Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 234: Off To A Good Start

A nice bass from my first visit to Manasquan Reservoir.
When: Sunday, January 1st, from 3pm to 5pm
Where: Manasquan Reservoir
What: Hiking with Linds....and fishing, of course
Weather: Clear skies, 50 degrees, S winds at 15mph and gusting to 20mph
Barometric Pressure: 29.91in and falling
Moon: Waxing, first quarter
Water Conditions: Partly stained

I have to admit, I was wondering how long it was going to take me to catch a fish in 2012.

The answer: 3 casts.

I slept in on New Year's Day only because I was watching movies with Lindsay until 2am. When I stepped outside in the morning, or early afternoon at that point, it was beautiful out. Linds had originally suggested we go to the gym, but after seeing what a great day it was, we kicked around the idea of taking a hike. She hopped on the NY/NJ Trail Conference website to look for a moderate/easy, 2-hour hike that was not to far from home.

Randomly, she picked the trail around Manasquan Reservoir.

When I heard the name, the musky light-bulb when off in my head. I figured that since I need to spend at least 30 minutes fishing, I may as well do it someplace that has big toothy predators.

We packed some water, the camera, a musky rod, some big baits...and we were off.

I've heard lots about Manasquan Reservoir, but had never been down there. I was pleasantly surprised. The lake is beautiful and has no shortage of primo fish habitat: rip-raps, shallow coves and standing timber. The state has been dumping tiger and true strain muskies in there dating back to the mid-90's, which is always what I like to hear. I can imagine putting a boat on there would be nice, but there is a good amount of shore access along the trail.

After hiking the first 3.4 miles of the 5.1 mile trail, we came to a windswept rip-rap. I was going to wait a little longer to start fishing, but it looked like the perfect place for a big predator to be on the feed.

I was right, kind of.

I started tossing a huge Rapala Subwalk on my stout musky rig and was hooked-up three casts later. This was no musky though. It was, however, a nice chunky bass and a great start to 2012.

This year, by the way, will be one to remember. I'll be getting married to my best friend Lindsay in September and right thereafter hopping on a plane to Belize. If all goes well, I will also be finishing my 365 Days of Fishing this May. I'm going to make a few "fishing resolutions," or goals for that matter, but after an exciting day I think it can wait one more.

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