Category Archives: Night Fishing

Night Fishing Report

Night fishing report from Dave Quaglia and friends who went fishing at Round Valley Reservoir after the hot September sun had gone down. They caught two nice rainbows and a bunch of bluegill anchored in roughly 50 feet of water off the East beacon near the campsites. Corn and shrimp were the baits of choice. Notice the jacket, it’s getting cooler out there at night now that we are almost in October.

Dave Quaglia Rainbow Trout
Dave Quaglia holds one of two Rainbow Trout caught while night fishing at Round Valley.

Thanks for sharing the report Dave! Everyone can send in reports to robert@roundvalleyfishing.com

Night Fishing for Catfish at Round Valley

Channel Catfish
Zach Merchant holds a 6.1-lb Channel Catfish caught at Round Valley Reservoir.

Fishing for catfish at Round Valley is generally a lot slower than Spruce Run, however the few that you do get are almost always bigger than the fish you would get on average at Spruce run.

Catfish Baits

I’ve found that the best baits for catfish at Round Valley are live Shiners or live Herring, dead Herring, and pieces of shrimp.

Catfish Season

Sitting around in cold weather isn’t fun…unless of course you’re ice fishing, so most of the catfishing we do in the warmer summer months. When targeting catfish at Round Valley, I don’t usually hit the water until around 10:00 p.m. or so since for the most part the catfish there seem to start hitting fairly late.

Catfish Structure

As for location, try to find a shallow feeding shelf with quick access to deeper water, and some sort of structure that will hold bait (weed beds, rocks, etc). Common areas are the coves around the boat launches, sandy point, both sides of the dike near the ends and more, depends on how much you want to walk!

Night Fishing for Lake Trout?

Fishing NJ for Lake Trout...at night

On August 30th, myself, Zach, and my buddy Chris headed out to Round Valley to do some night fishing for rainbow trout. At our first drop, we caught a dinner-plate sized sunfish in 65 feet of water so we moved deeper in search of rainbows…chasing rainbows? Heh #dadjokes.

At our second drop, we doubled anchored in 85feet, surface water temp. measured 74.5F. After a few hours of soaking cut shrimp without success, I finally get a no-doubter of a hit on my line, set the hook, and start fighting a nice size fish on my light spinning outfit which has 6lb test mono all the way to the size 8 baitholder hook.

The fish wasn’t fighting like a rainbow trout, it was sounding like a damn tuna, what the heck is this thing? I call for Zack to get his fancy rubberized net ready just in case I’ve got a new state record sunfish on my line… Slowly I start gaining line on the fish and as it comes up we see that it’s a lake trout! Zach snapped a quick pic and back into the drink went the fish. I got another solid hit about 15 minutes later but it snapped my line. My fault. I should have checked it for damage after the first fish, what a stupid mistake on my part. You’d think after fishing for twenty something years I’d have some of this stuff memorized but nope, live and learn.

We bobbed around for a few more hours without a hit or a fish and I think we finally packed it in around 3:30am. It was a beautiful night even though the fish were few and far between. A more ambitious group of anglers would have pulled up anchors and kept trying locations, but that’s hard work with double anchors and honestly the part I love most about night fishing is how peaceful and relaxing it is. If you’ve never tried it, I strongly suggest going out with a friend or two, you’ll have a blast I guarantee it.

Spruce Run Shore Fishing Report – October 11, 2013

Fished over at Spruce Run Reservoir on Friday, October 11, 2013 with Zach Batren in some cloudy, overcast, and rainy weather (Sounds like fishing weather to me!).  We met up at Spruce Run around 1:30 p.m. and got our first lines into the water around 1:45 p.m at one of the coves on the Northern side of the reservoir, and had a six rod spread between the two of us.  We were using live Herring fished on the bottom with a basic rig consisting of an egg sinker, barrel swivel, short leader, and a hook.  After not even ten minutes, I was into a fish, which turned out to be a nice 4-lb Channel Catfish, probably around 22 or 23-inches.  It didn’t give much of a fight since it swam towards me for pretty much the entirety of the fight, but still a good way to start any fishing trip!  After that, we kept getting constant hits on almost all of our rods for a good hour or so until the action seemed to die down for a bit.  Then out of nowhere one of my rods doubles over and I’m into a nice fish with a lot of fight in it.  At first I thought it was a big Channel Catfish judging from the fight, until I saw it jump and was able to see it was a nice big 17-inch Smallmouth Bass.

Spruce Run Smallmouth
My 17-inch Smallmouth Bass caught on a dead Herring at Spruce Run

After a hard fight; with several strong drag peeling runs, and not one, not two, but five jumps where it went completely airborne, we were able to net it.  That Smallmouth was definitely a nice surprise for the day, especially seeing as it took a dead Herring that was meant for catfish.

After that the action slowed down for a little bit again, with the occasional hit here and there.   Though just as we got used to the lull in the action, Zach B. was into another fish that took another dead Herring.  We weren’t sure what exactly it was that he had hooked since it wasn’t fighting too much, but after we got it in closer we were able to identify it as a Northern Pike.  While it wasn’t anything huge, it was still a nicely sized and beautifully colored 25+ inch Pike.  We were definitely making out with a good mixed bag of fish up until this point with one Channel Catfish, one Smallmouth Bass, and now one Pike landed, though we released the Smallmouth as well as the Pike.

Spruce Run Pike
Zach B. with his 25+ inch Northern Pike that took a dead Herring

After that the action really slowed down for the next few hours, other than a few more hits we got but the hook didn’t set well so we lost the fish, as well as a snapping turtle I reeled in.  Our next landed fish was a little while later after dark.  Zach B. hooked into something just as the sun slipped under the horizon, and he was able to wrestle in another nice Channel Catfish; almost identical in size to the one i landed when we first started fishing.  A few minutes after we finished up with netting and unhooking that fish and Zach got his line back out into the water, I was into another fish which ended up being another Channel Catfish, a little smaller than our other two.  Maybe about a half an hour after that, I got a hit on one of my lines and my line snapped right after I set the hook, which was another disappointment on top of all the missed hits we had earlier in the day.  After that I got my line back into the water, and about an hour after that Zach was into another fish.  Now landing this fish started off normal, but ended up being one of the weirdest and most confusing ways to land a fish I’ve had all year.  At first we weren’t sure what he had on the line, and at one point Zach thought he had lost the fish, but luckily it was only swimming towards him.  Anyways, once we got it close enough we were able to see it was a nice big 31-inch Northern Pike with a good amount of girth to him.

Spruce Run Northern Pike
Zach B. and I with our surprise 31-inch Northern Pike

But the weirdest part came after we landed it and realized that Zach’s hook wasn’t in the fish at all, but about 10-feet away tangled in another fishing line which had the hook attached to the fish, and we decided was definitely one of mine since it was the same exact line, swivel, leader, and hook I was using.  So we assumed that the Pike had somehow taken one of my other lines without us noticing and gone right over to Zach’s line and his hook snagged my line.  But I then reeled in my lines to see which one it was, and it wasn’t any of mine that I had out, which means that it was the line I had that broke off an hour earlier after setting the hook.  This in turn meant that the same fish that my line had broken off on was in the same area for one whole hour, and Zach’s hook had somehow managed to snag my line trailing behind the fish while it was going by.  Now what are the chances of that?!  Definitely was one of the weirdest coincidences I’ve ever had happen while fishing to this day.  I think it’s only fair to give Zach B. the credit for the catch, but I came in with the assist and we both get to add another crazy fish story to our collection!

Spruce Run Northern Pike
Zach B. showing off the business end of his Pike!

A little while after that, we decided to call it a night at 8:30 p.m. after getting two Northern Pike up to 31-inches, one 17-inch Smallmouth Bass, three Channel Catfish to 4-lbs, and missing countless other fish that hit our lines.  As usual, both the Pike and the Bass were all released.  But as for the catfish, those were dinner!  Definitely one of the weirder days I’ve had fishing in a while, but we definitely got some nice fish and despite the amount of missed hits we can’t really complain one bit about the outcome of our day.

Kayak Fishing Reports – Spruce Run Reservoir

Finally brought the kayaks out for a fishing trip at Spruce Run Reservoir with Frank Deluca on Sunday July 14, 2013. Despite getting a late start, we managed to get out on the water at 4:30 p.m. in some sunny 90 degree weather, with a slight breeze coming from the west.  Surface temperature was 80 degrees and the gage height was 272.35 feet.  We started out working the shoreline for some Bass with Rapalas and other various crankbaits, with no luck.  After probably about an hour or so of that, I put on a bigger Rapala to troll behind me and moved out to deeper water and trolled along a rock ledge for a bit to try for some Pike, also with no luck.  Though while I was trying for Pike, Frank put on a large Shiner and dropped it down to the bottom in 5 feet of water and not even a minute after dropping it down, Frank was into a fish.  After putting up a nice hard fight, Frank landed a 15-inch Largemouth Bass.

Spruce Run Largemouth Bass
Frank with his 15-inch Largemouth

Shortly after that, both Frank and I decided to move out into about 25 feet of water and try for some Hybrids, but it became clear after one drift that the wind was making us drift too fast for that to be effective. So we went back into the same cove we were fishing before, though this time we set up a drift going along a rock ledge in 10 feet of water.  Shortly after I began my first drift through the area, I got a nice hit on one of my rods and was into a fish.  Once I got it up to the surface, it turned out to be a Channel Catfish, which weighed in at 4.5-lbs and 20-inches, so I wouldn’t really say it was big, but it was definitely a decent size and put up a fun fight from the kayak.  On my second drift I hooked up with a decently sized fish, which turned out to be another Channel Catfish, probably about 5-lbs, though unfortunately it spit the hook right next to my kayak before I could net it.  After that, we set up a third drift through the same area.

My 4.5-lb, 20-inch Channel Catfish
My 4.5-lb, 20-inch Channel Catfish

Right as we started our drift, I hooked up with another decently sized fish which shook the hook before I could get it in close enough to see it, though I’m pretty certain it was another Channel Catfish judging from how it was fighting. A short time after that, as Frank and I continued our drift, we started getting a lot of smaller hits from smaller, more finicky fish. Frank managed to pull one up and it turned out to be a 10-inch Crappie, which led us to believe that we were drifting over a school of Crappie, though that was the only one we managed to land. We tried one more drift after that, with only one or two hits, so we decided to call it a day and got off the water at 7:45 p.m.

A few days later, on Wednesday July 17, I headed back out to the same spot, this time with Chris Moran. As opposed to last time, we started out later in the day and got out on the water at 7:30 p.m. so we could target some Channel Catfish, and by that time the water temperature had dipped down to 76 degrees.  We went straight to the same area over the rock ledge that Frank and I had fished the other day and immediately dropped our bait to the bottom and began drifting.  I was the first to hook up with a fish after a slow start to our trip, and my fish turned out to be a small, 14-inch Channel Catfish. After trying a few more drifts over the same area, as well as a few different drifts in different areas with no luck, I moved over to the same area Chris and I had been catching all of our fish back in April.  Shortly after I began my first drift there, I was into another fish and managed to land a slightly larger, 16-inch Channel Cat.  A few minutes later in the same area, Chris hooked into and landed another Channel Catfish, about the same size as my last one.  After that, it slowed down for about 15-20 minutes with nothing hitting our lines, until out of the blue, Chris got a big hit on one of his lines.  He was using a light 4-lb leader we normally use for Trout so he had his drag set fairly low so the line wouldn’t break, which made for a fun fight.  After a good fight which lasted a few minutes, Chris finally landed another Channel Catfish, which ended up being our last and biggest fish of the night.  Chris’ fish ended up weighing in at 4.75-lbs and measuring 22-inches.

Spruce Run Channel Catfish
Chris with his 4.75-lb, 22-inch Channel Catfish

We kept trying for about another 45 minutes or so with no more luck.  All of our fish were caught on live Shiners fished on the bottom while we were drifting between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.  Didn’t land any real big fish this trip, but definitely had a nice night fishing from our kayaks and had some fun reeling a decent haul of Channel Catfish.  This trip was also Chris’ first time kayak fishing…or is it fishing from a kayak, so it was something new for him and I’m sure we’ll be getting out on them yaks again real soon!

Spruce Run Kayak Fishing
Sunset on Spruce Run