When: Sunday, November 15th, from 6am to 5pm
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Fishing for walleye and hybrids with jigs, the Binsky and herring.
Weather: For the end of November, as good as it gets. High near 65, mostly sunny, with a 5ish mph wind from the N to NW.
There are a lot of fishermen who wouldn't consider 11 hours on the water and 1 fish a success, but I do.
Chuck and I had simply gorgeous weather, I was able to actually sit still for almost a half a day, at peace and completely relaxed, and to boot, I caught my first Hopatcong walleye. I really enjoyed fishing with Chuck, and look forward to doing it again. He's a great fisherman with great passion for the sport, and that is something I truly admire.
At the beginning of the spring, I set two goals (sort of) for my fishing season. I wanted to catch my first walleye from Lake Hopatcong and my first hybrid striped bass, period. I think that there was also something about a musky, but that wasn't all that realistic, yet.
This being the first year that I have even known "how" to fish Lake Hopatcong, I am not embarrassed to say that I had yet to pull a walleye or a hybrid from it. I have been the Captain of the boat when Lindsay landed a beautiful walleye and my dad a small hybrid, but had yet to get mine. I have caught walleye from Black Lake in New York and the Connecticut River in Vermont, but not in New Jersey. I have never caught a hybrid striped bass, but I have a hunch that will change in the next 365 days as well.
I got the walleye though.
You can't expect to catch a lot of fish, or even "a fish" every time that you go out on the water. However, if you have even the slightest clue as to what you're doing, and put your time in, good things are bound to happen, at least every once in awhile.
So, I set two goals in April and accomplished one. Along the way, thanks to my first year as a member of the Knee Deep Club and people like Lou Marcucci, Web Guy, Chris Lido and Chuck Sorrentino, I have obtained an incredible amount of knowledge on how to catch fish in Lake Hopatcong. This information helped my father and I catch some nice trout in May, Lindsay land a gorgeous walleye in June, me catch a walleye in November and a ton of other fish, in just one lake, in one year. This is knowledge that I can use for the rest of my life, and I have a hunch that I will be having even more successful outings on this lake for years to come.
This will most likely wrap up my year on Hopatcong until there is safe ice. When I think of all I have learned and how this lake seems to be thriving, it makes me pretty excited to think of what I'm going to catch next year.
A special thank you to Laurie at Dow's for a wonderful year.