Sunday, May 26, 2013

Largemouth Bass Attempt Up in the Mountains

Blue Mountain Lake is deep within Delaware Watergap National Recreation Area, high up in the Ridge elevations. Taking Mine Road all the way in from Interstate 80, we arrived after a pleasant drive on one of the nation's oldest roadways. Blue Mountain Lake can also be accessed from Blairstown, CR 620, I think it is, connecting with Mine Road in Millville, a little historical crossroads, or by NPS 615 from points near U.S. 206, or from the Dingman's Ferry area. It's back in the woods, up in the mountains for sure, and yet we saw about two dozen other people along the man-made lake. This is not a glacial marvel as is Crater Lake, which we visited thereafter, also crowded, for lunch.

With the severe cold front sure to influence fish behavior, I fell for buying a dozen large shiners at the Stanhope Bait & Boat on the way up. And it was cold up above Route 80 at the high elevations, about 60, probably in the 30's last night. I sighted two five-pound bass and two about 3 1/2 pounds swimming side by side in the very clear water. This motivated me to fish hard and lively shiners. But no bass or pickerel--if pickerel are present, as I think they are--gave the shiners any attention but one buck at a nest that only nosed a shiner.

It's a nice place, but sort of has a park feel with the domestic grass along the dam that looks all too conspicuous. Yet, the water quality is excellent and I suppose that if you were up there on a rainy day alone and nailing largemouths, tossing them back, it would feel distant and desolate enough. You have to hike in a good quarter mile. Imagine going up there in the winter and ice fishing. I know of someone who did, that's how I learned about this place. 

Crater Lake

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