Not that I really think every angler in New Jersey will run to my favorite pond. But that's a nice bass. Bloop, bloop, bloop...caboom! 3/8th-ounce Pop-R, first bass on anything other than Chompers worms, and one on a Culprit twister tail. Had some trouble photographing it in pre-dawn light, but found a camera setting that took a lot of light in, although it's a little fuzzy because of that slow shutter speed. 19 1/2-inches, slightly better than 4 1/2-pounds, this chunky bass leapt two feet over the water after being hooked, and fought a hard, dogged battle with two strong runs against my heavier seven-foot rod and 10-pound test.
Turned out to be a slow morning. Beginning at 5:00 a.m., we fished until almost 8:00, my son and me. The other bass measured 18 1/4-inches and weighed about 3 1/2-pounds. Both bass bigger than any others I've caught here, thanks to morning for the biggest, especially since it dynamited a topwater. We didn't have another hit from a bass, although a trout raced up to check out Matt's retrieved Chompers. We both saw it--swiftly up, swiftly back.
Mama bear raided a garbage can, and just as we came around a corner she hurtled across the beach as the Port-a-Potty guy drove up. We then saw her cub hurry down from a tree at least 150 feet from that can. At the other end another can had been raided.
We hiked Wildcat Mountain, found a den of copperheads, encountered three of them, one of these about three-and-a-half inches thick, really big. Also tried to catch a 4 1/2-foot black racer, saw a smaller racer in a bush that got away quick, water snake, and a tiny ring-necked snake. You would understand that my son wants to become a herpatologist, and he's well on the way to his goal with so many species of snakes he's caught and photographed.
Then we returned to Mount Hope Pond--and swam. Man that water is nice and clean.