Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 15: New Jersey's Finest

My friend Bob with a beautiful largemouth bass he caught while showing me the ropes at Split Rock Reservoir.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 14: Hallowed Ground

A panoramic view of a Staten Island landfill from the Veterans Memorial Fishing Pier in Carteret.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 10: O-Fish-ial Business

The smaller of two nice channel cats that I caught on a foggy morning in Hundterdon County.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 9: Swamp Hike

A snapping turtle that we encountered on our hike.
When: Saturday, May 21st, from 10:30am to 3pm.
Where: The Mahlon Dickerson Reservation and Saffins Pond in Morris County
What: Hiking with Janel and Lindsay, and a little fishing.....of course.
Weather: Nice. High in the mid-70's. Cloudy with rain later in the day.
Moon: Waning, 5 days after full.

If you hadn't noticed, it's been raining every day since the middle of March.

Or so it seems.

The three of us had actually done this hike last year, except it was a bit earlier in the season, a lot less green and a lot less WET. Recent rains made the trails more like mud-slides than walking paths, but we kept on keeping on and had ourselves a wonderful time.
Aside from the trail being a bit soggy, there were plenty of pleasant surprises along the way in the way of resident wildlife. We always see our share of snakes, frogs and turtles, but there seemed to be a great many of them today, including a couple that were a little more interesting. We came across a large snapping turtle on the path and found this baby snapper sitting on wooden bridge over a creek. Also somewhat of a rare find and difficult to photograph was this five-lined skink, one of the few species of lizard found in New Jersey.
We also came across a handful of garter snakes and newts as well as a bizarre number of chipmunks. The wildlife made this hike particularly interesting and kept our minds off the fact that we were stomping through mud half the time. We finished the hike in just over 3 hours with stops, and as we were a hundred or so yards from the car.......it started raining. What a surprise.
This wouldn't have been a huge issue, but I planned on getting my 30-minutes of fishing in at Saffins Pond where we started the hike. Seeing as it wasn't SUPPOSED to rain until much later, I did not have my rain gear with me. The ladies were troopers and waited it out though, and altough I came up empty, I got my fishing in at the end of another wonderful day.
Next Up: Going to do some fishing with Lido tomorrow and attend to some special business. More on that on Wednesday.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

365 Days Of Fishing

About two and half years ago, I was sitting at a diner in Jersey City with a friend having a "what do I want to be when I grow up" conversation. I didn't have a good answer, but my friend suggested starting a blog and "catfishonthelake" was born.

Fast forward to 15 minutes ago, and another "what do I want to be when I grow up conversation" with my bride-to-be. Lindsay asked me what I could see myself doing and I told her that I just want to go fishing every single day.

Her reply, "Well why don't you?"

This is why I love her.

Much like I didn't know why I started this blog, I don't really know why I'm going to do what I'm about to do. Both things just seemed like a good idea.

Starting this Saturday, May 14th, I am going to go fishing every single day for the next 365 days. Although I do not think that I am the first person to attempt this, I am fairly confident that I will be the first person to attempt this who lives in the suburbs of New Jersey, that has a full-time and is engaged to be married.

Impossible?

Maybe, we shall see.

I have no idea whether I can accomplish this, but I figure it will be necessary to lay down some ground rules. Here they are.

1)I must fish for a minimum of 30 minutes EVERY SINGLE DAY, no exceptions (illness, bad weather, Christmas).
2)I must fish a body of water everyday that I have not fished in the previous week. Any additional waters fished that day will not discredit me from fishing them in the same week.
3)I must take one photo, with or without a fish, every single day.
4)I must post a blog with the results of every outing.
5)I cannot lose my job.
6)I cannot lose my fiancee.

Here we go.

On Fishing And Baseball

When: Saturday, May 7th, from 7am to 11am
Where: A sentimental Raritan Bay beach
What: Striper fishing with Pat
Weather: Warm, high near 70 with a 10mph west wind.
Moon: Waxing. A few days before the first quarter.
Tide: Incoming. Low at 5:15am.

Two of the reasons why I love Spring and Summer so darn much are the abundance of fishing opportunities and watching baseball. For some reason, the two seem to go hand in hand for me. I clearly remember the time Chris Martalus drained the battery of Brian's car listening to the Phillies' game while he prepared catfish chum. There always seems to be a game on the radio when we're on our way home at night and the Yankees seem to always be in the 3rd inning when I get home on a Saturday afternoon.

Although these two things are like PB&J in my mind, I like to think that there is a little more to it than that. Here is a quote from Fran Vincent, former Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

"Baseball teaches us … how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and precisely because we have failed, we hold in high regard those who fail less often — those who hit safely in one out of three chances and become star players. I also find it fascinating that baseball, alone in sport, considers errors to be part of the game, part of its rigorous truth."

Now, aside from the part about hitting .333, one could substitute the word "fishing" for "baseball" in any part of this quotation. If one expects to catch a fish every time they go out, he or she is destined for disappointment. When Dieter told me that we were set to go a couple weeks ago, I told him that I was looking forward to spending the day on the river and it'd be even better if we caught a fish. When Pat and I made plans for this past Saturday, I was really looking forward to catching up with him and taking a stroll down memory lane in Keansburg.

And no......we did not catch a fish....this time.

But that's all part of the game.

Next Up: It's only Tuesday, but there's some chatter with Martalus and Niles about the Water Gap on Saturday. Spring is full swing....shad, bass, stripers and trout, oh my.