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Alaskan Fishing Trip of a Lifetime
"Rod, I'm not sure what 'Koinonia' means, but it should mean 'fishing trip of a lifetime'." I have just returned from your guided trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska and I am still on the 'Alaskan high'. I have used guides to chase Tarpon in the Keys, Cutthroat in the Rockies, Stripers in Pamlico Sound, and everything in between. You and your crew well surpassed and guides that I have ever used! The organization, planning, and attention to detail were extraordinary. Everything from travel arrangements, individual trips, food and entertainment, to fish processing were entirely covered. And the fishing? Wow! My arms were sore for days from landing 3 different species of Salmon, Halibut, trophy Rainbows, and Dolly Vardon in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge. Where else can you jig in 225 feet of water for Halibut on Monday and catch 7 pound Rainbow Trout on a fly rod on Tuesday? Thank you Rod for an incredible trip! Until my next adventure with Koinonia to the last frontier."
Best Trip Ever
"The trip to Alaska was super. I booked as a single fisherman. Rod and Bill are fine gentlemen and took care of all the details. The fishing was fabulous. Halibut, ling cod, yellow and black rock fish,silver, coho, and king salmon and a few others I can't remember were all caught. Rod and Bill know the Kenai Peninsula and have years of experience fishing here. They put you on the fish with great charters and locations. The group of fishermen I was privileged to meet and fish with were great. We probably spent more time laughing than fishing. I now have a new group of fishing friends. I hope to do this trip again. If you want to go to Alaska for a week and experience all types of great fishing the area has to offer, you want to go with Rod and Bill."
Ed (The Fishing Pole)
Susquehanna River Fishing Tours
Can't control the fish but you can control everything else
"Rod. Thanks again the trip was great, you and your team always do a great job,can't control the fish but you can control everything else and you do a great job at that. Thank you and see you next year."
Dwaine and Christopher
Thank you for all the hard work
I wanted to thank you for all the hard work and effort you put in my cat fishing trip last week. I know that you gave me far more time than I paid for in the effort to help put me on fish. I also know when you are catching fish, the job is easy. When you are having trouble catching fish is when you find out who the professional guides are. You and your staff at Koinonia have been amazing.
I also deeply enjoyed the education that you gave me in sharing the information on how to successfully do this myself. You saved me weeks of trial and error and frustration, so again, thank you.
Boated a number of quality fish
Just wanted to say that I just finished an all day trip with Dave Newman and boated a number of quality fish and had an extremely enjoyable time. So far while I have only fished with Dave and Roy, I must say that the breadth of knowledge of the river, the target species and fishing techniques have been unparalleled and I truly have to say that anything was held back. Your selfless comportment as guides has been exemplary. Each person has on every occasion, done everything in their power, to put myself and my friend on fish. It is for these reasons that I am a returning customer and outspoken and extremely vocal regarding the quality of your services to anyone willing to listen. I can't thank you enough for all the knowledge and help that both of these guides have given to me and Steve. I look forward to more fishing trips in the future.
First Class Guide Service
First let me say thanks for running a first class guide service. I met you and Dave at the '" Friends of Lake Marburg" event this winter and was highly impressed with the Dave's presentation on fishing the lake for Perch. My wife, Linda, and I have been catching Perch on Prettyboy Reservoir quite easily, but the tactics were not very effective on Marburg. I like Dave's boat; it is really quiet and very well setup for this lake. There were several goals I had for this trip: first, I wanted to see what I was doing wrong for the Perch and secondly, I had never caught a Walleye. Using our new line counter rigs (per Dave's recommendations) and some ultralight casting setups, we caught more Perch than I have ever seen. This was a great trip. I learned a lot about this lake, including how to troll it and how to rig for these fish here!
Thanks to both of you,
Thank you card
Thank you so much for guiding us on our fishing trip, we had an awesome time and I learned a lot.
"Mark and I would like to say thank you for the very good and informative fishing trip. We enjoyed our day, and we will be booking with you again in the future."
My Fishing Trip
"Just wanted to say thank you for the extraordinary fishing and guiding service that your company did through Roy Betz. My friend Steve and I had an amazing time. We both learned a lot and caught a number of high quality fish. I was even fortunate enough to catch a citation sized fish. Roy's guiding service was impeccable and I can’t say enough good things. I dearly look forward to using your services again in the future.”
Another Great Trip
Friday's trip was another great one for me and my brother. I only feel moderately bad that I managed to wrangle in that 35 pound cat and my brother, who's birthday present the trip was for, didn't. We both had a great time and he really enjoyed his gift. This has been the third trip with Dave and I really can't ask for anything more from him as a guide. Thanks,
Keep Up The Good Work
"I just wanted to tell you how much fun we had on our fishing trip with Roy. As I am sure he told you we caught 8 fish, but we had a great time. Roy kept adjusting where we were fishing to keep us catching fish. Hervie and I had a blast and we enjoyed it very much. The boat was easy for me to get in and out of with some help from Roy. This will probably not be our last trip with you. My wife and I were thinking about going out for a trip with you in the fall, God willing
Thank you so much and give Roy a raise.
God bless - keep up the good work.”
Such a great experience
"I wanted to thank you guys for such a great experience on Saturday. All of us - my father, brother and I - were very happy with the trip. We caught probably a dozen fish, including a flathead that was nearly 20lbs. Dave showed us a great time, was very knowledgeable and easy to get along with. He demonstrated all the necessary techniques and taught us a lot about the river.
We got lucky that the weather cooperated so nicely (after the week of rain) but Dave knew just where to go when the river was high and also how to avoid the bugs. It was our first time going for catfish and fishing at night, but our guide took care of the details so that it was pure fun. I know we are definitely going to be passing the word about Koinonia and hopefully find an occasion to go out again in the near future."
Dave Was The Perfect Guide
"Hi Rod. You were right...Dave was the perfect guide for us yesterday. Spending 8 quality hours with my brother-in-law Bob and our new friend Dave was a gift from our Lord. Who would have thought that we could catch such quality fish, in such numbers, in high, stained waters! Thank you for bringing us together Rod. We'll be praying for God's blessing on you and your guides as you serve Him by serving others."
An Awesome Time On The River
"What an awesome time we had on the river with Roy! Roy was great - every time we snagged a line there was another rod ready to go and handed over, always trying different lures and plastics, always ready to hit another spot while being the master of un-doing the back lash of all times. It was a pleasure being with him on the river and would without hesitation do it again. And of course there's the River Boat - what an awesome machine. Hole shots, 50 mph plus, watering eyes while skimming across the water - a taste of Bass Masters (?). Who says you need a Bass Tracker with a 300 HP OpiMax?
We appreciate the time you spent scheduling the trip according to weather and river conditions - enjoyed every fish caught and without a doubt this was a memorable and great experience. Just being on the river in the different spots makes one realize just how awesome our God is and the beauty of what He has given to us to enjoy.
Hope to do it again. Was good to see you before we launched.
Will send some of the pictures that we have."
Another Awesome Trip
"Just wanted to say thanks again for another awesome trip. Dave is a great guide who got us on fish and entertained through the whole trip. This was my second trip and I plan on some more in the future."
Wanted to Say Thanks
"Just wanted to say thanks for a great trip last friday, our guide was excellent. I have fished with guides in Texas and Florida and never enjoyed my trip like I did last week dispite the rain. Can't wait to bring my wife up for a trip later this summer. Please keep me posted when the bite is on."
Enjoyment of the Day
"I wanted to thank you for showing both Mark and I a wonderful fishing trip on Saturday. It is not always about the amount of fish caught and is much about the enjoyment of the day. You provided a lot of laughs and despite almost throwing me overboard, the eight hours went by way too fast!!!"
41 Inch Catfish
"Sam and I had a great trip with Dave on Friday. Sam who is 11 caught a 41 inch catfish which was really something. Dave did a fine job and we really enjoyed it."
New Profile Pic
"Thank you so much!!! I used the one with the big fish as a new profile photo on facebook! We appreciate all your help and kindness. We had a great time!"
"Thank you very much for the guided fishing trip on Saturday. My dad and I continue to talk about it and I'm sure we will for many years to come. I honestly can't tell you the last time we had so much fun and laughed together. I greatly appreciate everything you did for us. You truely provide a great service to families such as ours. Thank you and God bless."
"Thanks Rod for taking such good care of my Dad and his brother. They had the best time! I felt very relieved knowing you were looking after them - their very own Guardian Angel."
Patricia A. Bertovic
We do "LOVE THE TUG"
Just a note to thank you for the follow up stuff,
the citation paper work for Jake's smally, and the video you
shot on the April 15th trip.
I can't wait to show Butch Willie the DVD next weekend
when we hookup again. What a great job !!!!
He'll have great memories of our times together when
I'm 'long gone'.
So, thanks again Rod for a class act. And, I'll talk to you soon about a future trip.
We do 'LOVE THE TUG'".
"My dad and I had an awesome time and caught some nice cats. I've attached some photos. Dave was also awesome and my dad and I are already talking about planning something else. I'd like to get into some Wallies at some point so if there is a good time for that, I think we may be game. Thanks again and I've already posted on facebook about my trip."
Thanks For An Enjoyable Weekend
"Just a short note to say 'thanks' for an enjoyable weekend. The weather surely didn't cooperate but we were still able to salvage a decent trip with some nice size fish. There are many days I would like to catch five let alone fifty. If things get jumping up there this winter give us a call. Things do not look so busy that we cannot fit in a day trip.
Thanks again and take care."
River Smallie Fishing
"I'd like to thank you for taking Scott and me out on the river smallie fishing. It was a great day, we learned a lot, and caught a nice bunch of fish. The video idea was especially nice and will add to a great memory. If you get a chance let me know the jig weight, bait and color we used. I keep a record of all that information. I really liked your boat; super comfortable with a well thought out design. It was comforting having it going through the rapids. Plus it kept me from bouncing around. I'll see if my wife can email you the pictures I took. I look forward to fishing with you again in the future. I've got to learn how to "feel" the bottom to catch more fish."
AMAZING Afternoon of Fishing
"I first met Rod about 2 years ago, when I saw him at the Silver Springs Diner having breakfast, and saw his rig setting in the parking lot. I introduced myself, and we discussed his guide service, and I got a brochure. My brother Bill and I had been on numerous guided fishing trips to Raystown Lake, and the thought of a trip on the river locally was of interest.
Time seemed to fly by, and of course thought of a river trip crossed my mind, but never seemed to find the time to call Rod.
Fast forward to early November, 2007. I attended a benefit auction for my nephew Justin Boose, who is in a coma as the results of a car accident, at a Perry County auction house. I saw that Rod had graciously donated a guided fishing trip as one of the auction items, and with a little prompting from me....my wife bought the fishing trip for Bill and me.
I spoke with Rod many times in November, and even early December, trying to find a time that would suit my brother and I, Rod, and of course the weather...to get out on the river. With MY busy schedule, we could not make it work before this month.
We set the date to go out for March 24. Of course, we ALL knew that the river conditions, and weather conditions might not be the best, but we were anxious to get out.
We spoke over the weekend, and then Rod called me on Monday morning. I personally had reservations about going out. The river was high, and pretty muddy, weather forecast to be in mid 40's and chance of a shower. When Rod called in the morning, he said he was planning on going out. He admitted that the river was high, but thought we could get into some "quality fish". He graciously offered that it was OUR decision, and if we wanted to reschedule we could, but that he thought the chances were good enough that he was going out regardless. With that thought, I decided it WAS the day to go out.
We were to meet at 1:30, by noon the sun was shining, temps in high 40's, and the wind was calm. What a perfect day for this time of March for a fishing trip. We should have recognized that this was a good omen of things to come.
Rod arrived right on time, launched the boat, and after a few tips on safety, we were off. Will not tell exact locations we fished, but will say that EVERY spot that we stopped to fish for the first 4 hours of the trip PRODUCED fish.
It took Bill and me about 2 hours to really get the feel of jig fishing, and the "soft" bite that was taking place. In addition to the fish we caught, we probably missed just as many and or did not set the hook hard enough to keep them on the line.
It was an AMAZING afternoon of fishing. Till just before we quit for the day, the SMALLEST bass we boated was 16". Just before we quit, we caught the smallest of the day...ONE 15" bass. All in all, we boated 16 bass (all but one was over 16" in length) and one walleye. This on a COLD March day, river running very dirty (except along west shore)...and we caught fish in the dirty water as well as the clear water.
I must leave the biggest "fish story" for last. By late afternoon, we had traveled upriver to some slack water where Rod thought it was worthwhile to try. After catching 2 "small" (for this day, 16" & 17" was small) bass in this spot, we were all standing in the boat talking and jigging. I felt the slight bite of a bass, and was just ready to set the hook....when the rod was just about taken out of my hands by a bass. After a nice battle, my brother netted what was a "once in a lifetime" (for me at least) 20", 4lb 5oz smallmouth. Of course, Rod caught the fight on tape (which he provided on a DVD today) as well as the netting, and release of the fish.
After lots of laughing, and congratulations on this fine trophy.....we continued back down river for the rest of the day. Rod even took the time to take us back to the spot where we had fished earlier in the day, for a second chance on some fish that we managed to only miss catching earlier in the day before we caught onto the "soft" bite. We caught several fish there again.
I would like everyone to know, that first of all......I really appreciate the fact that Rod takes the time and effort to donate to worthy causes such as my nephew's auction. It takes a special person to give of himself, his time, and his money for such a cause.
Secondly, after this FINE day of fishing, in certainly LESS than desirable conditions...I am convinced that Rod knows the river and knows the fishery.
We can not wait to get back out again on the water. We are smart enough to know that not every day of fishing could produce the QUALITY of fish that we caught on Monday, but we are confident that Rod can give us a great time on the river.
Rod, Thanks again for a great day of fishing!"
Take the Adventure Home To Watch - On Us!
"We wanted to thank you for the fabulous video you sent to us of our recent fishing trip. It is absolutely great and we have had numerous showings to friends and relatives. It is amazing how you multitasked -- operating the camera and using the net. We were so busy having a good time fishing that we didn't even realize that you were filming. As we said then, we enjoyed our trip and you were a wonderful guide. Thanks again for the video -- please let us know the charge for the video.
We also appreciate your keeping us up-to-date with your fishing reports."
The Slaying of the Big Fish
"Here are some pics from the trip. Slayed the big fish!! Numerous 18", Harvey had a 19.75" and I had 2 20"'s. The guide said Harvey could sit back and laugh at me the rest of the day, because no way was I going to beat his hawg. Only took 30 minutes to top that."
A Great Time to Remember
"You're right about the fishing being tough also, we only caught 10 fish with Roy on Saturday, but you know what, Joe and I had a GREAT time !! :) The day flew by; I didn't think Roy would take me seriously when I yelled faster, ha ha :) What a great guy, so much fun, so full of faith and love for the Lord. So helpful and patient with Joe, helping him with his casting, always right there to sort out the crossed lines. Please let Roy know how much we enjoyed that trip, it will be something Joe and I remember. We're already talking about the next one."
"Dear Rod, thank you so very much for your splendid service. My husband had wonderful things to say about his fishing trip and how hard you endeavored to please him and Anthony. He mentioned how very patient you are. The weather was great and the sunset was gorgeous. My husband has wonderful memories of fishing with his grandfather and I wanted to duplicate it. It really didn't matter to either of them whether they caught fish or not ---making a fond memory was the reason for the trip and, with your help, that was achieved.
Thank you so much again for a perfect day and a job very well done."
Happy Returns Fishing the Susquehanna
"Just wanted to once again let you know what a great time my brother-in law and I had with Roy. We've talked about fishing the Susquehanna for years and we were definitely not disappointed! He not only knew the techniques to use but where to fish with great success. Plus we had a lot of fun besides. One very successful trip! Thanks again! We would highly recommend using Roy with Koinonia Guide Service."
Best Day Fishing
"Rod, thanks for the great trip this week. That was the "Best Day" I ever had on the river in over 30 years of fishing the Susquehanna. We had lots of action and a fun time. You are professional, have the best equipment and you're very knowledgeable. I am now planning a trip with you for my dad and brother in law. First class all the way. We'll do it again.
P.S. Thanks for teaching me the polymer knot."
VIPs Catch Fish Near the Capitol
"Thank you for providing such a memorable fishing experience for the group of VIP's you recently helped guide on the Susquehanna River. I remember being a little concerned about taking such a large number of people fishing on the same day, but the organization and planning that you put into this effort was extraordinary - the whole trip went very smoothly.
I was really impressed with how knowledgeable you and the other boat captains were about the structure of the river and the various characteristics that make it the world-class fishery that it is. Most of the people who went fishing with us that day routinely cross the river by car, but I don't think many of them realized just how good the fishing was within sight of the Capitol.
Not only were your guides adept at taking group member to various "honey holes," they genuinely wanted each person to be successful and they worked hard to make it happen. The most important benefit of the trip though was that it gave the participants a chance to escape the everyday pressures life can bring. Do you remember how relaxed everyone was when we got back to the dock?
I want you to know that I got numerous complements about this trip; everyone who went would like to go with you again. As a businessman, I don't think you could have a nicer compliment from your customers than that. Again, many thanks."
Pennsylvania Smallie Fishing
"I was born in Pennsylvania, but had only been in the state to visit relatives and family friends when I was young. I recently drove through the state in November 2004, with my younger son. We both commented on how nice the rivers, streams and lakes looked, along with the countryside. My son was doing an internet search for guide service for smallmouth bass in PA and he came upon Koinonia guide service. We were blessed from the moment we made e-mail contact with Rod. He was very informative and even got us a discount at a local motel, near the boat ramp we launched from. I've never had such a great fishing experience. The weather was great, the boat and fishing equipment was excellent and most importantly Rod Bates, out guide, was superb. Although it was early May, we still had a great fishing day and learned a lot about the mighty Susquehanna River and fishing for smallies. I would highly recommend Rod Bates and Koinonia Guide Service for anyone considering fishing for smallies."
"Rod, just wanted to send you a note to let you know how much Logan and I enjoyed the fishing trip with you yesterday. For Logan it was a big deal to catch those fish and drive the boat. He overcame his fear of going fast which he has had since he was born. I also appreciate your kindness and patience with us being such novices. We look forward to going on other trips with you in the future. Thanks again."
Small Mouth on the End of My Line
"Having lived most of my life within 20 miles of the Susquehanna River, sad to say I had never fished it.
I had only fished waters that eventually ran into the Susquehanna, never the River itself. I had heard many stories and often thought about fishing there, but so much water, so little experience fishing for bass and no boat.
That all changed when I went out with Rod Bates. What a pleasure! Rod loves the River. He is so patient with questions he has probably heard 100's of times and guys like me who get hung up on rocks more often than they should. He simply takes my rod and gives me his so I can keep fishing while he is untangling my snag.
To have a guide as competent and cheerful as Rod and not to have to deal with bad language is great. To actually be on the Susquehanna and see it close up is to realize its beauty. Is there anything more thrilling than having the sun at your back seeing a nice small mouth on the end of your line, its bronze body and bright red gills on display? Treasured memories. Thank you, Rod."
Millie's Success on the Susquehanna
"It was my first time to fly fish for bass on the Susquehanna. Rodney had us close to the bank and pointed to where I should cast - BHAM - I had a fish on! A little too late, I realized my tippet was much too light for the tug I was feeling at the end of my line. Rodney maneuvered his boat through the swift current enabling me to eventually land an 18 3/4, 4 lb. small mouth on 6x tippet. Thank you Rodney, for a memorable and fun day on the river."
"Thanks again for a great trip. This was the best fishing trip I have been on. Doug and Brian really enjoyed fishing with Tony on Sunday. We all enjoyed our time with you and Roy Friday and Saturday. Doug and I are considering March or April (at Tony's suggestion) next year. I want to come up in the spring and fall so we'll see what happens.
Doug and I will definitely be up for the show in February, so don't forget to send me your booth number so we can find you and book something for next year."
Many Happy Returns
"I am writing to thank you for the fishing experiences you have provided for my father, brother and son over the last several years. As a family we have had the pleasure of fishing with you on the Susquehanna and in Alaska. The day on the river with my son is one he will always remember. The day was enjoyable and he is always ready and willing to go. We need to make more time to get together on the river this spring and summer.
While the river trips are always a treat, the trip to Alaska was a lifetime experience. The trip was extremely organized from the arrival to departure. The transportation, accommodations, and organization of the program are what make a trip like this most enjoyable. Everyone on the trip benefits from the years of relationships you have developed in Anchorage and Soldotna. Especially the treatment you get from the fish processor who makes distribution, packaging, and bringing your catch back home a smooth process.
The trip is well run but the highlight is clearly the fishing. The fishing options are just excellent. We had the opportunity to catch Sockeye, Silvers, Kings, Trout, and Halibut all in one week. The 210 pound halibut that I was fortunate to land will be a story to be told around camp fires and on fishing trips for years to come. My brother, father, and I all caught Kings on out first trip. This is unusual and I believe has something to do with the guides you are able to book through your company.
Thanks again and we look forward to more memorable experiences in Alaska and on the Susquehanna this year."
A Fly Fisherman's Delight
"Thanks again for the great couple fishing trips we shared on "The Mighty Susquie." Your knowing the waters, when, where, and how to fish them make our trips a delight for this avid Fly Fisherman.
I was especially impressed with your easiness and always having everything in control, both with the top water dry fly fishing and the wet fishing. I also appreciated your superb professional touch in how to handle the boat in making the fly casting so much more effective and easier.
Thanks also for your kindness in sharing the Koinonia Guide Service Sweatshirt. I wear it much of the time and was even more encouraged when I found that the work "Koinonia" has roots in the Greek-Hebrew Bible meaning "Fellowship"....Wow!"
American Small Mouth Bass Association competition
"I just wanted the write a note of thanks to you for all your help with our fishing initiatives over the past year or so. From the first time that I went on the Susquehanna with you and Will Whitehead, it has been a pleasure to work with you. The small mouth bass I managed to hook that day was easily the largest fish I have ever caught in my life...and thanks very much for sending me the picture as proof!
Thanks, too, for the outing you put together on nine different boats for the Senators, Representatives, and other politicos in regards to the planned American Small Mouth Bass Association competition that we still hope to host in the not too distant future. I think that it's through events like that that we can bring awareness to the sport and help it grow.
It is always a pleasure to work with you guys, and we're already looking forward to next fall's fish fry!"
Many Memorable & Productive Trips
"I would like to thank you for the excellent memories and fun times you've engineered for us on the river. We've had many memorable and productive trips under your guide service and look forward to many more.
I always look forward to spending time on the water with your knowledge of the fish, where to find them and how to catch them. The trips are always first-rate with your spacious and well equipped boat and extensive tackle.
Your service is a great way to spend some quality time with employees, clients, family or friends."
Fishing the North Country
"Thank you again for a wonderful and truly successful trip to Alaska. The consensus among the guys was totally positive. The diversity of the fishing, organization, accommodations and the yield far exceeded our expectations. At this time it appears that the entire group from our past trip will be repeating again this year and will be doubling our number of participants to the full capacity for the lodge to twelve fishermen for five days.
We look forward to adding to the memories of a lifetime."
Some of the Best Fishing in the Country
"I wanted to send you a note to let you know how much my customer and I enjoyed the fishing trip on the Susquehanna River. The fishing conditions were not ideal that day, we had some rain, but the trip was still very enjoyable and we caught a fair amount of fish despite the weather.
The small mouth bass fishing on the Susquehanna River is certainly some of the best in the country. Your knowledge of the river "hot spots" and the equipment you have added to the experience. We appreciate the way you handle the lines when we got hung up and the fact that you always had a line prepared and ready to go. We kept you busy but it really helped to maximize the fishing time, which we greatly appreciated. The drinks and sandwiches you provided were also pretty darn good as well.
My customer still talks about the trip. He has since retired. When he comes back to the Carlisle area to visit we plan to schedule another trip with you. We still have the Koinonia Tee shirts as a reminder for the fun time we had. Thanks again for the great memories on the Susquehanna."
Another Bass Pro Shop Winner
"My name is Jim Goodwin and I was the winner of the guided fishing trip raffle that was held during the Spring Classic. I was very surprised to win the trip and Rod Bates of Koinonia Guide Services was great. I wanted to thank you on behalf of my brother-in-law, who accompanied me, and myself. Bass Pro Shops really came through when we were taken to the store in Harrisburg, by Rod, and were presented with two fishing combos. That was very generous and I was totally shocked that that was actually a part of the overall prize.
Again, thank you for everything. I will continue to be a regular shopper at your store."
Susquehanna Bass Fishing
"I would strongly recommend Rod Bates and Koinonia Guide Services to anyone considering a Bass fishing trip on the Susquehanna River. Rod has provided me with several extremely enjoyable and memorable guided trips. Rod's friendly smile (which is contagious), professional approach, and the fact that he is just a great person, make it easy for me to recommend his services.
I enjoyed another outstanding outdoor experience this past October. I've fished with Rod several times and each trip has been better than the last. He is always prepared form the moment the boat goes in the water until its back on the trailer. He wastes no time; the rods are rigged and you're ready to fish as soon as the boat hits the river.
I have fished with other outfitters and each was good in their own ways, however, I'm most impressed with the extra attention I received during my trips with Koinonia.
I truly appreciate his ability to explain different fishing techniques that prove productive. I consider myself a good fisherman, yet each time we fish together I learn a thing or two. I don't know how he does it, but Rod seems to always put us "on fish." I am impressed with his ability to change fishing tactics to the action flowing. I especially enjoy the way he changes the lures and keeps track of the number of fish caught on each.
Either Rod's really good, or really lucky, or a bit of both. What ever the case, I look forward to my next Bass fishing trip with Koinonia."
Fishing For XL Sizes
"As usual, we had a great time. Pulling that 19.25 incher out of the outlet pipe at TMI made my weekend! Fishing with you guys is always a blast. If the fish heat up this winter give us a call. I am sure we can fit a day (or two) in. Everyone here can use an XL size. There is no shortage of food in downstate Delaware."
A Fishing Trip of Biblical Proportions
"The patience of Job - you needed it when you were unsnarling my tangles and freeing my lures.
The warrior spirit of David - you had it in attacking the fish.
The leadership of Moses - you kept us organized and on track throughout the day.
The forgiveness of Joseph - no matter how many lures were lost, bad casts were misdirected, or fish were lost, we were treated with kindness.
Guiding Jonah to the Whale - well it wasn't a whale, and Iim not Jonah, but you took me to that 3 lb. 3 oz. fish that seemed like a whale.
It was a great trip. What a wonderful experience. I look forward to our next adventure."
Bass Pro Shop Fishing Trip
"President John, I was the high bidder of the Susky trip this year.
When I went to the Bass Pro Shops to meet my host, Brent Kauffman, and pick out my 2 rod and reel combos, little did I think I would have the pick of the store.
Brent helped me select a great graphite flippin stick and Johnny Morris bait caster, plus one other very nice spinning rod and 10 bearing reel. Then they spooled them up for me.
I figure the retail was almost $500.00 and then we went fishing.
Brent was my host and Rod was the guide. Both did a great job in coaching and getting me un-snagged some times. We caught 13 on the day, and the water was nasty, high and very muddy, but we caught fish when the other 2 guide boats had a total of about 5 or 6 on the day.
Please pass this along to Chris and the General Manager at Bass Pro, Harrisburg."
A Great Day of Fishing & Learning
"What a great experience to fish the Susquehanna with Rod Bates and Will Whitehead!!! Being my first experience on the river, I came with the hope that I could learn a little and catch some fish in the process and left that day with having learned more than I can remember and catching more small-mouth in one day than I had ever caught before.
Rod and Will, two great guys to go fishing with and who take every moment to make sure that the day is what you want it to be. They know where to fish and what equipment and techniques to use to find and catch them. I was especially interested in learning more about how to fish lakes in Canada and Will came through with flying colors. Being a real beginner at bass fishing, I was put at ease with my basic questions on how to tie knots, thread a hook, skin a tube along with countless others.
The equipment available was great with a wide selection of rods, reels, lures, tubes and soft plastics. I had heard horror stories about bait casting reels, but with Rod's guidance quickly learned how to set them up to eliminate back lashes while learning. I later went out and bought one.
Aside from a great day of fishing, here's what I appreciated the most. Rod and Will laid out a very basic outline of what types of rods, reels, line and lures I should use to catch bass in Canada including some basic bait color combinations. Now when I go into Bass Pro and approach the seemingly endless rows of fishing equipment, I don't feel over whelmed. I know what to look for and make selections with confidence. It's a great feeling!!!!
Thanks guys for a great day of fishing and learning. I'll be back."
Flat Head Fishing
We probably had the best time fishing last night that we have ever had. IT
WAS GREAT!!!! Even Dave did ok. Ha
Notice that in the pictures the guide caught the smallest fish. Dave
thought you would like that picture.
We told him that you were too cheap to give out hats with Koinonia Guide
Services on it, but he said we had to book at least five trips first. So,
We'll be back - I think. Ha
Dave did a fantastic job and we laughed and picked on each other and had a
great time. The weather was perfect and the fish were cooperating. Please
give anyone that is interested my cell phone number as a reference to call
if they want to check you guys out. Feel free to use any of the pictures
you want and please post a couple on your web site so we can brag to our
What a blessing to have Christian brothers to fish with. Let me know when
the Walleyes start hitting and just count on us coming for a trip.
Thanks and Lord Bless."
Another Great Trip
I would like to thank you and your company for another great day on the river.
We experienced another great day in God's beautiful creation. It was hot,
it was day, it was wet. There was a beautiful mixture. And... Roy was an excellent guide as always. On a day that didn't seem too promising, he took us to places on the Susquehanna river where there were fish... small and large mouth bass, sun fish, and carp. I landed an average of 1 to 2 small or large mouth bass an hour (for an 8 hour day).
I especially want to thank Roy for his excellent guide service; selection of equipment to use, where to be at the right time, and for his quick hands ---
I almost fell over-board; but he caught me before I hit the water.
My friend Richard and I had a great day on the river with Roy. Thanks"
We had a great trip on the Susquehanna river on Monday - July 6th.
I was surprised to see my picture on your internet lineup; but
Roy said it would be there. I didn't think it that worthy.
We had a wonderful day enjoying God's creation; and
Roy was an excellent guide.
The only down-side was that Richard (who made all the plans)
became ill and was unable to make the journey.
Thus... I write ... why? To try and plan another river trip."
Windy, but great
"Just wanted to tell you how much Tom and I enjoyed our trip with you, we really appreciated all the pre scouting and preparation and planning you put into our adventure. It was apparent to me that you had done your homework and it really paid off with a great day of fishing (in spite of 25 mph winds)."
A Bad Day Gone Good
"A special thanks to Rod for the great day of fishing on the Susquehanna. I found Rod's service through the Internet. After many calls and discussions I felt that Rod was the most honest person of those I had talked with. He informed me that maybe I didn't pick the best time to fish the river and offered other options and also suggested a later in the day half day trip as opposed to a non productive full day trip.
As it turned out Rod was right on the money. Although talking with others at the ramp site that had little luck that day we managed to boat 22 smallies, and just for fun Rod threw in a thunderstorm that I won't soon forget. I have been on other guided tours and charters where the guide would have gladly accepted the full day fee and hoped for the best but Rod apparently is well schooled at what he does and is a very honest and fair man. He along with the beauty and resources of the Susquehanna are truly something to thank the Lord for. Thanks again Rod. See you in the fall."
"Hi Rod, Dave,
The DVD is great, we watched it last night and couldn't stop laughing at me and my thumb in that smallie's mouth. The video of the river and the fog was very cool. Thank you very much for sending that video, it will be a real memory for us.
Just to let you know, if he doesn't mind putting up with us again, Joe and I would really like to do an early April trip with Dave again. He is one top fisherman, a lot of fun, we learned a lot from him."
Rainy But Nice
"Rod, Roy and Tony,
Just a short note to say thanks for an enjoyable weekend. The weather
surely didn't cooperate but we were still able to salvage a decent trip with
some nice size fish. There are many days I would like to catch five let
If things get jumping up there this winter give us a call. Things do not look so busy that we cannot fit in a day trip.
Thanks again and take care."
"I would like to thank you for taking Scott and I out on the river smallie fishing. It was a great day, we learned a lot, and caught a nice bunch of fish. The video idea was especially nice and will add to a great memory. If you get a chance let me know the jig weight, bait and color we used. I keep a record of all that information. I really liked your boat; super comfortable with a well thought out design. It was comforting having it going through the rapids. Plus it kept me from bouncing around."
We wanted to thank you for the fabulous video you sent to us of our recent fishing trip. It is absolutely great and we have had numerous showings to friends and relatives. It is amazing how you multitasked -- operating the camera and using the net. We were so busy having a good time fishing that we didn't even realize that you were filming. As we said then, we enjoyed our trip and you were a wonderful guide. Thanks again for the video.We also appreciate your keeping us up-to-date with your fishing reports."
Slayed the big
"We had numerous 18" fish, Harvey had a 19.75" fish and I had 2
20"'s. The guide said Harvey could sit back and laugh
at me the rest of the day because No way was I going
to beat his hawg. Only took 30 minutes to top that.
Great day of fishing."
You're right about the fishing being tough also, we only caught 10 fish with Roy on Saturday, but you know what, Joe and I had a GREAT time !! :)
The day flew by, I didn't think Roy would take me seriously when I yelled faster, ha ha :)
What a great guy, so much fun, so full of faith and love for the Lord.
So helpful and patient with Joe, helping him with his casting, always right there to sort out the crossed lines.
Please let Roy know how much we enjoyed that trip, it will be something Joe and I remember.
We're already talking about the next one."
Great Day Fishing!!!
"We had a great time fishing with Roy yesterday. Roy was instructive, professional, really fun to be with, and most of all he put us on some great fish! Phil has talked about your guide service for some time and I am glad that we were finally able to get out there this fall and we really appreciate you picking the perfect day weather wise. The venison sticks and smoked salmon were great by the way.
If you would, please send any pictures that Roy had taken to me and I'll be sure to get them to Scott. We want to be sure to have a record of those fish. : )
Hopefully we'll be able to get out with you a couple of times next year."
Thanks for the DVD
We wanted to thank you for the DVD of our latest trip with you. We are looking forward to fishing with you next year as we really enjoyed our 3 trips with you this year. You are a great guide and have helped us with your suggestions on how to fish particular bait or tie a particular knot. When we have fishing withdrawal, we will watch this year's DVDs!!
Sounds like you had some pretty good trips last week. A few weeks ago Pat caught an 18" bass at our local lake which is the biggest fish that she has caught there.
Thanks again. Hope to see you at the Sportsmen's show in Feb."
"The first faint glow of morning was just peaking above the trees as Rod Bates (owner of Koinonia Guide Service and fellow Plano Pro Staff member) and I slipped his custom built Snyder Jet Boat into the cold, clear water of the Susquehanna River, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
When the weather man called for heavy overcast for today, Rod and I knew it was going to be a GOOD day. Little did we know HOW good? We only had about four or five hours to squeeze into our busy schedules today, but we figured that was way better than working.
We decided to fish in the immediate area until there was sufficient light to run the river. It has been an extremely dry couple of months and navigating the rocks and ledges was hazardous at best. As we drifted downstream from the boat ramp and almost simultaneously missed a strike on our topwater lures. Rod was tossing a Tiny Torpedo and I was using my old stand by, the Rebel Zell Pop. A couple of cast later and Rod said "Fish on" as he leaned into a scrappy Smallmouth Bass. He barely had the words out of his mouth when another Bronze Bomber unloaded on my Zell Pop. Soon I was posing for a photo with two 16 in. Twins. We continued fishing and boated a few more Smallies on topwater, YUM Craw Papi, Cabin Creek Salty Spiders and tubes.
When the light was sufficient, Rod fired up the 200hp Evinrude Jet and we headed up river at a slow pace. This boat of his never ceases to amaze me. It has a one-half-inch sheet of some type of plastic on the bottom that is not only indestructible, but slick to boot. It's like having a four-wheel-drive boat. It has a tunnel hull and a hydraulic Jack Plate and can maneuver in only inches of water. Get stuck on a rock or ledge? Just goose it and it slides right off. We spent about a half-hour working our way through the rocks and thru spillways, until we reached an area about 2 miles above the ramp, filled with ledges, rocks larger than my house and deeper water holes of 6 to 18 feet deep scattered here and there.
Areas where the current swept between the rocks proved very productive, as did the deeper water pockets, eddies and the push above the rocks and ledges. The topwater bite fell off after high sunrise, as the light increased. The jigs and soft plastics proved to be the winners though. We also tried Spinnerbaits, Salty Sinkin' Worms, Jerkbaits and a few other lures, but always went back to the proven producers.
We called it quits about noon. We were shooting for 50 fish, but fell two fish short of our goal. DARN! Hardly worth getting out of bed for… Unless you count the 6 'HAWGS' I boated, that ranged in size from 18.25 inches, up to 20.5 inches. Check out the photos in my photo archive and give Rod a call, at Koinonia Guide Service, if you wish to experience the BEST River Smallmouth Bass fishing in the nation. You can also check out his bio here at Plano Molding Company's "Pro Staff" page."
We're in the news
"Rod, it was a lot of fun and meant a great deal to both of us. I've received numerous comments about the story so I hope it pays some dividends. (I'm not quite sure why, but Sam took the story back to college with him). Here is a printout from the page proof. Sam and I will definitely go out with you again, but we may be giving you some business, too, since my daughter (who just started teaching) now is talking about it."
A Sincere Thank You
There isn't a time when I ever take for granted my good fortune to work with people like you, Rod, in the field and you, Jim, behind the scenes as it is related to my outdoors writing. Our Friday trip on the Susquehanna River, however, was very special because it was the first time Betty was out to catch fish since 2007.
After undergoing surgery to remove the blockage in the artery in her neck last May, she was not allowed to spend extended periods of time in the sun and over extended her physical activity. As a result, she was not able to take any trips to the St. Lawrence River or even do our annual Lake Ontario trip with friends.
So, in addition to the great photos I was able to take Friday for use with future feature articles, the day was special for me seeing her fight those bass. So, again, thanks to both of you for being among the best I have ever worked with and doing what you do to help people like me promote the outdoors.
One last time, thanks."
A Large Corporate Event
"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your outstanding service during our recent outing. Not only was the fishing outstanding but your equipment and attention to detail was impressive.
As a corporate event, this was the perfect opportunity to spend time with other clients, and for us to show our appreciation for their business. A good time was had by all! I look forward to future trips with Koinonia Guide Service."
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