Category Archives: Trout

Trolling Big Rainbow Trout – Video

A video my good friend Jimmy from Rawr fishing put together from back on Memorial Day weekend with Rob S. and myself. It was Jimmy’s first time trolling out on Round Valley, and boy did we spoil him! Despite the fact we had a rough start to our day and got out super late, we put somewhere around 2 dozen Rainbows in the boat, including three Round Valley Trout Association tagged Trophy Trout!

Evening Fishing at Spruce Run Produces Big Brown Trout

We started this Memorial Day afternoon fishing Spruce Run Reservoir for hybrid striped bass. We were trolling live herring and fished from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and ended the day with a really nice 24 inch, 7.20-lb Brown Trout.

Big NJ Brown Trout

The Hybrid fishing was pretty tough and really slow yesterday with only one Hybrid Bass in the boat for us that my buddy Jason landed; his first of the year!

Fish On

After the one hybrid and after a while of zero action, we began thinking about packing it in for the evening. But just then we had a rod go off and it seemed like a really nice fish so my good friend and usual partner-in-crime Rob S. got the camera rolling.

We weren’t able to really tell what I had on for almost the entire fight, which lasted about 7-minutes, until the fish came up behind the boat at the very end. Although we didn’t know exactly what we had hooked before we saw it, every one of us knew we had something very special on the end of our line as the fight progressed more and more. Several times I got it to within 6 or 7-feet of the boat only to have it bulldog its way straight back down to the bottom.

Brown Trout

Getting the fish into the boat was going to be an issue too since we forgot all our nets in the truck…talk about murphy’s law… My buddy Jason however, landed the fish by hand and he made it look easy!

We decided to keep this big beautiful brown trout and it will be mounted. Yes, we could have released it, but any good Trout fisherman will tell you that Trout stress out very easily; and when you add in a long hard fight like this one gave us in addition to almost 83 degree surface temperatures, release isn’t always the best option when it comes to Trout.

This fish is actually the 3rd Brown we’ve gotten out of Spruce Run over the past three weeks, and the other two (an 18-incher, and another that was 5+ pounds) were released safely since the water temps were still down in the low 60’s at that point and we didn’t have them on the line for anywhere near as long as this one was.

For more info and frequent reports about Spruce Run Reservoir, visit our Spruce Run Fishing Facebook Page.

Big Lake Trout Takes First Place in April Tournament

My buddy Rob S. and I had a long day of fishing in the first Round Valley Trout Association fishing tournament of the year this Sunday 17 April 2016 at Round Valley, but it was definitely worth it! This particular contest was scheduled from 6am to 3pm, however we were off the water by 1:30, eager to weigh in a Laker. Visit the RVTA website to learn more and get involved.

Our basic trolling spread for Round Valley consists of; two 10 color lead core rods (18lb Suffix) out of the back of the boat and two rods on downriggers for Lake Trout, as well as three planer boards out of each side of the boat with lead core for Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Here’s a sample of some go-to lures that are almost always productive Fishing on Round Valley, they’ve become a staple in my tackle box anytime I go out. In addition to these, meatheads are also a very effective lure when targeting Lake Trout.

Common Round Valley Trolling Lures

We had a tough start to the day trolling planer boards; at our first drop we connected with a big RVTA tagged Rainbow and fought it all the way in but lost it at the back of the boat. Our struggle for Rainbows continued for a while after and eventually we made the call to go out deeper for Lake Trout with downriggers and lead core.

Zach Merchant w/ Lake Trout

Once we went deep and got our Laker lines in it was game on for about an hour with hook ups left and right once we got dialed in on their location and depth. Before it was over we managed to get the fish pictured above, what would become the 1st place Laker for the tournament, weighing 6.90-lbs and measuring 29.25-inches. Slow pick of Lakers for the rest of the day after our morning bite, but overall a very rewarding day on the water.

Shout out to the local shop, Behre Bait & Tackle at 1239 Route 22 East, Lebanon NJ.

July Fishing Report

Been fishing the Valley a lot the past few weeks with Rob S. and Dan P. and the fishing has been on fire! Landed 2 trophy tagged Rainbows during the RVTA Open tournament 2 weeks ago, Rob S. Caught his first tagged Rainbow with me a few days prior as well. Lake Trout fishing has been pretty good and had a few days with over 10 Lake Trout in the boat the past week. To top it all off we caught and released a trophy tagged Brown Trout this morning. Visit the Round Valley Fishing Facebook Page to see all the pics and get involved our community there.

– Zach Merchant

Zach Merchant holding Rainbow Trout
Zach Merchant holds a nice size Rainbow Trout caught trolling in the early hours one fine July summer day.