Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 236: Big Chill and Lofty Goals

The moon.
When: Tuesday, January 3rd, from 6pm to 6:30pm
Where: Lake Nomahegan
What: Fishing
Weather: Cold and breezy, fair skies, 23 degrees, NW wind at 22mph and gusting to 35mph
Barometric Pressure: 29.98in and rising
Moon: Waxing, a couple days after the first quarter
Water Conditions: Cold

There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to have to stop home and get properly dressed for tonight's fishing. The thermometer said 23, but I'd be shocked if the wind chill wasn't somewhere in the neighborhood of single digits.

Still, when you're bundled up, it doesn't seem all that bad.

I hit Nomahegan and fished off the bottom in hopes of catching a sunfish, bullhead or even a carp, but not a touch. I'm not sure if I would have even known if I had a bite with the wind blowing the line. No sweat though, this was the first day in 2012 that I haven't caught a fish.

There will be many more.

So, without much of a story to tell, I'm going to ink my goals for 2012. I had probably a half-dozen "unspoken" goals for 2011 that were all met and exceeded, but I'm going to put these in writing to remind myself of what I'm trying to accomplish this year. I'm only putting three, since none of these are easy and could take a nice chunk of time to complete.

So here we go...

1) Catch a northern pike measuring 35 inches or greater from New Jersey waters.
The Skinny: I've caught a 35-inch pike before, but not in New Jersey. I've caught many pike up to 30 inches in New Jersey, but still have yet to pull a trophy from the waters of my home state. I've been having better success catching pike through the ice and have uncovered some good spots on the Passaic River. This is the year I'm hoping to put it all together and catch a memorable northern in NJ.

2) Catch my first REAL tuna.
The Skinny: When I was 13, I was chumming bluefish on the Miss Barnegat Light with my father when I told him I was going up to the bow of the boat to try and jig a tuna off the bottom. He probably thought I was a little foolish, but encouraged me to give it my best. He was admittedly very surprised when I returned 30 minutes later with a skipjack tuna. What I mean by REAL tuna is a tuna over 20-pounds and of the variety yellowfin, bluefin, longfin, bigeye or blackfin. The fish must be over 20 pounds and one of these species. I haven't spent too much time offshore in my life and honestly would rather be on a lake muskie fishing, but with a bachelor party and a tropical honeymoon on the agenda for 2012, I'm hoping this will be the year of the tuna.

3)Catch a flathead catfish from the Delaware or Schuykill River.
The Skinny: My love of catfish is no secret. Years ago, I would have needed to travel hours to catch a flathead catfish. More recently, although they are listed as "invasive species," there are large enough populations of these fish in the Big D and the not-too-far Schuykill to put them within driving distance. I've tried fishing for Delaware flatheads only a couple times over the last few years, but it's time to start digging, Google mapping and finally catching my most favorite fish without having to drive to West Virginia.

Although there is lots of fishing to be done in 2012, this is where I'm going to focus my efforts. I took great pleasure in setting and achieving goals in 2011 and I figured I may as well make it official. If the next 12 months are even half as good as the previous ones, it's going to be a great year.

Once again, a Happy and Healthy New Year to All!!!!!

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