For many years, reading the Freshwater Report of The Fisherman magazine, I've come upon references to winter walleye caught at Dingman's Ferry, those winters when the river didn't freeze over, or during periods of open water. I've held the desire to try for winter walleye for years, having caught a number of small walleye a couple of times in December at Bull's Island from my 12-foot boat as a teen, with a younger brother. Early spring not excluded, the water is very cold, but walleye happen. The river changes with the seasons and conditions, and I like familiarizing myself with differences.
So when Joshua Bunkers, blogger at www.sussexcountyfisherman.blogspot.com , messaged me yesterday, I was just minutes away from a fast affirmation of the invitation to try Dingman's. The idea of meeting up to fish with someone new on a mild, early spring afternoon felt rejuvenating, and at least when the wind would subside out there, we stood and sat unmistakably on the better side of the season.
The clouds broke up, the sun came out, Sussex County fields and ridges on our return ride glowed with the awakening presence we all expect this time of year. We had fished jigs tipped with shiners, and I also worked a Rat-L-Trap slowly, right at the bottom, 10-25 feet or so deep, finally losing it to a snag, surprised I got as much use from it as I did.