No sooner had I begun fishing Surprise Lake for the first time, I came upon another angler.
"Catch any?" I said.
"Not yet," he whipped out a cast. I watched as the surface erupted on the weedless frog and he battled a 23-inch pickerel.
So Surprise Lake it is.
This salad-like scene is the narrow, 25-acre lake in Watchung Reservation, Union County. If you put it on your plate, you might have very healthy results, but I wouldn't want to try lily pad and the stringy weeds that attached to my inset-hook Chompers in my stomach.
I reeled the worm right over weed mats and while a couple of small pickerel threw their bodies against it, I really didn't get a hit. I don't mean to discourage. This lake has some fish in it. I had only about 40 minutes to fish and must have walked only half the pond's length. The angler I spoke to told me the other end has more open water, but the bite is on the end we fished. Nonetheless, I would have been interested in plumbing slightly deeper, open water with the worm.
Spotted a female wood duck and heard its call. Haven't seen one of these in awhile.