Friday, July 11, 2014

Nice Largemouth Bass Action Under July Sun

Just as I imagined, the large pond is full of big bass. I believed the water would be clear, and that the banks would all be grassy and sloping, judging from the cursory look I gave the place last year. The water is more than clear enough for largemouth action, but infected by a big, green algae bloom. So while I love North Jersey clarity in lakes and ponds--they make me feel all is well with the world--at least I found a lot more structure, including gneiss boulders and a gneiss embankment almost straight up and down I didn't get past today, but may try to get by some other time.

I got a lot of practice at Mount Hope Pond, as if I practiced there for a few years to apply here where many more bass are there to receive. Tight casting shallows is a thrill in itself, but when the line jumps and races off with a bass ducking out and deep, the experience makes it all worthwhile.

I set the hook into four today. The first was right about 18 inches. The next cast I pitched a little to the left and out from where the first took; the line jumped and swiftly peeled off the reel. I set the hook and got two inches of a total eight inches of Chompers worm back on the Laser Sharp inset hook. I wondered if it was a pickerel. All I know is the tension I felt the split second upon hook setting told me it was no small fish.

I worked the trail back towards the pond's duckweed patch in the rear. Another take just like the previous three resulted in a break off. Again, this fish was not small. I checked the line. Clean cut, no knot break by any evidence available. If a pickerel, it ran just like the bass I caught and felt like it too. Next time I'm tying fluorocarbon leaders to micro swivels. The swivels are about 25-pound test or whatever, at least that, but tiny so as not to add weight to the slow-sinking traditional worm.

Finally, one last take in 50 minutes total of fishing. This bass of at least 17 inches was skinny. It might have been three or four ounces less than three pounds, but fought as if it were fully three. I like it when a bass surpasses three pounds, but don't think this one really made the mark. The other was three-and-a-half I'm sure. So for a pretty hot, definitely sunshiny July noontime, not bad.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

No Fishing at South Branch Raritan River Neshanic New Jersey

I noticed the No Parking Any Time sign this past winter long before trout season, during which I noticed cars parked as usual. Now look what they've done. They've turned a perfectly appealing public bridge stop into an eyesore sealed off by police tape, and worse than that, they've denied a public space to well meaning anglers, kayakers, canoeists, and other recreation pursuers who leave the river as they find it.

I don't know who is more to blame, the influence of whatever person or people moved local politics to close public access, or the fools who went to the river, picnicked on the bank--and left stacks of litter behind. I saw the mess. And so did a landowner who took issue about it with me last year, not blaming me, but pointing out what people do in plain view from his backyard.

This is good reason for well meaning recreationists not only to speak up when we see fools making a mess--but report them to the police. Get their license plate numbers. We need the police on our side protecting our access to waterways, not against us. When transgressors who make a mess of a river and politics alike are reported, always make it clear that you are of whatever recreational pursuit you exercise, and your concern is that the waterway keep a clean public image and remain in good use. Access is never lost, except when people behave irresponsibly.