Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Exploring New Jersey Highlands Bass Ponds

Checked out a North Jersey pond new to me, about seven acres, tannic, with limited access, but some good shoreline cover. Managed to catch the bass photographed, under a pound. I was hoping this pond would turn out to be yet another loaded with big bass, but I asked too much. I'm sure some big ones lurk, but with what little cover I can cast, don't plan on a return trip.

I fished about half a dozen spots, all of them but one really tight.

I guess if you want to know your region, at least in terms of bass fishing, it's important to get out and eliminate territory. I thought about this as I fished Ramapo Lake on Saturday. Then it seemed as if I've already found such good places to fish, I could stop wandering so much and focus in on really getting to know these few places. For one of them, I would need a kayak or canoe and dolly. So far I've only fished from shore. Lake Hopatcong goes without saying as does Lake Musconetcong, although the persistent weed killing reduces the latter fishery fast. The increased numbers of cormorants alone reduces fish populations. Without the thick weed mass, cormorants increase by the hundreds, since they can swim underwater and get fish, which they just can't do with thick aquatic vegetation. Of course, anoxyic conditions due to water chestnuts are another story.

I'll continue to explore new places. The way I really feel about it, if I had more time, I would hike, photograph scenes, and fish bass, trout, and other species all over the Highlands and Ridge, just because it's there and I want to know. But you make progress slowly, and in the end, a lot is still out there you never saw.

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