Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 107: Come On Irene Part I: Last Minute Decisions

A healthy bass taken from a quarry pond on a Stanley Wedge spinnerbait.
When: Saturday, August 27th, from 6:30am to 2pm
Where: Budd Lake and a trio of small ponds in Sussex and Hunterdon
What: Bass fishing before the storm
Weather: Cloudy. Eerily cloudy. Light NE winds. High 60's into the low 70's.
Barometric Pressure: Started at 29.91 at 7am and had only fallen to 28.87 by 1pm. Did not quite tank until later in the day.
Moon: Waning. A day before new.
Water Conditions: Budd looked like pea soup, weird. Quarry pond was fairly clear and the Hunterdon school pond had water chestnuts around the edges. Surface temps on Budd ranged from 73 near the beach to almost 76 in the back. Quarry pond was 78

While everyone was making their storms preparations, I was thinking about fishing.

No surprise there.

Originally, I wasn't going to venture too far from home on Saturday, but when I saw the morning was going to be fishable, I changed my mind. I also thought that the approaching storm and new moon could potentially light the fishing on fire, but the barometer didn't start tanking until later in the day when we were on our way home. Nonetheless, a few fish were caught.

After making a couple phone calls, Martalus and I decided on a game plan. He picked me up at 4:30am, and after traveling to his folks' place in Hunterdon County to grab the canoe, we set sail on Budd Lake just before 7am. I hooked the sonar up and immediately started looking for weedbeds where we might fish for pike, but there were none to be found.

As a matter of fact, the conditions of the lake were not good at all. The water looked like pea soup, even though it had been a week since a solid rain. There was a lot of dead vegetation floating around too, making me think weed-killer had recently been put in the lake. Nonetheless, we gave it a shot. We worked the entire perimeter of the lake over the course of a couple hours, only catching the bass you see to the left.

After that it was on to Plan B.

Someone had recently "gifted" me with the location of a little quarry pond near Budd Lake. After I took us on a 45 minute, unnecessary detour, we found the pond. A quarter-mile hike with the canoe later, we set sail again.

This place had more promise, was really beautiful and peaceful and I will undoubtedly be back. The weather started to take a turn while we were there, but I did catch the nice bass you see up top.

After that we made our way back to Hunterdon to drop off the canoe. Chris was looking for a little redemption, so we stopped at a school pond that is filled with stunted bass. To our dismay, however, water chestnuts have taken over the lake and we were not able to score a fish.

By the time we arrived to drop the canoe off, the weather was rolling-in. We did decide to push it just a little further though, and hit one more pond on a neighbor's property that is also filled with stunted bass. I think we hooked fish on our first 10 casts and then left for home.

After taking this video....Dink Bass On A Super Spook Jr.

On the way home, we got hit with a TON of rain, but the effects of Irene weren't quite upon us yet.

It was time to start thinking about how I was going to go fishing in a hurricane............

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