Saturday, September 21, 2019


Got word from Noel Sell about the current situation. He read the previous post and wrote, "Totally agree! Fishing is very tough lately. We need rain and cooler temperatures badly."

Forecast mid-80's tomorrow, last I heard. Feels that warm this afternoon.

I'm concerned because I got an invitation to fish Culver Lake on Wednesday, and don't want to exit this outing having caught nothing. We will just have to see how it goes, and in any event, it should be a good time.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Tough Transition Time

Forty three degrees upon our daybreak arrival at Split Rock Reservoir this morning, Fred and I didn't see a cloud in the sky. I didn't think about how tough the fishing could be until 10 or `15 minutes into it, while fishing a shaded cove with plenty of depth and rocks, a very bassy-looking spot with nothing happening. I sat in one of Fred's kayaks.

Fred did catch a little smallmouth on his four-inch Senko, just to the side of that cove in water brightly lit. Four rocks penetrated the surface some 50 yards beyond, and I worked them thoroughly with a Chompers worm, getting no more than the pecking interest of a sunfish. We pulled out two hours later.

Skunked again on Split Rock, I changed my mind about fishing Merrill Creek Reservoir with Oliver Shapiro in about two weeks. Now I want to put my squareback on Split Rock to settle the score. We can troll. I really like the structure I see here for that purpose.

From the reservoir, we rode over to Saffin, me feeling mixed confidence. In any event, my best fishing at the pond has been early and late; although I have caught some nice mid-day bass there, today was no typical late morning and early afternoon. It certainly was not summertime, but it wasn't an October day after bass have adjusted to the new season and slam spinnerbaits, either.

I began along my favorite steep shoreline with its heavy cover, and soon realized it wasn't going to happen, and it never did. I switched from the Chompers, after fishing deeper water out from the bank thoroughly, too, and snapped on a spinnerbait, feeling that most of the bass had slipped into any deep water out away from shore, although, judging the terrain, the more likely case is that they had dispersed in water about eight feet deep almost anywhere out there, not feeding at all. By this scenario, true or not, the bass are like blues and striped bass as they slip into the surf to feed, then abandon it. Not many bass would be near enough the shorelines to perhaps take a reaction swipe at one of the lures Fred and I threw. 

I did get one definite hit. By the feel of that, I knew it was a bass about 10 inches long. A good hard smack. It didn't get the bait fully in its mouth. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Reluctant South Branch Smallmouths

Went to my favorite spot at sundown, missing a hit on the first cast and catching an average stream smallmouth on the third. Clear water flowed moderately, but it was chilly after this morning's temperatures in the 40's. I saw nothing but some killiefish in the shallows, and with a cloudless sky overhead, it became quickly evident to me that the cold front had put the bass off.

I came with killies I bought when my wife and I last visited Island Beach. I did bring my fly rod, but not only was I pinched for time, I don't think I could have caught any with it. Definitely a fall feeling on the river this evening. I do hope next summer I get a chance to fly fish the river at length. A whole morning and early afternoon. I have plenty of flies to try.

I worked my way down the stretch, and having waded about halfway to the back, got a big bass on, but the hook pulled. That's what I came for, a big one. A bass of nearly four pounds, and I really want to hit that mark fair and square, judged by my tested Rapala scale. I trudged back to the bucket, half hoping to hook another, half convinced I missed my only shot at one, baited my hook, and put another killie in the left breast pocket of my Woolrich, a heavy flannel shirt I needed. And it was getting progressively chilly while I wet waded.

Way down at the bottom of the stretch, my big killie flew off the hook on a cast, so I baited that hook with the other, soon getting another bass on, catching it--12-inches.

Gave myself a pat on the back for putting that killie in my pocket. (They live forever out of water.)

So I lost yet another big bass here where I expect them, but it's better by far to have had one on today, than to have never encountered such a fish.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Knee Deep Hybrid Striper Derby this Weekend

Laurie Murphy:

The Knee Deep Club will be holding their Fall Hybrid Striped Bass contest this weekend from 5 AM. Sat. Sept 21 to Noon on Sun Sept 22. There will be cash prizes for the top three heaviest fish, with gift certificates for 4th, 5th & 6th places. We will be open at 5 AM for the contest weekend. We will be fully stocked with herring ( although they may be on the smaller side, depending on this week’s haul ), chicken liver, and ice  jigging  rapalas.  There were some noteworthy catches with Mike Kaszas with several walleye, the largest weighing in at 5 lb. There were also some pickerel brought in weighing in at 3 - 4 pounds along with some nice smallmouth and lots of white perch & catfish.  Several Hybrids were being caught on liver up to 7 pounds. Next up is Knee Deep’s walleye contest on Oct 5th & 6th. Mark your calendar now. Have a great week !