Chuck Sorrentino with a beautiful 23-inch Lake Hopatcong walleye.
When: Saturday, April 3rd, from 7am to 6pmWhere: 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.
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 http://www.gotstryper.com/.
The Pintail scores.
After Pat departed, I headed to Lake Hopatcong to fish with Chuck for a couple hours and to help the Knee Deep Club stock trout.
Chuck scored the beautiful walleye you see above before the trout arrived, and after a couple hours we headed back to Dow's.
A host of Knee Club members were there, some with their patio boats, bringing the trout from truck to trough to various ends of the lake. I promise you that at some point that my video skills will improve, but here is short flick of one of the monsters that is now swimming in the depths of Lake Hopatcong.
This day would have been pretty perfect if things had ended right there, but shortly before I left, I landed a 3+pound smallmouth. It was a gorgeous smallie, and aside from a handful on monsters that I have pulled from Lake Onandaga in NY, the largest that I have ever caught.