A night-time Lake Hopatcong walleye.
Steve with a nice hybrid striped bass.
Steve with a nice walleye.
When: Saturday, June 18th at 11pm to Sunday, June 19th (Day 38) at 5am
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Night fishing for hybrid striped bass and walleye
Weather: Nice. Got down into the high 60's. Clear skies and not much wind.
Moon: Waning, but still a nice chunk of moon. Only a few days after full.
Water Conditions: Couldn't see too well in the dark. There was some grass on the surface, some chop from passing boats and I think I saw a suface temp of 73-degrees on the sonar.
So, was night-fishing on Lake Hopatcong everything that everyone makes it out to be?
Without a doubt.
I met Steve at his place around 9:30 pm and shortly thereafter we hopped in his truck for Hopatcong with his Ranger in tow.
After launching the boat right around 11, Steve took me to the spot and we started fishing. Like I had said, I've been fishing on Hopatcong plenty of times, but night fishing is fairly new to me. I'm used to working topwater baits by being able to watch them and not hear them. There was definitely an adjustment period during which Steve boated 4 fish, but as I got more comfortable, I started to catch a few.
As promised, after only 30 minutes or so of fishing, we started hearing the herring flipping on the surface. Shortly thereafter, it sounded like someone was throwing bricks in the water as walleye and hybrid stripers starting whaling on the baitfish. It's something that I've heard about many times, but it was the first time that I got to experience it for myself.
We fished right up until the sun came up, and although it wasn't crazy-fast action like Steve said it can be, we had a steady pick of fish. The weather was perfect, the lake was calm (except for some early boat traffic) and I learned a lot from Steve. Getting out on Hopatcong after dark is something that I've wanted to do for some time, but since I don't have my own boat, it was going to take some help from a generous friend.
Note: Steve Carey is the owner of Fish Sense Lures Inc. and creator of an incredible blade bait known as "The Binksy." The Binksy's popularity in New Jersey has exploded over the past couple of years and is starting to gain nationwide exposure as well. Top dealers such as Tacklwarehouse in California have recognized The Binsky's ability to catch everything from largemouth to lake trout, and I'm sure that it's catching fish wherever you may live. You can find the The Binsky at select shops and dealers, or you can learn more about it and order directly from Fish Sense at www.fishsenselures.com/.