Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 184: Hanging With Gabe

Gabe.
When: Saturday, November 12th, from 5am to 5pm
Where: Everywhere
What: Everything
Weather: Temps from the 30's to the 50's, clear skies all day, calm winds in the morning then up to SW 8 with gusts over 20 mid-day
Barometric Pressure: 30.09in and steady all day
Moon: Waning, just over a day after full
Water Conditions: Cold

I was really looking forward to hanging out with Gabe on Saturday. Our original plan was to try and catch a musky in the Susky, but we changed that idea mid-week. As it turned out, the fish were amazingly lock-jawed on Saturday, however that afforded me the opportunity to show Gabe some of my favorite fishing holes.

After a crazy-hectic day on Friday, my alarm went off at 3am and I was on my way to pick Gabe up in Philly at 3:45am. By 5:30, we were headed north to see if we could find some spots on the Big D to fish for the tooty critters.

After an hour or so, we made it to the Delaware and proceeded to look for fishing spots. Luck was not on our side though, and each attempt to fish the river produced a new obstacle. After a couple hours of coming-up empty, we scrapped the plan and headed into New Jersey to try one of my go-to lakes. What followed was one of the most remarkable skunks I've had in my entire life. I'm not going to complain, because spending time with Gabe was worth much more than a few fish, but I was absolutely astonished by the degree of how difficult it was to catch a fish.

Our first stop didn't produce, so we headed down Route 31 and even picked-up some crawlers to make sure that we got a rod bent. We had no idea how tough that was going to be.

I figured we'd stop at a secret hole that I know has massive panfish in it. On the way there we made a pit-stop to a place on Spruce Run Creek that ALWAYS has a few trout and a few smallies in it.

Nothing.

That was okay though, because there was no doubt that my secret spot would produce some fast and furious panfish action.

Wrong again.

This really solidified how bad the fishing was. I had a crawler dangling in the middle of a huddle of two small largemouth and a dozen sunfish and not one of them even moved an inch. It was very apparent that whether it be the cold spell, pressure or clear skies, the fish were just shut down.

A bit down but not out, we headed to another secret hole hoping that the setting sun would turn the fishing on.

Optimism is great in fishing, but it can't make the fish bite.

We gave it another hour or two, fishing right up until dark, but we ended a long day of fishing a half-dozen of my go-to holes without even getting a bite.

Amazing.

But like I said, it wasn't really about catching fish today. And the next time Gabe and I go fishing together, the numbers can only go up.

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