Monday, September 28, 2009
Back On The Big Pond
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Fishing with live herring.
Weather: Mid-50's in the morning, then up to the 70's. Wind started off 5-10mph from the west, then shifted and picked up.
Seeing as Labor Day and the boat traffic of summmer was long gone, I decided that it was time to take another boat from Laurie at Dow's and try our luck on the big lake again.
The lake was completely different on this Monday in September than the way I had left it on a Saturday in July. Gone were the jet skis and the power boats, and with their absence came a peace that is magnificent on a lake of this size. There were a few boats, but for the most part, the lake was ours.
We made a beeline for Pinetree Point, at the mouth of Byram Cove, and quickly landed two fat perch. That would be all of the action that we would see for a few hours.
After motoring to a few spots, each time dropping anchors and bait and not getting a bite, we came to rest once more on the north side of Pickerel Point, off the main lake and out of the stiffening wind.
Easier said than done.
I made sure that every hook had a lively herring and started chucking some of the hot new lures that have come my way. Nothing.
As Lindsay awoke from her slumber, the wind shifted and seemed to bring the lake to life a bit. A few of the slips went down and we could see a fish chasing bait on the surface. After a couple failed attempts to hook up, I landed a decent pickerel. By this point, however, we were out of bait and out of time.
Chores and a now hefty wind beckoned us off the lake, and off the lake we went.
When I think of fishing, I don't think of the summer. My desire to be outside, and in particular, to be fishing, was further strengthened by seeing how perfect this lake is in the fall. Beach chairs and water skis have been packed away, the kids are back in school and their parents are back to work. The crowds of boats that kept me off Hopatcong for two months are long gone and it is now wide open for the taking.
I sincerely hope that I have another opportunity to get out there before the lake is lowered and Laurie packs up the boats, if not, it will be my first stop for ice fishing.