Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Drop Shotting for Bass at Round Valley

Invited Mike Vandenberg along to try drop-shotting for bass from shore at Round Valley Reservoir. Upon arrival, I felt we might do best fishing to the right, further back in Ranger Cove. Stuff gets washed in there by the prevailing winds, and whether this is the reason, it's more fertile and weedy. But this was Mike's first time at the reservoir, and I wanted to make sure he got a wide view of its extent, so I led us around and to the left, along the rocky shores in the direction of the main launch, but distant from it. Besides, these rocky shores seemed more promising for smallmouth bass.

We used 1/4- and 1/2-ounce sinkers, setting three- and four-inch plastic worms anywhere from a foot to 2 1/2 feet from the sinker. Along this rocky shoreline I mention, we never got a hit, but we began to forget about the daily grind as we let the wide arena of surrounding open space pull us back to reality. We both work long hours and feel they're too long. For a moment, I felt soothed by the quiet sound of  water lapping against the rocks. It's way too easy to discount the likes as worthless trivia not worth reception, but then we might forget that every piece of existence partakes of its ultimate value.

I saw a ranger coming up the trail. Told Mike to make his fishing license conspicuous. The ranger said, "Keep your dog on leash."

"She is on leash," I said.

"Keep it in hand," he said, "So she doesn't run around."

Sadie's an old Lab who just sits beside us.

But the ranger also spoke of back in Ranger Cove as the best area to fish, which reminded me of my earlier feeling. Someone had caught a 15-inch largemouth, he said. We decided we would give it a try, after we tried further along our course where maybe a sharper drop existed, though what we found was shallower water.

I liked the way the water looked. We had got in my car and ridden further back in Lot 2, where I parked above a fairly steep embankment. I told Mike about the five-pound rainbow trout I once caught in December down below from where we presently got out to gather our gear. Here the water had a green tone, rather than the cold-looking rocky feel of where we had fished. It's not as if only largmouths would be present. My son once caught a smallmouth further back in the cove relative to where we were about to stand.

My first cast resulted in the little largemouth photographed. I also caught three rock bass and missed a couple of hits by winging the 1/2-ounce weight out as far as possible and placing each cast differently.

Mike is learning how to cast with a spinning rod, and he made marked improvement today. If I remember correctly, his ice fishing Lake Hopatcong with my son and I at near zero degrees a couple of years ago was the first fishing he's ever done.

Today, it was nice out there. If I can share the following thought, I'm reminded of something my academic advisor at Hampshire College told me a 1986 letter to me, while I took time off. I had let on that all my life, I've sought grand vision. He told me there's plenty to be said for the mundane, and I believe that if I didn't understand exactly what he meant, his words nevertheless cast meaning on the mundane that hadn't existed for me before. Or rather, as a recognition of the value. Daily reality is grand. Ground down by work duties, perhaps not, but just go cast a lure and take it slow.

You'll awaken to what you're missing out on.

Furthest we went along the rocky shoreline.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Big White Cat Wins Knee Deep Derby

Laurie Murphy:

The Knee Deep Club held their Catfish contest this past weekend with a great turnout of 49 entrants. The winners included Alex Stockton taking 1st place with his white cat weighing 6 lb 1 oz, winning $391, 2nd place went to Lou Marcucci, winning $236 for a 5 lb 2 oz Channel, and 3rd place going to Justin Haines, also with a 5 lb 2 oz Channel, his take home being $157.  Fourth thru sixth place winners received a $20 gift card to The Jefferson Diner, going to Sean Haubrich with a 4 lb 6 oz Channel, Kirra Gifillan with her Channel cat weighing 3 lb 14 oz, and Glenn Sawyer, also with a Channel Cat weighing 2 lb 13 oz. Also making their way to the scale was a 3 lb 5 oz eel, caught by Alan Tourinsky of Mt Arlington. Eddie Mackin also weighed  a Hybrid Striper at 7 1/2 pounds. Speaking of Hybrid Striped Bass, Knee Deep’s next contest  being held for them,  will be  on  Sept 21st & 22nd.  Jack Dziduch, fishing with live herring, had several hybrids, the largest up to 8 pounds. NJ’s DEP has lifted another  of their Swim Advisories , concerning the blue green algae, adding Byram Cove to Indian Harbor & Henderson Cove,   with more areas expected to be lifted by next week.  Check out the Shop Local Campaign for Lake Hopatcong, (you’ll find it online ). You may just find a 15 % off coupon for bait , tackle & boat rentals, from Dows Boat Rental. Have a great week !!!