Woke up bright and early at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 12th to meet up with Zach Batren for a full day of fishing. I managed to get a late start since I fell back asleep after getting everything ready in the morning, but luckily Zach texted me and woke me up before I missed too much. I arrived at Round Valley around 7:15 a.m. and Zach B. had already landed a beautiful 15-inch Rainbow Trout on rainbow Powerbait. So I got both of my lines into the water and about an hour later I hooked into another nicely colored Rainbow Trout that took my salmon peach Powerbait. Within the ten minutes that followed that; the fisherman to my right landed another Trout, and Tom (Who is a regular reader of this website) lost another good fish, which we assume was a Trout.
My 15-inch Rainbow Trout caught on salmon peach Powerbait
Though after that flurry of action, we didn’t get anything else by the time Chris Moran met up with us around 9:45 a.m. so we gave it until 10:30 called it quits and packed up to change spots. As we were walking back to our cars, we saw another fisherman fishing on the swimming side with live Shiners about 3-feet under bobbers hook into a nice chunky Chain Pickerel, probably around 25-inches. So we stopped and talked to him for a little while and he told us he had been getting Pickerel all morning, so we decided to stop and try for a bit. We didn’t get anything besides a few boils behind our topwater baits we were casting (Zara Spooks, Rapala’s, etc.). After about 45 minutes or so of that, we headed off to the South Branch of the Raritan River for some more Trout action. There were definitely a good amount of anglers fishing the stretch of river we were fishing, but none seemed to be catching much of anything as far as we could tell.
Zach B. with his 15-inch Brook Trout caught at the South Branch of the Raritan River on a gold Panther Martin
Probably about three minutes in, Zach B. was into a nice fish that hit his gold 1/8-ounce Panther Martin, and after a pretty strong fight he netted a nice 15-inch Brook Trout. We tried for about another hour and a half or so without anything else besides some Smallmouth Bass Chris had hooked into while bouncing worms along the bottom. Zach B. and I decided to head on over to Spruce Run to try for some more Pike, Catfish, and Bass. Unfortunately Chris had to leave for work, so he decided to stay at the South Branch instead of joining Zach and I at Spruce because of his time restrictions. So Zach and I headed to Spruce and after making a stop at Behre Bait & Tackle for some Herring and another stop for some lunch, we arrived at Spruce Run around 3:00 p.m. The wind had picked up a good amount since we left Round Valley and was blowing right back into our faces, which made casting out a little challenging at times but we managed to get our lines out perfectly fine. After waiting for what felt like forever (But in reality was probably only 45 minutes at most) Zach got a hit on one of his lines that took out a decent amount of line, which was shortly followed by a hit on one of my lines that also took out a few feet of line.
Me with my Smallmouth Bass (Left) and Largemouth Bass (Right); both caught on live Herring
For the majority of our time there, that was all we got; good hits that just didn’t stick the hook. Though after a while I started to get into some smaller, but decent Channel Catfish, all around 3 or 3.5-lbs or so. By the time we decided to end our trip around 7:30 p.m. I had landed four Channel Catfish (One away from limiting out), one decent sized Smallmouth Bass, as well as a pretty bulky Largemouth Bass probably around 3-lbs. Zach B. on the other hand was only able to land one fish by the time we headed out, but he did manage to get the biggest fish of the day; a 23+ inch, approximately 4-lb Channel Catfish. So we definitely had a great day of fishing overall and we probably would have stayed out longer at Spruce, but we wanted to get back, fillet our fish, and make ourselves a nice fish dinner so we called it a night.
Zach B. with his 4-lb Channel Catfish caught on live Herring. Our biggest fish of the day!
The next day (Sunday, October 13) I headed over to DeMott Pond since I woke up too late to go to Round Valley like I had planned. But I managed to get out to DeMott around 1:30 p.m. and got my lines into the water for some Carp fishing, and as usual I was using sweet corn along with an oat pack. About 45 minutes after getting my lines into the water, one of my rods gets a hit and starts peeling out drag and I immediately know it’s a Carp. At first I wasn’t sure how big it was since it swam towards me at first, then to the left instead of straight out like a lot of Carp at DeMott tend to do. Though as soon as I got it about half way in the real fight started and became a stalemate since every time I would gain a few feet of line, it would take it right back out and we started again back at square one. After a while, I was finally able to start gaining some ground on the fish and was able to get it close to shore, almost within netting distance. Right around then is when I got my first real good look at it, and was able to see that it was definitely an above average sized Carp for DeMott. For a little while it became a stalemate again with the fish holding it’s ground right outside of netting distance, but after a few more minutes it finally began to tire out and after a few attempts, we were finally able to net it.
My 25-lb Carp out of DeMott Pond
The fish weighed in at 25-lbs and was around 35-inches in length. Definitely one of the biggest Carp I’ve been able to pull out of DeMott to this day! Unfortunately that was the only fish I was able to land that day, though I got a few more hits and bumps that were definitely Carp, but none took. All in all, despite the fact I only landed one fish, it was a great trip, and if I only land one fish a trip that would definitely be one I wouldn’t mind hauling in!