Friday, October 16, 2015

Round Valley Trout Association to Stock More Shiners, & Small Brown Trout

Round Valley Reservoir's herring population vanished in the mid-1990's, possibly because all of the vegetation flooded, when the reservoir initially filled, had decomposed entirely, reducing fertility. To remedy the lack of food source for smaller and often thinner trout, Round Valley Trout Association began stocking shiners from Arkansas in the reservoir three years ago. 486,000 have been released.

More shiners come next year, and along with them, $500.00 worth of small brown trout, 11 to 12 inches long, are slated to be tagged and stocked in addition to trophy trout. This may allow RVTA further insight into trout growth rate, given the added forage availability.

If you fish Round Valley, my advice is to join RVTA. Membership dues cost less than a night at the bar and help keep the reservoir fishing productive. Especially, RVTA is a community among anglers.

Catches have come from shore steadily since I last fished on October 2nd. A neighbor of mine caught a 23-inch rainbow. A couple of RVTA people I know of have caught some rainbows; a 3 1/2-pound brown got weighed at Behr's Bait & Tackle, and Jim Stabile emailed me a jpg of four rainbows recently caught, 15-18 inches.

I look forward to getting out, possibly at the end of the month or early November. For certain, I want to fish at least once in January for lakers from shore with my son. 

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.