Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Climate Clutch

For the record, I can't resist the temptation to report on the weather, as the words will remain on this blog to come back to in the future, perhaps. Jorge and I met in the dark Saturday morning, among Zach Merchant's very first customers, going through the door to Round Valley Bait and Tackle as it opened for the first time at 6:00 a.m., and walking back out into a temperature of 60-something. The sun came up and it was very warm. When we left Van Syckel's Road at 9:30 a.m., temperature could have been 75.

The next day, afternoon temperature was 40 at most, a stiff humid wind making the weather raw as a bad clam. Then, the next day, pleasant 60's, but I would be surprised if it hit 48 today, and it's chillier yet out there as I write now. I heard at work that Newark got three-and-a-half inches of rain the other night and morning. I drove by the North Branch on the way to that job, river having risen to the top of the bank.

Tomorrow's my day off. Trout fishing with Noel in the morning is out. Water is too high, and besides, I will fish trout at 30 degrees, but preferably, I will do that in January. I haven't checked the forecast recently. If there's sun and afternoon temperatures in the 50's, I may go try largemouths at Bedminster Pond. It's going on May and buds have barely opened, so if I catch a good one again, the photo will appear as though I fished very early in the season. And I guess that's almost what it is as yet, nearly a full month into official springtime.

I remember 2012. Amazed at water lilies up on Lake Carnegie late in March. All the trees that faint green you associate with late April in New Jersey. Days and weeks in the 70's and 80's.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Coming from the Big Lake

Now we know the ice season is over. Here it is from Laurie after a long while since she last reported:

So begins another season…except the weather isn’t cooperating too nicely as of yet. But we do have plenty of water in Lake Hopatcong, so this year that isn’t a problem. We are ready with boat rentals, bait and tackle. Our April hours are from 6 AM to 7 PM. There are plenty of trout here with the State having stocked twice already and expected back again this week, and the Knee Deep Club stocked over the weekend, adding over a thousand more trout. They will be holding their Trout and Pickerel contest on Sunday, April 22, starting at 5 AM. It is two separate contests, with an entry fee for each. You can fish either one , or both contests, with a cash prize for the top 3 heaviest fish in each category.  The entry fee is $20/ member and $25/ non-member.  We will open early for the contest and you may register up until 8 AM that morning. Trolling phoebes and  rapalas in shallower water is the way to catch trout this time of year, and trolling rapalas or a mepps spinner should produce the pickerel. We are seeing yellow perch and crappie on rufus jigs and small rubber jigs fished under a bobber, also in the shallow water, and   the walleye have started to hit,  also in the shallower water, taking larger rapala husky jerks. The season for them will reopen on May 1st and remember that  Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass is closed from April 15th until June 15th for their spawning season.  Some notable catches this past week included a 1 lb 11 oz crappie caught by Dylan Cole and a 4 lb 4 oz pickerel weighed in by Pete Rathjens. Have a Great week !!!