Saturday, September 12, 2015

Kay's Pond in Chester seems too Shallow

My wife and I used to drive past this pond on the way to Hacklebarney State Park before Matt's birth. This summer, we returned to the Black River Gorge in the park for the first time in about 17 years, and as we passed, I judged this pond too shallow to hold bass and probably inaccessible. And then last week I gave my son's New Jersey Lake Survey Fishing Maps Guide a close look, finding that Kay's Pond--this pond--is designated to be loaded with bass.

So today after work, Matt and I came to check the situation out. No sooner than I got home, geared up, and headed out the door with Matt and our black Lab Sadie, rain steadily fell. All day, some clouds obscured the golf courses, and occasional showers fell pretty hard, but quickly disbursed. The rain proved to be a soaker, but we fished persistently, finding that indeed this pond seems way too shallow to hold a healthy bass population, or even many pickerel. According to the Guide the pickerel population is a good one.

Everywhere we cast and looked into its seven acres, we found about two feet of water at most. This is the Black River dammed, so its tannic. But even with the dark tea appeal, we made bottom out clearly everywhere.

"If there were any bass, we'd see them," Matt said.

But a few pad beds stood out in places, more in back. He tied on a heavy, weedless frog he could cast a mile. By then, I was more interested in trying to snatch a few photos without destroying my Nikon by getting it wet. As things went, I might have narrowly avoided blowing a lot of money.

Nothing in the back, we gave up and hiked out. A trail leading down from Cooper Grist Mill that goes through the Gorge and ends up at Kay Environmental Center is so well worn it looks real good, and we had met two hikers--not very friendly, but giving us a grunt--shortly after getting in.

"Let me try a few more casts."

We stopped, but I didn't dare open my camera bag again, covered in a Hefty Sync Sac or the like. The pad bed Matt cast to was so prominent I felt something was going to clock that frog right at the closing bell. On his second cast, it seemed to have been a pickerel by the way the splash erupted in a skitter. A small one.


  1. Replies
    1. Now we're in a drought. It's been overcast all week, some misty rain, but I just finished photographing a creek and it's very low.


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