Thursday, August 14, 2014

Topwater Bass at Jefferson Lake, Morris County, NJ

Jefferson Lake, Morris County, NJ, new to us, I felt happy when the first bass sucked down my Baby Torpedo. We fished for 20 minutes or so, and the feeling grew ominous as if we might get skunked. Shortly after I released this bass, I caught another about the same size on the Torpedo, which I never changed for anything else. About to switch to a plastic worm when the first bass hit, pulling the plug under with barely a dimple of evidence, I let that notion go.

We marked water as deep as 12 feet, most of the depth in the 10-foot range. We tried another, broader cove. Matt got a hit, unmistakably a bass. We motored over to the big island with the 55-pound thrust Minn Kota. I fished very carefully, very sensitively, imparting all the life I could give the little plug one size larger than the Tiny Torpedo, heavy enough to cast a good distance on 15-pound Power Pro low-diameter braid, but not far as some heavier plugs I thought of using instead. I stuck it out.

I spliced braid to 15-pound fluorocarbon leaders, avoiding barrel swivels more prone to collecting weeds or spooking wary bass. And we kept on fishing into sunset, feeling as if this lake is a real loser. I talked about how the water seemed too turbid, but it really isn't bad, just not strikingly clear the way I like a lake.

Nevertheless, Jefferson didn't let us down. All the way in back of a small cove--a tight space between shore and thick weeds--I hooked another bass about the same size, then boated another a few minutes later. All this time, the inflatable felt comfortable as a bean bag chair. Efficient in getting everything set up, we found it served purpose all round. By comparison, in metal boats or fiberglass canoes, it's all too easy to knock about and spook fish in a large radius.

As dusk fell deeply, I hooked and caught the fifth bass. I fish a topwater persistently and carefully. My son couldn't keep up, but he very much enjoyed this outing. He just didn't cast as accurately. I placed the plug perfectly next to weedlines twice to catch a couple of my bass, and the other fish responded to intentional casting also.

We unloaded everything, emptied the air, and packed up in no time, stopping at Quick Check in Byram, guess it is, bought cashews and almonds and a beef jerky for Matt.


  1. Did you need a boat license permit to fish with an air boat? Thanks

    1. That's a wild question, like this a lot! As far as I know, any boat with a motor of any kind you need to register & pass the safety course for. Even my 12 foot inflatable I had to register, & just to use an electric outboard, had to pass the certificate test. I sometimes hate how we complicate life, but all the this's and that's of modernity make the rewards of going beyond trivia all the more rewarding perhaps.


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