Laurie Murphy reports from Dows Boat Rentals that a lot of smallmouths 1 1/2-two pounds recently have been caught from Lake Hopatcong, including a three-pound, four-ounce bronzeback weighed in at the shop.
Here it is August, and this past week walleye and hybrid stripers still got caught on surface plugs after midnight. Maybe this is a new trend. The weather's been plenty hot, so maybe these fish have been vulnerable at night all along, I don't know. An eight-pound, four-ounce walleye got weighed in, though most--in the three to five pound range--get released.
Laurie also reports panfish on small jigs and pickerel with live baitfish or spinners along the weedlines. Don't discount pickerel if you can help it; at least, this is my advice. They're a fierce gamefish worthy of respect and Hopatcong is legendary for them.
Knee Deep Club's Catfish Contest will be held August 15th beginning at 6 a.m., ending Sunday, August 16th at noon. Anyone who wants to fish in the many contests is welcome; membership is not expensive. If you have no boat, you can rent, so long as you procure a boater safety certificate.