Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 235: Got Bait?

Although a small one, my first carp of 2012 put up a nice fight on the ultra-light.
When: Monday, January 2nd, from 2:30pm to 4pm
Where: A small pond near my home
What: Fishing for pike bait
Weather: Cold and windy, partly cloudy, 41 degrees, W wind 22mph and gusting to almost 30mph
Barometric Pressure: 29.75in and steady
Water Conditions: Low and murky

Another day, another nice surprise.

A friend on the message board that I frequent has gotten my head stirring again about Passaic River pike. I had kind of written off a certain spot awhile back, but I think I'm going to give it another shot on Saturday -- this time with someone who knows the lay of the land. In anticipation of this adventure, I figured why not try to catch a few of those big 'ol wild goldfish in the pond near my home. Most of these goldfish have a brownish color that makes them dead-ringers for baby carp, a favorite foodstuff of Passaic River pike. If I could get a handful of baits, I could keep them alive with my aerator until Saturday and maybe give myself a better chance at scoring a monster.

The theory was fantastic, but I have to admit, I was not optimistic.

As soon as I arrived, I threw a couple handfuls of corn into the small pond. I put a few more kernels on a tiny treble hook and let it sit amongst the "chum" on the bottom. After 20 minutes without a bite, I was fairy certain that I was about to be on my way home. I took a few casts at the other end of the pond, but nothing.

Still having a few more minutes left to fish, I took another cast into the chum spot.

This time, I got bit....

And bit...

And bit...

It seemed my little chum tossing had worked the fish into a bit of a frenzy. Over the next 40 minutes or so, I had more than a dozen bites, putting 6 bronze-colored goldfish, one black/white/orange goldfish and one chub into the bucket. I even landed a small carp. Although the carp was pretty small, it was my first of the year and gave a spirited fight on an ultra-light with 4-pound test.

That one went back into the pond.

With the wind whipping, my hands were absolutely freezing. Plus, having to take fish of the hook, thus getting them wet, didn't make things any easier. It's amazing what the body can endure when you're catching fish and I stuck it out until I was happy with the amount of bait I had.

I do promise to get into my resolutions, or "2012 fishing goals" at some point, but I figure I'll save that for a day when the fishing stinks and I have nothing else to write about. I can tell you that one thing on my short list is to catch a 35+ inch northern pike from New Jersey waters...

Which is why I caught all this big, sexy bait.

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