where’s my other flop? I see it start to get carried away by the current and quickly grab it! 2 flip flops! And my paddle was still in my hand. Not sure how I didn’t loose anything. Someone was looking out for me! 
I’m aware safety is much more important than any of your gear. What should had happened, is I should have let go and got to shore. I got lucky. And ALWAYS wear your life vest!! Please be safe out there ladies and gentlemen. It’s a good thing I had my Baywatch babe there to rescue me!

– Shannon Williams