Monday, July 27, 2009

Dude, Where's My Bobber???

When: Sunday, July 26th, from 6am to 2pm
Where: The Delaware River and Watergate Pond, Warren County and Pennsylvania
What: Fishing with Lures, Herring and Hellgrammites
Weather: Storms passed by the time we started and waited until we were done. Hot and humid.

Pat seems to have caught the "fishing bug," and I couldn't be happier.

We met at the Visitor's Center at the end of Route 80. I had a bucket full of Herring that I had picked up from Musconetcong Bait and Boat, and Pat had some new gear that he needed to break in, a mission that he accomplished.

We didn't have any luck fishing the shoreline on the River, so we decided to take a ride up Old Mine Rd. to the Watergate Pond. It was a decision that would pay off.

Pat was the first to hook-up, landing a nice-sized pickerel on a spinner.

I was next with decent bass on a live herring.

I was in the process of drowning another herring and talking to Pat, when I noticed that my float had disappeared.

I was later reminded of my quote....."Dude, where's my bobber?"

I picked up the rod, set the hook and was convinced that I hooked the snapping turtle that I had seen swimming in the area. When the fish finally showed itself, I apparently had a picture-worthy look on my face.

The Largemouth Bass weighed in at 4.5 lbs., was photographed (several times) and successfully released back into Watergate Pond.

It was a gorgeous fish.

When we made it back to the Visitor Center at 10:30, Pat was headed over to Pennsylvania to fish with his son, and Brian met me with a bag of hellgrammites, ready to fish for some Smallmouth in the Delaware.

Sidenote: Hellgrammites, apparently candy for Smallmouth and Walleye, are the larvae of the Dobson Fly and possibly the nastiest creatures in the animal kingdom, especially when their pincers are attached to your finger, as I would find out later.

We headed over to Pennsylvania as well, and did some wading and shore fishing near Arrowhead Island. I scored one nice Smallie on a hellgrammite, and a smaller one as well. Brian caught a handful of little Smallies and a couple fat bluegill on the fly rod.

I had been up early, so I decided to end the day there, which turned out to be another good decision. I left and the lightning and hail arrived.

This was a great day, and it's always great to catch fish, especially big fish. However, even catching a few fish could not distract me from the fact that this area of New Jersey is stunningly beautiful. Pat and I both mentioned it and I snapped a shot of Brian on the River with Mount Tammany looming in the background.

This was an awesome day!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Hunt For The Jersey Devil

When: Friday, July17-Sunday, July 19th
Where: Wharton State Forest, New Jersey Pinelands, Atlantic County
What: The 2nd Annual Pine Barrens Extravaganza
Weather: The Gods smiled upon us.

Last year, in August, I decided to get a few people together to camp somewhere that I have always wanted to camp........the mythical New Jersey Pine Barrens.

We had a nice handful of people last year, and everyone had a good time.

This year, the number of interested parties doubled, and we once again found ourselves sitting around a campfire on the exact same campsite (and two others) that we spent a weekend just a year earlier.

This was simply a perfect weekend.

We talked, we cooked over a fire, we took a lazy tube-ride down a small tea-stained river and, if it couldn't get any better than that, we split early on Sunday and spent a day on the beach, in Avon, on the Jersey Shore.

I did a fair bit of organizing for this trip, which can be difficult at times, but by Friday evening, when everyone had made it down safely and the fire was burning, it was all well-worth it.

By Sunday evening, as I was taking a "final dip" in the Ocean, I once again became aware of just how blessed I really am. Here I was, ending a beautiful weekend, with a group of the best people I have ever met, who I consider all close friends.

I don't know how many of you reading this know what my life was like two years ago, but if you do, then you probably believe in miracles.

Peace and Love to Lindsay, and everyone else who made it down for this wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mixed Bag

When: Saturday, July 11th, from 5:30am to 10:30am
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Fishing with Live Herring
Weather: Nice. High around 80, partly cloudy, wind 10+ mph by late morning.

I took Dad fishing for his birthday........and I caught all of the fish.

It was a great day though, Dad had a good time and we constantly had fish coming into the boat.

In total, we scored....
(2) Smallmouth Bass
(2) Nice-sized Pickerel
(2) Nice-sized Crappie
(1) Largemouth Bass
(@12) Yellow Perch.

I will decline to comment on how the catch was distributed.

I was unaware that the Knee Deep Club was having a Striper Contest, but I was looking forward to doing some relaxing fishing with my Dad. We set 2 anchors in 20 feet of water in the back of Byram, and immediately started catching fish. Dad had a nice run-off early in the day. It was most likely a Striper, but he failed to hook-up.

The weather was perfect and the lake was calm until the wind picked up and the boat traffic started later in the morning, but we knew that was going to happen, and were ready to head home by then.

I can clearly remember my Dad teaching me how to fish growing up. It was a nice convenience having him tie all the knots, bait all the hooks and take out all of the tangles.

It is an honor and a pleasure to get to return the favor.

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

After Hours

When: Monday, July 6th, from 7pm to 9:30pm
Where: Exchange Place, Jersey City
What: Fishing off the Hyatt Pier with Fresh Bunker
Weather: Nice. Probably low 80's, light breeze. Cooled a bit as the sun went down.

The summer is wonderful for many reasons, one of which being that the sun doesn't go down until well after I get out of work.

Ryan and I have been trying to get out on the pier to try and hook a Striper for the last few months. We finally found the time, but the Striper didn't cooperate.

I picked up fresh Bunker from Akira at TrueWorld on my way home from work, and we were set up and fishing by 7.

One Striper came over the rail while we were there, but it wasn't on the end of one of our lines. It was a beautiful night anyway. The weather was perfect, and you simply cannot get a better view of downtown Manhattan.

Anyway, it gave me some time to catch up with a good friend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Signs Of Improvement

When: Friday, July 3rd, from 5:30am to 9:30am
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Fishing with live Herring
Weather: Not too hot, not too windy, cloudy

Although Lindsay caught this beautiful Walleye, I consider it a personal success.

I took all of the great info that I had been given about this lake, and used it.

We fished just like I had been told, soley with live herring on slip-bobbers, a live-line and a down-rod, and I was able to net this gorgeous fish after Lindsay fought it. It was released back to the lake.

After not getting a bite off the Hopatcong Yacht Club or Henderson Bay, I thought it was going to be a dismal day. However, after setting both anchors again in the back of Byram, we had some action.

I missed a couple bites, but Lindsay caught a couple fish. Seeing this Walleye come into the boat certainly gave me some confidence and I am looking forward to many great catches like this on what is now officially my favorite lake in New Jersey.