Monday, May 31, 2010

Full Moon Fever

A nice largemouth bass taken from a rented canoe.
When:Saturday, May 29th, from 8am to 11am then 3pm to 6pm
Where:Warren and Hunterdon County
What:Shore fishing with Lindsay, Pat and Patrick then canoeing/fishing with Lindsay
Weather:High near 80. Cloudy morning skies parted for a sunny afternoon.
Moon:Day after full.

Some anglers and hunters swear by lunar tables that predict optimal fishing times. Some think they're a bunch of hooey. I've never been able to figure out if there is any truth to fish activity on or around full and new moons and subsequently don't plan my fishing trips around them.

Pat and I made plans to take his son fishing to our favorite water hole a few weeks back and then just last week I noticed we would be fishing on the day after a full moon.
I'm not sure what factors contributed to our success, whether it was the moon, the cloudy skies, our prime fishing locations or the fact that the bass were done spawning. Maybe it was a little of each, but the bottom line is that IT WAS ON!!!!!

Lindsay and I hit Dow's Boat Rentals at around 6am since Musconetcong Bait and Boat didn't give me a warm fuzzy that they were going to still have live herring when we got there. We hopped back on 80 West and met Pat and Patrick near the Water Gap fully intent on getting the little guy some fish.

We did.

Everyone hopped in my truck, we took a short drive and found ourselves fishing by 8am. Lindsay got the day started with a pickerel and Patrick scored some hefty panfish and landed his first largemouth bass.

Pat was on fire as well, landing bass after pickerel after bass on Yamamoto Senkos.

I made my contributions to the fish count as well, and after several fish and some nice pictures, we headed out and the boys headed back East.

Lindsay and I had considered heading to the Marshall's Creek flea market in PA, however, the 6 mile line of traffic heading over the I-80 bridge changed our minds.

So we headed South.

A couple hot dogs, a short drive and some cold espresso later, we found ourselves on a rented canoe in the same place that Chris and I were just a couple weeks ago.

This time Hi-Way Sports had delivered and we had 40 live herring in tow.

It took us only an hour and a half to go through them. The action was as fast and as furious as it's been in awhile. Lindsay and I scored countless largemouth and smallmouth. Two huge perch were added to the total as well as several small panfish on the trip back.

We returned the canoe and celebrated with ice cream in Clinton.

So, getting back to the full moon. This was nothing short of a phenomenal day. We caught a ton of fish, good ones too, and didn't even fish the praised wee hours of the morning or dusk. Was it the location, the weather, the time of year, or was our success rooted in the fact that we were fishing on the day after a full moon?

We may never know.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bull's Island And Big "D" River Guide

Yours truly with a 30-inch Delaware River striped bass.

When:Friday, May 21st through Sunday, May 23rd
Where:Bull's Island Recreation Area, The Delaware River and Tinicum, PA
What:Camping with Lindsay, fishing with Dieter and Lindsay, hiking with Lindsay
Weather:Warm and muggy Friday night, cloudy and cool on Saturday with rain late in the day, cloudy and cool on Sunday.

Lindsay and I both met Big "D" River guide Dieter Scheel at the Oaks outdoors show a few months back. From what Gabriel has told me, pictures I have seen, Youtube videos and a recent cover of the New Jersey Angler, it didn't take much to figure out that as far as fishing on the Delaware River is concerned, Dieter's the man.

He said that we should go fishing some time and I thought that was a great idea.

So here we are at the end of May and I'm looking to get out of town for a weekend. Lindsay and I originally wanted to find a bed and breakfast for a weekend in Lambertville, however, most were already booked and the few that were vacant were absurdly expensive.

So we decided to camp.

Monday, May 17, 2010

River Country

My first "canoe bass."

When:Saturday, May 15th, from 5:30am to 8pm
Where:5:30am to 10:30am-Budd Lake; 11am to 2pm-I'll never tell; 3:30pm to 8pm-South Branch of the Raritan River near Clinton.
What:Fishing from Chris' canoe.
Weather:Warm, high into the 70's. Windy (scary windy on a canoe) on Budd Lake, but calm later in the day on the river.

This was my second time fishing from a canoe and the first time that I was successful at a catching a few fish while doing so.

It was a long day and when all was said and done, Chris walked away with the award for "quantity" and I took home the award for "quality."

That's just the way we like it.

The day started off at 4am, with Chris rolling up to my home in downtown Jersey City with his canoe atop his Jeep. We headed west like we've done so many times before, and once again found ourselves at Musconetcong Bait and Boat in the pitch dark.

With herring in the bucket, we headed further west and pushed off the shore of Budd Lake as the sun was coming up over the horizon. Chris immediately turned his sights to the panfish and I started tossing the biggest baits in my bag in the hopes of enticing one of the resident northern pike.

Chris succeeded, I did not.

After a trip to the further end of the lake put us into the teeth of a 20mph NW wind and made me wonder if I was going to take an early-season swim, we headed off the lake no worse for the wear.

After our less-than-stellar showing on Budd, I decided to show Chris an old haunt that never failed to produce.

It didn't disappoint.
This skinny girl needed a meal after just laying all of her eggs.