My brother Rick's a true Republican and yet idealist. Occurs to me tonight why. Some years ago now, I can't remember if 2011, but fairly certain then at Thanksgiving or Christmas, he remarked that New Jersey freshwater fishing offers really slim hopes. Obviously, he has an ideal in mind, and he has fished out-of-state. The Green River in Utah, for one example.
Bloomin' onion that I am, I countered his opinion, saying something about New Jersey's freshwater offering flourishing fishing now and in the future. Both of our opinions judgments, the attitudes are relative to the facts. It's more about how the quantity gets colored, than just counting, measuring, and weighing the flesh.
Ever since I posted about pike the other day, I've had hopes that post would rank online on the national level. Some of my posts have--very well--such as "Catching Smallmouth Bass in Streams and Small Rivers" and another on salmon eggs and trout. Yes, trout get stocked nationwide. So....I began to compare that little 31-inch pike photographed in the recent post to video and photo accounts of numerous pike five and six times heavier caught on single outings elsewhere in this country and Canada. Besides, any one of us might fish numerous outings for five or six years...to catch one 31-inch pike in our state. I know. Go on NJ Fishing.com and you can see a lot of 36-inchers, some bigger. And my son and I have done a little better than I've exemplified of "anyone." But NJ. Fishing.com suggests that there are guys who really have it knocked. But not like Manitoba.
This is New Jersey. And if you live here, well, that's that. You're not living somewhere else. Maybe you can go on vacation and meet with higher ideals, but here's an example of what once happened in accord with what I said in response to my brother.
We went to Maine. We fished smallmouth bass all week. We did OK. But I've had the dream of a five-pounder for years. Naturally, hopes peaked. Matt did hook one we think was at least four, judging the steady freight of its run, hook pulling free. The biggest--about two-and-a-half. But at least we caught maybe half a dozen nearly that.
We came home. Had another day off work. We ride up north and fish a crick. In one afternoon, we caught and released about a dozen-and-a-half smallmouths, some of these over a pound, but two of them--way over that weight. One of mine, nearly 20 inches long, weighed over four pounds. Next spot down the road, Matt caught one that weighed at least three-and-a-half.
We laughed like dogs. Hours before, we're up in Maine for the ideal fishing. We come back to Jersey, fish a crick, and beat Maine by a long shot.