Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Bloody Mess

Running to put the rod in the sand spike after casting a clam off the Long Branch surf.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time On The Water

Chuck with a nice hybrid striped bass taken at the end of a long day on Lake Hopatcong.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


NOT a trout.
When: Opening Day of Trout Season, Saturday April 10th, from 7am to 11am
What: Catfishing
Weather: A bit chilly, in the 40's and breezy, 15+ from the NW

Today was opening day of trout season, and in honor of this sacred day for New Jersey sportsmen........I went catfishing.

For as long as I can remember, I have never been trout fishing on the first day of the season. Part of this is probably due to my minimal success catching them in my earlier years and a larger part is more likely due to my loathing of crowded fishing holes.

Although it is ritual and tradition for a large number of New Jersey anglers to "go out and catch some trout" on this blessed day, my idea of fishing is not standing elbow to elbow on a shoreline or crowding in a deep pool to throw lures at fish that were just thrown in there a few days prior. Now don't get me wrong, there may be spots that are less crowded and there is always the option of one of Laurie's boats, but the fact of the matter is that although this day is important to many, many people, it's not for me.

That being said, I try to fish Opening Day somewhere that is without trout and therefore, without people..

Which is what we did.

Chris and I both love catching catfish, and we knew just the place that we would kick off our season fishing together. We were up early and our lines were in the water early, which probably made all of the difference. Chris quickly caught the channel cat you see above, and after assuring myself that this would be another slow day for me, Chris watched me catch the next seven. The bites were one right after another from sun-up until about 8:30, then they stopped and stopped for good.

Once we realized there were no more fish to be had, we packed our gear and made the short trip back to Jersey City.

I can't quite recall if I wrote this is any of my earlier posts, but after learning so much in the last two years and acquiring some really incredible gear, I predicted this fishing year would eclipse all others by a mile.

With a 25-inch pike on New Year's Day, a 3-1/2 lb. largemouth, a 70 fish day and Frankenperch through the ice, a 3 plus pound smallmouth on Lake Hopatcong and now a 7-lb. channel catfish all before the middle of April, I'd say I'm well on my way.

A First Time For Everything

This here largemouth hit this here Yum Dinger an hour before the KDC meeting.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An All-Day Affair

Chuck Sorrentino with a beautiful 23-inch Lake Hopatcong walleye.  
When: Saturday, April 3rd, from 7am to 6pm
Where: A pond that shall remain nameless and Lake Hopatcong
What: Fishing with Pat, then Chuck and helping the Knee Deep Club stock trout into Lake Hopatcong
Weather: Beautiful. High well into the 70's, breezy with a 12+mph wind from the SE

I have to apologize for not disclosing where Pat and I were fishing. Some anglers go to great lengths to conceal their spots, times they fish, what they use and so on. I, on the other hand, don't mind much telling people where they might catch a few fish, however, after the second time that we found ourselves utterly alone on a beautiful day on a pristine gem of a lake with tons of shore access...................I decided to keep it to ourselves.

Sorry guys.

That being said, although I know this lake is loaded with big fish, they didn't feel much like biting. I know the bass are in pre-spawn and I pulled out every tactic I had in my bag to no avail.

Luckily, this time, I had one more trick that I have never had before.

While working a few fishing shows this year, I met a Captain Alan Hastbacka of Got Stryper Charters. Captain Alan produces his own soft-plastic baits, the Pintail, and although he uses them for everything from stripers to makos, I was sure the smaller 7-inch Pintail would make a superb freshwater bait.

I was right.

After not getting a bite on every lure in my box, I started dragging fresh green weeds that were too far from the shore to reach with anything lighter than a lipless crankbait. However, I couldn't keep the crankbait high enough over the bed to not get hung up. I needed something heavy, and weedless.

Enter the Pintail.

I cut two inches off the 7-inch Pintail and stuck a 3/0 Gamakatsu Wide Gap worm hook through it..................and it was on.

For more info about the Pintail, please check out the April issue of The New Jersey Angler Magazine or
The Pintail scores.