Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 141: Putting In My Time

Morning view from the dock at Dow's Boat Rentals.
When: Friday, September 30th, from 7am to 3pm
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Musky fishing
Weather: Partly Sunny to overcast, 54 degrees in the morning then warmed to 71, SW winds 5 to 10 and gusty at times
Barometric Pressure: 29.73 to 29.68in, fairly low and steady
Moon: Waxing, 4 days after new
Water Conditions: 67 degrees, slightly stained

To most people, this would have been excruciating. Actually, to most fishermen this would have been excrucriating. To me....it was a thrilling hunt, even if I was not successful at finding my quarry.

This time.

Today I spent 8 hours fishing on Lake Hopatcong without getting a bite. And I loved every minute of it.

When fishing for musky, most of the time you're really only looking for that one bite. So although I didn't catch any fish today, I really only fell one fish shy of my goal. Remembering that you're one bite away from success is a necessary mentality. After 5 or 6 or 7 hours without as much as seeing a fish, the best way to keep going is to keep in mind that the entire day can turn around in a heartbeat.
To me, that makes this type of fishing phenomenally exciting.

It was an absolutely perfect early fall day on the big lake. I started it off with the obligatory right-hand turn onto Nolan's Point Road and shortly thereafter shoved-off the dock at Dow's in a rented skiff. From there, it was 8 non-stop hours of casting and trolling bucktails, Suick Thrillers, Suick Nitewalkers, Drifter Jakes, Believers, Docs, Burts and Grandmas. Every time my arm got sore from casting, I fired up the motor and trolled the weed edge. Every time I came to good-looking water, I killed the engine and began casting again.

This is my meditation.

So, I put in a long day without so much as a bite. I consider it a huge success. Even the best musky fishermen on the best musky waters don't catch a fish every time they go out, or every other time. It's not rare to go weeks without a fish.

The way I see it, the first two times I've been musky fishing in open water this year (aside from the thunderstorm day) I have hooked two fish. Even though one was only 24-inches and the other got off the hook, I guess I was due and still am due for some uneventful hours on the water.

All part of putting in my time.

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