Sunday, March 27, 2011

Welcome to my Blog

An angler always finds a way. Litton's Fishing Lines would be a blog mostly, but not only, about New Jersey fishing. I can't imagine all I may touch upon, but aesthetics will always be a concern. I expect my writing style will be more flourished, involved, and impromptu than that of my other pieces revised over time, and published in print or online media.   

Since fishing is for me a recreation that creates life anew, my writing may at times take philosophical turn, not only because fishing warrants such thought, but because philosophy has been a passion of mine since my teens. Above all, I find thought relevant to life on earth, and fishing to be one of the best engagements of body and senses--without restoration, renewal, and recreation, mind becomes its own trap.

That said, I think most of you will come to this blog for information rather than enlightenment. For a given pursuit, such as fishing, to go without specifics would make philosophy a pie in the sky, and fishing quite unproductive. I promise you that in this blog I will strive to meet the best practical standards of my other published work, and go beyond what I can do that way by zooming in on issues as they arise on a more timely basis.

Yesterday I fished Spruce Run with my son Matt, his friend Tom Slota, and Tom's father, Steve. Colder than expected, by sunset ice formed in my tip and upper guides as I live lined shiners for pike. My son caught a brown trout, quickly released, on a medium shiner, a slow four hours otherwise.           

We have edged our way into comfort with light tackle for northerns, even the same size 6, plain shank Eagle Claw hook I always used to live line pickerel. Some advice works from one side, some from another. In 2005 I had met someone who caught plenty of pike in Spruce Run this time of year--and a 40 incher is a great fish--with medium-heavy rods and live lining reels using live trout bought from the Musky Fish Hatchery for bait. So until my inclination began to change in 2009, I used 7 and 8 foot spinning rods with 15 pound test as if I might hook a pike over 20 pounds. I've learned that few Spruce Run pike grow over 10 pounds, and most caught average closer to 4; it's also clear to me now that larger pike don't fight very hard. When brought boatside or near the bank, a big pike will often take a single, searing run, fast as lightning, but besides this, they lumber in.         

Of course, it might be possible that a few really big pike over 20 pounds exist in Spruce Run, Herb Hepler's 1977 State Record from Spruce Run weighed over 30. But take a lesson from the recent State Record from Pompton Lakes. I think 4 ounces larger than the former, it gave bass tackle a work out, I'm sure, but the giant was landed--from shore--on such light tackle.