Thursday, June 18, 2009

Learning The Big Lake

When: Tuesday, June 16th, from 5am until 1pm
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Fishing with live Herring and lures
Weather: Somewhat cool, High prob in the 60's, wind 5-10 mph from the NE

One day I'm going to get better at catching fish on this lake, and I think it's going to be soon.

I don't think that I've ever had a "bad" day fishing on Lake Hopatcong, but there is definitely room for me to catch some more fish. This lake is huge, and the only way to be successful at fishing a lake this big is to put in your time and if possible, get help from a few locals.

I rented a boat from Laurie at Dow's again and was fishing the back of Henderson Cove by 5:30 in the morning. The night before, I learned via email from a friendly Knee Deep Club Member some good places to try and find some fish. It wasn't until my day was done and I bumped into him at the dock that I was able to learn "how" to fish.

I've been picking up bits and pieces of information from the Club's Website and from talking to Laurie. After spending 10 minutes on the dock with a seasoned pro, I think that I've finally got everything that I need to fish Lake Hopatcong in the summer.

I did manage to catch a few small fish on lures in the shallow water of Henderson Cove. I later learned that I would have been better off anchored up in deeper water, suspending live bait and leaving the lures in my bag.

All in all, it was a incredible day. The weather was nice, the lake was empty and I was far away from my desk. I did manage to catch a few fish, and learning how to catch more and being out on the water is what I love about fishing.

Next time, however, I think that I'll do a bit better.

Thanks Lou!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009


When: Saturday, June 13th, from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Where: Darlington County Park, near Mahwah, Bergen County
What: Volunteering at a Fishing Day for the Disabled
Weather: High prob about 70, cloudy, periods of Rain

What a wonderful day to be a part of.
This event is put together by the Bergen County Bassmasters. My mother got involved through a relative last year. I could not make it because of work last year, but was thoroughly looking forward to it this year.

Lindsay and I met my family at Darlington around 9:30. I immediately started setting up fishing rods for the folks who were going to be fishing that day.

We baited hooks, tied knots and kept some good company for the time that we were there. Lindsay befriended Joe, who is a Yankee fan, and we managed to help him catch a fish.

I spent some time with Richard, who I quickly learned is quite the fisherman. With a little help, he caught 3 fish of his own.
This was one of the best things that I have ever been priviledged to be a part of and I will hopefully be able to help out for years to come.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day At The Gap

When: Saturday, June 6th, from 7:15am until after Midnight
Where: Worthington State Forest and The Delaware River, Warren County
What: Hiking in Worthington State Forest and Fishing the Delaware River
Weather: Nice, not higher than 80, not lower than 60
We picked a perfect day to be outside, and that's where I spent every minute of it.

We met Lindsay's Dad at the Dunnefield Parking Area just after 7am. We were the first cars in the lot and we're quickly headed up to Mount Tammany.

We took this hike a year ago, sans Dad, and have been hooked ever since. Our route entailed (from Dunnefield) taking the Red Dot Trail to the top of Mount Tammany, the Blue Dot Trail down from Mount Tammany, which meets with the Green Dot (Dunnefield Hollow) Trail which goes up to Sunfish Pond, where we met up with the White Dot Appalachian Trail (THE Appalachian Trail) which took us back to the Dunnefield Parking Area. Phew!!! It's almost exactly 12 miles and took us a little over 7 hours, including time for lunch and pictures.

The first part of this hike is a ball breaker. I believe that it's one of the tougher trails in New Jersey. The reason for this is that it climbs over 1,200 feet in just 1.5 miles, so it's a lot of uphill with a touch of rock scrambling. Once atop Tammany, however, the remaining 10+ miles were not as strenuous.

The hike up to Sunfish Pond is beautiful, and follows Dunnefield Creek, a wild-trout stream, for much of the way up. Last year we came across Black Bear, Deer and a Timber Rattlesnake on this hike, but this time only the deer made an appearance.

We had lunch on the shore of Sunfish Pond amidst a swarm of horseflies and headed back down the Appalachian Trail.

Along the way down, Dad got some other opinions for our hot debate regarding the benefits of hiking poles. A couple of the hikers he queried had gotten on the trail in Georgia, therefore making them credible sources.

The jury is still out for me.

The twins and I had planned to meet at the Dunnefield Parking Area at 3:30 for some fishing. They were running late, so Lindsay and I spent a couple hours on the shore of the Delaware where I managed to catch a couple of eels and she managed a couple photographs.

When the twins arrived, we I set out to catch some catfish.
That didn't pan out so well.

Brian and I attempted to wade the Mighty Delaware for some Smallmouth, but the previous days' rain had the river running. I caught a Rock Bass and then we went catfishing.

We spent several hours fishing for Catfish. We had lots of bites, Brian had an eel and a Rock Bass and Chris caught the one nice Catfish pictured above.

It was a long, long day out in Warren County. I got back to Jersey City around 2am after having left to go hiking that morning at 6am.
Every minute was worth it.