Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Split Rock Reservoir Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass Attempt

Fished Split Rock Reservoir with my son up along this eastern shoreline photographed, a cove in between, and back on the bluffs and near the dam. We began with eighth-ounce jig heads with five-inch synthetic leeches, switched to Chompers worms, then I tied on the popper to approach a very calm, peaceful sunset. Besides the longear sunfish, I caught a tiny smallmouth bass not much bigger than the lure. The little bass got the entire rear treble in its mouth, but unhooking it without damage was surprisingly easy.

We were a little baffled at our slack catch. I brought my graph recorder and got 27 foot depths about as far out from shore as in the photo above. The depth remained consistent; we found no interesting structure. I've found no topographic map of Split Rock, which would really be helpful. Apparently, bass were deeper than along the shoreline today, and had we spent some time probing depths with jigs near the rock bluffs and along the dam, the catch may have been different.

Also, the western shore must be structurally more interesting, since ridges rise from it, and you can see the rock bluffs that just call out smallmouth bass. We sort of took the lazy approach. When we had just got set up, carrying our inflatable a hundred yards to the "launch," we got smacked with wind and rain, which disoriented our entry
 a bit. It didn't occur to me until we were done that heading directly across the reservoir may have been wise.

Matt was impressed with it. When he first came down to water's edge I sensed his awe when he said, "It's huge." I didn't say it's only 650 acres (as compared to 2685 of Lake Hopatcong). I think the longer he remains young and impressionable, the better.

Rainbow is in upper third of photo.


  1. Hey bud, I plan on making a trip up north to stop by this place. Let me know if you have fished it recently and if there are any additional species other than largemouth, smallmouth, crappies, perch, pickerels and catfish. Was hoping for some trout or some sort of pike :)

    1. No trout or pike. Haven't fished it since then, but have often thought of it. If I ever get back out there, I may think to send you another reply.

  2. thanks Bruce. BTW, the fish and wildlife folks just stocked a handful of hybrids. most of them 5 lbs and 1 8 lbs! Some hatchery had to clear out their tanks/ponds and the ended up there. I hope to get out there soon. Hope to see you around ^_^

    1. Just heard about this a day or two ago. Now--technically-- we have five waters in the state with hybrids, including Culvers Lake (private)....unless you include the Raritan River. How I don't know, but I've heard of one caught in that river. Keep in touch. Bruce


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