Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 148: Start Of Another Esox Weekend?

The pickerel ate an Optimum Baits Baby Line Thru (BLT).
When: Friday, October 7th, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Where: The D & R Canal
What: Fishin'
Weather: 68 degrees, fair skies, calm wind
Baromentric Pressure: 30.43in (high) and steady
Moon: Waxing, 2 days before full Moonrise: 4:11pm
Water Conditions: Stained

Could this be the start of another magical weekend?

I hope so.

For those of you who don't remember, a couple months back I attempted to score all three main species of Esox in a single weekend. So, as I was working today, I was all too aware that I was going musky fishing with Martalus tomorrow and pike fishing with Pat on Sunday.

Pickerel anyone?

I had a few late-day stops in South Plainfield, and what better place to look for a pickerel in these parts than the D & R canal. Since it's on my home, it was a no-brainer.

It's been awhile since I fished the canal for anything but catfish, not including a short musky trip, so I was unsure if the fishing was the same as it was when I was in college. I was hoping the fish were biting.

And they were. Early and often.

One thing of note is that I was "challenged" the last time to complete this hat-trick again with all "legal" fish. That would mean a 15-inch pickerel, a 24-inch pike and a 36-inch musky or tiger musky. MUCH easier said than done. Although this feat would still have to undergo some incredible luck, and although the pickerel shown above may fall just shy of the required length, there was one pickerel today that was no doubt of legal size.

So at least I have a chance.

For the record, the fishing today was "en fuego." After two nicer-sized pickerel that I caught in a small creek that dumps into the Millstone, I walked up to the canal and proceeded to put a smackdown on more pickerel, largemouth, smallmouth, yellow perch and probably the biggest crappie I have ever caught. It was some of the best action I've had all year. Also worth noting was the sky-high barometric pressure. A lot of online research will tell you that fishing stinks when the pressure is high and more research might tell you that if it stays steady for days the fish become active. My thoughts are that unless you take the time to apply these theories to actual fishing situations and see the results, you'll never get a clear picture that you can be confident in.

So, seeing the fair skies, the high barometer and simply knocking 'em dead today was a great learning experience.

And a ton of fun as well.

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