Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lake Hopatcong Report Knee Deep Walleye Contest

(That's my son with his four-and-a-half pounder.)
The Knee Deep Club held the annual fall walleye contest last weekend with 34 entrants, and I would have liked to compete if I could have got out. Not very many walleye made it to the scales, and no big ones, the largest at three-and-a-half pounds, along with a slightly smaller three-and-a-quarter. That's dismaying for fall on the lake, but in my experience, the best walleye fishing begins the third week in October.

Steve Slota and I feel very psyched to get out this coming weekend, and I can't wait to greet subfreezing temperatures Sunday morning before dawn, at least I hope it's that cold. That's what hybrids and walleye seem to want this time of year, all the better if clouds obscure sun with snow flurries suggesting things to come yet, namely ice fishing. With downright cold temperatures, maybe we'll get a big walleye even though it's not the same third weekend my son and I have fished annually for years.

Laurie Murphy at Dow's Boat Rentals also reports a lot of hybrid stripers being caught, these as large as eight pounds, always encouraging and something to look up to, since my biggest as yet is just over five. Perch, crappie, pickerel--these are getting caught also, but as has been the case for many weeks, no mention of largemouth bass, but lots of smallmouths.

A couple of years ago, that third week of October met my intentions with florid largemouth activity, though none of the bass big, and I wouldn't be surprised if Steve and I do catch one or two. While we fish sharp drop-offs for the big fish, we'll fish the shallow side of the anchored boat also.

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