Thursday, June 28, 2018

Quiet to the North of Bedminster

I looked forward to Laurie's report this week, hoping to see some big bass weight from the derby, but oh well. This report seems like that of a classic summer slowdown, but that is a big largemouth she writes of. Laurie Murphy:

Somewhat on the quieter side this past week, but we have still seen several nice fish make their way to the scale. Tom Sarnacki weighed in with quite a nice Largemouth at 5 pounds 12 ounces and Jim Mohoney had his weighed in at 3 lbs 10 ounces. Ryan Gilfillan had a smallmouth weighing 2 lbs 5 ounces and Dan McErlean had several nice Hybids in the 8 pound range caught on herring. Crappie, perch and pickerel also being caught. Have  a great week !

Monday, June 25, 2018

Very Nice River Getaway

Being there was better than being here now. It's 9:31 a.m., and since returning home, we've unloaded, and I've edited my images.  Have to be at work at 1:00 p.m. and the routine feels sort of stupid after breaking it. I got up just after 3:45, and I'm not tired. Matt was up 15 minutes later, and he's napping now, having got to sleep later than I did. None of this morning was difficult, besides the first three or four minutes of getting up.

We drove out to Neshanic in the dark, getting on the river not very long after first light. No canoe this time, we waded my favorite stretch, beginning with topwater plugs, each of us catching an average stream bass pretty quickly. I hooked a better fish and had it on for a couple of seconds, then got hit when I pitched the plug back where the smallmouth had turned, missing this smaller bass. We cast some wide slow eddies before I got a feeling about the head of the hole where current plays with the surface. It was very calm out there, maybe 68 degrees, and the water felt about the same temperature. We wore wading boots and shorts. I forced a cast to make my little eighth-ounce plug touch down neaer the top of the roils and a bass almost immediately sliced into the offering. I was on.

"Nice one!" I announced. The drag ratcheted as the bass curved away and down into the deep hole, maybe eight feet deep. For maybe several seconds I watched the line rise and felt the fish coming up as I made sure I had a tight line for the leap. Glorious. The smallmouth appeared to be just about three pounds as it contorted wildly, throwing the hooks.

We switched to Senkos. Meanwhile, the river had risen five or six inches as water must be getting pumped out of Spruce Run Reservoir. We noticed how badly off color that water was and resolved to leave just as the sun came up. I never do well on this river when fishing dingy water, but the topwater plugs worked before too much light got on the water.

We drove to the North Branch. A spot where Matt sighted a 20-inch smallmouth that followed his worm the other day while he fished with a friend. Here the water was a little too off-color for the way I like it, but we fished very persistently. Matt hooked and lost a smallmouth he estimated as 16 inches. Later he crossed the river and fished a very slow pool, catching three small largemouths. I had missed a few hits that must have been small bass when I saw a rise and put my worm right on it, got hit, missed that, then pitched back to the same place, got hit and played the 13-inch largemouth photographed below.