The "tranquil" Passaic River, well upstream of its confluence with the Pompton.When: Saturday, April 2nd, from 10am to 2pm
Where: The Passaic River
What: Trying to find northern pike with Martalus in his canoe
Weather: Morning low of 39-degrees, warmed up into the 50's, 15mph NW wind
Moon: Day of the New
Fishing unfamiliar water can often be challenging, which is exactly what Chris and I were faced with today. To further complicate matters, Spring has not yet arrived and a Nor' Easter brushed New Jersey just yesterday. Although we had hopes of hooking into a Passaic River pike today, the bigger story was simply trying to figure out where to find them. I think that we may have succeeded on that front, but it remains to be seen.
Until recently, I had called it quits on trying to find a place to fish the Passaic River. The Passaic that I had come to know is a big, gnarly river that flows through tough neighborhoods in Paterson and crowded residential communities in Little Falls, Wayne and Garfield. It seems that the access points in these areas are well-guarded local secrets, unless one is brave enough to fish behind Kennedy High-School.
I am not.
In the past, I failed in my attempt at finding a way down to the Dundee Dam, got repeatedly snagged in Elmwood Park and spent hours driving around Passaic County trying to find a way down to the river.
I had given-up.
Then, just a couple months ago, I read something online that gave me a completely different perception of the Passaic River. What a lot of people don't know is that the wide, highly-polluted river that flows through downtown Newark has its source in the heart of Morris County, where it is designated as a native trout stream. As it snakes its way through Northern New Jersey, it provides plenty of peaceful scenery before it opens-up at its confluence with the Pompton River at Two Bridges.
Now, although I knew of the decent pike fishing downstream from Two Bridges, I was not sure how good the fishing was in this calmer stretch of water. After checking-in with a few friends, the answer was clear.
This is where it's at.
Today was the trial run.
We would have liked to have caught something, however I was incredibly satisfied to have found a great stretch of water on the Passaic to fish for northern pike. I did hook-up once with what was probably a decent northern or a chunky smallmouth, but it must have been hooked lightly and came loose after a few solid tugs.
Oh well, we'll be back.
Next Up: Hiking with Lindsay tomorrow, followed by pike fishing next Saturday (Opening Day of Trout Season)........on the Passaic.