Thursday, May 9, 2019

11-Pound, Five-Ounce Lake Hopatcong Walleye

Laurie Murphy:

Knee Deep’s Panfish contest was pretty much a washout due to the heavy rain. Thank You to the few who did brave the elements and fish. First place went to Tommy Crouch, 2nd place went to Fred Nitek and third place went to Pete Rathjens. Next contest up is for Walleye, being held on May 18th &  19th. Some nice fish made their way to the scale this past week, including a 11 pound 5 ounce walleye caught by Don Rolfs, caught casting a bomber long A from shore. Sabrina Mackin had a Hybrid Striped Bass that weighed 8 lb 8 oz and Alex Tuorinsky had 2 white cats weighing 3 pounds and 3 pound 14 oz. Some young fishermen had their share of nice fish also, with Max Hughen with his 1 lb 10 Rainbow trout and a 3 lb 12 oz walleye, along with several nice Bass , and Brandon Wood trolled up some nice trout, with the largest being a Rainbow over 3 pounds and a Hybrid Striper that was 6 lb 6 oz. Have a great week ...

Caught Some Round Valley Bass

I still manage to get over and fish Round Valley in May. Eight years ago, I began fishing there on frequent occasion from shore during this month, catching plenty of bass and some big ones, the largest five pounds, caught in the reservoir. Today my wife came along with our black Lab, Sadie. I brought a fold-out chair; she brought a book to read while sitting in it.

I fished the pond first, not raising a fish. The reservoir yielded seven largemouths, average-size reservoir bass like this one photographed. All came on a light brown Senko. I missed a few hits. I kept at the fish, hoping that one of those infrequent big ones would break the cycle, but the little bass occupied me well for little more than an hour.

We left near 9:00 p.m. I had tried the pond again, another corner and short strip of shoreline, and though no hits came there, I gave it enough attention to break even further past the barrior that the daily grind erects. The peace felt vividly alive as thousands of baitfish broke calm surface over the deepest water. It seems as if thousands of herring inhabit the pond, but maybe it's unlikely that's what they are. Few have existed in the reservoir for decades now, though the pond is fertile and has a depth of about 45 feet. I guess it's the question of whether any got into the pond somehow, years ago, as somehow they got in the reservoir then. If so, why wouldn't they have stayed there with the higher fertility the pond has? No one seems to know how they got in the reservoir. Why not the pond, too? It just so happens no one talks about them in the pond; all the talk I've heard is about their demise in the reservoir due to lowered fertility.

It looks like I won't be done holding jobs for years yet. Possibly more than 11 years, until I'm 70. I never graduated with a four-year degree, because I saw no point in doing professional work I wasn't interested in. I did have an interest in earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, or else in earning a PH.D to become a professor of philosophy. My academic advisor at Hampshire College suggested to me the latter option and strongly supported it, going so far as to secure me one-on-one tutoring with the head of the philosophy department at the college, but my parents would not pay for any grad school, and I had no notion of the possibility of earning funding otherwise, clueless about that sort of thing, and no one offered me so much as a clue.

So I've worked low-paid wage jobs from the age of 32, when I gave up commercial clamming, returning to mainstream life. This evening's outing showed me that when I finally am done working stupid jobs, real life will take me back.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Tried a Senko in the Rain

Slipped a big trash bag over my camera bag and hauled it and my rod over to the neighborhood pond in pouring rain. Found the stream leading in by way of storm pipe pumping mud into water still otherwise clear enough to serve my Senko, this fishing an approach differing from the standard spinnerbait. Just had a hankering to try it after doing well on Senkos last spring.

Especially fished edges between muddy and clearer water, nothing. That pond hasn't been itself in about five years now. It's the first I've fished it since early last year, and like last year, there seem very few bass present, when it used to be easy to catch 10 averaging two pounds in a half hour. A big fish kill due to thick ice hasn't healed. The pond is mostly about two or three feet deep, four at most.

Big snapping turtle stuck its snoot above surface. A hulking beast like that has to eat, so there are fish here...and possibly getting targeted plenty, not that I know how a turtle can grab a living bass. I believe more than one with a shell more than two feet wide exists. I don't bring Sadie here, because I see turtles too often.

I never see cormorants. Only geese and very few pied-billed grebes on the water. Along the edges, I often see a great blue heron.