Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ryker Lake Pickerel and Largemouth Bass

Last year, everything was green by now, although it was record warmth days on end. I didn't expect the fishing to be as fast as last year at Ryker Lake about now, but I didn't feel prepared at first to fish persistently. The first time we fished here felt exihilarating, so many pickerel. After 20 minutes or so of feeling lost and taking more pleasure in photography than in fishing, I began to feel the rhythm of fishing a shiner slowly, cast after cast, in four to seven feet of water, a pleasure my son never enjoyed, having given up to let a bobber float with a shiner underneath. 

When you get into fishing, it's hard to stop, even if you're not getting a bump. You seem to become an extension of water flow and it feels good. I described this to my son, sitting nearby, but I think he had little idea of what I experienced right there before him. Flow is about the healthiest thing for you, perhaps, however it's achieved, and the ways to do it number limitless, but all are fairly difficult, at least at first.

As I spoke to Matt, I felt the tugging and weight I knew was a fish. When I set the hook, I thought at first it was a good one, but it was only a small pickerel, 14 or 15 inches. Thirty-acre Ryker Lake in Sussex County is designated a Conservation Bass Lake by Fish & Wildlife, minimum size 15 inches. We return our bass anyhow and so far we've caught only small pickerel and bass here. Perhaps during the summer with weedless plastics in the thick mats we could catch some nice bass in our inflatable, but I find it hard to imagine two and three-pound bass would take such lures like they used to on Lake Musconetcong. If you know otherwise, leave a comment, I'd like to hear about it.



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