This year seems to have absorbed my ambition to explore new places in the New Jersey Highlands as deeply as desired, not because I ticked off as many numbers of sites as my imagination had inspired early in the year, but because I feel satisfied with enough and more to come. I'm busy otherwise and manage life well, so to get out as often as I do feels like I'm filling a big canvas. Today, I fished Allamuchy Pond my first time, along with Mike Maxwell, who's never visited this place until today. I did perhaps come here once with my wife in 1996 to hike the trail surrounding the pond, but nothing about the views reminded me of that venture. It's as if we went somewhere else entirely, and just maybe I had Deer Lake confused with this body of water.
Before we trolled hybrids in May this year, Mike fished trout constantly, mostly along the South Branch Raritan, and I kept in constant touch. Lake Hopatcong served as the background for a lot of talk between us, and Mike got me thinking more about guiding people fishing. I know he did, because I brought this subject up today as the two of us talked nonstop, telling him that's what I should do, and he immediately told me that's what he tried to convince me of months ago. But of course, with family responsibilities, it's not as simple as offering services and off we go, which he understands, though the ought is obvious, regardless of how things are. I'd like to do it, but it will be awhile yet if I ever do. Mike's not the only one who's suggested this. It's good advice from another friend also.
Sqaureback canoe launched, we immediately rode outward to see how deep, and I got 26 feet on the graph, flat bottom, before swerving the canoe in toward shore, expecting a weedline as Fred Matero has told me rounds the shoreline. Allamuchy Pond is 50 acres and we pretty much fished all the way around twice, so after one round, we knew this first edge we came upon to fish is the pond's steepest drop, quickly slanting to 20 feet. I caught a bass a little over a pound on my fourth or fifth cast with a spinnerbait, rolling it pretty slow in about eight feet of water. In the middle of the afternoon when we arrived, after effects of the heaviest rain in a long time remained as breezy conditions, and with relatively cool air circulating into the water, I knew spinnerbait time has come. Water temperature is 72 today. (Bass take chase after forage in water meeting the optimal range for their activity.) Water clarity allows about three feet of view, a greenish tint with some micro algae mixed in. Not bad clarity, and some bass fishermen prefer water stained, though I like it as crystal clear as possible (give me the Florida Keys reef). Clear water may mean wary bass, but it's cleaner.
Most of the nine bass total we caught hit my Chompers worm and Mike's Rapala floater in about four feet of water--a weedy flat towards the dam. None of these weighed more than a pound, nor did any of the other bass, besides a single nice fish of not much over two pounds that hit the black spinnerbait along a weedy shoreline of much less slope near the pond's back.