Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bits and Pieces 4/30/2014

Hi Folks,

Its been a kind of dismal week for fishing with rain and cooler temps putting a slow down on some of my fishing days. I did fish the Ramapo last Tuesday and caught two Rainbow Trout in the river and 5 fair sized Pickerel in the pond. Since then I have not been back and this weeks rain will certainly keep the people away... Last I checked the Ramapo is flowing at over 1100 CFS and is up over the banks so that should pretty well keep folks away for a bit.

I fished Connecticut's Shetucket River on Saturday and had three nice trout investigate my lures but no takers. I found a feed stream and caught a native Brown Trout about 7 inches long. Again it was rainy and cool all day.

On Sunday I fished up at Bigelow Hollow State Park with my Tracy and caught 1 Brown Trout and an 8 inch bass out of the pond their. I must say that is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Connecticut and a great place to kayak and picnic.

This Friday I hope to drop a line down in South Jersey before I start making house calls to my clients. I hope to have more to report then... Stay tuned!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Springtime at Swartswood Lake 4/18/2014

Hello Again,

Large Mouth Bass
Today I craved a change of pace from standing in the trout streams so I headed out to Sussex County to Swartswood Lake State Park. Conditions were overcast and chilly with a fairly steady breeze throughout the day. I never fished here before so this trip was sort of a recon mission to learn the area and get a feel for just how I am going to approach this with my Kayak next time I am here.
I started out fishing near the boat rental shack in the park and worked my way around to the east side Launching Ramp. My first round of casts came up empty but as I approached the ramp things began to change. I was using a 2 inch West River (Sutton) spoon and watched as something huge followed my lure in and turned off at the last minute. I few casts later over the same spot and with a loud exploding splash I was into the first fish of the day. After quite an interesting fight of several strong and impressive runs I managed to land the beast... 24 inches of eastern chain pickerel! Unfortunately upon getting the hook removed from it the fish surprised me by launching itself back into the water just as I was composing a photo. Oh well, you're just going to have to take my word on that one. It was the biggest, fattest pickerel I ever seen or caught and must of weighed around 4-5 pounds I estimate.

Several casts later I switched lures to a 4 inch silver Yozuri swimmer and in two casts I was into the second fish of the day. After a pretty good underwater battle, I landed the 2 lb. Largemouth Bass pictured above.

Black Bear Swimming across Swartswood Lake
I decided after the bass to take a lunch break and drove around the western shore of the lake where I found the canoe & kayak boat launching area. Before I went to by my sandwich I decided to take a couple of casts from the dock and while standing their I heard a very large splash across other side of the cove. To my surprise here comes a black bear swimming across the lake! I snapped this shot with my phone to the best of my ability. After that I thought I best go eat that sandwich now!
Small Mouth Bass
After lunch, I headed back to the eastern shore boat launch area and started casting the West River spoon again. After a few casts I got one helluva bite and came up with this nice Smallmouth Bass pictured at right.
Not a bad day fishing from the shore of this lake! I can't wait now to get my kayak up there so I can try for some of those nice walleyes this place is supposed to harbor.
Stay tuned!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Afternoon on the Ramapo

Hey Folks,

Once again after work I headed up to Mahwah and stopped at my favorite trout stream.... Ok well its not my favorite, but at least its somewhat close to home. Conditions today were sunny, breezy and warm with no jacket required! I figured I would get out today before the monsoon hits tomorrow LOL!

Needless to say, sometimes its not the act of catching that makes trout fishing so enjoyable, its simply the act of standing in a mountain stream with nothing but the water rushing by and the birds singing. For me this is living! Anyhow, that being said I still caught a couple of trout today although I had to really work for them. It seems that the Ramapo is getting hit extra hard with anglers who normally fish other waters that are not being stocked this year due to the plague at the hatchery. You have to be persistent and willing to walk the river to find what fish remain.

Today I tried roostertails and couldn't get a bite on them so I switched to worms and of course that did the trick. I find that once I happen upon an actively feeding fish, if I don't catch it after the first couple of hits, I walk away for about ten minutes then try again. Usually that helps the fish regain interest in your bait. I did this twice today after few stolen baits and each time I returned to the spot, I caught the hungry speckled buggers!

I will try some kind of fishing on Friday again for sure, I don't now if it will be for trout, stripers or some other finny monster! Till then keep a tight line!


Monday, April 7, 2014

First Fishing Trip 4/7/2014

Hi Folks,

Calico Bass
Let me start with WOW! and yet again WOW! Today after work I was hell bent to get on the Ramapo River to begin the 2014 trout season. I got boots wet by about 2:30pm and there were maybe a dozen or so people fishing. Weather conditions were overcast with a steady drizzle. My goal was simply to enjoy getting out for a couple of hours and simply relax.

I started out at the Ramapo Reservation Park and walked downstream of the bridge. I found an older gentleman that caught a couple of trout and figured well hey I got a shot today. After traveling down stream from him I began casting a 1/16th ounce white roostertail and no sooner I had my first trout of the year on. While reeling the fish near the bank the treble hook slipped from its mouth and by some stroke of luck snagged him in the tail. That's called landing a fish bass ackwards!

I fished that stretch of river and started working my way upstream of the bridge. With nothing else doing I decided to throw the roostertail in Scarlet Oak Pond for a while and what a great decision that was! The first two casts resulted in back to back largemouth bass around 10 inches long. Following that I hooked and landed a 19 inch Pickerel and then 2 jumbo Calico Bass (Black Crappies) each about a foot long. All that occurred in like 20 minutes time. The two Calico's almost came home for dinner but I was merciful and released all fish with little harm done.

Not to be defeated by the trout, I left the reservation and headed north on 202 to a spot just north of Halifax Road. I will have to keep the place un-named do to local considerations. Within the first two casts I had another Rainbow Trout and was getting close to calling it a day but I decided to press on for a little more. That was another great decision because after catching another average sized trout I hooked and landed this 18 inch beauty pictured below in the net.

Rainbow Trout
Saturday's opening day brought record crowds to the Ramapo River and it showed with many people just leaving their trash along the river bank. This has got to stop folks and we all have to take action when we see it happening. Take your trash out of the woods or deposit it in the proper receptacles.

Til next time Happy Fishing