Thursday, April 6, 2017

Casting it Off on a Nice Day: Bass Pond Tour

Much needed break from burdensome responsibilities. Fred Matero and I arrived at Sunrise Lake in Washington Township I guess about 4:45, intending to fish it quickly if nothing doing. Fred has fished it before. "It gets hit hard." I began fishing there in 1995, and my son remarked late last summer that it's his favorite place. I took him there to fish when he was two; his very first fishing he doesn't remember, but he does remember much else. Haven't cast this three-acre pond for how many years I don't remember.

It's not in the photos.

I fished my favorite sloping flat hardest, but we left after a half hour, catching nothing, Fred missing a hit from a small bass on a Rapala floater. As yet I was all hyped up on those burdens and a little pissed they didn't get relieved, but maybe Fred didn't notice. He directed me to a neighborhood pond in Mendham I didn't know about. That's in the photo above. We fished there a quick 20 minutes or so, nothing happening at all, besides a kid on that bridge up above catching a sunfish on a fly rod. As we left for the next spot in Chester, a pond Fred had never seen, I said, "Don't bet on it." Some of my tension was gone, but it felt heavy to imagine getting skunked on this beautiful day, temperatures near 70; my only chance to get out and fish bass this early April. Precious time doesn't want the insult of failure, but when Fred said, "That's alright. It's good getting out," for a second I felt the same.

You never know if a really big bass is going to coincide with your lure in such little ponds. I've caught two of about 19 inches in Sunrise "Lake." But it is really easy--at least for me--to be a fool and almost expect the likes.

Almost. And even almost can be asking way too much. That's part of the reason I bring $3800.00 in camera equipment along on every outing. I got shots of Canada geese on Sunrise Lake, centered in colored striations on water--reflections from a boathouse--which, if I were to post any of them online, I really would be foolish. Google isn't going to snatch these. A fish might not come to me. But I see plenty else and capture some of what I see on pixels when I get a moment. This compensates.

This next pond of high tannic content is not high in bass content. Last I fished it, early in September 2015, I caught two 10-inchers. Today confirmed slow fishing. That's acid water, and there's bass in it, but not very many. And apparently not big. (Who knows.) I cast a spinner, let it sink. That way, I found no water deeper than about four feet. That not very promising for big bass, either, and yet our neighborhood pond's three or four acres average about two feet deep. Four feet at deepest. My son has caught three bass there over four pounds. One of them five. I caught one near four. And I've caught two or three dozen close to three pounds.

Fred caught two in Chester--largest about 13 inches--and I caught three, including one not much longer than my #9 Rapala. The other two nine and 10 inches. All of mine hit the Rapala on retrieve and they made me a little happy. Fred's took a Wacky Senko and he was happy to catch his first of the year.

We talked about work riding to Bernardsville. After Fred and I departed, I heard sweet birdsong--windows down--unlike I'd heard all day. That's when the outing finally came together and I knew it was all worthwhile at the deep level, relieved and fully happy at last.

Suddenly, a robin flew near my opened driver's window blasting a warning call. I felt the connection immediately. Like, thanks! Nothing startling to me, just resonance. But then I wondered. Was that bird telling me about something amiss coming?

It really is a strange life in these times of incompetence at the highest social levels. Take a job at the bottom and it's like Collective Soul, the rock band, croons about all that weight falling on a man--it brings me down!

Hell of a lot of megatons. Off ma shoulders--Goddamn! Alabama is no sweet home of mine, but I like that song's ending.


  1. Glad that the relief that you were looking for was found! And that the skunk was avoided.

    1. Aha, told you about Mike. He had the sudden opportunity of work. Had phoned him as I went in to a store on 206 for a V8. Fred had told me the night before he's getting off work these days at 3:00. I arrived home at 2:57, phoned him....


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