Friday, December 13, 2013

Clear Sky Trout Fishing Before the next Snow

With clouds earlier in the morning, I thought atmospheric pressure might be falling, ahead of the coming storm, with more clouds coming yet. Instead, the sky became cloudless. Nevertheless, one rainbow about 15 inches was caught on bright orange floating synthetic Berkeley Gulp salmon eggs, not by me, but a guy who rode all the way up from Hamilton almost an hour away. Other Round Valley catches have been made recently, I've gathered, but today and Wednesday I got not a hit.

Conversation by the water was good. We winter trout fishermen at Round Valley may not get much action, but at least often have words to exchange. Matt was very happy about his trout this late in the season. Among other things, he mentioned some trout being caught at Amwell Lake, but Round Valley beats places simply stocked for the winter and without the prospects of anglers catching trout silvered and grown large through years of living in the reservoir's two-story fishery. Matt also said that someone ventured the opinion that the next New Jersey state record largemouth will come from here, and although I think the likelihood is low of anyone's breaking the 10-pound, 14-ounce mark from Menantico Sand Pit Pond, Cumberland County, it may be possible. The 7-pound, two-ounce smallmouth caught here in 1990 is the state record for this species. It's nice to imagine a largemouth over 11 pounds swimming the clear depths, but to be honest, it's easier to imagine when you're there fishing, desiring to catch something. The reservoir's low fertility does make it questionable to me, also. More big bass seem to come from Merrill Creek Reservoir.

I spoke of ice fishing on the horizon, but mentioned that the nerves in my legs are giving me trouble. Unless they improve, I can't handle the stress of doing that this winter. But at least I can put a couple of lines out and wait on trout at Round Valley, reading in my car if no one's around to talk to, making sure to check lines often. Twice the reel was almost spooled, which would have meant the rods and reels would have been pulled right into the depths, or hung up on rocks out of reach, I suppose, if I didn't get to them in a nick of time.

I think next week I'm going to make myself deal with shiners. It's so much easier to use marshmallow and mealworms. Even easier than that to use Power Bait or Gulp eggs. But if a lake trout comes along, it would be good to be prepared. The only time I have actually seen a laker caught from shore was during a rainstorm in February with very heavy winds. But others have been caught, although I wonder under what sort of conditions.